30/3/2011

Faiths and Atheisms

Filed under: — Bravus @ 11:47 am

Thanks to Mark for this link to New Scientist:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928055.600-religion-is-irrational-but-so-is-atheism.html?full=true

Debate, and particularly internet debate, tends to conflate things that are actually quite different in order to simplify, but I would argue that often necessary complexities for a useful understanding of the phenomena under discussion are lost in the process1.

This article identifies a couple of different kinds of atheism, and while I think there are more forms, the distinction drawn is a useful one.

It also recognises that, much as we like to think so, our religious decisions2 are not so much the pure result of our own individual cold reason but the outworking of much larger social, relationship and other processes in us.

  1. I’ve also argued that this is a mistake Dawkins makes in ‘The God Delusion’ – losing necessary complexity in shoving all of religion into one basket
  2. I know, atheist friends, atheism is not a religion, but the decision to be an atheist is a decision about a religious matter

5 responses to “Faiths and Atheisms”

  1. John Quin says:

    I’ll comment just as soon as the bleeping site co-operates and lets me register

  2. John Quin says:

    Something freaky happened and I finally got registered.
    In any case I do find all this stuff interesting but I tend to get suspicious as to whether they are running foul of the genetic fallacy. Perhaps in true journalistic style the title is just supposed to be a sound-byte and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
    If someone were to finally prove that people are predisposed to believe/disbelieve in God would that be a defeater for either side? I doubt it, but it is interesting just the same.

  3. Glenn Weare says:

    I tend to agree John – surprise surprise – but its no surprise is it that we are all heavily influenced by factors other than pure reason.

  4. John Quin says:

    Oh Glenn aren’t we supposed to be arch enemies or something, what are you doing agreeing with me, *LOL*

  5. Glenn Weare says:

    Sorry John – I’d better life my game!

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