I really would like to get off this “anti-theist” track, but it just keeps coming.
The Rev Sam Norton posted this UK Grauniad link on MoQ the other day. It met with mixed responses ranging from cheering on the battle against “immature” atheists to those critical of its mealy mouthed tone eg “I can almost hear the editors commissioning this piece: We need something that looks like a whole lotta critical thinking is going on, and yet comes down firmly on the side of the angels.”
Both sides of the argument make my point. Firstly mainstream opinion must indeed tread amongst the eggshells in being critical of “theism”, and secondly naive scientific argument plays right into the theist trap.
These were my responses to these specific quotes from the article …
“Not believing in God is no excuse for being virulently anti-religious or naively pro-science.” I say – Agreed. I keep complaining about the naive use of science in debates everywhere.
“No other atheist has done more for the cause of religion than Richard Dawkins.” I say – you must have heard me say exactly that a hundred times. Catch-22.[Here is the article where I said it most comprehensively.]
“The only mature attitude to religion is to see it for what it is – a kind of art, which only a child could mistake for reality …” Ian says – absolutely (A placebo, an opitate of the people, he goes on to say in his book). It can no more be false as it could conceivably be true in connection with reality.
I am genuinely A-theist, but am conscious that I take an Anti-theist stance, but that’s because I find theists arguing about “reality”. If they didn’t, I could respectfully ignore the lot of em. (As in fact I will, should anyone so much as suggest a “god” with any causal effect on the real world.)
2 thoughts on “A 21st Century Atheist ? I wish.”
I know what you mean. I am genuinely a-gnostic, yet find myself arguing in anti-theistic debates. In my trek towards some gnosis, I found today’s article by Michael Powell in the Washington Post a good catch-up, but was sorry he didn’t delve more deeply into Johnson’s “conversion”. Note the quote on Johnson’s effect on biologists (“Anytime the intelligent-designers find a mystery that scientists can’t yet explain, they shout: ‘See!? See!?’ ” says Provine, the Cornell biologist. “I like having Phil come to Cornell to debate. He turns a lot of my students into evolutionists.”) See it all: