The power of the Christian narrative here.
One of the interesting things I’ve found from reading your blog is that you are in fact an atheist. What relevance do you see this theory having for atheists?
Well, first I want to hedge on this atheist question in some way, and say I’m not a traditional theist; but if I’m an atheist, I’m at least a Christian one.
In any case though, I think that a lot of work by secular philosophers recently has been reclaiming the Christian tradition, and theological concepts, that provides some prima facie evidence for its relevance—people like Slavoj Zizek or Alain Badiou or Georgio Agamben. My work’s been very influenced by them as a way to reclaim the Christian heritage in a more convincing way than simply rejecting it because it has religiousness all over it.
At one point theologian Thomas Altizer posted on your blog that we haven’t really thought through a proper atheism yet.
Right. I think that you can see this with the New Atheists. Dawkins’ and Hitchens’ and Dennett’s books are a kind of simplistic critique of religion that’s basically not going to change anyone’s mind. I think there has to be more to say about religion other than the fact that it makes no sense as an empirical claim. That’s just too obvious to be interesting. I think that we as a society deserve a better form of atheism.
And to that we can only say, amen.
His point about empiricism is apt. Unbelievably we have these new atheists out there basically positing that because we haven’t found the foot-print of God (as if we were looking for Big-Foot) or picked him up on radar, there is no God and that is the extent of their argument. As they sit down and congratulate each other, what can one do but laugh in embarrassment at the sheer idiocy of such notions. Congratulations, you’ve disproved a god no one was asserting! Good job!
Well, at least this guy gets it.