Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Return of the Lord Protector

Quick -- name a frowny-faced, high-eyebrowed fanatic intent on purging society of all that does not fit his crabbed, puritanical worldview.
No...not him...I mean Richard Dawkins.

Now he's angry at fantasy. He says it encourages an anti-scientific worldview.

The moral of this story: If you scratch a militant atheist deeply enough, you find a militant fundamentalist.


toujoursdan said...

Funny this. I have had a few run ins with militant atheists. I made this point on another blog:

Look. I agree that religious beliefs can't be proven. I also can't prove that the music of J.S. Bach is better than Handel, or Van Gogh's paintings are better than Monet, or green is a cheerier colour than red. But it isn't ridiculous that I believe these things and I am not going to lie and pretend I don't to make someone else happy.

Reason and logic, "proof" and "defence" arguments have their place. One can prove that 2+2=4 and that Saturn is farther than Mars from the sun. But this line of reasoning isn't the be-all and end-all of discernment.

Where it crosses the line into fundamentalism is:

+ When it becomes reductionist and all encompassing - there is no other way to discern truth than that method - whether it's a holy book, or the 5 senses, logic and the scientific method.

+ When it abhors ambiguity. There is no room for perception or action outside of this method.

+ When it abhors diversity - everyone should come to the same conclusion. Those who perceive reality differently are "stupid" or "unbelievers".

+ When it can't accept responsibility for wrongdoing - Crusaders and slave owners aren't "real" Christians because they acted against Christ's teachings. Atheists who persecuted believers in communist countries aren't "real" atheists because they also followed Stalinism or Maoism.

+ When it envisages a paradise where all will be well when that method is adopted by all. The world would be a better place if everyone is a fundamentalist Christian, or if everyone is an atheist.

I don't see much of a difference between what is expressed here and the Bible thumpers. It is two sides of the same coin. It is sad that the very real hateful action of religious people have poisoned the well, but adopting a parallel outlook isn't the solution.

Why not accept that there is mystery in the universe and that human beings are always going to think differently, find common ground and work together on what we agree on?

Beth said...

Oh, for Pete';s sake. Try explaining this to Dawkins or any of the Chrstianistas who object to fantasy: The purpose of fantasy is to stimulate the imagination. imagination is equally necessary for designing an experiment ( basically a formal way of asking "What would happen if...") or for having a faith life.

southernbooklover said...

One could argue that one person's faith is another person's fantasy.

Gilly said...

Well, if we can't say "what if...." then we'd still be lugging logs of wood on our back to our caves!

He's just scared of what happens after death. He may think he isn't, but I reckon he is, deep down.

Crimson Rambler said...

scratch either the militant atheist and/or the militant fundamentalist and you find, not far below the surface, the militant idiot.

LutheranChik said...

Well, and a lot of people got angry at the psychologist -- can't remember who -- who publicly suggested that fundamentalism as a mindset is a certifiable character disorder...but it kind of [i]is.[/i]

toujoursdan said...

It certainly represents a fear of uncertainty.