On Atheism

HobsonThere is an article in today’s Spectator by Theo Hobson who is a British theologian. He was educated at St Paul’s School in London, read English Literature at the University of York and then theology at Cambridge University.

Theo Hobson is La-La. That’s the crown of thorns he made – from old pipes and cables – for “Holy Week” – in the photo. He made it because “Liberal Christians need to show some passion blood, to show they mean it”. Check out his website if you’re mad to hear his “latest praise for Episcopalianism”.

Theo’s premise in the Spectator is that, “The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He’s the Mary Whitehouse of our day .. [but that] .. “Atheism is still with us. But the movement that threatened to form has petered out. Crucially, atheism’s younger advocates are reluctant to compete for the role of Dawkins’s disciple. They are more likely to bemoan the new atheist approach and call for large injections of nuance”.

I’m an atheist. Not a very new one. And I’ve not much need for nuance when it comes to describing my non-belief.

I’ve always thought Dawkins was an embarrassing flag-bearer for atheism; what he has to say and how he goes about saying it. I never read his book. What’s it going to tell me that I don’t already know?

Anyhow, atheism does not need flag bearers as religions need flag-bearers. It is the default human setting until some external force (parent normally, school often, divine intervention .. er .. no) suggests otherwise.

Luckily, until religious people work out that their having a faith (whatever it is) could unite rather than divide them, non-believers, already united without having to unite, will remain the largest single population group on the planet and religionists will not ‘rule the world’, even if they manage to rule in a few countries.

The Spectator, so-obviously put together by bright young things, gives (Judeo-Christian) religion and its institutions such a lot of credit and awards its advocates like Theo Hobson so much space.

I assume this reflects the god-delusion of editors past and present, men arrogant enough to assume that the folk-story with currency where they happen to have been born, to the parents they happen to have been born to, is more likely to describe the truth of human creation and existence than any other folk-story.

Why care how we came to be here?

What value would it be to know?

Is there any chance that any one of the world’s religions would turn out to have guessed right whilst the rest got it so wrong?

I think it was Matthew Parris (also of The Spectator) who said that ‘everyone is atheist in 999 religions, I just go the extra one’.

Me too.

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