The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it. [...]
I emphatically disagree with the notion that it's either a matter of atheism, agnosticism, or faith.
I believe people should be raised atheist as children and taught how to think logically and critically about things, and then when they're older they can form their own ideas.
An admittedly huge point of contention in the domains of spirituality/religion today is the notion that varieties of spirituality/religion can exist on a purely logical basis, but that they can is absolutely my conviction, as my paradigm would be a case in point. (Although depending on your definition of "religion" perhaps in that case, as opposed to spirituality, it would necessarily be strictly a matter of faith.)
One of the things that drives atheists so up the walls is this notion from some faith-based religions that you aren't supposed to know
the divine, because if you knew for sure then you could not have doubt or faith. It's basically tossing logic into the waste bin, and hell from this perspective you should by all means raise your children religiously. (The point of contention returns as you should not raise your children on such a faith basis unless you think all spirituality and religion operates on the same basis, unless you want to deprive your children of the freedom to chose their own spiritual/religious path).
I thinks it's extremely important to recognize that the term "atheist" can mean different things to different people. One example I could think of of a 'positive' atheist is a person who acts in accordance with what feels good and who has come to realize that acting out of love and compassion is precisely that which, for whatever reasons, lead one to feel best--such a view operates merely on the basis of self-honestly and emotional correspondence which can be experientially verified and requires no belief in external divinity; I'm often struck by successful scientists possessing this quality.
Also I think it's important to recognize that often a person will call themselves an atheist, but really that's just a term they use. Ultimately they have not overcome the dilemma of existential uncertainty, although they may not wrestle with it like an existentialist or a non-ANUS-style nihilist still they cannot say that tomorrow will even ever arrive, that the sun will rise again, or that any piece of inductive (as opposed to deductive) reasoning can hold any water at all whatsoever. And of course in this case, even if they say they are absolutely an atheist, ultimately they don't know anything for certain, and if the definition of agnosticism is being uncertain about divinity then they're really agnostics. (If you define agnosticism as being open
to the possibility then admittedly that's another story.)
In my view there is a left-hand-path and a right-hand-path, spiritually speaking, and the more left-leaning paths tend to be more logic-based, less faith-based. But I suppose that's a whole other story...
In closing I would just add that if we take atheism to be a dead end, we need to be careful what we mean. Should a person be raised to think critically about things from a logic-based perspective? Which is not to say they can never choose to become a person of faith later in life, but simply that such choice would be an informed
one. Or should a person be raised religiously, to never question, to never challenge? It seems to me that much modern atheism is a response to the sheer extent of stupidity within modern religion, and that this stupidity arises in part from not letting kids develop properly, freely. I would say that it is paramount to be allowed to not
know so that then one can be allowed to explore and come to Truth in their own right.