The Confession of Arian Foster

Aug 10, 2015

By Tim Keown

LIFE’S BIGGEST QUESTIONS are leading me through a narrow street in a stately Houston neighborhood, where haunting piles of home furnishings-cabinets, carpet, curtains-lie on the north side of the street in mud-streaked abandon. Meanwhile, the south side, unharmed by the torrential rain, looks as if it took up arms and ravaged the other. The difference is so stark, so precise, that some might be tempted to invoke divine intervention.

And if a just God intervened to spare the folks on the south side, why would he beget fires-of-hell vengeance upon those who happened to purchase a home on the other side of the street, where the floodwaters flowed over the curb, across the lawns and through living rooms and kitchens?

And is it blasphemy to even ask?

In a room toward the back of a home on the dry side of the street, Arian Foster ponders such questions. Given the reason I’m here, he laughs at the notion of celestial involvement in the water’s path. Where some might see the hand of God, Foster sees physics and engineering, the slope of the road and the elevation of the homes in relation to a swollen runoff canal that bisects an arterial a few hundred yards away.

Science and faith. They’ve brought us to this place, where Foster is ready to tell the story he’s been leading toward for as long as he can remember.

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6 comments on “The Confession of Arian Foster

  • 1
    Cairsley says:

    It is rather preposterous to have supposedly educated adults talking unashamedly and quite seriously in public about the need to explain why someone does not believe in God. If God were known to exist, then it would be reasonable to want to understand why someone did not believe in God. Anyone with any concern for the kind of things that matter in the acquiring of knowledge, such as facts, observations of things and events, intersubjective verifiability and falsifiability and so on, will waste no time on such a groundless, misconceived question. On the contrary, he or she will rightly insist that what needs to be explained is why some people believe in God. No objective facts support such a belief, so one must look to psychology and neurology and history and anthropology for explanations of such beliefs, especially those that have become culturally entrenched as organized religions in societies and, in the face of scientific advances, have outlasted their usefulness by many centuries.

    As for tolerance, the question is: To what extent does one tolerate ignorance? Many people find comfort and support in one or other of these religions, and, provided that they keep it to themselves and their coreligionists within their religious community, they are certainly entitled in a civil society to be left in freedom and peace to practise their religion. But insofar as anyone tries to influence public decisions in government, education, healthcare and so on to bring them in line with his or her religious beliefs, he or she must be opposed in the public interest to ensure that public debate and decision-making is kept on a factual, publicly verifiable and accountable basis. Imaginary entities can have no weight or significance in the deliberations of responsible participants in public affairs, and it is only right not to tolerate the intrusion of religion into that public domain where it has no credible claim.

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  • It is rather preposterous to have supposedly educated adults talking unashamedly and quite seriously in public about the need to explain why someone does not believe in God.

    The US baffles me sometimes. Well, a lot of the times. You have organisations like NASA talking about putting men and women on Mars, a huge network of academia, up to their necks in Nobel laureates and advanced research institutes, The Google, people like Bill Gates, NdGT who’d seem to waste more and more of his time explaining how the world works to the rest of them, your basic ignoramuses who don’t want to know, who are perpetually dazed into a stupor by basic concepts and philosophies like atheism, science, even literature (oooh books! Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat).

    No wonder the more moronic section think of ‘secular liberal academics’ as elitist. Well then, when will you grow up and join the rest of the world? Or are you gonna persevere in your idiotic ways, and have the need for people like Foster, NdGT to constantly remind you of what’s going on outside your bubble? Because frankly, it’s getting a bit tiresome. ESPN now, sheesh…

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  • Arian Foster is an amazing human being considering his ethnic-racial background. Born and raised in a community where levels of desperate religiosity, the soul-killing effects of dysfunction, poverty and unemployment are drastically higher than in the general population: quality of education is abysmal, and schooling often truncated before high school graduation; his intellect has overcome disadvantages that would stifle most people to elevate himself into an articulate eloquent spokesman for atheism incorporating the ideals of science, reason and secular humanism. Already marginalized for being “different” by the dominate population, he has also heroically transcended the peer pressure of his own sub culture. Let’s hope that Arian Foster is pointing the way for a progressive, prosperous future inclusive of all humanity.

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  • I didn’t quite like the original tagline to this story when it surfaced, which was “Arian Foster is openly secular.”

    Great, but he could be “secular” and be religious.
    The whole point of the thing was to show that he doesn’t believe in god(s).

    Using the “secular” label will undoubtedly lead some dumb people down the line that “secular” means “atheist” which is completely wrong. And seeing as some religious people are bashing “secularism” lately, it needs all the help it can get. We even hear “Aggressive secularism.” What on earth is that?

    The religious need to be reminded (certainly those that don’t know), is that secularism is a concept where all work together under a godless state, but this can be supported by the religious in order to keep absolute theocracy, of whatever flavour, at bay.

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