After following a mind numbing thread on another blog I’d like to vent a little bit of the steam that has accumulated in my mind. I’ve known a lot of people that don’t have any particular religious faith. Some would even call themselves atheists. They usually have a live and let live outlook and everything is fine.
It is the Christian converts to atheism that bug me. It isn’t because they offer all these compelling arguments that undermine my religious assumptions. It is because they think they do when they don’t. They become very adept at deconstructing their previous religious thought assuming that all there is to know about Christianity or religion is what they experienced. In many cases that experience is a shallow, anti-intellectual form of evangelicalism.
From what I’ve observed in online communities like Digg some proponents of atheism exhibit the same kinds of tendencies of the religious fundamentalists they ridicule. I observed one video where their vaulted idol Mr. Dawkins was stumped by a question asked by a creationist. Eventually he gave an answer to a question that wasn’t asked. Immediately people started making accusations that the video footage was doctored. They just couldn’t deal with the possibility that one of those idiot creationists actually asked a question that Dawkins didn’t answer effectively. Much like many religious fundamentalists they become irrational when someone tries to deconstruct a piece of their worldview.
For me this isn’t evidence that Dawkins is wrong just that he is human. In another situation he might have come up with a very good response. The video may have been doctored for all I know. My point is that people couldn’t handle the notion their man could be wrong.
There is a garden variety atheism that provides a crutch much in the same way religion can be a crutch. Instead of believing in a supernatural deity they believe in the intellectual superiority of their position and that gives their life meaning. They are better because they smarter. Their purpose switched from serving God to rescuing themselves and others from destructive religious myths. What I never understand is why they have to perpetually revisit the issue. If I gave up on Christianity I’d just carry on with my life with a few less moral inhibitions and leave it at that.
In this brand of atheism I see fundamentalists switching their fundamentals but remaining largely in the same old trappings of dead religion. The ideology changes but the insulation, fear of change, sense of arrogance, and unwillingness to any credence to any evidence outside their chosen realm of knowledge is all the same.