This is the first post of what I anticipate making a series of occasional posts here at my blog. Then again I may not. We'll see.
I have atheist friends just as I have religious friends. And I enjoy those friendships. Atheism can speak either of the lack of belief in the popular theistic forms of God, or is some cases, especially it seems so in recent years, there are atheists who have drawn a line in the sand between science and religion, expecting we stand on either one side or the other.
That is the form of atheism that I disagree with.
Victor Stenger is a particle physicist and ardent combatant against "religion," as revealed in quotes of his I am highlighting here:
I want to urge those of you who are not scientists to try to convince those who are to stop pussyfooting around with religion and confront the reality of what it is and always has been -- a blight on humanity that has hindered our progress for millennia and now threatens our very existence.
Science is not going to change its commitment to the truth. And religion is not going to change its commitment to nonsense. And that is why I call upon scientists and all thinking people to focus their attention on reducing the influence of religion in the world, with the goal of the eventual fall of foolish faith. The future depends on it.
Both of these quotes were taken from Stenger's essay The Fall of Foolish Faith.
This way of thinking seems odd when one considers the history of science and finds that many of the most innovative minds in science were men and women who believed in God.
That being the case, it seems the most over-the-top of ideas to suggest that somehow humanity's future depends on religion being stamped out.
Certainly I agree that there is foolish faith that needs to be confronted. I don't believe a full-frontal assault in the form of calling people fools is the best way to address that particular problem, however.
Religion should be just as committed to truth as is science. I think honest, informed people understand that. And those religious folks who don't understand this should be educated, not verbally and mentally abused.