POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Atheistic Intramurals

Over at Al Mohler's blog he has an interesting commentary on an intramural squabble among atheistsAn Argument Among Atheists -- Always Worth Watching One, Dylan Evans, is calling for a more gentile, play well in the sandbox with religious folk version of atheism:
'My kind of atheism takes issue with the old atheism on all three of its main tenets: it values religion; treats science as simply a means to an end; and finds the meaning of life in art.' Or, in other words, 'I think the best way to think about religion is to see it like the painting in this parable. In other words, religions are beautiful things, but their beauty can only be truly appreciated when they are seen as human creations -- as works of art.'
With atheism's lessoning influence, even in the once atheistic den's of University philosophy departments, perhaps Evans sees some writing on the wall. Maybe we will not dominate the world; maybe "skepticism, disbelief, incredulity towards religion" is not the best path. Mohler makes a great observation:
Evans' atheism is not anti-religious, you understand, just anti-supernatural. Religion is just fine, so long as you don't really believe anything about God."
Such atheism is still atheism - perhaps it is a "be nice" atheism, but the arrogance stance of agonosticism and unbelief about the real substance of faith (that knowledge of God is possible and essential to human beings and their flourishing) is denied. You may have your religious parties and drink your koolaid, I will now just smile and instead of scorn, linger rather than lash out. Salman Rushdie (author of the anti-muslim Satanic Verses thinks this is the wrong course for the nonmystical prophets of matter. Rushdie does not see religion capitulating to accept unbelief - they will not beat their intellectual swords into plowshares. The atheist would be wise to keep his arms as well according to Rushdie. Mohler has a great exhortation amongst the squabbles of our friends on the other side of the metaphysical divide:
As Christians, we had better present authentic Christianity as the faith they are so determined to reject. Soft Christianity is countered by soft atheism. The truth claims of biblical Christianity leave no room for compromise -- no neutral zone.
Amen. Let us love our secular neighbor, in word and in deed, in truth and love. But be not unaware of the halls of unbelief.