Saturday, April 21, 2007

A reply to a Criticism of Atheism

This is a response to an attack on atheists as being mindless robots.

Talk about mindless onslaughts.

You speak of a humanist attack on faith and in the same sentence of an atheistic onslaught Surely you don't mean that two books constitutes an onslaught?

As an atheist I am puzzled by the idea that we should not look to reason to understand our experience, I have found psychology to be a very fruitful area of study in understanding human behaviour, should I abandon it's study because it's too rational?

Does science have the answers? Of course not, it is merely our best efforts to make sense of the universe. Surely we don't need to know everything in order for science to be worthwhile?

"But they'll never learn because in their arrogance they realise that access to the OTHER is forever beyond their understanding and the cut and thrust and disssection and subsequent formularistic verification." Sounds to me like you don't read much science. Most scientists don't devote their lives to the study of something that they hate. In fact when you read their comments they are full of the beauty and joy of the universe they explore. Understanding only adds to our appreciation of beauty it does not subtract from it.

Mathematics is a wonderful study of applied logic. Surely you are not suggesting that the mathematics that enabled us to build say the Sydney Opera House or the great cathedrals is mere intellectual masturbation?

"It Is ONLY the atheist who insists that ONLY his vision of reality is correct and that of the rest of us are wrong." I am one of these hated atheists and I have never insisted this. Where do you get this from?

The problem seems to be that you have made a judgement about atheists and no amount of factual correction can change your mind. Atheism is not a club, the only thing we have in common is the idea that there is no God. Because people like Harris and Dawkins are expressing a range of views does not mean that they speak for anyone but themselves, a fact they both readily point out. It is the same as saying that the Pope speaks for all Christians.

What does puzzle me is that many like yourself when they leave orthodox Christian faith fall back to a naive romanticism. A view of the world that becomes essentially emotional, elevating feelings and mystery over explanation and sympathy. This by the way is why as an atheist I object to a lot of Sam Harris. Don't be too shocked that atheists don't see Harris and Dawkins as atheist rock stars.

If we look to the positive values that atheists offer I would rather we look to people like Ayan Hirsi Ali or perhaps Brahms than too Harris or Dawkins.

In short the shallow view of atheist you offer is very puzzling, please take from me that it does not even begin to explain the views of most of us.

Wayne

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