April 21, 2008
To hell with sides!
Last night I had dinner with some dear friends who are atheists. I'm not much of a religious debater, as I'm into contemplating my extreme ignorance of the unknown, and one can hardly argue from a position of extreme ignorance with those who have extreme knowledge.
I do love irony, though, and one of my atheist friends interjected last night that atheists spend more time thinking about God than most people -- maybe even more than many religious people do.
She's right. But then, atheism is a strongly held opinion about the nature of the unknown which posits mainly strong disagreement with the idea of deities.
Most organized religions also consist of strongly held opinions about the unknown.
Again I ventured my weary wish that people wouldn't spend so much time arguing with each other over the nature of the unknown. Both atheists and believers in deities hold that the unknown (and so far, still ultimately unknowable) is known, and knowable.
Fortunately, the atheists I ate with are good friends, so there were no arguments. But the way so many people can get into so many ferocious arguments over things which are unknown and unknowable never ceases to amaze me; it's literally a cosmic waste of time. People can get so nasty and so personal about unknowable things that I sometimes wonder whether they really know deep down as much as they claim they know.
Anyway, Glenn Reynolds put it quite well earlier when he mentioned the angry email he's getting for daring to link both sides of a discussion of a film discussing Intelligent Design:
I hate writing about this stuff because -- pardon me while I speak plainly -- the people on both sides of this issue are assholes. I mean, even by the low standards of Internet discussion. I'm getting email calling me a "theocon shill" for mentioning Stein, and email telling me I'll burn in hell for calling Intelligent Design "pernicious twaddle." Frankly, the rabid atheists and the rabid creationists seem an awful lot alike, and no proper hell could be truly hellish without the both of them yammering away at each other. Feh.I'm thinking both "sides" better hope there isn't a hell.
(If they know what's good for them....)
posted by Eric on 04.21.08 at 12:00 AM
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