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Atheistic Fundamentalism

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Lifelinking
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Atheistic Fundamentalism

#1 Post by Lifelinking » December 22nd, 2007, 1:17 pm

from the BBC today
'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has described a rise in "fundamentalism" as one of the great problems facing the world. He focused on what he described as "atheistic fundamentalism".

He said it led to situations such as councils calling Christmas "Winterval", schools refusing to put on nativity plays and crosses removed from chapels.

In his Christmas message, he said: "Any kind of fundamentalism, be it Biblical, atheistic or Islamic, is dangerous."

The archbishop said "atheistic fundamentalism" was a new phenomenon.

He said it advocated that religion in general and Christianity in particular have no substance, and that some view the faith as "superstitious nonsense".


God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan

As well as leading to Christmas being called "Winterval," the archbishop said "virulent, almost irrational" attacks on Christianity led to hospitals removing all Christian symbols from their chapels, and schools refusing to allow children to send Christmas cards with a Christian message.

He also said it led to things like "airlines refusing staff the freedom to wear a cross round their necks" in a reference to the row in which British Airways (BA) suspended an employee who insisted on wearing a cross necklace.

Dr Morgan said: "All of this is what I would call the new "fundamentalism" of our age. It allows no room for disagreement, for doubt, for debate, for discussion.


"It leads to the language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarisation, and the claim that because God is on our side, he is not on yours."

He said the nativity story in St Luke's Gospel, in contrast, had a "message of joy and good news for everyone".

He said: "God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety."

Dr Morgan said it was "perfectly natural" to have a "coherent and rational debate about the tenets of the Christianity".

King Herod

But he said "virulent, almost irrational" attacks on it were "dangerous" because they refused to allow any contrary viewpoint and also affected the public perception of religion.

Dr Morgan's Christmas message comes after the general director of the Evangelical Alliance, the Rev Joel Edwards, compared militant atheists to King Herod in their intolerance of religious faith.

Their remarks follow the rise of militant atheists such as Oxford University scientist Richard Dawkins, whose book The God Delusion, has been a bestseller.




I think the Archbishop's thinking is rather muddled in places here. But is there a grain or two of truth in what he is saying?



L
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#2 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » December 22nd, 2007, 2:34 pm

The archbishop seems to have forgotten the commandment against bearing false witness:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winterval
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#3 Post by Nick » December 22nd, 2007, 5:11 pm

The archbishop is being stupid, arrogant and deceitful.
'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has described a rise in "fundamentalism" as one of the great problems facing the world. He focused on what he described as "atheistic fundamentalism".
What a pity he didn't focus on muslim fundamentalism, which leads to planes being flown into buildings, or catholic fundamentalism, which leads to the spread of HIV/AIDS, or Protestant fundamentalism, which leads to discrimination against gays. A plank in your eye, Archbishop.

He has hijacked the word 'fundamentalist' as a knee-jerk Daily Mail expression to engender the reaction he is seeking, not to describe the atheist position. An atheist does not believe in god. Full stop. How can an atheist do anything else? Believe in god on alternate Sundays? Belief or non-belief in god says nothing about ones views on life, or ones attitudes or levels of tolerance, and it is dishonest of him to imply that it does.
He said it led to situations such as councils calling Christmas "Winterval", schools refusing to put on nativity plays and crosses removed from chapels.
The Archbishop must realise what he is saying. If his church want to put on nativity plays, then that's fine. But it is not fine to set up a situation where kids may feel rejected or ostracised from their fellow classmates if their parents do not wish them to participate. What would he say if all children, including those from Jewish Muslim or Hindu families were expected to participate in a hog roast to celebrate Darwin's birthday? And don't come the raw prawn with me and say that's different because they have a faith. :angry: For me, if I were a parent, I would find it offensive if my child were just roped in to a nativity play. For me there is more to it than tea-towels and dodgy singing.
In his Christmas message, he said: "Any kind of fundamentalism, be it Biblical, atheistic or Islamic, is dangerous."
Why is it dangerous not to believe in god? Where is his evidence? Where are all these atheist criminals and terrorists?
The archbishop said "atheistic fundamentalism" was a new phenomenon.
No its not. It is just more visible. Partly because religion in the UK has less of a stranglehold over society as we have become more tolerant, and partly because the need to stand up against religion has assumed a new importance.

60 years ago there was no pill, no possibility of stem-cell research and the Arabs were scarcely out of their tents and certainly unable to mount a 9/11 type of attack. A fear of elderly spinsters cycling to church through the mist was scarcely in the same league.
He said it advocated that religion in general and Christianity in particular have no substance, and that some view the faith as "superstitious nonsense".
Quite right, except that other religions are often worse than christianity (or at least 21st century christianity).
God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety
Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan
God can be neither exclusive or inclusive if he doesn't exist. But both Bush and Bin Laden think otherwise. They think he is exclusively on their side.
As well as leading to Christmas being called "Winterval," the archbishop said "virulent, almost irrational" attacks on Christianity led to hospitals removing all Christian symbols from their chapels, and schools refusing to allow children to send Christmas cards with a Christian message.
How is the belief in god rational, or atheism irrational? Hospital 'chapels' are there to allow people space to think, cry, pray, grieve. How would he feel if there were no christian chapel, but only the Star of David and Islamic scripture painted on the walls. Happy? I doubt it. Unless you are going to cater for all sections, then it is best to avoid offence by doing as the hospital have done and removes crosses and other symbols. Is he really saying that the faith of christians is dependent on seeing an ancient instrument of torture and excruciating death to make them feel better?
He also said it led to things like "airlines refusing staff the freedom to wear a cross round their necks" in a reference to the row in which British Airways (BA) suspended an employee who insisted on wearing a cross necklace.
So BA were a bit daft. But I would not be allowed to work in some establishments because I am bearded. To imply that wearing a cross is a right worth sacrificing your job for, shows a commitment to symbolism which is worrying. What's next? Will they insist on barbed wire next to the skin, or whatever it is that Opus Dei are notorious for.
Dr Morgan said: "All of this is what I would call the new "fundamentalism" of our age. It allows no room for disagreement, for doubt, for debate, for discussion.
OK Dr Morgan. I disagree. I doubt your christian story. I'll debate your beliefs. I'll discuss the evidence and wisdom of religion. Somehow I don't think you will. Go on . Make my day. Prove me wrong.

"It leads to the language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarisation, and the claim that because God is on our side, he is not on yours."
It is religion that does this, not atheism. God is not on anyone's side, but god believers think he is on theirs. And had you not noticed that the greatest example of language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarisation is in faith schools? If you really want to end such practices, close them down!
He said the nativity story in St Luke's Gospel, in contrast, had a "message of joy and good news for everyone".
Much like a hog roast.
He said: "God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety."
Apart from the fact that he's not there at all, if he were there "for the whole of humanisty" he has a very funny way of showing it to the starving peoples of the world, and why didn't he arrive sooner, and maybe make a return visit to sort out the horrendous mess he caused with his first visit.
Dr Morgan said it was "perfectly natural" to have a "coherent and rational debate about the tenets of the Christianity".
OK let's.
But he said "virulent, almost irrational" attacks on it were "dangerous" because they refused to allow any contrary viewpoint and also affected the public perception of religion.
Rationality is the very foundation of my atheism. How is belief in god justifiably rational in truth, not just in as a placebo? If my atheism is having an effect of the public perception of religion, then I for one will be very pleased.
Dr Morgan's Christmas message comes after the general director of the Evangelical Alliance, the Rev Joel Edwards, compared militant atheists to King Herod in their intolerance of religious faith.
Please tell me: which atheist in Britain today is advocating the death of every first-born son?
Their remarks follow the rise of militant atheists such as Oxford University scientist Richard Dawkins, whose book The God Delusion, has been a bestseller.
Scientific progress always is resisted by the ignorant, especially if it weakens their power base. It has always been so. You are merely continuing the tradition.




Lifelinking wrote:
I think the Archbishop's thinking is rather muddled in places here. But is there a grain or two of truth in what he is saying?
No, not one!

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#4 Post by Alan H » December 22nd, 2007, 5:41 pm

Well! That certainly riled you, Nick!
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There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#5 Post by Maria Mac » December 22nd, 2007, 6:46 pm

Very well said, Nick. :clap:

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#6 Post by gcb01 » December 22nd, 2007, 7:07 pm

Dear Archbishop please explain your comments, taking account of the following:
  • Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    Epicurus [341–270 B.C.] Greek philosopher
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#7 Post by whitecraw » December 22nd, 2007, 9:47 pm

It may seem that fundamentalism amounts to little more than a militant form of religious piety; a throwback to pre-modern times. But as academic studies of the topic point out (cf. Malise Ruthven in Fundamentalism: The Search for Meaning - OUP, 2004 – on which this post is based), fundamentalism is a very ‘modern’ phenomenon; a particular kind of engagement with modernity. Thus, academia treats religious and secular fundamentalisms as parallel projects, answering similar needs and occupying a shared intellectual and psychological territory. For religious fundamentalisms, the claim to be such is based on the demand that the word of their God must be taken entirely literally. For the secular form, it is usually based upon some doctrine (such as Darwinism) or text (Das Kapital) that is similarly thought to be canonical and beyond dispute.

Each fundamentalism inhabits its own universe. For this reason, fundamentalisms are fascinating to those who do not share them precisely because of their certitude. Fundamentalists are absolutely certain about their beliefs. The rest of us can’t quite grasp or achieve this level of certitude, though many of us might dearly like to do so. Thus fundamentalists have achieved things that are always just beyond the grasp of those who are (self-)excluded from their system of belief.

In this respect fundamentalists trade on a very modern syndrome. This has been termed ‘meaning-deficit disorder’, which we all experience and suffer from. For most of us ‘life’ is so complicated and things so difficult to fully grasp that we give up in ‘despair’ about making complete sense of it all (unless, of course, we are ‘post-modernists’ who find this situation a cause for joy rather than despair and revel in its ‘playfulness’. We also live in a ‘pluraverse’ – another condition of modernity – in which there is no consensus between the competing worlds of rival ideologies and no ‘Archimedean point’ outside these ideologies from which we might rationally judge which one is true. Consequently, we live as never before ‘adrift’ in a ‘fractured’ world in which there are no certainties.

Fundamentalists ‘cure’ this disorder. They neither lack understanding nor remain uncertain. Thus fundamentalists represent an idealised, even purified, version of ourselves. Indeed, in some ways they are more like ourselves than we are, since they have the certitudes that we lack but continue to desire and pursue. This is why at some level, everyone is a potential fundamentalist.

Human beings are at the same time and paradoxically alike and different. We at the same time belong and are apart. Fundamentalists take the existential tension out of this paradox by disavowing difference in the name of sameness. They offer a retreat or withdrawal from difference by insisting that everything should be the same; the same as them. The command they issue is that all should conform to their way of life, share their beliefs and their ideals. This is connected to what Freud called ‘the narcissism of minor differences’. We are narcissistically fascinated with minor differences because, at root, we all desire to be the same. Fundamentalism connects with this desire and offers an idealised version of sameness and conformity in a modern world of unimaginable diversity and plurality, of difference.

Academics have delineated by way of definition five characteristic ‘marks’ of fundamentalism

• blind faith as opposed to pragmatic reason, expressed as an extreme, exclusive refusal to accommodate perspectives which are different from their own;

• investment of their ideals and principles in ‘heroic’ figures, to whom they offer deference and whose opponents are demonised as ‘ignoble’ and in need of conversion;

• abandonment of the ongoing search for meaning that ‘entraps’ others;

• an urge to eliminate what they see as the source of violence, namely difference, the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same;

• pride in ‘enduring’ or suffering for their intolerance of other attitudes or aspirations.

I think it’s clear that fundamentalism can be atheistic as well as theistic. There are atheists who refuse to accommodate perspectives which are different from their own. There are atheists who invest individuals like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchins with ‘hero’ status and line up to demonise those who criticise them. There are atheists who are absolutely certain in their belief in science, in ‘scientific’ theories like the theory of evolution by natural selection and in metaphysical theories like materialism. There are atheists for whom the search for meaning (the ‘spiritual quest’) that entraps others is either fulfilled in science or else ‘unscientific’ and therefore ‘meaningless’. And there are atheists who believe that the source of violence is difference and that the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same; i.e. go to the same schools, be taught the same truths, be protected from the influence of those whose beliefs and values diverge and/or dissent from those truths.

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#8 Post by Alan C. » December 22nd, 2007, 10:12 pm

whitecraw
There are atheists for whom the search for meaning (the ‘spiritual quest’)
whitecraw.
As an Atheist, I don't have any "spiritual quest" and I resent the fact that you think/imply that I do.
that entraps others is either fulfilled in science or else ‘unscientific’ and therefore ‘meaningless’. And there are atheists who believe that the source of violence is difference and that the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same; i.e. go to the same schools, be taught the same truths, be protected from the influence of those whose beliefs and values diverge and/or dissent from those truths.
And you can show us evidence of this? I don't think so.
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#9 Post by whitecraw » December 23rd, 2007, 3:51 pm

As an Atheist, I don't have any "spiritual quest" and I resent the fact that you think/imply that I do.
I implied no such thing. Perhaps you are one of the atheists I described in the sentence from which you quote [“There are atheists for whom the search for meaning (the ‘spiritual quest’) that entraps others is either fulfilled in science or else ‘unscientific’ and therefore ‘meaningless’.”], or perhaps you have escaped or eluded this entrapment by some other route.
And you can show us evidence of this [that ‘there are atheists who believe that the source of violence is difference and that the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same; i.e. go to the same schools, be taught the same truths, be protected from the influence of those whose beliefs and values diverge and/or dissent from those truths.]? I don't think so.
You’re right! There’s no evidence of any atheist believing that denominational schooling is devisive and that those divisions are the root of sectarian violence, or of any atheist believing that education should be purely secular and that children should be protected from unscientific ‘error’, to the extent that it has been questioned on this forum whether parents even should be allowed to raise (‘indoctrinate’) their children in their own alternative beliefs and values. What was I thinking?!! Slap!

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#10 Post by Noggin » December 27th, 2007, 6:34 pm

whitecraw wrote: You’re right! There’s no evidence of any atheist believing that denominational schooling is devisive and that those divisions are the root of sectarian violence, or of any atheist believing that education should be purely secular and that children should be protected from unscientific ‘error’, to the extent that it has been questioned on this forum whether parents even should be allowed to raise (‘indoctrinate’) their children in their own alternative beliefs and values. What was I thinking?!! Slap!
:pointlaugh: That's funny!


In fairness, though, I think what Alan is challenging is your assertion that "there are atheists who believe that the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same" and your suggestion that going to secular schools or non-denominational schools will make us all the same. The argument that children should not, in the course of the schooling, be indoctrinated in any one belief system - including atheism - but should be encouraged to develop their own ideas and opinions is hardly the same as training them to adopt a rigid theological stance. Nor does anyone seriously think that attending non religious schools will turn them into clones any more than attending religious schools does.
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#11 Post by whitecraw » December 27th, 2007, 10:42 pm

In fairness, though, I think what Alan is challenging is your assertion that "there are atheists who believe that the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same" and your suggestion that going to secular schools or non-denominational schools will make us all the same.
Yes, Alan queried whether I could show any evidence that ‘there are atheists who believe that the source of violence is difference and that the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same; i.e. go to the same schools, be taught the same truths, be protected from the influence of those whose beliefs and values diverge and/or dissent from those truths.’ And I agreed: it’s a ridiculous idea. Not even Dawkins believes that schools should be universally secular, that children should only be taught scientific facts, and that parents who teach their children divergent beliefs and values by such dodgy means as story and prayer should be convicted of child abuse.
The argument that children should not, in the course of the schooling, be indoctrinated in any one belief system - including atheism - but should be encouraged to develop their own ideas and opinions is hardly the same as training them to adopt a rigid theological stance.
I agree. But this is not the fundamentalist position. Atheistic fundamentalism is not neutral; nor is it merely a negative opting out of religious belief. It is the positive belief that the world would be better off without religion; that religion ought to be eliminated. It is like any brand of fundamentalism intrinsically self-righteous, for its proponents think that they have the key to the radical improvement of the world. A fundie atheist, as opposed to a moderate or liberal atheist, is someone who has the chilling arrogance to say that the world would be a better place if we stopped people saying bedtime prayers with their children or teaching them moral values through the catechism of a moral code.
Nor does anyone seriously think that attending non religious schools will turn them into clones any more than attending religious schools does.
No; but fundie atheists seem to seriously believe that religion is a kind of virus that infects any child who is exposed to it in acts of worship or classroom situations. Not, of course, that anyone does believe that!

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#12 Post by Alan C. » December 27th, 2007, 11:33 pm

whitecraw
Atheistic fundamentalism
I'm sorry but I can't talk/debate with anyone who upholds this falsehood, there is no such thing as a "fundamentalist" Atheist, What are our fundamentals?
no; but fundie atheists seem to seriously believe that religion is a kind of virus that infects any child who is exposed to it in acts of worship or classroom situations.
Yes I do believe that, when you talk about "worship" just who are we supposed to be worshiping here? gie us a clue.
A fundie atheist, as opposed to a moderate or liberal atheist, is someone who has the chilling arrogance to say that the world would be a better place if we stopped people saying bedtime prayers with their children or teaching them moral values through the catechism of a moral code.
Can you point me to an Atheist who advocates this? All I want as an Atheist is for people to keep their religion to themselves, nothing more. And I certainly don't need religion to give me morals, the bible being the most imoral book not yet on the banned list.
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#13 Post by gcb01 » December 28th, 2007, 5:22 pm

Taking the original meaning of atheist, that of being without religion, then it's hard to see how one can be fundamental about that. It might be more accurate to take about anti-theism - those who are against religion.

If children had the right not to be indoctrinated with religious beliefs then the world would end up a much better place.
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#14 Post by whitecraw » December 28th, 2007, 9:21 pm

I'm sorry but I can't talk/debate with anyone who upholds this falsehood, there is no such thing as a "fundamentalist" Atheist, What are our fundamentals?
The ‘fundamentals’ of a fundamentalism vary from fundamentalist to fundamentalist. Even within the same form of life (e.g. Islam), there is very little agreement on what beliefs are to be considered ‘fundamental’. In this respect, there are several different fundamentalisms within something like Islam; so that there is no set of core beliefs that could reasonably be identified as ‘Islamic fundamentalism’. This is why academic studies of fundamentalism as a human phenomenon do not seek to identify fundamentalisms in terms of some such set of ‘fundamentals’, but identify them rather in terms of roughly the five characteristic behavioural features I outlined above. My argument is that there are within atheism some who exhibit these behavioural traits and that, insofar as this is the case, it makes sense to speak of ‘atheistic fundamentalism’.
Yes I do believe that [religion is a kind of virus that infects any child who is exposed to it in acts of worship or classroom situations], when you talk about "worship" just who are we supposed to be worshiping here?
Well, different faith communities take different objects as the focus of their worship. In a sense, the object is irrelevant to the act of worship, which is an expression of worthiness. (That’s what the word ‘worship’ means in a religious context: the condition of being worthy – i.e. of value or merit.) Again, because worship as a human phenomenon focuses on a wide variety of different objects, reference to the object of that focus is useless as an identifying characteristic; what is constant is its function as an expression of value or merit.
Can you point me to an Atheist who advocates this [that the world would be a better place if we stopped people saying bedtime prayers with their children or teaching them moral values through the catechism of a moral code]?
That was an allusion to an interview in the Guardian on 1st October of this year, during which Richard Dawkins was asked what he hoped an atheist bloc in the US might achieve (the interviewer was responding to the launch of his ‘Out Campaign’ in the summer), to which he replied that such a bloc could bring pressure to bear on government to free children from being indoctrinated with the religion of their parents or their community, which might entail obliging one to refrain from teaching one’s children anything but scientific facts, taking one’s children to a place of worship and saying prayers with them as one puts them to bed. He repeated his oft-mentioned claim that the latter two practices should be considered child abuse, tantamount to ‘knocking their teeth out’, and certainly more serious than sexual abuse, the harmfulness of which he underrates in my opinion.
All I want as an Atheist is for people to keep their religion to themselves, nothing more. And I certainly don't need religion to give me morals, the bible being the most imoral book not yet on the banned list.
That’s fine. No one could rightly call you a fundamentalist then.

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#15 Post by whitecraw » December 28th, 2007, 9:56 pm

Taking the original meaning of atheist, that of being without religion, then it's hard to see how one can be fundamental about that
And according to the original meaning of ‘atheist’ Christians were atheists, since Christianity denies the existence of deity as this was understood in the classical world.

There’s actually been quite a lot of academic work done on the taxonomy of atheism. This has identified a wide range of beliefs concerning deity among some non-believers:

• A definite belief that no deity exists.
• No belief in a specific deity. Faced with a wide variety of conflicting beliefs about deity, the individual has not accepted any of them as true.
• A belief that deity is unlikely but not impossible. No certainty exists. However, if the person had to make a decision based on the existence or non-existence of deity, they would probably assume that no deity exists.
• The inability to reach a conclusion about deity. The person may have investigated arguments for and against deity and has not accepted any of them. They remain undecided, at least for the present, because of insufficient data.
• A belief that we cannot know anything about deity, including whether it exists or not. The person may have concluded that there is no possibility that we can ever know whether deity exists.
• A person may never have ever considered whether deity exists.

Accordingly, some have suggested the use of modifiers, like:

• ‘Strong atheist’ or ‘positive atheist’ or ‘hard atheist’ to refer to a person who asserts that no deity exists.
• ‘Weak atheist’ or ‘negative atheist’ or ‘soft atheist’ to refer to a person who simply has no belief in deity because there are no rational grounds that support its existence.
• The sociologist Peter Berger has suggested that the term ‘methodological atheism’ might be used to describe theologians and historians who study religion as a human creation without declaring whether individual religious beliefs are actually true or not.
• The term ‘noncoherent atheist’ has been suggested to cover the belief that one cannot have any meaningful discussions about deity, because there exist no coherent definitions of ‘deity’.
• ‘Apathetic atheism’ has been suggested to cover the individual who doesn't really care whether deity exists and who therefore probably live with the assumption that no deity exists.

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#16 Post by Dan » January 10th, 2008, 2:30 pm

It is false to say there has been a great deal of academic work on the taxonomy of atheism. There is very little, in fact. As in: almost none.

Strong/weak and positive/negative are almost entirely absent from the academic literature.

Wikipedia gives a contrary impression, but their article, despite my best efforts, remains poorly reflective of the literature.

Dan

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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#17 Post by whitecraw » January 10th, 2008, 4:36 pm

The most recent review of the literature I’ve seen is Kai Nielsen’s Atheism & Philosophy (2005). He finds taxonomies in:

Alexander, Samuel, 1927, Space, Time and Deity, London: Macmillan.Ayer,
• A.J., 1936, 2nd ed. 1946: Language, Truth and Logic, London: Gollancz.
• Bradley, M.C., 2001, ‘The Fine-Tuning Argument’, Religious Studies, 37: 451-66.
• Bradley, M.C., 2002, ‘The Fine-Tuning Argument: The Bayesian Version’, Religious Studies, 38: 375-404.
• Broad, C.D., 1923, Scientific Thought, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
• Butler, Samuel, 1932, Erewhon and Erewhon Revisited, London: J.M. Dent.
• Clifford, W.K., 1999, ‘The Ethics of Belief (1877)’, in The Ethics of Belief and other Essays , Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
• Findlay, J.N., 1955, ‘Can God's Existence be Disproved?’ In Flew and MacIntyre 1955, with replies by G.E. Hughes and A.C.A. Rainer and final comment by Findlay.
• Flew, A. and MacIntyre, A. (eds.), 1955, New Essays in Philosophical Theology, London: S.C.M. Press.
• Frege, G., 1980, Foundations of Arithmetic, J.L. Austin (trans.), Oxford: Blackwell.
• Gettier, E.L., 1963, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?’ Analysis, 23: 121-3.
• Grice, H.P., 1989, Studies in the Way of Words, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
• Huxley, T.H., 1895, Collected Essays: Volume 5, London: Macmillan.
• Leslie, John, 1979, Value and Existence, Oxford: Blackwell.
• Leslie, John, 1989, Universes, London: Routledge.
• Levine, Michael P., 1994, Pantheism: A Non-Theistic Concept of Deity, London: Routledge.
• Manson, Neil A. (ed.), 2003, God and Design, London: Routledge.
• Musgrave, Alan, 1974, ‘The Objectivism of Popper's Epistemology’ with Popper's Reply, in Schilpp (ed.) 1974, Volume 2.
• Ryle, G., 1935, ‘Taking Sides In Philosophy’, Philosophy, 12: 317-32.
• Schilpp, P.A. (ed.), 1974, The Philosophy of Karl Popper, La Salle, IL: Open Court.
• Smart, J.J.C. and Haldane, John, 2003, Atheism and Theism, 2nd Edn, Oxford: Blackwell.
• Smart, J.J.C., 1981, ‘Physicalism and Emergence’, Neuroscience, 6: 109-13.
• Whitehead, A.N., 1929, Process and Reality, London: Cambridge University Press.
In his own bibliography, he cites in addition the following work:
The article "Atheism" in The Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, vol. 1, pp. 174-189 (1967, reissued 1972), and the article "Agnoticism" in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas, vol. 1, pp. 17-27 (1968), give sophisticated conceptual elucidations of the concept of atheism. See also Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. 2, pp. 173-190 (1922); Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, vol. 1, cols. 866-870 (1950); Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3rd ed., vol. 1, cols. 670-678 (1957); GEORGE KLAUS and MANFRED BUHR (eds.), Philosophisches Wörterbuch, 6th rev. and enl. ed., vol. 1, pp. 125-129 (1969); Enciclopedia filosofica, 2nd ed., vol. 1, col. 557-562 (1968); and KAI NIELSEN, Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (1982). A classic extended history of atheism is FRITZ MAUTHNER, Der Atheismus und seine Geschichte im Abendland, 4 vol. (1920-23, reissued 1963). See also JACOB PRESSER, Das Buch "De tribus impostoribus" (1926); JOHN MACKINNON ROBERTSON, A Short History of Freethought, Ancient and Modern (1957, reissued 1972); HENRI BUSSON, Le Rationalisme dans la littérature française de la Renaissance (1533-1601), new ed., rev. and augmented (1971); and CORNELIO FABRO, God in Exile: Modern Atheism (1968; orginally published in Italian, 1961). Modern atheism is treated in CHARLES BRADLAUGH, Champion of Liberty: Charles Bradlaugh (1933); BARON D'HOLBACH, The System of Nature (1756-96, reissued 1970; originally published in French, 1770), and Common Sense (1795, reissued 1972; originally published in French, 1772); ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER, Complete Essays of Schopenhauer, trans. by T. BAILEY SAUNDERS (1896); LUDWIG FEUERBACH, The Essence of Christianity (1854, reissued 1972, trans. of 2nd German ed.; originally published in German, 1841); FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Thus Spake Zarathustra (1896; originally issued in German, 1883-92); KARL MARX and FRIEDRICH ENGELS, On Religion (1955); THOMAS H. HUXLEY, Collected Essays, vol. 5 (1894); and LESLIE STEPHEN, An Agnostic's Apology, and Other Essays (1893), and History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, 3rd ed., 2 vol., (1902, reissued 1963). Powerful contemporary defenses of atheism, together with some religious responses, are given in NORBERT O. SCHEDLER (ed.), Philosophy of Religion (1794).

Contemporary analytical discussions of atheism include MICHAEL SCRIVEN, Primary Philosophy (1966); RICHARD ROBINSON, An Atheist's Values (1964, reissued 1975); BERTRAND RUSSELL, Why I Am Not a Christian, and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects (1957); KAI NIELSEN, Skepticism (1973), and Reason and Practice (1971); SIDNEY HOOK, The Quest for Being, and Other Studies in Naturalism and Humanism (1961, reprinted 1971); and RONALD W. HEPBURN, Christianity and Paradox (1958, reissued 1968). Two anthologies that give the core debate between belief and unbelief are MALCOLM L. DIAMOND and THOMAS V. LITZENBURG, JR. (eds.), The Logic of God (1975); and ANTONY FLEW and ALASDAIR MacINTYRE and PAUL ROCOEUR, The Religious Significance of Atheism (1969); and MOSTAFA FAGHFOURY (ed.), Analytical Philosophy of Religion in Canada (1982).
It's not a great deal, I admit.

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xman
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#18 Post by xman » January 10th, 2008, 11:42 pm

Uh-oh! I'm pretty outspoken. Maybe I should check myself here:
whitecraw wrote:• blind faith as opposed to pragmatic reason, expressed as an extreme, exclusive refusal to accommodate perspectives which are different from their own;
I suffer from extreme pragmatic reason and exclusively refuse to accommodate perspectives which run contrary to that. Not the same thing as believing without evidence though. I'll say NOT fundamentalist although I'm quite sure most religious folks can't see the difference.
whitecraw wrote:• investment of their ideals and principles in ‘heroic’ figures, to whom they offer deference and whose opponents are demonised as ‘ignoble’ and in need of conversion;
I do invest my ideals in all good scientists and although I won't call it conversion, I would be happy to see the believer's mind set free of the kind of mysticism religion breed. I can't admit to seeing believers as ignoble though. There's lots of good people out there. Some just happen to be misguided about the nature of the universe. I'll say NOT fundamentalist ... again.
whitecraw wrote:• abandonment of the ongoing search for meaning that ‘entraps’ others;
I could never abandon the search for meaning. It's not in my nature. Definitely NOT fundamentalist there.
whitecraw wrote:• an urge to eliminate what they see as the source of violence, namely difference, the only way to eliminate violence is for us all to be the same;
Since Darwin proved that nature strives for diversity and I do believe that hegemony is a bad thing and revel in the amazing difference and complexity of human culture I must insist that I am NOT fundamentalist regarding this principle and would vigorously oppose anyone who follows this tenet. Such intolerance is the real root of so much violence.
whitecraw wrote:• pride in ‘enduring’ or suffering for their intolerance of other attitudes or aspirations.
Live and let live, baby. Not a fundamentalist there either.

I find it hard to believe that atheism can be fundamentalist at all since it is founded in science and science is necessarily skeptical of itself. Maybe we should try to explain this to the bishop and demand an apology and a retraction before this odd idea catches on among the unthinking followers.

X
Always remember, it's your right to have a SUPER day.
If you're wrong, call me ... I'll have one for you!

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Oxfordrocks
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#19 Post by Oxfordrocks » January 11th, 2008, 7:59 am

Although i really don't want to get drawn into this debate (the statement from the Archbishop can be disreguarded out of hand).

I have enjoyed reading the debate.

This is exactly the sort of debate this forum excels at.

Well done all.
There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating staying in EU.

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of staying in the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens will be caused by leaving EU?
3. Should the supreme court ruling on British subjects be based in UK?

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Gurdur
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Re: Atheistic Fundamentalism

#20 Post by Gurdur » January 11th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Ask Maria if she remembers Goliath, Vorkosigan or above all Yahzi from IIDB.

And then of course there is the self-appointed Messiah Of Correct Atheism, ELGS (a.k.a. Stopper, EverLastingGodStopper).

I admin a nontheist-only board, and I am well-known as an atheist; but on other boards, Goliath for example repeatedly sends me messages wishing I was dead (no exaggeration), apparently because I'm not atheist enough for him.

That being said, Nick was largely right about the Archbishop and his terrible exaggerations. The Archbishop was wrong, and to describe why would take a longer post, so I will leave that for another day; but there are fundy atheists out there, with vocality out of all proportion to their actual small percentage of atheists in general.

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