For my purposes, there are just two main kinds of atheists. ... One kind of atheist feels that religion is his enemy, while the other kind looks upon religion as his friend. [emphasis original]
The Type 1 atheist—undoubtedly in the majority these days—takes his inspiration from science and considers himself to be “wised up.” He “sees through” the traditional idealistic teachings of religion, and believes that modern science has proven that human beings are “nothing but” animals with hard-wired synapses put in place by selfish genes, all of which is at bottom just molecules—or atoms, or quarks, or strings, or what have you—in motion.
No soul. No free will. No objective standards of right and wrong. Just a bunch of pitiless particles vibrating pointlessly in the primal quantum field.
That’s it. That’s what human being really are, according to the Type 1 atheist. And because traditional religion teaches something like the opposite of this—that human beings have a soul (or spirit) endowed with reason, a conscience, and free will, all responsive to objective standards of right and wrong—the Type 1 atheist feels it is his duty to oppose religion in the name of defending the “truth” about human nature.
The Type 2 atheist is a very different sort of beast (no pun intended). He is not an atheist because he believes in the reductive picture of the cosmos and the human being within it supposedly painted by modern science. He is an atheist because he isn’t persuaded by any of the arguments for the existence of God. It’s that simple.
Friday, December 09, 2011
The Stupid! It Burns! (two kinds of stupid edition)
Two Kinds of Atheists