healthy atheism and the way of Jesus
June 23, 2009
I’ve mentioned my critique of the New Atheist movement a number of time now. Kevin Parry has mentioned my critique on this as well, it’s one of the things that we have in common. What we don’t have in common though, is our believe in God. I believe in God, Kevin believe that there is no God. I call myself a Christian, Kevin prefer to call himself an Atheist. We are aware of our differences, but agree that both New Atheism and religious fundamentalism is unhelpful. Funny that both these extremes do the same thing: not listening to those with whom they differ.
When I find newly deconverted people, I promtly refer them to Kevin’s blog. I do this not because I think Kevin neccesarily has the best arguments for Atheism and I think that newly deconverted people need good arguments, but because I am aware that the Atheist scene, just like the religious scene, has many different options to consider, and some of them are more healthy than other. Some foster an openness to dialogue, encourages peace with those they differ with, others tend to be militant, and cause hatred against those they differ with. As a follower of Jesus I want to help people even when choosing Atheism to find a way of living that more closely resemble that which I believe Jesus taught.
Do I therefore recommend Atheism? No. Do I believe that healthy Atheists are right? In certain things yes, but I believe that there is more to reality than they might think. I do believe that if Atheism do not conform to reality (and I believe that it doesn’t) over time the cracks in their understanding of reality would become obvious. But I can also fully understand that some people opt for Atheism because the theology (talk about God) that they recieved from their churches doesn’t seem to reflect reality either. If a time of Atheism is part of their journey, I respect their honesty (because trust me, to be an Atheist in South Africa puts in an absolute minority). But my understanding of God allows me to guide people to more healthy understandings in Atheism while on their journey of discovering God.