Friday, September 29, 2006

Those who know my views understand that I am no militant secular atheist. In fact, I find that kind of proselytising almost as irritating as the evangelicals. This, though, has to be the scariest incarnation of the fundies yet. Seems these guys were directly inspired by their enemies in the East. It amounts to child abuse if you ask me.


Sarah said...

What's wrong with being a 'militant secular atheist'?!

Liz said...

Because it strikes me as being pretty much a substitute for religion. I also notice that militant atheists tend to be very intolerant, almost as much as the fundies. They tend to have no understanding of the religious impulse and belittle all spiritual sentiment as being irrational or superstitious, along with rubbishing the people who have such views.

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz,

But most religious beliefs ARE totally irrational. Sorry, but I'm not going to patronise people in the vein of current PC-ness that seems to cloak all religious debate. I would never seek to rubbish anyone's views - each to their own, but if presented with an irrational argument, then I would have to take it as just that - irrational. I think it's very unfair also, to suggest that atheism is a substitute for religion. After all, atheists do not even congregate together, and have no necessarily shared beliefs at all - other than not believing in god. I'd say that any perceived militancy in atheists today is likely down to the fact that non-religious people are angry at the way they see wars fought, women and homosexuals mistreated and children being denied a decent education in the name of something that is essentially unsubstantiated. My tolerancy towards religious believers runs out at the point at which the underground system is blown up in the name of religion, Creationism is taught in science lessons, women (and men in fact) are forced to marry someone they've never met, gay people are denounced as evil etc etc.. The problem with most religions is that as they hold something (ie god) in higher esteem than humanity, there are always going to be people killed in it's name.

In response to your previous post re Richard Dawkins, in my opinion, as far as religion is concerned the baby IS the bathwater - yes, there may be positive aspects to religious beliefs - but they can happily exist without the irrational, supernatural element, without the misogyny and the hatred. To pick and choose only the more palatable elements of religion, is to deny what most religions are truly about.

Please please, if you haven't already read it, do try and read 'The God Delusion' - I'm sure you probably hate it already(!) but seriously, it is definitely worth a read whatever your beliefs are.

Sarah X

Liz said...

Hi Sarah,

Now that is a question - should we always praise what is rational? Is it not part of the human condition to be irrational at times? When it comes to art, poetry, etc, much of that appears to be based on the irrational (feelings and emotions) than on what is rational. I see religious myths as essentially being a metaphor for truths about human beings and their complexity. I don't think religion strictly holds something to be higher than human beings, often the implication is that humanity has a spiritual side that is integral to their nature. I would agree with you on the misogyny and hatred etc, but I think that's more down to people using religion as an excuse for hatred rather than a result of religion itself. Secular ideologies can also breed hatred and fanatics (i.e fascism and extreme versions of communism). yet communism was an egaliterian idea - it was people who perverted it and turned it into something hateful, or took from it what has potential for danger and played on those things.

I have heard of the God Delusion and I probably should read it, I'll check it out of the library. I think it sounds one sided but I will give it a try.