The American comedian Jeff Foxworthy has a well known comedy routine called “You Might be a Redneck If,” where he lists the self-mocking possibilities that answer the question. For example: You Might be a Redneck If …
- Your wife has ever said, “Come move this transmission so I can take a bath.”
- You own a homemade fur coat.
- You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.
- You’ve ever financed a tattoo.
- You have ever used lard in bed.
The philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett picked up on this schtick when speaking at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia. And he asked a series of questions meant to show that people might be a little less religious, or a bit more atheist, than they might care to admit. So here it goes: You Might be an Atheist If…
- You don’t believe that Jesus is literally the son of God.
- You don’t believe God actually listens to each and everyone’s prayers.
- You don’t think God picks sides when countries go to war (or when football teams play each other).
- Or, to put things differently, If you believe God isn’t a personal God, but rather is a benign force, a concept that enriches people’s lives.
You get the gist. By the time you’re done with the 45 minute talk, you’ll know whether you’re indeed a theist, or perhaps an atheist after all. It’s a reality check either way.