Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

A reader speaks up for “church-going atheists”: We are many.  Just not all of us are open about it!  I don’t like the term “atheist” (being freighted with Dawkins anti-theism); I prefer the term “non-believer”.  I passed through my ex-Catholic/angry-atheist phase to a post-religion phase where I value what we have in common more than I care about what separates us. I go to church because 1) I married … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Readers continue the thread with many wonderful emails: I also relate to the brother-in-law who wanted to support his wife but did not stand in church because he doesn’t believe in God. I also attend church with my family during holidays, or Mass when I’m visiting my boyfriend’s family. But I don’t take communion or say … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

A reader sighs: Wow. These last few letters get to the heart I think of what drives so many of us non-believers crazy. Here we have Christians telling an atheist that he should make a mockery of the priest’s exhortation by essentially lying in a house of worship. Then we have another insinuating that non-believers … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

The thread continues: Although I am a Christian, I generally sympathize with the desire of atheists not to have religion assumed or forced upon them in various ways. But I have to respond to the reader who was embarrassed by Christian exhortations … at a Catholic funeral service. Perhaps one could argue that a funeral (or … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

A reader writes: First, thank you for giving atheists a say in your conversations about religion. One of your readers referred to atheists like me as “dickheads” because he gets tired of us constantly talking about our disbelief in gods. Okay, I’ll happily join the ranks of feminists who were dickheads about getting the vote, African Americans … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

A reader objects to Thomas Wells: I don’t know what kind of bubble he’s living in, but he’s completely dismissing (or outright missing) the social context of religion. Wells wrote: I see no more reason to describe myself as an atheist, than as an afairieist, ahomeopathist, etc. To put it another way, my non-belief is apathetic: the nonexistence … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism, Ctd

Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism

Thomas Wells explains why he rejects the atheism of Dawkins and Dennett: The fundamental problem with all this is that the new atheists accept that religion is important enough that it matters whether one has the right or wrong beliefs about it, and have specific views about what religious beliefs one should hold. What separates … Continue reading Apathetic Atheism vs New Atheism

Against Reluctant Atheism

In a long riff on Nietzsche and the “death of God,” Terry Eagleton encourages us to follow the German philosopher in recognizing that you can’t ditch the divine “while still clinging to religious values”: Reluctant atheism has a long history. Machiavelli thought that religious ideas, however vacuous, were a useful means of terrorizing and pacifying … Continue reading Against Reluctant Atheism