Tuesday, October 19, 2021

On Medium: Theistic Overreach and the Audacity of Secular Humanism

Here's a response to a rabbi that addresses scientific progress and the will to disbelieve in God.


  1. I think the reason theists keep making this accusation is because they themselves do the same thing. Atheists demand arguments & evidence but, as you pointed out, belief is rarely actuated by either. Just because theists 'believe' in God for emotional reasons, they expect the same from atheists.

    But the emotions behind theism (devotion, hope, love) contrast sharply with those behind atheism (cynicism, alienation, pride). Atheists are not bad because they are wrong about God (since God isn't an object of intellect to begin with), they are bad because of what their rejection of God implies about their character. If the majority of people need religion to give them meaning & morality then atheism is antisocial, which means that atheists are evil. Any reasons the atheist might offer to justify his unbelief would only come off as the rationalizations of a psychopath.

    1. That's an interesting point about the emotional (rather than just rational) conflict between theists and atheists. There's likely an article in that point, but it could play into stereotypes. We'd need a psychology of the paradigmatic theist or atheist. Freud offered one (based on Nietzsche) and Jung offered another. It would likely be in the eye of the beholder, but there may still be some generalizations worth making here to emphasize what might be a deeper conflict, between the emotions or character types. I'll have to think more about that.