Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

I’ve been drowning too long to believe the tide’s going to turn… more on atheists

A while back, I linked to a guy’s blog called ProudAtheists.  I went to click on the link to see what hilarious things he’s said recently, but it turns out that he’d deleted it.  On AtheistRevolution, it turns out that he:

need[s] a little more personal freedom and time for [him]self right now.  [source]

He also says:

The middle class was my target. I’m just a working stiff myself. Atheism requires no education. I hate it when others paint us as intellectuals, just because we’re godless and happen to think current science may have the best answers to our origin. [source]

I often (and rightly) get accused of elitism.  I have this wacky belief that there are experts and that the view of an expert should have more weight than the view of the everyman.  Atheism is one of the areas in which we are desperately in need of experts.  We used to have them: Voltaire and Nietzsche, for examples.  Now, we have people who don’t understand religion, culture, philosophy or — for that matter — atheism selling books and giving lectures to the knuckle-dragging masses.

For example, Nietzsche’s most famous quote

God is dead [several sources]

is still painfully relevant to us today and yet nobody’s really dedicating much intellectual time to it.  Nietzsche used the quote to draw attention to the problems which face atheists when they reject the divine: given our society is so intertwined with religion, how do we fashion our new, secular society?  Whence do morals, values, establishments come?

The question ‘What is the difference between a secular belief and a disbelieving Christian belief?’ is yet to be resolved.  It’s a weird quirk that atheist-Christians (that is, atheists from Christian traditions) and atheist-Muslims (atheists from Muslim traditions) often disagree about value claims.

To people like ProudAtheists and AtheistRevolution, this isn’t a question for them.  In their poorly educated world, people are just born atheists (it’s the ‘default’, don’t yer know) and secularism is as easy as crossing out the word ‘God’ from all public documents.  Similarly, science can solve all of our unscientific problems, such as the origins of the universe, such as our values, and such as maths.

This is why it’s a terrible age in which to be an atheist.  It’s so difficult to identify as an atheist when the vast majority of the atheist noise is buffoonery.

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