What are atheists thankful for?
At Skepticon IV, the Fellowship of Freethought Dallas were videoing attendees/ speakers/ organizers/ vendors/ passers-by, asking us what we were thankful for. The results are thoughtful, sweet, giddy, funny, joyful, touching, occasionally freaky, and almost uniformly inspiring. I found myself riveted for the entire fifteen minutes. (I weigh in at 4:49, with my own excitable, somewhat grandiose effusions.)
I really liked how some participants — specifically PZ Myers and David Silverman — questioned the entire idea of thankfulness in a world without God or any sort of cosmic intentionality. (I’m actually planning an entire post on the whole concept of intransitive gratitude, and whether it makes any sense.) And the contrast between the atheists’ responses and the lone theist’s is startling: almost all of the atheists have clearly thought carefully about what their lives mean and what matters most to them, and are grateful for very specific, concrete things and people… while the theist just sort of yammers on vaguely about Jesus.
It’s perfect for Thanksgiving. Have a happy one!