Thursday, June 05, 2014

Noting the soap bubbles of internet life

This has been retitled on the front page of Salon to "Atheism's Next Phase:  Justice."

Which leaves me wondering:  is atheism a movement?  an ideology?  A non-religious religion?

From the comments at Salon, I'd say it's more like loading frogs in a wheelbarrow, or herding cats.  But we have to decide what it is before we can decide whether it is coherent enough to have a "next phase."  Like I say, from the comments at Salon, what comes to mind are frogs and cats.

What was the first phase?  Making the best-seller list?  World hegemony?  Blogging?

Even as atheists open churches for atheists, I've had atheists in my comments tell me atheism is not about being anti-religion at all, that in fact it really isn't about anything, except not being religious (which isn't about being anti-religious, apparently; though I still don't understand the distinction between "non-religious" and "atheist," especially where Dawkins and Hitchens are concerned).  But if atheism is not an ideology or a movement, how does it have a phase?

And what does atheism have to do with justice?  Unless all atheists are Sartreans now.....


  1. The deficiency of atheism when the topic is justice quickly becomes obvious when atheists discuss how atheists can pursue justice. A metaphor for that might be pouring marbles on an incline, they'll roll to the bottom unless something stops them and atheism doesn't have anything to stop them that is adequate to stop them them from going to the bottom. Perhaps those magnetic marbles are a better one because I think the tendency is for injustice to attract due to the enhanced power of attraction selfishness has.Selfishness is the force that powers injustice,selflessness is what powers justice, to set up what is,perhaps,another metaphor. I suspect that a lot of atheists who are able to act justly are more in violation of their atheism as a logically complete system than they'd like to think they are. I think they are more under the retained habits of religious thinking than they'd like to believe, though I'm open to them explaining where it comes from, otherwise.

  2. I've yet to come across an avowed atheist making reference to John Rawls (an obvious choice, although his work requires a leap of imagination even Sartre wouldn't require, and is essentially an argument that "we are all equal in the sight of....well, the 'original position,' which would be God if we could mention religion, or the Good if we could mention Plato, or ethics, if we could re-write Aristotle....), or Ronald Dworkin, for that matter.

    No knowledge of jurisprudence at all, in other words. Which is odd, since being rational, atheists should be interested in philosophy, especially Anglo-American philosophies.

    But all they want to do is denigrate Christianity, from what I've seen. It still seems to be the central identify of atheism.