No disrespect, but who better to steal a title from than Charles Darwin…?
If creatures have origins that can be studied, then surely this is true of atheists. They are a rather unique elite within the human species, if we take “unique” to mean few and “elite” to mean bright. Many of today’s most vocal atheists are both. However, let the record show “atheists” is not a singular but a plural. Meaning there are, actually always have been, a wide array of very different kinds of atheists.
To be fully understood, atheists must be taken in their full context. In other words not exclusively in their theology [or lack thereof], but rather in their everyday society be it the US, China, Germany or Nigeria. Looked at in this way, the belief, “There is no god” usually becomes, “There is no God and therefore…”
The “therefore” is what the atheists assert must now be done with this world-without-a-creator, this new existential time and place. Often the “therefore” has become a crusade for a new secular humanism [as in Renaissance Europe]….or the “therefore” has become a crusade to replace the Ancient Regime [as in 18th C France]….or the “therefore” has become a mission to supplant the Judeo-Christian view of the world with a Scientific view [as in 20th C America & Europe].
If you’re a betting person, you’d say the odds are with Theism more than Atheism, given the millenniums dedicated to the former rather than the latter. Still, the voices of the various atheisms are growing louder. Why? One counter-intuitive reason may be that religion is once again a significant global presence. Is once again relevant in many parts of the world that are casting their bread on our waters. There is a think tank in London, THEOS, which has put it this way: “We can expect to hear more of these atheisms in the future, for the pleasantly paradoxical reason that God is back…”
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