Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the joy of atheism

I emailed Julia Baird to ask what I wasn't getting about her column about atheists and she took the time to reply, which is nice of her:

”With the atheism column I was trying to say that many atheists, by historically opposing all forms/ systems of belief, might need to shift in a time of increased religiosity - they protest people
dragging God into political debates, but forget that there are different views on what God has to say. By constantly viewing believers as either brainwashed, or conservative, important alliances are weakened. I have writtten a lot about what is wrong with the church too - I just think it is a good debate to have.”

I remain unconvinced. Atheists have always opposed all forms/systems of belief—the ones that involve a deity--because that’s what atheism, by definition, means. Our belief system is fundamentally incompatible with those of believers. Regardless of the different brand of deity or the different interpretations of what that deity might think. Atheists happily tolerate the belief systems of others, just not where they start to influence outcomes that affect non-believers as well. Politics is for all of us, remember? That’s why God shouldn’t be dragged into political debates. (Quite apart from the fact that He might not appreciate being dragged somewhere.)