Monday, October 30, 2006

Evangelists against Religion

While I was looking around online, I came across an article about evangelists—but they are of a different sort altogether from the usual sense of the word. They think the world needs to be saved from religion.

The Wired News article linked here, “The Crusade against Religion,” tells all about it (in a 8-page article) from the viewpoint of author Gary Wolf, who says,


My friends, I must ask you an important question today: Where do you stand on God?

It's a question you may prefer not to be asked. But I'm afraid I have no choice. We find ourselves, this very autumn, three and a half centuries after the intellectual martyrdom of Galileo, caught up in a struggle of ultimate importance, when each one of us must make a commitment. It is time to declare our position.

Wolf continues: This is the challenge posed by the New Atheists. We are called upon, we lax agnostics, we noncommittal nonbelievers, we vague deists who would be embarrassed to defend antique absurdities like the Virgin Birth or the notion that Mary rose into heaven without dying, or any other blatant myth; we are called out, we fence-sitters, and told to help exorcise this debilitating curse: the curse of faith . . . .

Three writers have sounded this call to arms,
Wolf states. They are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. A few months ago, I set out to talk with them. I wanted to find out what it would mean to enlist in the war against faith.

Throughout the article, Wolf tells how these three men decry the behavior of Christians, the fight over evolution, religious people’s social struggles, their fundraising, their violence—definitions, falsehoods, and possible scenarios in a world without religion (among other things—8 pages, after all).

What is his conclusion? Here it is:

Wolf says: Even those of us who sympathize intellectually have good reasons to wish that the New Atheists continue to seem absurd. If we reject their polemics, if we continue to have respectful conversations even about things we find ridiculous, this doesn't necessarily mean we've lost our convictions or our sanity. It simply reflects our deepest, democratic values. Or, you might say, our bedrock faith: the faith that no matter how confident we are in our beliefs, there's always a chance we could turn out to be wrong.

I would like to point out this one important thing. In this vast study and effort at spreading atheism, these people have examined mankind from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Don't reject God because of people. If you want to find out whether or not God is real, don’t study mankind. Study God. If you truly want to know if God is real, ask him to show you. He will.

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