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June 29th, 2009

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05:49 pm - Quote of the day...
"Atheism is a belief system like bald is a hairstyle."
   —Sally, Surbiton, Surrey, commenting on this Times article

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Witty, but doesn't seem to hold logical sense. A belief system is independent of the existence or nonexistence of divinity. I think you probably could find lots of things worthy of being called "belief systems" that either span multiple religions or are orthogonal to religion.

"Atheism is a theology like bald is a hairstyle." would have made sense, I think.

But perhaps "belief system" has a technical meaning inside of theological circles that makes it work...
[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I have a fairly well-established belief system that has nothing to do with deities. For instance, I believe that force equals mass multiplied by acceleration.

Also, bald can be a hairstyle, if you can grow hair but choose to do without it anyway. (Sorry, Doug.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
I don't think the claim is being made that atheists can't have belief systems. I think the point is that atheism, which is simply a rejection of a specific set of beliefs, is not itself a belief system. (It's more of an "unbelief system".)
Date:June 29th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
And all bald people are atheists? Or is that all atheists are bald? No, wait, I know that one's not true.
[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Bald is a hairstyle, as many people who shave their heads for no other reason than they like the look can attest. Michael Jordan is perhaps the most famous example.

That was the last haircut I actually had.
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to come up with an analogy of naturally-bald people as so-called "weak atheists" and head-shavers as "strong atheists"... it's not quite coming together, though.

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