And the blind shall lead the blind.
I’m being metaphorical even if I have lived the experience of being lead down a pitch black portage trail by a blind man who could feel the path with his feet.
But no I’m speaking of this new atheism that seems to have suddenly popped up semi-formed from nothingness. Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and a host of bloggers who like to yell have all seen the light… or is the dark? Is nothing dark or light?
This was what I pictured in my head when Karen showed me some writing by Charles Lewis today. His article entitled “Dear atheists: most of us don’t care what you think” for the National Post was a short and enjoyable read. In it he says:
most atheists do not have a clue what religion is about.
And there it is. Mr. Lewis spells out the crux of the problem with New Atheists right there. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead reading The Post but I’m glad Karen recommended this. Here are expressed some thoughts that mirror mine about these blind atheists out there and their new religion.
Terry Eagleton, who recently wrote “Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate”, eloquently says something similiar in his critique of Dawkins:
Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.
Of course Dawkins counters that he doesn’t need to read a book on Fairy-logy to hold forth on the subject of Fairies. An extraordinary thing for a University professor to say, don’t you think? Smacks of hypocrisy. It is clear why Dawkins doesn’t dare debate religion with anyone who really knows their religion. He, and others like him, start off with the belief that anyone religious is an idiot and so it is easy to debate them. So when they come up against someone who knows his topic he shies away.
So Mr. Lewis, I salute you, sir. Why should I care about what atheists think? You’re right: I don’t have to. Those tendencies within me that make me a practicing Catholic encourage me to care for the person but not necessarily for what they think.
For me faith has always been a struggle and, I think, it’s the same for anyone who takes it seriously. It’s a process oriented toward something greather than myself and never involves just settling for anything. Personally, giving up on faith would be the easy way out. But I won’t try to stop an atheist from fighting whatever it is they believe (?) they’re fighting for.