Flynn Sam FlynnSPCH 1000Mrs. C. TkacDecember 14, 2010An Atheist’s Evolution and Living in a Religious WorldINTRODUCTION: My speech is on atheism. Before I get into to anything to do with atheism, as a concept and what it means to me personally, I wanted to ask, how many of you identify as atheist? How many identify agnostic? And how many identify religious? (Poll religions) Ok, the first thing I want to say is that this is not an attack on religion and/or faith. This is the representation of a viewpoint or a philosophy if you will. That said, like Richard Dawkins in his enlightening book The God Delusionsaid, I won’t treat it as a topic any different than any other. To me, and I hope you, it’s not a personal attack but a critique. We hand them out every day but for some reason religion is skipped. Religion, to me and most atheists, is a topic like any other. TRANSITION: I identify as an atheist, inasmuch as I do not subscribe to any religion or retain any belief in a god. Now, what is atheism and what has it meant over its history? What structure or argument is there to it? And what does atheism look like today? These are the things I am going to talk about today. I.What is atheism and what has it meant over its history?A.Atheism comes from the Greek word “atheos” with “a” being the negative and “theos” being God. Therefore “atheos” literally means “Without God.” The word atheism is a Latinized version of that word. (infidels 1)
Flynn B.The earliest atheistic philosophical leanings were of the Indians and, most famously, Socrates. However, all early views that remotely bordered on atheism were tempered to prevent socially ostracized and in worst cases, death. C.During Medieval ages, there was mass hysteria about heretics and any who remotely had atheistic leanings were burned at the stake as warlocks and witches. (atheistoasis 1) D.It wasn’t until the Renaissance and the Enlightenment of the 1600s-late 1700s that atheism became far more widespread. This was because of the spread of free thought by such cultural icons as Leonardo da Vinci, David Hume, and Thomas Hobbes. E.It was during this time that deism became the recognizable spiritual standpoint for many intellectuals. Deism is a branch of religion that stresses reason and observation of the natural world to obtain evidence for God. Deists believe in a “divine watchmaker” who does not interfere with humans or this world. They do not subscribe to a holy book or text.