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Is there such a thing as Evangelical Atheism?

  1. John Mulipor profile image59
    John Muliporposted 7 years ago

    The Western world is becoming steadily less religious; this means that an increasing number of individuals are considering themselves non-religious members of a particular religion, believers without a religion, agnostics, or atheists. Atheism draws most of the media attention of non-religious groups, simply because of all the groups it speaks out the most, and religious zealots frequently speak out against the non-belief that is atheism (bear in mind, atheism is technically not a belief, merely lack of any belief in the supernatural or other topics dealt with in religion).

    Given atheism's ever increasing voice in the media (no longer just a subject to be scorned by Evangelical Christians and zealous Muslims), especially coming from the "Four Horsemen of Atheism" (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett) who frequently speak out against religion, is there such a thing as Evangelical Atheism?

    And, if there is such a thing as Evangelical Atheism, since atheism has long been a target of religious fundamentalists in attacks, is the presence of an "evangelical" branch of atheism somewhat ironic?

    For everyone answering, it is asked that at least one reason for one's answer be provided.

    1. Beelzedad profile image58
      Beelzedadposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Evangelizing, by definition, is to preach the gospel and convert to Christianity.

      The gospel is supposed to be absolute knowledge. Those other guys are not preaching absolute knowledge, they are only presenting the theories of science and nature.

      1. chigoiyke profile image60
        chigoiykeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        100 percent supported but unfounded theories you may add.

        1. Beelzedad profile image58
          Beelzedadposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          No, I wouldn't. Why would you?

    2. getitrite profile image80
      getitriteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      One can view it however he wants, but countering the belief in nonsense is fundamental to survival.

      Atheism is not merely a belief.  It is the ability to accept the reality we were "actually" given, as opposed to any and all nonsensical beliefs.

      It is tiring to keep seeing people praying over their food, thanking God for good things that happen, etc.  Dawkins and the others are simply reacting to the insanity they see around them by asserting "enough is enough"

      1. chigoiyke profile image60
        chigoiykeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Hmm... are you really serious? Personally I see beyond atheism as a belief. I see it as a movement. Yeah. My opinion.

        1. getitrite profile image80
          getitriteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          And just what is Atheism a belief in?

            Radical atheist are only confronting people that have had the benefit of a "free ride" in the past.  If you see this as a movement, then so be it.

        2. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          A movement? If you mean a movement to reject monotheistic religion and the sheep like following it creates? Sure. But - that is not strictly atheistic. A lot of deists and others are disgusted by religion and the ill will and hatred caused by creating a division between "good saved Christian soldiers" or "faithful Muslims ready to die for Allah" and every one else.

          Atheists just do not believe in The Nonsense - the laughable idea of a concerned god created out of fear. Any educated person can see the purpose behind these political monotheistic religions, and quite honestly - I am shocked at how many people think they are doing good in the world by denouncing abortion or homosexuality or producing 15 children or whatever it is they think god wants them to do.

          Any movement against your irrational belief system is not necessarily atheistic, but it is good to see a few well-known atheists standing up and pointing the finger and I think this movement is going to continue to grow in strength as time goes by. I for one have had enough of listening to holier-than-thou hypocrites un-willing to practice what they preach.

    3. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hmm. Well there's three types of atheist.

      Implicit atheists: don't believe in a deity, but don't assert or reject the assertion that theism is false.

      Explicit (strong) atheists: don't believe in a deity, and assert theism is false.

      Explicit (weak) atheists: don't believe in a deity, and reject the assertion that theism is false.

      What you are talking about is something else: Anti-theism and anti-religion. An anti-theist (opposes theism) is usually also an anti-religionist (opposes organised religion), but an anti-religionist does not necessarily have to be an anti-theist. Clear? Okay. Now atheists of the explicit (strong) type, tend to be anti-theists or anti-religionists or both. Dawkins and his colleagues fall into that category.

      So in answer to the question "is there such a thing as Evangelical Atheism?", the answer is yes. Implicit atheists, not so much. Hard to be evangelical about a lack of belief. But those explicit strong type atheists who are zealously enthusiastic about the assertion that theism is false, are by definition evangelical:

      evangelical
      adjective
      of or according to the teaching of the gospel or the Christian religion
      of or denoting a tradition within Protestant Christianity emphasizing the authority of the Bible, personal conversion, and the doctrine of salvation by faith in the Atonement
      zealous in advocating or supporting a particular cause:
      she was evangelical about organic farming is appropriate


      http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/ … _gb0277260

      But actually it would be accurate to describe Dawkins and the like as evangelical anti-theists and anti-religionists (need a term that contracts these)*, rather than just evangelical atheists.

      *how about anti-theoreligionist? Have I coined a new term?

  2. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    "atheism is technically not a belief, merely lack of any belief in the supernatural or other topics dealt with in religion)"

    This says it all, very few atheists are actively selling a belief system, they just don't believe fairytales are the "truth" or the "word" or any other such nonsense. smile

    1. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That said there are atheists interested in convincing members of the general public, like Richard Dawkins.

      1. Transformtruly profile image57
        Transformtrulyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        This is where we have to be careful and know where we stand as believers because the answer to this problem is to start individually identifing yourself and how you feel and your personell relationship with god as jesus started going around healing and teaching each person followed because of what great things that they witnessed where as today the world is hyped up on me my self and I thinking that they are responsible for every accomplishment in their life remember the world will love you then hate you god is always love for more on this read my hub traveling grace for as the question go evangelical atheism only takes place where we as christians are not evangelizing I'm on a mission to trulytransform minds body and tthe spiriit be on the look out

        1. psycheskinner profile image80
          psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          "evangelical atheism only takes place where we as christians are not evangelizing "

          Um, not from what I see.  Quite the reverse. Dogmatic atheism seems like a reponse to Evangalical religion.

  3. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    I don't believe in fairies, I don't believe in living gnomes, the "little people" or omnipotent yet totally absent invisible gods, people who come back from the dead, or that pigs can fly.

    Does that make me evangelistic? Or a part of any system of belief?
    No it does not, I just don't like to see craziness parading as fact is all. smile

  4. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 7 years ago

    Can't say I have seen any "main stream atheist" on the tv. lol Must be talking about youtube. lol

    1. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Its hard to watch TV without seeing atheists. Daniel Radcliffe?  The Australian prime Minsiter? Iam McKellen?

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Why they got "atheist" badges on or something?  You are being silly.  big_smile

        1. psycheskinner profile image80
          psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          They are mainstream and they are atheist and I bet you have seen at least one of them on TV.

          What is silly is thinking atheists are only on youtube.  Dawkins was recently on the Cobert Report.

          What is silly is assuming someone is Christian unless proven otherwise.

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Who said anything about christians?  I was just wondering if they are wearing badges. big_smile

  5. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    The Australian Prime Minister does not do religion, she would probably reject the word "atheist" as it is used in these forums. smile
    Smart. smile

    1. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      She also doesn't "do" believing in God, or marrying her life partner. Good on her for bringing some diversity to the world stage.

  6. Pcunix profile image88
    Pcunixposted 7 years ago

    If Dawkins, et al. are "evangelizing", they are shoveling poop against the tide.

    Brain studies have shown over and over again that the left side of the brain wants explanations and will create them.  Google for "left brain shovel chicken" for a classic example.

    More recent brain imaging has shown another side of that, indicating  that for many people, decisions often come from deep emotional judgements and then are rationalized.  People THINK they have thought rationally, but all they have done is twisted together an explanation for why they believe what they already believe emotionally.   In other words, they believe what their emotions tell them to believe and then cobble together an explanation that tries to explain why that's reasonable.

    These brain traits are definitely useful.  Seeking explanations is the beginning of intelligence, it is what lets us later see similarities and be "creative".  If we did not seek explanations, we would be at a loss when situations occur where our emotions come up blank or deliver mixed signals.  Having those concocted explanations to draw from (which of course CAN be correct) can help us solve new problems.

    However, we all aren't wired that way.  Some of us reject the silly rationalizations and insist on true rationality.   I don't think we always succeed, but we are better at it than the theists.  We think more.

    Note I am not saying that makes us smarter.  It doesn't.  In fact, we all know that we can "over think" things and that often our emotional reaction is the right one.   Even in the absence of an emotional response, a poorly framed and quite illogical conclusion can in fact be precisely correct - we don't always have all the facts at hand and even if we do, our brains aren't necessarily clever enough to concurrently examine all the interlaced evidence and see the truth.

    To use an analogy, I might be stronger than you, but neither of us is going to have much luck wrestling a bear.   Some intellectual problems are beyond any of us.

    Interestingly, that's the position some theists take - that it is all too complex.  I reject that as nonsense, but that's how my brain works, isn't it?

    I guess if I knew I was going to write this much I should have made a hub about it :-)

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      LOL

      I reject it as nonsense as well - because - if it is indeed too complex - how come they have an answer? wink

      What they really mean is - it is too complex for you to understand.

      It is my favorite funny argument in favor of a god. Even better than, "Isn't it better to believe just in case?"

      "Can't you just admit that perhaps some things are beyond human comprehension? Therefore I am right and there is a god?"

      Good hub. big_smile

      1. Pcunix profile image88
        Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly.

        It may be that some things are unknowable.   For example, pretend that we know that the Universe is actually deterministic.  Great, all we need then is to measure the entire state of everything now and we can calculate the future and know the past.

        Impossible, because the only thing large enough to store the state of everything is the Universe itself, impossible because measuring anything changes it and so on.

        So, the Universe is effectively random even if it is not.

        But to posit something outside that CAN solve these problems is ludicrous.   That's left brain rationalization gone awry.

 
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