My Weekly Rant: Defending atheist fundamentalism?

I am sick and tired of pompous and senseless writers like Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News. He starts his recent dribble thusly:

And how did you spend your summer? Having more fun, I hope, than the English kids marched off to Camp Quest, a five-day atheist camp supported in part by Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins. The idea, Dawkins said, is “to encourage children to think for themselves.” Yes, well, as long as they don’t think well of religion, tykes are welcome to join his herd of independent minds.

This could NOT be more wrong. I’m sorry that religion quite often falls short in the reason department. However, almost every freethinker I know (and I know a lot) would change their mind about a religious claim if it could stand up to the scientific method and basic critical thinking. What percentage of believers can say this? It has to be close to zero. The very nature of faith requires the absence of evidence. Proof would nullify faith, and according to Scripture, without faith, it is impossible to please God.

In speaking about my friends at the North Texas Church of Freethought, Dreher says:
Click to Read More.

Views: 346

Tags: Camp, Dawkins, Dreher, Quest, Richard, Rod

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Comment by Joseph Dinan on October 6, 2009 at 9:11pm
When the theists accuse us of being, "atheist fundamentalists", I think what they're doing is comparing our rigidity of position to the rigidity held by biblical literalists. Yes, we are rigid in our nonbelief because it's impossible to believe anything without evidence (if you're a rational person).
Comment by Sarah Trachtenberg on September 10, 2009 at 9:47am
Heck, I'd love to go to atheist camp! Would any of you like to hear about the Jewish camp my mom sent me to?
Comment by Brad Feaker on August 24, 2009 at 1:46pm
Joey,

@Brad: You can never prove a flat earther wrong. They'll just claim you're part of the conspiracy. It's the first rule of wanker-fu. If someone proves you to be wrong, claim they're deluded or part of the conspiracy. It's pretty much exactly like religion.

You have a point ;-)
Comment by Joey on August 23, 2009 at 9:35pm
The very idea of an objective reality absolutely terrifies religious people, for some reason. Especially if you're teaching kids to be rational. They hate that. It makes it too hard to sink their claws into them.

@Robert Head: Small disagreement: We don't all claim it makes god impossible. A lot of us claim the lack of supporting evidence makes it extremely unlikely.

@Brad: You can never prove a flat earther wrong. They'll just claim you're part of the conspiracy. It's the first rule of wanker-fu. If someone proves you to be wrong, claim they're deluded or part of the conspiracy. It's pretty much exactly like religion.
Comment by Brad Feaker on August 23, 2009 at 7:47pm
El Solo Lobo,

It's like saying the Flat Earther's "belief" should be respected because we cannot ABSOLUTELY prove he is wrong.

I can absolutely prove that a flat earther is wrong... ;-)
Comment by El Solo Lobo on August 23, 2009 at 7:24pm
Fundamentalist atheist. I'm never sure what others mean by that. I know I am an atheist fundamentalist. But that's because atheism isn't a "belief" or "lack of belief", if you prefer... belief has nothing to do with it. It's like saying the Flat Earther's "belief" should be respected because we cannot ABSOLUTELY prove he is wrong.
Comment by OutlawGirl on August 23, 2009 at 7:21pm
The religious sense – of awe, of mystery, of a need for meaning – is hard-wired into our species, which is why Gray, a nonbeliever, identifies a “funny sort of humanism that condemns an impulse that is peculiarly human.”

The impluse, as I see it, is not to be religious. Rather, the human impluse is to seek answers for the unexplained and, in absense of evidence, fabricate an explination to satisfy the psyche. For some people the lack of answers can be so frusterating that they'll believe any nonsense they make up comes from "divine inspiration," instead of where it actually came from; their imagination.

He’s certainly correct to warn that the attempt to repress the religious instinct (as with the sexual instinct)...

NO COMMENT!

...only means it will reappear in some other, degraded form – the operatic pseudo-paganism of the Nazis, say, or the Soviet Stalinist cult, or even, more benignly, the faintly ridiculous idea of an atheist church.

Hitler was, of course, a Catholic. Quit trying to lump him in with us!

Though I have to agree with him on one point. The idea of an atheist "church" is pretty ridiculous. They should have come up with a secular name for the percise reason that refering to an atheist congregation as a "church" invites this kind of mockery. Some may say that any publicity is good publicity, but I think using a term like "church" in this context seriously undermines our credibility.
Comment by Dave Rogers on August 23, 2009 at 6:47pm
An atheist fundamentalist doesn't fly planes into buildings, kill his sister in an honor killing, or stand on street corners with signs that say "Reality Hates Fags". I'll take a million atheist fundamentalists over one whacknut with a bomb strapped around their waist any day. I wouldn't be surprised if you polled religious people honestly and asked if they fear hell or atheism more, you get atheism more often. The leap back to reality fears them more than anything.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on August 23, 2009 at 2:37pm
The very nature of faith requires the absence of evidence. Proof would nullify faith, and according to Scripture, without faith, it is impossible to please God.
that deserves a WTF !!
In my narrow atheist world we call a statement of that nature a circle jerk
Comment by Robert Head on August 23, 2009 at 12:25pm
Ultimately, atheists are making a definite claim: that moral, scientific and logical arguments make impossible the existence of any deity. Atheists aren't fundamentalists. Atheists reject religious beliefs; they don't hold true to a certain set. Only religious people can truly be fundamentalists.

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