Hey everyone! I figured that the title of this post would get your attention. Anyway, 2 posts in one day? Lucky us!
Anyway, I had a brief debate with another atheist today. In this debate, he accused me of being religious about my atheism. (In the land of atheism, that is a bit of an insult. However, being a old, grizzled veteran, I did not take offense.) He suggested that some of my FB posts were not entirely based in reason and proper atheist etiquette. Hmmm . . . How does one respond?
After some time to reflect, I do have some thoughts on this topic. In atheism, there are many different perspectives on how to reflect our views. Rationalists tend to be very strict about sticking to all of the rules of reason. Some people are "soft" atheists. Soft atheists tend to have a live and let live when it comes to spirituality. Some atheists are militant. Militant atheists use whatever tools are at their disposal to force the issue. These tools include reason, hyperbole, rhetoric, etc. Militant atheists are willing to use them all. This is a very short list. Suffice it to say, there are many different shades of atheists. Because of this, there can be a little in-fighting among the non-believers.
I am a militant atheist. I am proud of being so. I will use anything I can to get under the skin of religion. I will use strict reason when it suits me. I will use hyperbole when it suits me. I will use rhetoric when it suits me. I will use any tool that is available to me to advance the cause. I do think that religion needs to end before humans can really reach our fullest potential. (I DO NOT advocate the abolishment of religion. I want religion to die a natural death.) My position sometimes ruffles a few feathers in the atheist community -- especially among the rationalists.
What do I make of this? Let me give you a Star Trek analogy. (Yes, I am that kind of geek.) We're all on board the Starship Enterprise. Each member of the crew represents a different form of atheism. I imagine the rationalists to be Mr. Spock. Logic is the only means of assessing the situation. The soft atheists are like Lt. Ohura they do their job, but are not involved with the dangerous missions. Militant atheist are like Captain Kirk. We tend to be emotional. We use what tools are at our disposal to get the job done. Everyone on the crew is committed to helping the cause, but we all have different things to bring to the table. Without each person carrying their weight, we all fail as a group. We fight; we bicker; we don't always agree on a course of action. However, at the end of the day, we are all part of the same team.
All that being said, my young friend who barked at me today is a rationalist. He is a Spoke. I am a Kirk. Spock is always correct when it comes to the logical conclusions. Spock is always able to separate emotion from facts. Kirk, however, gets shit done. Kirk saves the day. Kirk makes the whole crew better. Most importantly, Kirk gets laid by space aliens all the time. Spock may win the logic battles -- but Kirk gets all the glory and all the lovin'. I am proud to be a Kirk.
Rationalists are a funny breed of atheists. They tend to exist in a very sterile, academic world. They are absolutely correct in logic and in reasoning. This works great in academic settings. In the real world, however, pure reason does not always get you where you want to be. I would love to be a rationalist, but this approach does not always push the movement forward. As a militant atheist, I use the whatever strategy I can to push the movement forward. This can make me an elitist. This can make me a hypocrite at times. This can make me seem like a total asshole.
I am okay with this. I will do whatever it takes to make this a better world for my daughters. Religion is universally prejudiced against them. It wishes to, at best, hold them hostage and, at worst, enslave them. I can not tolerate this. I will NOT tolerate this. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that the world is a safer, better place for my little girls.
I love the rationalists. They are my brothers and sisters. However, I do not have time to debate these issues as a purely academic set of thoughts. I must take action and I will do so in whatever way I can. I will be a Kirk. I will get it done and I will get to have a whole bunch of alien sex along the way.
That's it for now. Catch you all later.