First let me put this straight: i am not a christian, nor a theist and certainly no agnostic. By most people’s definition, i am probably not even religious. Nevertheless, and all of that notwithstanding: i am definitively not an atheist. And here is why.
- Atheism, especially in its newly virulent strands (yes, i’m referring to Dennett, Dawkins &co.), has very little to do with a simple denial of the existence of God. Atheism is a Weltanschauung (worldview): it asserts unfounded propositions about the way the world is. It is thoroughly deterministic and naturalistic. The proposition “there is no god” is just as metaphysical as “there is a god”; and just as wrongheaded. Atheism is turning into yet another grand meta-narrative: it is not an alternative to religion, but simply its mirror image.
- Atheism does not simply deny theism, but goes all the way to dismiss any form of religion or spirituality. Atheism has become a form of scientism, repudiating any propositions that scientists cannot prove to be true. This, of course, is nonsense because as mighty as science has become, it can never prove that it is the only possible source of knowledge. Common sense knows that science can only explain a small portion of the world and remains hopelessly silent concerning many very important or pressing issues (in ethics or politics, aesthetics and religion).
- Atheism’s new-found belligerence is offensive to many people and thereby counterproductive. By protesting too much atheists will only convince their foes that they have resorted to shouting and preaching because they cannot convince anyone on the merits of their arguments, just like all other proponents of faulty systems of human thought.
- Atheism is not willing to meet people on their own ground, first trying to understand them so as to better explain its own position; rather, it insists on blindly dictating the modalities of the discussion. That is simply arrogant.
- Atheism is not an open, but a closed way of thinking. Atheism does not seem willing to ask: “Is there not a concept similar to ‘god’ that would prove useful for explaining the world?”; “What is religion good for?”; “What do the religious mean – beyond what they manage to say?” Atheism is just plain not curious enough for me.