Monday, August 11, 2014

What’s With All the Questions?

You may have noticed that all of my post titles take the form of questions. My usual format is to pose a question in the title – either one that I have heard from religious people about atheistic topics, or that I have about some aspect of religiosity. In the first case, I try to answer the question to the best of my ability, and in the second I will explain why I have the question and/or pose hypothetical answers of my own.

Why do I do it that way?

I’ll be honest with you. At first, it wasn’t a conscious choice. I think that it wasn’t until after I put up my third post that I realized I was even doing it. At that point I actually started thinking about it, and I realized that it was wholly appropriate for a number of reasons.

For one thing, asking questions is exactly how many atheists reach that position in the first place. It’s a very common story, when listening to an atheist describe how they left religion behind, that it started when they began asking questions about their world and about their religion. Many will tell how the answers they got from the religious perspective were unsatisfying or illogical, and in the worst cases the response they got wasn’t an answer at all; just a pat admonition that they weren’t to question. So in many ways, the asking of questions is the signature activity of the atheist.

Also, I ask questions because I’m curious about the answers. What do you mean by objective morality? Why do you believe what’s in your holy book? What don’t you understand about my world view? What don’t I understand about yours? Am I asking the right questions? Do my answers make any sense? A question is an invitation to engage, to better our understanding of each other and the world we live in.

My blog takes the form of questions because it’s not really meant to be a one-way street. The point isn’t just for me to pontificate at you. I mean, I can do that, sure. I’m now twenty-four posts in to doing that (for the most part). And I enjoy writing it. I hope you enjoy reading it. But it’s not yet everything I hope that it can be.

So I guess what I’m saying is: ask your own questions!

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