"You fundamentalist/militant/dogmatic/evangelical/[insert projected pejorative adjective here] atheists are just as bad as those you stand against."

Imagine how much I love reading that. Not so much from the religious; I expect it from them. No, I regularly hear/read this from other non-religious people, which disappoints me, to put it mildly.

So, what to people think?

Is there some merit to this accusation?
Do we need to take it to heart?
Or is it simply nonsense?

Here is Richard Dawkins response:

"do not mistake passion, which can change its mind, for fundamentalism, which never will. Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may “believe”, in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will."

Read the rest of the piece here.

Tags: atheism, fundamentalism

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I think Dawkins is spot-on here.

However I think the current rise of folks like the Four Horsemen are acting in direct response to a rising spread of Fundamentalism and realize that the past decades of sitting idle and/or "playing nice" has only made the Problem worse.. what's the saying? "Evil is allowed to flourish only when good men do nothing." something like that, anyhow. When 40% of the US believe in Creationism and 20% believe that the sun revolves around the earth, all because their holy book tells them so, it becomes abundantly clear that a more aggressive posture is necessary.

I don't think Atheists will be knocking on people's doors anytime soon, but I do think you'll see continued appearances in the Media, more debates with religious figures and more legal battles attempting to keep the wall between church and state reinforced.
Reminds me of a joke by Keith Lowell Jensen.

See the youtube video here. (The joke starts at 2:40 if you want to cut straight to the chase)
I'm with The Dawk on this one.
I wonder if the faithful realize how frustrating it is to deal with people who believe in something that, when viewed objectively, is such an utter load of crap. Further that we have to spend time and money fighting legislation and waging court battles to keep their nonsense out of public schools, courthouses and other public forums.
of course they do...

they just call it.. "the wrong religion". :)
It's an inane comment to make. What are our fundamentals? What is our dogma? Since we don't have a religion, a common belief system or a common philosophy it's impossible to be "fundamental"
I would think our "Fundamentals" are a devotion to rational and free thinking and general skepticism. While these don't hold a candle to religious dogma they are fundamentals common to most atheists.
Rational and free- thinking don't necessary provide any proscriptions, or any actual directives on how to be rational though, so I'm still not sure that they count as 'fundamentals' in the same sense as those provided by religion.

They also seem to carry the implication that we should even at some level be critical of our own thought processes, so even 'rationality' and 'freethinking' are subject to question and not blindly accepted. If they repeatedly steered us in the wrong direction we'd have to reconsider!
Why must we use aggressive means to prove our points? It only makes it worse because the Christians will take it as them being victims which in turn will only create a we vs them mentality, which in turn means that Christians will only feel more strongly that their religious choice is the right thing which of course, is the completely opposite goal of what we wanted to reach.

That is why I think fundamental atheism never will work, ie such an atheism that always aggressively attack Christians and other religious.
I will say that standing idle hasn't done much good, since the 1980s I've noticed a radical shift in the numbers of evangelical christians, the number of folks who believe in biblical creation, etc... Evangelicals are now a large enough number in the US that they can use the political clout it grants to further their cause.

Now I'm not advocating knocking on doors, but making sure information is out there, freely available and easy to find is the key.
But information is hardly something radical or fundamental, is it? All sort of groups who wish to promote themselves spread information because otherwise no one would know the group existed outside the actual group.

You can start off by telling your friends for example that a place such as the Athist Nexus exists. You can start writing a blog about your everday experiences with Christians and your thought about atheism, you can actively partake discussions with other Christians and atheists, you can even go as far as to put up flyers in your hometown with links to this site f ex. I don't see it as an aggressive movement, if we want to promote ourselves we must do it aggressively. But we don't and shouldn't attack Christians and other believers which I imo think is a part of being fundamental, ie a zero tolerance of what you stand against.

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