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Nihilism and Atheism

Re: Nihilism and Atheism
April 29, 2012, 01:46:35 PM
At the heart of this great argument lies the assumption on the part of the anti-religion camp that this is a battle between reason and obscurantism, between rationality on the one hand and knuckle-dragging ignorance and prejudice on the other. And of course, that anti-religion camp is on the side of reason, and thus of intelligence, science, progress and freedom; whereas religious believers would undo the Enlightenment and take us all back to the dark ages of credulity, superstition and the shackling of the mind.

This assumption is based on a further given: that in the West this is the age of reason. And we think this, in large measure, because we have put religion, or faith, in a box labelled in very large letters, "Un-reason". Faith and reason, religion and science are supposedly inimical to each other. There is no overlap. They knock each other out.

So it follows that people who are intelligent can have no religious faith; those who are religious are either imbeciles or insane. Not only that, religious people are narrow, dogmatic, intolerant and unpleasant. Those with no religious faith are broad-minded, open, liberal and thoroughly splendid people whom you'd be delighted to meet at a dinner party. Little casts a chill over a fashionable table more than the disclosure that a guest believes in God.

I have a rather different take on this great division of our age. My view is that while we may be in a post-biblical and post-moral age, we have not disposed of belief. Far from it. We have just changed what we believe in. Our society may have junked the Judaeo-Christian foundations of the West for secularism. But this has given rise to a set of other religions. Secular religions. Anti-religion religions.  


More straw man worship. Did you even read the thread? Atheism doesn't necessarily imply anything you quoted/wrote(?). You can possess the belief that no god(s) exists, in the 'ontological sense', and this does not suddenly mean you join the ranks of the new atheist movement. This is a pretty basic idea, you need only the smallest amount of intellectual nuance to grasp it.