The Ongoing War

Aug 06, 2011 Comments Off by

Atheism has been around for a long time. Depending on how particular one is, and one’s definition of atheism, it could be said that atheism has been around forever, since before human beings, there was no religion to speak of. But there is clearly an atheist movement, recently fuelled by the rise of new atheism. With the aggressive, dogmatic views of the devoutly religious on one side of the hill, and the pioneering and thought-challenging new atheists on the other, it’s not surprising that many in both camps might see this confrontation as a real war.

War, however, is normally characterised by two groups of people who identify with their group, fighting each other. Normally there isn’t much real difference that separates the two groups other than they think their own group is superior by right. Certainly in this theism versus atheism war, people tend to identify with some term and nominalise it. Though identifying with a group in this case is due to a fundamental difference; it’s not as easy to take a middle ground as in real war. It’s unfortunate, and annoying, that particularly megalomaniacal people try to utilise the “us and them” mentality.

So perhaps it’s not always a war in the pointless sense. Both sides campaign, debate, and protest though; it’s like the precursor to a civil war.

It’s a war that is also fought largely on the internet. The most direct and often flawed arguments are written in the comment boxes of YouTube and Reddit and other such websites. Though it seems unlikely that it’s a war that will be resolved or won over the internet, because all anyone has to do to avoid the war is click a hyperlink.

Indeed, this intellectual war may not have an epic battle scene at the end of it. It seems possible that religion will simply wither away and die after a steady onslaught of rationale from atheism. It seems rather unlikely that in a few years time, the entire world watches the largest debate every to finally decide whether a god does or does not exist. Such an event would be tiresome at the end of campaigning from both sides (although more debates right now are desirable).

It’s definitely a war in the sense that both sides want to vanquish the other. And calling the ongoing discussions a war adds a sense of excitement.

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About the author

I am the founder of Atheism Network.
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