Fredric Rice Answers A Survey About Atheism

> Atheist Survey
>
> Thank you for participating. The issues of God (sic) and
> religion in a secular world are very important. This
> survey is part of a broader work that seeks to determine
> why God (sic) and religion continues to exist and flourish
> despite Humanity's intellectual achievements in the modern
> era of science. It might seem that the answer to that
> question lies with the people who believe in God (sic) but
> I feel otherwise for reasons that will become clear later.

    What you need to do is fix your survey to correct a great
    many logical errors.  Since there are a great many gods and
    goddesses, the continual use of the singular "god" leads to
    ambiguity since you didn't mention which god it was you are
    refering to throughout your survey.  You need to rework it
    so that it refers to "gods and goddesses," otherwise there
    will remain fatal ambiguity.

    For my part, I will proceed taking into account the expected
    correction and answer the survey.

> Just to be clear, I myself am an atheist.

    That shouldn't be mentioned as it has to relevance to the
    questions you're asking.  Nearly every atheist will answer
    honestly regardless of whether they're being asked something
    by a theist or an atheist.

> I will not at this time reveal the theories of my paper, because
> I don't want to influence any of the answers,

    You should remove this part as well as it has to relevance
    to the questions you are asking.  Individuals answering your
    survey don't care about your beliefs.  You're supposed to be
    asking people theirs.

> but you will receive an e-mailed copy of my complete work
> for your participation. I think you will find it very
> interesting.

    I look forward to that.  I suspect that you'll get a lot
    of nonsense answers since the questions are so badly asked.

> And now some questions. Simply quote this form in
> your reply and fill in the answers. Please take as
> much time and space as you need to answer these
> sufficiently. I'm sure you've thought about all of
> these things often.

    No problem.  I look forward to doing so and hope that you'll
    send out a tabulation and detailed run-down of the answers
    you get some time soon.

> General:

> This is personal stuff and I hope you don't mind
> answering it. It is important to have an accurate
> profile of each participant. A name, of course, in
> not necessary, but if you want to supply one, real or
> fictitious, it will save me the trouble of making one
> up if I quote any of your answers. (please specify if
> you mind me quoting you; I won't if you do)

    I've got no problem at all having my name used and
    anything I might say quoted.  My E-Mail address is also
    publically distributed so I would have no problem at all
    if you were to pass that along, too.

> NAME: (optional)

    Fredric L. Rice

> DOB

    19/Aug/60

> Place of birth

    California

> Sex

    No thanks.  

> Race (as you define it)

    Human

> Occupation

    Sr. Software Engineer, Robotics division

> Where you have lived your adult life

    California, Nevada, Holland, Texas, India, Japan,
    and, of course, at your mother's house.  

> Married?

    Yes.

> Children?

    Yes.

> THE QUESTIONS:

> There are 33 questions. I would love a long thoughtful answer
> to each one, but I appreciate that you may have a life to lead.
> So make the answer as short or long as you need, but please try
> and answer each question.

    That sentence should be removed.  It is not relevant.

> 1. What if any, was the religion practiced in your home?

    None.  I'm an atheist and none of my children nor my wife
    believe in any gods or goddesses.  Additionally none of us
    follow any atheistic religious rituals or ideals.

> 2. How deeply involved was your family in this religion? Any
> particular family members more than others? (in other words,
> did you have an uncle or a mother that was a bible quoting
> fundamentalist?)

    None.

    Your question, however, references only one religion --
    Christianity -- by reference to the word "Bible."  Since
    your survey seems to be asking about atheism rather than
    non-Christianism, you need to rework this question so that
    it doesn't reference just the one religion.

> 3. What was your response at the time to the role
> religion played in your family?

    None.

> 4. Were you always an atheist or did you at some time
> stop believing in God (sic)?

    I was born an atheist and, though my parents had at one
    time attempted to indoctrinate me into a cult, it didn't
    take.

> 5. Has your atheism been a source of trouble in your
> family?

    No.

> 6. Why do you think you are an atheist?

    I was born an atheist.  Everyone is born an atheist.

> 7. Do you feel ashamed at all about being an atheist?

    This question has no meaning and shouldn't be asked.  It
    presupposes that people feel ashamed about not believing in
    gods and goddesses.  I have never encountered anyone who
    felt shame at not believeing in gods and goddesses, have you?

> If so, how does it affect your conviction that there
> is no God (sic)?

    This question is worded badly.  Very few atheists hold any
    conviction that there are no gods and goddesses.  Nearly all
    atheists understand the fact that there is no evidence for
    any of the gods and goddesses so they lack a belief in any
    of them.  There is no conviction, only a lack of belief.

> 8. Are you a "closet" atheist?

    No.

    This question needs to be reworded since most people on
    the planet will not understand the wording and for those
    who do it may or may not yield negative connotations.

> Do people in your life generally know your atheism?

    Nearly everyone I interact with eventually knows that
    I'm an atheist.  Since I don't advertise the fact -- why
    would I? -- it's impossible to answer this question
    meaningfully.

    Without being able to read people's minds, this question
    should be removed from your survey or reworded so that it
    can be answered.

> 9. Do you debate and argue the issue with strangers,
> notably religious people?

    When cultists instigate claims, arguments, or debates about
    their occultism, I most certainly debunk them when time
    permits.  I never instigate discussions about religious
    occultism, however.

> 10. Where do you think your values of good and bad
> came from?

    Anthropology and evolution answers this question accurately.
    Social values are ingrained in a society -- whether they be
    humans or non-humans -- through their evolutional development.

> 11. I find myself often filled with wonder and awe at
> the sight of a star filled sky or a breathtaking
> nature scene. It almost feels "religious."

    This should be removed since it is irrelevant.

> Do you have these feelings?

    That question can't be answered unambiguously.  Once you
    remove the words "it almost feels religious," then the
    question can be answered unambiguously.

    After I disregard the irrelevant phrase, I answer "yes."

> If so, at such moments are you ever tempted to
> question your atheism?

    That question is unrelated to the previous one.

> 12. Would you rather that there was a God (sic)?

    If there must be gods, I would rather there be a great many
    of them along with a great many goddesses.

> 13. Are the people in your circle generally atheists?

    That question needs to be reworded.  Humans have many
    "circles," some of which will contain a large number of
    atheists and some of which won't.

    Inasmuch as mindreading doesn't exist, it is impossible to
    answer this question accurately, however.

> 14. Is your atheism strong enough that you would bet
> anything on the non existence of God (sic)?

    This question isn't worded very well either.  Your understanding
    of what atheism is tends to indicate the pssibility that you
    lied when you stated you were an atheist.

    If evidence for any god or goddess were to be presented,
    nearly every atheist would accept the evidence after it has
    been scientifically verified.  There's no need to bet anything
    on anything.

> 15. Would you like to see the whole world rid of
> religion, with no one believing in God (sic)?

    I would like to see religious occultism educated out of
    the worlds populace.

> 16. Do you think that will ever happen?

    Once homo sapiens have been replaced or have died out,
    it will be, yes.

> 17. What do you think such a world would be like?

    This question is impossible to answer.  What do you
    mean by "such a world?"  The world won't change just because
    one species which harbors deity beliefs vanishes from the
    world.

> 18. Do you have beliefs in any other being or system,
> ie, reincarnation, spirituality, and other
> metaphysical beliefs?

    No.

> 19. If so, what do you feel makes this belief more
> probable that the existence of God (sic)?

    Null.

> 20. Do you have children?

    Yes.

> If so, what is your attitude towards them and the
> religious world they are growing up in? Do you talk
> to them about God (sic)?

    That question is stated badly.  My "attitude" toward them
    is as a father toward his sons.  As to the "religious
    world" you reference, you'll have to explain why you think
    the world is religious.  As for talking to them about
    deity constructs, what's to talk about?

> 21. If you are married, is your spouse an atheist?

    Since mind reading is impossible, this question can't be
    answered accurately.

> And if so, do you hold the same views, or do you have
> a disagreement on the secular nature of the world?

    N/A.

> 22. If your spouse is not an atheist, is that a
> problem?

    N/A.

> 23. If you are single, is it important to you that
> your future spouse not be religious? If he/she was,
> what would your feeling be about how to raise the
> children?

    N/A.

> 24. Despite your atheism, do you consider yourself to
> be a spiritual person and would you then define
> "spiritual."

    "Spiritual" is a label applied toward something one is
    ignorant about and, more to the point, applied toward
    something one wishes to _remain_ ignorant about.  As
    such, it doesn't apply to me.

> 25. What is your attitude today towards religion and
> religious people?

    The question is too general.  You need to specify certain
    religions and certain individuals who hold religions
    before this question can be answered unambiguously.

> 26. Do you find it hard to believe that intelligent
> people truly believe in God (sic)?

    No.

> Do you tend to think that someone like President
> Clinton professes a belief in God (sic) because public
> figures can't afford to do otherwise?

    Yes.

> 27. Do you know much about science, ie, what science
> has so far taught us about the origins of life, etc?

    Yes.

> If so, is you atheism based on familiarity with
> science?

    No.

> 28. Emotions are very powerful. Do you ever have a
> feeling in your heart that you would describe as
> religious, despite your atheism?

    The phrase "in your heart" needs to be removed since it is
    biologically impossible for one's feelings to be originated
    within that organ.  Whereas many people will understand the
    symbology, most people on Earth will not.

> If so, describe it.

    N/A.

> 29. Religion plays a huge part in our society. Do you
> think children of atheists who have to play and grow
> up with religious children should be told there is a
> God (sic), the same way there is a Santa Claus, to
> avoid problems?

    That question can't be answered unambiguously.  Who is it
    which is doing the telling?  If it's other children or the
    parents of other children, that's their right.  If it's a
    government official or someone acting in the position of a
    government employee, they don't have that right.

> 30. Despite your atheism, do you sometimes feel that
> there is, if not a God (sic), then something?

    No.

> 31. Society places atheism near child molesting on
> the morality scale. Do you have any ideas about what
> can be done to change that?

    Education.  Studies prove conclusively that child molestation
    is nearly always associated with deep theistic religious
    beliefs and alcoholism.  Studies also show that Christian
    clergy sexually abuse children at percentages which are fastly
    greater than any other "profession."

    The fact that many theists like to pretend that atheism some
    how is the near equal to child molestation is a direct denial
    of the fact that their priesthood's behavior must be ignored.

> 32. People who believe in God (sic) feel very sorry
> for people who don't, saying they live in a cold
> desolate world. How would you answer that?

    I would suggest that the claimant is exhibiting projectionism
    behavior while ignoring entirely the history of theistic
    religions which evidences the opposite.

> 33. What do you think accounts for man's continuing
> belief in God (sic)?

    Our evolutional developmental past required it, obviously.

> Please add anything you feel should be addressed
> about atheism:

    You need to discover what atheism is.  I would suggest that
    you look up the word "atheism" and the word "atheist" in
    a dictionary.

> Thank you for your participation in this important
> survey.

    No problem.

> I appreciate your time and sincerity. As well as my
> thanks, I will e-mail a copy of the finished paper,
> which I'm sure you will find provocative.

    I can't wait for a copy.

> One favor: I am interested in the views and
> opinions of older atheists, those in their thirties
> and older. If you know even one person in this
> category that would be willing to answer these
> questions it would be very helpful. You can forward
> this questionnaire directly to them or have them
> e-mail me at [email protected]

> Thank you very much,

      You're welcome.

> G.S. Lazarus