I was handed an article by a friend over the weekend and was greatly encouraged that so many atheists are taking a renewed interest in the supernatural, especially God! So much so that they had a convention in L. A. a month ago about how to deal with us superstitious types; yet they couldn’t quite agree on how best to combat them. Here’s an excerpt:
The tension was evident at the Biltmore, where about 300 nonbelievers from across the United States and Canada gathered for three days of lively and, at times, gleefully blasphemous debate. (“I have a personal commitment to committing blasphemy every day,” biologist P.Z. Myers said.)
Religion was dismissed as “nonsense” and “superstition”; those who believe were described variously as “ignorant” and “stupid.”
Fellow nonbelievers were not spared, however, as lines were drawn between “new atheists,” who encourage open confrontation with the devout, and “accommodationists,” who prefer a subtler, more tactical approach.
Even “accommodationist” atheists are not known for mincing words, and although there were periodic reminders that those at the gathering shared “99% of our intellectual DNA,” as author Chris Mooney put it, the disagreements were not exactly gentle.
When Mooney, a leading voice for accommodation, said there was nothing to stop a nonreligious person from being spiritual, Myers’ reaction was nearly physical. “Whenever we start talking about spirituality,” he said, “I just want to puke.”
If you are an atheist, which method would you use if I approached you with a Gospel tract and a pleasant (yet gently confrontational) conversation about eternal things?
If you are a believer, how would you deal with a “New Atheist” coming at you with the intention of making you look foolish? Click here for my suggestion on what to do.