Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Atheism Will Never Build You A Church

Jerry Coyne brings up the complaint that many have against atheism that it does not fulfill the same needs that  religion fulfills for people.

I partially agree with this complaint, in that I believe atheism does not fulfill the same needs religion fulfills for people. However, I also believe it is not the responsibility of atheism to fulfill those needs. Atheism is not enough in regards to building a healthy, positive worldview, but it doesn't have to be: atheism is the elimination of a false-positive worldview. Atheism clears the field so that a person can build a positive worldview grounded in reality. This is not a problem specific to 'New' Atheism, this is a problem of atheism in general. Well, it's not actually a problem of atheism: it's a problem of people seeking meaning in this life; probably more so a problem of people seeking positive meaning in life after they have left religion. It's a conceptual problem. Atheism has removed an illusion from our eyes: we can't ask it to construct a new one.

Atheism is a leveler: we have to build our own hope.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree, but what do you think about "big tent atheism"? My own opinion is that atheism is poor branding and needs a renewed effort to build an atheism plus, without using the atheist label. And it needs to identify a set of core beliefs beyond antitheism. I don't believe in "big tent atheism", but it seems to be the best strategy right now. Let a thousand flowers bloom!

Sildenafil Citrate said...

yes, i agree with your points. New' Atheism, this is a problem of atheism in general. It is a conceptual problem.

the elegant ape said...

absolute belief is nothing is as undefenseable as a an absolute belief in something...all very iffy on any level

Spencer Troxell said...

Anonymous: I don't believe in anchoring ourselves to atheism at all. I think we should go out into the world and be good and do good, advance reason, science, and humanism, and watch as religion gradually dissolves in the current of progress.