On a local atheist’s website and corresponding Facebook page, there is so much bashing of religious people in the name of freedom and oppression that I’m not sure what to make of it. It’s not clear to me that what this person(s) is claiming, this atheist posture of persecution, matches what I seem to be experiencing.
Is it the case that atheism or atheists are oppressed? Are there religious people or groups running around attempting to silence atheists? Are the religious ridiculing the non-religious? If one were to take the word of this person(s), it would seem that atheists, at least in his context, are being maligned horribly. It would seem that atheists are being kicked out of the public square. Maybe the federal government is moving to take their 501c3 status by regulation. One might imagine that atheists are being marginalized to the degree of being caricatured as intolerant or even bigots!
On the other hand, if one were to watch the news, there might be another conclusion drawn by what is being reported.
Gordon College strong armed by the federal government: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2014/09/25/accreditation-board-gives-gordon-college-a-year-to.html?page=all
Christian private businesses forced to go against their conscience:
Even some atheists criticize other atheists for their bad attitude towards Christianity:
It would be a waste of my time and of yours to begin to point out the many cases, which are the opposite of what this local atheist claims to be true. I think most of you understand the obvious, even if you are not a believer. IT’S NOT THE ATHEISTS WHO ARE BEING SLIGHTED!
So why the human cry of unfairness? Why the whining and whimpering of those who wax winsomely in welcome? I attribute it to so much posturing. That’s all.
There’s another point I’d like to consider though. What is it that may bring about this supposed maligning of atheists? Surely, there is more to these supposed attacks than meets the eye. Is it that atheists are not actually innocent non-combatants? Maybe they are actually proposing an idea. Maybe they are making a claim, even though they claim not to.
When a people, or group of people, enter into the marketplace of ideas, it seems to me that there should be preparation for rejection. It is an idea that atheists propose, and ideas have consequences. People understand that. They also understand that the idea that there is no god has consequences. The average person does not favor those consequences. Most people, even atheists, understand that even if there is no god, it is better to live as if there is.
You see, the idea of atheism is not merely a lack of belief in a god. It is a worldview. It is a worldview that atheists propagate as better than theism. In this worldview, there are beliefs, which do not correspond with reality as far as most people are concerned. The belief that it would be better to teach that the universe has always been, or came from nothing, is one idea (belief) that atheists propagate and people reject. The belief that there is no purpose in life and we are products of mindless, purposeless spontaneity by mixing time and chance is an idea that most people reject. This is the naturalist’s and therefore most atheists’ worldview. The belief or idea that there is no absolute truth or that right and wrong are mere preference are atheist beliefs or ideas, which have consequences that people thoughtfully reject.
Atheists aren’t being rejected, when it seems to them that they are. It is their ideas that have run into reality. The way things are is the brick wall that stands in the way of what atheists believe. People reject atheist’s beliefs, not atheists. It is obvious to most people that these ideas won’t work. They see the brick wall of reality that is right in front of them. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that if there is no real truth or standard for morality, chaos will ensue and civilization would not be able to continue flourishing. It doesn’t take a college prof to understand that if marriage becomes something other than a covenantal relationship between a man and a woman to provide the next generation, the next generation will be in jeopardy. The fact that nothing begets nothing, is nothing for an average logician.
In my opinion, atheists must prepare for rejection. There may be stormy seas on the horizon, especially as Neo-Darwinism fails and post-modernity quickly dissipates. As atheists like Thomas Nagel jump the Darwinian ship and Sam Harris implicitly admits the problem of morality, surely some non-believers see the black clouds coming. As the next Christian Renaissance explodes and the arguments of apologetics move public opinion, no amount of whining or whimpering will command the wind and waves or hold back the sea of thinkers.
Times are changing. Truth is not. Atheists should prepare for rejection, if not by the culture, by reality.