(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mon, 02 Apr 2018

Attention and Atheism

Solderpunk shared a link to an article on getting your attention back [0][1], I agree it was not very insightful. But it made me think of how digital books can sometimes impact attention negatively, at least for me.

The bane of e-readers and digital books is that there is too much there. Instant access to more books than one could ever read. I have perhaps 20 books in various stages of completion on mine, and I find it difficult to read just one, night after night. I want to constantly see what else is available. So I decided to take a different approach while traveling back to the States for this past holiday weekend. I picked one book - a physical book - that I wanted to read and brought it along. That's it. I figured over the course of three days I wouldn't need to read anything else, and that was a good strategy. I suppose a non-internet connected e-reader would also work the same way, if you were careful not to dump too many books on it at once.

c25l talks about perspectives on atheism [2][3]. I think the reactionary form is sometimes called 'hard atheism', in that it takes a fairly hard stance against religion, to include belief in a god or gods and the associated actions of a religion's adherents (Christopher Hitchens was a good example of this). A softer form of atheism is more true to the dictionary definition - as in "I'm atheist and so don't believe in god", and it pretty much stops there. However I don't think the two perspectives are mutually exclusive, they exist on a continuum. Also, if religion did not exist, hard atheism would just default to the softer variety, but I agree that in some sense it relies on religion to exist, in the same way the civil rights movement in the 60s relied on racism and civil rights abuses to exist - it was a reaction to them. It's not a completely accurate analogy, since there are some aspects to religion that are beneficial, most notably the community aspect that c25l mentions. Still, the idea that hard atheism is a reaction to religion is accurate, but not necessarily bad.

Communities can form wherever people have something in common, they keep us as humans connected to others and provide friendship and support. From that perspective there is nothing special about religious communities. My wife has been part of a bike-riding community for years, she has made lasting friendships and has had some great support since her mountain bike accident and concussion last year. I'm part of a tabletop gaming group that provides some of the same social benefits, I started it five years ago to share an interest, but it has grown in other ways since then. So I'd ask c25l what void he or she is trying to fill? Answering that might help.

posted at: 13:59 | path: / | permalink | atheism, attention-span, community, religion