Sunday, October 10, 2010

Aw, Their First Schism!

As 300 hundred atheists gather for a conference at the Biltmore in Los Angeles, there's already blood in the water, just like in the Church, which means that the movement is experiencing a vital moment of denominational maturity.

The largest tactical question the no-faith faith faces is how aggressively to challenge and confront believers. Books, articles, and conferences? Wearing sandwich boards on street corners? Throwing Gideon Bibles into the hotel pool? More cartoons of Mohammad (let's not and say we did)? The chairman of the Center for Inquiry, dedicated to fostering a secular society, has already been ousted in part because he was considered too mellow. Purges are good; they've definitely worked for us over the centuries, as has the public denunciation of apostates. When a second member of the accommodationist clique, author Chris Mooney, said that you didn't have to believe in God to be spiritual, biologist P.Z. Myers responded:
Whenever we start talking about spirituality, I just want to puke.
No worries. You guys are doing just fine!

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