Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Secularism is evil

Are atheists and secularists as dangerous as the Taliban? Is questioning unreason placing you on the same plane as a religious fundamentalist? Fundamentalism implies dogmatism. Atheists reject dogma. While there may be a new breed of atheist coming out of high schools who are ecstatic about their new way of thinking, thanks to books by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, they shouldn't hold them up like bibles for atheism. Sure, Richard Dawkins' explanation of how morality developed over time, and that's why we are generally nice to one another, sounds convincing, but you should go study it for yourself. Prove him wrong, test his theory. Find exceptions to his rule, and learn from that.

You can't have fascinating conversations with everyone nodding their head in agreement. I think the vocal atheists, the Angry Atheists, as I'll call them, do have a feeling of religious extremism. The only unifying element of atheists, is the lack of belief in a supernatural god. There is nothing else that goes with it. There are no rituals, no chanting of words, or strapping boxes on foreheads, no rules about who is clean and unclean, who to marry, rights of women, who to have sex with, when, and why, and no threat of punishment if you get any of it wrong. Atheism stands to change with the presentation of new evidence. By studying science, it's easy to see how wrong people were in the past about elemental things, things we take for granted. Part of atheism is always being ready to accept what you believe now, may be proven wrong in the future based on new evidence.

This article, regarding one author's view of secularists, paints a bleak picture. One where secularists shut down conservative talk radio, "under the guise of hate speech." It also groups animal rights, and environmental groups with secularists. Just because a group does not advertise itself as religious, does not mean its an atheist group, or that its members are not religious. These groups do not act to end religion by any means. Citing examples of violence, like the destruction of a virus-resistant sweet potato crop, the bombing of a plant genetics lab, and attempts to harm staff who perform experiments on primates, the author attempts to counter the humanist argument that religion has spurred many wars, and caused many deaths. This argument is weak. That's all the author could come up with, damage to a few labs, by groups who aren't humanist, secular, or atheist, but labeling these groups under one umbrella, and creating a religion out of these very separate groups is misleading. While animal right extremists who commit violent crimes and threaten scientists is not something most people would condone, it isn't one of the priorities of the FBI, as the author claims.

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