Lament of a Soft-Shell Anti-American Atheist (via The New Oxonian)

I enjoyed this post a lot… and can empathise with two points especially:

1) I am an atheist-agnostic, yet I have little-to-no interest in science. That is not the same as saying that I do not find the most interesting bits of it fascinating, or that I doubt its validity or usefulness… I am simply saying that dialogues about science and scepticism do not particularly interest me. I would rather talk about theatre, literature, current affairs or, dare I say, religion. I always feel that when I am within ‘non-‘ or ‘anti-religious’ circles that I am being implicitly looked-down upon for not being interested in evolutionary biology, quantum mechanics etc etc.

2) I have never really understood the point of inter-faith dialogue… I don’t know what it achieves. But I guess it is better for people to be talking than not talking…

Anyway… enjoy!

Lament of a Soft-Shell Anti-American Atheist I’ve been puzzling for a few months now why the discourse between hardshell and softshell atheists has taken such a nasty turn. Can’t crabs just learn to live together–scuttling from side to side without disturbing each other’s tranquility? True, when I first detected the trend among the leading atheist commandos (variously Gnus, News, EZs and Full-frontals) I said they were behaving like jerks, which of course got me called worse names by their … Read More

via The New Oxonian


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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Director at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

One response to “Lament of a Soft-Shell Anti-American Atheist (via The New Oxonian)”

  1. Erika Salomon says :

    The linked post is very interesting. I once asked on Twitter if there was any alternative to confrontationist and accommodationist positions and got a swift and firm “no” as the only response.

    Your first point hits home. I used to organize events for a few groups of organized non-believers. Even though we tried to organize a diverse set of events, the members attending were largely interested in science and politics and our trips to science museums were better attended than the ones to art museums. We even had one member who refused to go to a museum of religious art but attended the lunch afterwards, where he criticized the organizer of the event for arranging such a trip. When we tried to organize a literary book club for the members, the demand was for science or atheism themed books (the first selection was The Handmaid’s Tale). I’d often wondered about the non-believers who didn’t find such groups appealing (I had several friends who fell into this category). Did the vocal majority create a hostile or uninteresting environment for them? Did the non-attenders hold the stereotypes of atheists as loud, science obsessed, intolerant, religion-hating jerks? Of course, there will be people who find non-belief a strange form of affiliation, but could we have done more to create a welcoming environment for all non-believers?

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