Atheism’s Faith

Written by Drew on October 11th, 2006

Steve Olson is a blogger who writes about his journey towards personal freedom. I’m not really sure what all that entails, but part of it at least has to do with his relationship with his four-year-old son. Writing about what his son has already taught him despite his few years, Steve posted the following.

A few weeks ago our cat was dying. So I explained death to my son and told him our cat was going to heaven. I was amazed that he grasped the permanence of death. Like the other members of my family he was very sad for several days. Then he asked, “Dad, how do you get to heaven?” I said,”Well everyone goes there when they die.” He said, “No I mean, how do you get there? Do go out the door and get in the car? Do you take a rocket?” I had to admit to him that I didn’t know how you get to heaven, I just believe in it. A few days latter he asked, “If God made me, who made God?” Good question. I haven’t thought about that one in years.

I didn’t share this with you to stir up another debate like the one that came in the wake of “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” The reason I found Steve’s post so intriguing is in the 100+ comments that follow it. Scroll down and you’ll find scoldings saying Steve is only “deluding” and “indoctrinating” his child. His parenting skills are called into question because he was influencing the faith of his son.

Steve’s reaction was that he got “flamed.” But I believe he was subjected to something that amounts to little more than an atheistic jihad.

Let me explain. Atheism taken in its cold, rational sense is not concerned with the beliefs of others. If God does not exist, so what if others want to make Paschal’s Wager? There is nothing immoral about believing a lie, since no objective standard exists to distinguish right from wrong.

But atheism can also take on an evangelistic form. Evangelical atheists will seek to persuade “ignorant believers” with the same urgency of a Christian who preaches repentance to the world, hoping to convert sinners. They will even try to interfere with a complete stranger’s parenting strategies.

Why are atheists so desperate? Christians feel a sense of urgency because they believe that God exists, and without Christ the world is lost. But let’s suppose that God does not exist. What happens to those who refuse to denounce their faith? Under an atheistic model, believers and atheists suffer the same end, only atheists get there first because they live their lives in bitterness, sorrow and frustration.

Isn’t it ironic that a notion that prides itself on being rational can stoop to such inconsistencies?

 

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Vile Blasphemer says:

    I have never met an evangelical atheist- do you have a comic anecdote that I might enjoy?

    PS- Was that meek and fearful enough?

  2. Isaac says:

    Drew, that Vile Blasphemer guy totally owned you!

    Seriously, how could anyone use the word “evangelical” to describe an atheist?!? How absurd would that be?

    For that to be even a little bit possible, you’d have to find someone who:

    – Cares enough about atheism to write about it constantly
    – Invests a great deal of time in cultivating a persona to further that cause
    – Prizes his fellowship with individuals of similar mind and heart
    – Isn’t just anti-Christian, but truly against all matters of faith
    – Would take the time to create videos and communications to persuade those who disagree
    – Would bother to search for links to the original article, and track them back to Christian writers, who, by the way, are in no way directly linked by a trackback from Steve Olson’s page, indicating a deliberate intentional search using Technorati or other sophisticated tools.

    Such an individual clearly does not exist, you silly preacher-man! After all, atheists are automatically smarter than Christians. Just ask one, and they will tell you! They never, ever, ever get caught in spurious logic — and never, ever, ever by those silly mindless Christian sheeple. And if they do, they never, ever, ever admit it.

  3. Vile Blasphemer says:

    Isaac, you’re very funny… to address your “points”

    1. Since the inception of my blog, I’ve had a new post on average twice a month… hardly a constant.

    2. Nothing about my persona furthers an “atheist” cause. I’m surprised that you think so… are you a luddite?

    3. I don’t like everyone I link to. I also link to religious blogs- does this mean I like them too?

    4. I’m not anti-Christian or anti-faith- I guess you didn’t read the “READ THIS FIRST” section of my blog.

    5. I don’t wish to persuade anyone to one side or the other- I wouldn’t exactly call my videos recruitment tools.

    6. Now you’re just paranoid- I have no idea who “Steve Olson” is. I found this blog by using the “random blog” button at the top of the blogger page.

    I have to thank you for the help through the links- Google search referrals to my blog have gone up 8% in the last two days! Way to go, Isaac!

  4. Isaac says:

    Why hello, Vile Blasphemer! I’m sincerely happy you’re still around.

    (As a former blogger, I understand all about “link love.”)

    What I don’t understand is your failure to grok “evangelical atheist.” It’s a simple concept — one who is not just content to believe in the existence of NO God, but who feels compelled to convert others to that cause.

    Now, you might feel as though you avoid that definition by clinging to a mantra of “free speech uber alles.” From a technical standpoint, you might be correct. But your actions speak otherwise. Your “free speech” exercise is quite limited: bash religion. Period.

    There is a far wider universe of “free speech issues” one might consider, and you seem to care none for the rest: restrictive campaign finance laws, speech codes on university campuses, the jailing of reporters, or the beheading of writers overseas.

    No — you focus on inflammatory statements and visuals designed to attack and marginalize belief systems. (And, as a member of the church, I will TO MY DEATHBED defend your right to express what you will.)

    What if I decided to start a medical practice, claiming to perform biopsies on women? But instead of doing MANY kinds of biopsies, I chose to limit myself to removing healthy ovaries?

    You MIGHT accuse me of stunting the reproductive systems of unwitting women. And I MIGHT say ‘Oh no, we are only removing tissue samples for examination. The fact that they are all healthy ovaries is irrelevant.’

    Thank you for recognizing that I am a funny person. Humor is not an easy thing, not when combined with intellectual rigor.

    You’re allowed to be funny here as well — as funny as you can without using profanities or other sentiments that will cause Drew to boot you. But you’d better be able to back up what you say — and “I have never met an evangelical atheist” is pretty disingenuous given the content of your blog. Whether you are or not — you sure link to a few.

    Peace be with you, Blasphemer. May you one day find a level of peace consistent with your current infatuation with shock value.

  5. Vile Blasphemer says:

    Of course I grok “evangelical atheist”- but I’m curious if you can point one out to me? I know you imply that I’m one, but you would be wrong. As far as the wider universe of free speech issues go, I’m just one man; I have to tailor my focus and religion is by far the most entertaining. Furthermore, my agenda is not “to attack and marginalize belief systems.” I’m simply providing entertainment for a niche. And yes, you may argue that my execution is limited, but I could also argue that free speech is nothing unless it makes someone angry enough to deride (as you appear to be). As you will also note, I infrequently use profanity. I am curious, however, why you demand I should back up my statements. That implies that you think I’m willing to have a structured argument, which I am not. In closing, you may find this hard to believe, but I am at a level of peace far above “shock value”.

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