Sunday, December 23, 2007

Atheists at the Gates!

Oh noes! (HT)
The archbishop said "atheistic fundamentalism" was a new phenomenon.

He said it advocated that religion in general and Christianity in particular have no substance, and that some view the faith as "superstitious nonsense".

Shocking, isn't it! Because nobody ever criticized religion before, I'm sure. And only "fundamentalists" are ever critical of others' beliefs. "Some view the faith as 'superstitious nonsense'" - imagine that! Nice people know they're not supposed to think - let alone mention - that the emperor has no clothes. It wouldn't be respectful, you see. Well then, I'm sure his outfit is just splendid. Otherwise he'd feel bad, so it must be true.

The article's tagline tells us: "The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has described a rise in 'fundamentalism' as one of the great problems facing the world." I'm curious. Let's hear more:
In his Christmas message, the archbishop said: "Any kind of fundamentalism, be it Biblical, atheistic or Islamic, is dangerous."

Islamic fundamentalists fly planes into buildings. Christian fundamentalists blow up abortion clinics. But most frightening of all is the atheistic variant:
He said it led to situations such as councils calling Christmas "Winterval", schools refusing to put on nativity plays and crosses removed from chapels.

Dangerous stuff.


  1. I think the best bit is:
    "The archbishop said "virulent, almost irrational" attacks on Christianity led to hospitals removing all Christian symbols."

  2. er.. Athiesm isn't entirely without danger.

    I note agnostics/athiests dominate the top 10 of the list. It could be as bad as 8-2. although only about 5 of those probably went around actively destroying churches regardless of religion.

  3. Genius - trotting out communist dictators is tiresome and irrelevant. Whatever the archbishop's fears concerning Dawkinsian atheists, genocide is not among them. Seriously.

  4. Fundamentalist Secularists perhaps? What a travesty that as more and more multiculturalism emerges, relics of the white-Christain domination of State institutions becomes increasingly marginalised.

    Christmas was first used to leverage power from the pagan festivals (Mithras & natalis solis invicti), we'll take it back for our own secular capitalist purposes, thank you very much!

  5. Richard, are you trying to be funny?

    You are the same person who trotted out terrorists flying into buildings and blowing up abortion clinics in the main post right?

    As usual I am trying to encourage some further thought.

  6. What people fear in religious fundamentalism is precisely the possibility of such violence. This is emphatically not what people like the archbishop fear from "atheistic fundamentalists". (It's a different issue - and one I'm not interested in discussing here - whether atheism or religion in general, across all historical contexts, is more conducive to evil. The point is that the atheists we're talking about here are very obviously not 'dangerous' at all. The same cannot be said for contemporary religious fundamentalists.)

  7. Richard,

    "What people fear"

    It gets a bit complex when we start to decide which exact audience we are assuming but

    1) I presume the archbishop takes the bible reasonably seriously in which case - REVELATIONS.

    2) Besides that as per your previous post terrorism and fundamentalist atheism are most important (I presume in our opinions) in how they effect society, more so than in who dies from an individual incident.
    So the long term impacts of various steps towards fundamentalism.

    3) I’m not sure you are being fair in how you are dividing your sets into atheist fundamentalists and religious ones. you may be hiding your conclusion in your definition (for example if religious fundamentalists are defined as people who blow themselves up, and atheistic fundamentalists are defined as people who argue against religion).
    If the archbishop is doing that too then I guess he’s a fool – but surely one should try to be more charitable before insulting a person.

    Also I don’t think its productive to get too upset when you assert your arbitrary boundaries of a discussion. You know what its like on the feminist philosophers blog from the other side eh?


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