1 jun. 2011

Atheist Myths

Atheism is just another religion

Then I guess tapwater is just another brand of vodka. Atheism is non-theism. We just don't believe. Atheism isn't even a belief system; it's just not believing in any theos.

Atheists just want to live a life of debauchery and murder.

Here's the funny thing. I feel moral repugnance at many things. Racism, war. I have no urge to go out an wreak mayhem on the world. And yet my moral sense is not linked to the hope of punishment or reward in the afterlife. Get over it.

Atheists are obnoxious.

Ok, some are. What's your point again?

Atheists worship science, or progress, or music, or some other substitute for religion.

Religious people also like music and poetry. They can also do well in science courses. Some atheists have little aptitude for science.

Atheists admire Richard Dawkins, who is obnoxious.

Atheism is not an organized group with leaders and spokespeople. Some of like Dawkins, or Hitchens, and some don't. Some of us have mixed and nuanced opinions of people writing book in favor of atheism.

Atheists do not like Bach.

He is my favorite composer. I don't know why I should have to share the exact belief-system of every artist, poet, and composer I admire.

5 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

I've seen all these, except the last. The only version of the Bach myth I've heard was in reverse, and I didn't quite buy it that way either. Stephen Jay Gould (speaking of the popularizers) was an atheist with a streak of regret for religion. He loved Bach, and sang in a choir -- somewhere he wrote that he experienced Bach's tremendous (etc.) faith through singing the B-minor Mass.

Maybe a tougher test (not more meaningful, but more exclusive) of the cultural sufficiency of atheists is whether one appreciates religious paintings. Not just the standouts but the throng of merely significant painters: Antonello da Messina, say, or Ribera.

Clarissa dijo...

I see you have now adopted Eagleton's style of creating his own version of what opponents might say and then responding to it. :-)

Jonathan dijo...

I have heard versions of all these comments multiple times. I am not making anything up. (Except the Bach one, which is highly compressed, as Vance notes.) Since you admire Eagleton more than I do I will forgive you for comparing me to him.

Andrew Shields dijo...

I'm an atheist who thinks that the Isenheim Altar by Grünwald at the Musee Unterlinden in Colmar is one of the greatest works of art ever.

I can be overwhelmed by it without having the same world view that the artist and his patrons and audience had.

Clarissa dijo...

Of course, any comparison to Eagleton is a huge compliment on my part. :-)