Thursday, May 24, 2007

Christopher Hitchens on "Militant Atheism"

This appears in the current issue of Free Inquiry magazine:

"All you need is to ignore the difference between someone who believes in, say, heaven and hell and someone who doesn't. The first has a lot of work to do by way of providing anything that even looks like evidence. The second rests his case on the extreme improbability of any such evidence being adduced. Are these positions really describable as morally or intellectually equivalent? Or take the case of someone who believes in punishment for blasphemy or in prior restraint on those who might commit it. Is this the same dogma as the argument that says that religion, since it makes such huge claims, must expect to have them submitted to rigorous questioning?...The faithful believe that certain truths have been 'revealed.' The skeptics and secularists believe that truth is only to be sought by free inquiry and trial and error. Only one of those positions is dogmatic."

Well said...

3 Comments:

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Militant Atheism" is an oxymoron. The process of disbelief eveolves much the way faith does, but with rational weight behind it. Try a search for something called the "Reverse Zelig" by either www.philalawyer.net or www.philalawyer.blogspot.com. That explains atheism pretty nicely. Or just go to bertrand Russell's old stuff.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Barney said...

I agree. When the theists use terms like “militant atheist” or the more specious “atheistic fundamentalism” they are ignoring the obvious – skepticism does not have a creed.

 
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