“fundamentalist” atheists

There has been a bit of a flurry over what to call the more vocal of the current crop of atheists. Greg Epstein was misquoted in the International Herald Tribune as calling them “fundamentalist atheists”. Many complained. He is defended by Atheist Ethicist and then defends himself. PZ at Pharyngula (one of the so called ‘fundamentalists’) suggests calling his clan “uppity atheists“. As for my part, i’d call them evangelical atheists, as their main distinction seems to be their fervor in trying to make converts to their worldview.

But in the end it doesn’t matter too much what they get called. “Fundamentalist” is indeed very derogatory and should be reserved for very bad people. I don’t think “uppity” will stick 🙂 nor will my “evangelical”.

But i will go on the record as being very much in favour of these preachers of atheism: the more intelligent positions that are actively communicated in the public sphere, the quicker we will hit on a good solution. It’s a matter of market competition in the realm of ideas and atheism is a welcome alternative to the heretofore religious quasi-monopoly.

Preach it, Dawkins!

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2 Comments to ““fundamentalist” atheists”

  1. I agree, the debate provoked by the preachers of atheism is healthy — though their excessive confidence in the powers of their intellect gives comfort to their adversaries and weakens their position.

    You have more faith in the market competetion in the realm of ideas than I do, unless one takes the very long view. Todays bestsellers are rarely considered best 50 years hence.

  2. i didn’t mean to say that anything that’s being said is worth keeping; but if these guys fight it out long enough someone might come along and find something to say that will be a keeper 🙂

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