Sunday, January 5, 2014

You can't "try on" atheism

Overall, I agree with Heman Mehta's summary ("To the Pastor Giving Atheism a Shot for a Year: You’re Doing It Wrong") of Ryan J. Bell's interest in better understanding atheists/atheism. I think he should be encourage to go ahead with his year long experiment. Hopefully, along the way he will realize that despite his sincere motives his approach is infused with a slew of myths and stereotypes. He seems to think that atheism is not only a actual "ism", which it is not, but also that it is basically just another religion.

The basic premise of his experiment is absurd. You can't "try on" atheism. Either you are an atheist or you are not an atheist. Even though Bell's views on organized religion seem to be evolving he does still follow religious beliefs thereby making him a theist. This seems to me to be a sort of metaphoric mirror image Bob Seidensticker's participation in the prayer expirement ("Not all Experiments Are Equal" 9/29/12). These are experiments that are by their own terms contradictions.

However, I still think it is worthwhile. It would be nice to have theists take a serious positive interest in atheists.

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