This one is going around. Aron Ra, an atheist whom I really didn’t hear about until somewhat recently, delivered this speech to Eastern Illinois University, 04/19/2012, less than a week after the Global Atheist Convention.
John Loftus posted the video at his blog and pulled out a quote that I’m ripping off of his site because it’s worth reading if you don’t watch the video:
“I was told that faith is trust… I was told I would not step onto an airplane unless I had faith that it would land safely. That doesn’t make sense because I know the plane exists… I know something about the safety ratings for commuting on an aircraft and I know that I can check my sources to find out they should be fairly reliable. But how could I be expected to trust things which can’t be verified and which are told to me by people which, frankly, can’t be trusted? I can’t trust the teacher, the preacher, or even the President, which when I was a boy was Richard Nixon. And maybe that was why I never recognised any authority as being unquestionable and that includes the people who wrote all the world’s religious tomes while claiming divine inspiration from a host of gods who cannot all exist at the same time.
Each of my science books said, “This is why we think this; this is how we figured it out; and this is what we still don’t know.” That I can trust. And it inspires me to contribute. Conversely, religious books claim to already know everything we’ll ever need to know, even thought they never explained everything; and you’re forbidden to question them. Instead, you should believe them without suspicion and simply because they said so (even when they have already been proven wrong). This is why the word ‘confidence man’ describes a criminal swindler. Such people should not be trusted. When is it ever wise to believe someone without question?”
Aron Ra has joined Freethought blogs and you can find it here.