Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why Do Atheists Eat Their Own Young?

Chris Mooney, author, speaker, blogger, and a host of the CFI podcast Point of Inquiry, is a moderate voice in the science and religion debates...

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For choosing dialogue over confrontation, and for accepting a grant from the Templeton Foundation, Mooney is accused of being an "accommodationist."  Apparently other pejoratives, such as sympathizer, collaborator, and quisling just don't strike the correct tone.

I see strong parallels between the fight for the rights of the non-religious and other civil rights issues, most recently the ongoing struggle of the GLBT community. There are academic theorists and philosophers. There are angry protests and pride parades. There are closeted benefactors. There are enclaves, cities, states, parties, and professions where people find acceptance. There are friends who disagree. There are hotlines and gathering places for damaged souls. There are legal challenges. There are neighbors who are out. There are people who feel it is their right to out others. There are people who refuse to be defined by the issue. There are political activists. There are political alliances. There are positive examples in art. There are setbacks and successes.  Both remain multi-generational works in progress.

Are you agnostic, antitheist, atheist, bright, deist, determinist, freethinker, humanist, materialist, mechanist, methodological naturalist, nihilist, none, non-believer, non-theist, other, pantheist, philosophical naturalist, science blogger, science educator, scientist, secular, or skeptic? Which one is right? Who chooses the members of our club? Which tactic is appropriate? Which strategy best suits our long term interests? Who makes a greater contribution to the desired goal? Who chooses the goals?

These are marathons.  There are myriad paths to the finish lines.  We need all the help we can get.