Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

11/13/2006

Evangelical Atheists

It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but as an evanglical is one with "Good News" to spread and some who believe there is no God feel that revelation is good news, the term was bound to be coined. The chief proponent at the moment is Richard Dawkins, whose book The God Delusion I referenced at this blog once before. Two more recent items have crossed my desk.

First, Kenny sent a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle challenging Atheists with the notion that if anything, the notion of evolution seems to favor those with religious beliefs. That opinion piece looks at the two world views and asks
Should evolutionists like Dennett, Dawkins, Harris and Wilson be surprised, then, to see that religious tribes are flourishing around the world? Across the globe, religious faith is thriving and religious people are having more children. By contrast, atheist conventions only draw a handful of embittered souls, and the atheist lifestyle seems to produce listless tribes that cannot even reproduce themselves.
The full text of the article is online here: God Knows Why Faith Is Thriving.

Victoria's articleAlso, my wife, Victoria, wrote an interesting article for The Brunswick News on this issue. The article, the .PDF of which page is online at her website, sees Dawkins' book as the latest version in the line of thought that goes back to Sigmund Freud's 1927 work The Future of an Illusion an further. The full text of her article is here: Facing the Dark Side.

I am reminded of the T-shirt design which on side one says,

"God is Dead."—Nietzsche
and on the reverse says,

"Nietzsche is dead."—God

It is a debate bound to outlive the current generation of people arguing both sides of the theological issue. The problem, as noted in the earlier post, is a bit sad in that logically speaking no atheist will ever discover they were right, while no Christian will ever discover they were wrong. Right?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

“To believe in God is impossible
—to not believe in Him is absurd”
—Voltaire

3 Comments:

  • At 11/13/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    "It seems perplexing why nature would breed a group of people who see no purpose to life or the universe, indeed whose only moral drive seems to be sneering at their fellow human beings who do have a sense of purpose. Here is where the biological expertise of Dawkins and his friends could prove illuminating. Maybe they can turn their Darwinian lens on themselves and help us understand how atheism, like the human tailbone and the panda's thumb, somehow survived as an evolutionary leftover of our primitive past."

    This quotation is from the same article. I think it is an excellent idea to turn the atheists' own logic against them. I have long wondered why atheists feel the need to blow their proverbial horns so loudly. Who are they trying to convince? Us or themselves? If they truly deny the reality of any higher power why worry about those who believe? What are they trying to save us from, heaven?

     
  • At 11/13/2006 11:14 PM, Blogger CSL said…

    We seem to live in such a polarized time. I remain hopeful that we can figure out a way for there to be room for all of us in this incredible world. It seems a shame to decide that all atheists/nontheists "see no purpose in life" or "whose only moral drive is sneering at their fellow human beings." Most people have their sneering moments, and I readily admit that I certainly have mine. But I can't help but think of an elderly man in my Meeting who is kind, compassionate, deeply moral and as genuinely good a soul as I have personally met. If he has ever sneered at anyone for their beliefs, I haven't heard it. And he would take being sneered at for his beliefs with good grace. A true Quaker pacifist, he embodies what many people would describe as a Christ-like attitude. And he's a nontheist. Primitive? Enlightened? Who gets to decide?

     
  • At 11/17/2006 10:07 PM, Anonymous Bob in Wash PA said…

    csl: I agree with you.
    I use to believe that the Episcopal Church was the great experiement in which people of differing viewpoints could still live under one roof. I think some of this fascination with Atheism is a backlash to those who think their Gospel is the only Gospel and their exegetes is the only correct exegesis (I hope i got that right).

    I belong to a Non-Network parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We have many views, opinions, likes and dislikes but we are family.

    I can't tell you how many people my age (mid 30's to mid 40's) are turned off by Christianity. Atheism might look attractive to some of those.

    Maybe there is hope. I certainly Hope so.
    Bob in Wash PA

     

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