“Why can’t we all just get along?”?
|Perhaps, this is just the season of our discontent. Is the atheism movement big enough for all of us? If Christianity is big enough for all of them, I would think so. But more to the point, do we, can we, leave the “old atheists” behind? And the New Atheists, too? And seek a better destination, in the land of neo-atheists or Atheists+plus where we will reveal only the better angels of our nature?
In the branch of atheism that I’ve suggested as neo-atheists, I suggest that we will make the most progress by interacting with believers, showing them we are people of goodwill, having common-ground discussions with them, perhaps doing joint humanitarian projects. Nothing new here, but it takes each of us a while to “process” our thoughts and feelings to be ready for such a step.
Many of us were largely cast as the lot we found ourselves to be in by Christians. Our “godless” natures and other self-applied apellations/epithets can be traced back to our outcast origins. For us, we bought into Christian culture’s role ascribed for us as “bad boys” and the like.
There was, or is, in the zeitgeist the sense that atheists are the demonseed, blasphemers, heretics. Bastards of our type, the holy books said, should be stoned to death. It was easier to stay in the closet than face all that. As we come out, the liberation is heady. It can make us giddy, even a little immature.
Those that came from a different background–say a nonbelieving family–free from such baggage, are more functional than those of us who were liberated later in life. Are these the Eloy who would move on?
Humanity is a story of assent, perhaps, even a spiritual story. To the extent that each of us can incorporate that assent, emulate it, in our lives, we strive for an upward climb. Can we grow as people? Yes. Do we grow?