|The Symbol of a new Faith|
No, I'm not about to launch into some sort of proof of god's (or gods for that matter) existence but just to cry a little at the problem with atheism. I've always liked to play with metaphysics:
Let me start, dear reader, with the one clear fact in all this – there is a “creation”. OK it could be an entirely accidental creation, it could be a glorious combination of accident and subtle external intervention or the Great Goddess Woo might have made it from tears at the death of her pet dog. What you believe here isn’t important – what is important is enquiry – asking the question.
You see atheism is as much an act of faith as believing in gods and less so that believing in fairies. Atheists can no more prove their position than can bearded monks sitting on the flanks of Mount Sinai. And the bearded monks are often far more metaphysically interesting and open to doubt that the "skeptical" atheist.
A while ago I had a gentle little dig at the great prophet of militant atheism, Richard Dawkins:
I make no secret of my disagreement with Dawkins – his spiritless, dry, confrontational obsessions have created an atheism that is no longer fundamental but that requires a range of beliefs beyond the essence of atheism. That essence is, of course, very straightforward – that there is no god. What Dawkins has done has been to take upon himself a jihad directed at anyone who does not adhere to his obsessions – unreconstructed Darwinian evolution, a view that religion is a pathology and utter contempt for any promotion of a religious viewpoint.
Indeed the adherents of Dawkins have set about creating a religion - it even has a name now: Atheism Plus (or A+) complete with a funky logo. Soon all the little Dawkinsites will be wearing badges with this symbol - a bit like the little fish symbol that evangelical Christians wear or maybe a green turban or a gold bracelet.
These Atheist jihadi are keen to set out their stall - amidst all the denial of religiosity, our Atheists demand that Atheism must change society, just as does Christianity, as it is with Islam:
If there is no god, if religion is a sham, that has significant consequences for how we should structure our society.These atheists - followers of the prophet Dawkins - do not stop with believing that there is no god but go much further. Religion must be first condemned and its influences removed from any public influence. Atheism these people tell us must be practiced:
Atheism sensu stricto may be a specific assertion about a fact of the universe, but atheism as practiced is a defining idea in a mind and a powerful foundation for a human community. It has meanings and implications that we must heed and use for achieving our goals.
Let me adjust that so you can understand:
Religion sensu stricto may be a specific assertion about a fact of the universe, but religion as practiced is a defining idea in a mind and a powerful foundation for a human community. It has meanings and implications that we must heed and use for achieving our goals.
The statement makes just as much sense (which to me is absolutely none) in either version. Atheism is wrong. Not because there is a god but because to assert god's non-existence is no different to asserting god's existence. And to construct a faith-based organisation that singles out other faith-based organisations as targets is indistinguishable from the Islamic idea of jihad or the evangelical injunction placed on Christians.
The logic of Atheism dies when you treat it as a religion. And, because atheism requires a profound act of faith, it can only be a religion.