Mainstream newspapers aren’t always friendly to atheists, but college newspaper and campus activists tend to have healthy relationships.
At the University of California, Santa Barbara, three atheists have been writing an “Ask the Atheist” column for the Daily Nexus:
Atheism is often maligned and misunderstood. In the spirit of openness, this column will attempt to respond to the many questions (and allegations) we, as atheists, receive. No two atheists are the same, and we attempt to represent no one but ourselves.
First and foremost, I feel there should not be a club or secular group on campus, only because there should not need to be one. The fact that a skeptics group would find the need to exist in what is supposed to be an institute of higher education is truly upsetting. However, we find ourselves living among the almost aggressively popular 30 or so religious groups on campus, representing whatever particular flavor of deity you prefer. All the while, there is a sad lack of representation for those of us who do not subscribe to the comforting idea of a world that was made for us…
Cameron Moody is a second-year computational biology major.
… I’d say we are so open-minded that we perceive all claims relating to the supernatural to be equal, as each one claims to have the ultimate proof of its claims. Miracles, science revealed in holy texts, premonitions, “truth,” reward and punishment — they are all present in one form or another in every religious text or dogma. This leads me to a position where I have to reject some claims, but any grounds for rejecting one supernatural claim is grounds for rejecting many others.
I therefore simply withhold judgment. I am open to be convinced into believing any supernatural claim, but for now I will live my life the way I wish to live it, employing the best humanity has to offer in philosophy, science or reason, to pursue whatever I decide is worthwhile. I reserve the freedom to change my mind or change the way I live at any time.
David Urzua is a fifth-year philosophy major.
Even if you don’t have a campus atheist group, how awesome would it be to (almost) regularly see that sort of column? To see your beliefs represented in a publication available to the school? To at least get a sense that you’re not the only person who thinks that way?
Kudos to Cameron Moody, Connor Oakes and David Urzua for making that column happen.
(Thanks to Rich for the link!)