http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-arel/the-growing-importance-of_b_4820365.html: The Growing Importance of an Atheist Community
I think that the whole new atheist stance is wrong, and the suggestion that atheists are the last defense against rightwing theocracy is surely wrong. The unreasonable character of much new atheism forces many Xtians to retreat back into religion to maintain basic sanity.
I was a near budding atheist when I was in college, and went through a kind of Nietzschean phase (under the influence of Walter Kauffman who made such study of the ‘liberal’ Nietzsche seem plausible). But that phase was quite different from what the new atheists propose. As I recall I was a sort of theist and atheist at the same time, with no sense of any contradiction, or worry about that contradiction. Theism and atheism are so confused they aren’t really antitheticals, they share a ‘common nonsense factor’. I simply took atheism as the academic flavor of the month, even as a parallel study of religious subjects/courses animated renewed variants of theism growing next to a growing atheism. That’s not even a paradox, but a budding ‘dialectic’ (I guess, that’s a hifalutin phrase). I think that was a better approach. Now the aggressive atheists are forcing the issue: choose one position as a fixed belief and exclude the opposite. That’s strategic error from the start. A slight acquaitance with Kant would suggest that this antinomial character of the question will cause the mind to wobble back and forth, almost inevitably. To force belief on one side is going to create a nervous eye tic, and not much more. The question of ‘god’ is insoluble, I think, and the only possible value of ‘atheism’ is the flushing out of mental confusions on the subject. And those confusions, in believers, are multiple. The muddle of god beliefs is severe indeed, and this is what atheists are trying to get past. But that is not the same as validating atheism. In any case, the contracted viewpoint of taking one side and enforcing belief is precisely what got religions in trouble. We seem to have a case of a ‘dialectic’ flip in belief systems. The common denominator is the nervous hold of ‘belief’.