Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bookforum Omnivore - The Trouble with Atheists

Last week Bookforum shared a collection of links on their Omnivore blog on all things atheism, under the title, The Trouble with Atheists

The title got me to thinking, and I am not sure any of the articles address this, that the problem with the New Atheists and the recent increase in atheist presence in the media, is that atheism has become evangelical (the etymological roots go back to the Greek word for "gospel" or "good news": ευαγγελιον (evangelion), from eu- "good" and angelion "message"), and their gospel is the "good news" that there is no God and no need for religion, which they consistently blame as the source of most if not all warfare (partially true).

I understand their impulse, but I also know that faith and the need for belief in a transcendent organizing principle is built-in to several developmental worldviews. Nearly all human beings pass through these worldviews in their development, so there is no way to eradicate them.

Rather than trying to convince people that their beliefs are wrong or that their faith is misplaced, we should be supporting and nurturing healthy versions of religion. But I do not believe the most vocal atheists will ever understand that principle. 

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