Are you a Gold Atheist?
I have been wondering what happens to a New Atheist with time. Already New Atheism appears to have morphed into Gnu Atheism, which may be either a homonymn of new or an indication of the substantial mammalian attributes of the Newbies. Anyway, what does a Gnu Atheist turn into? Clearly, a 'Gold' Atheist! (New/Gnu, Old/Gold - get it?) I'm not as young as I used to be, and I have been a New/Gnu Atheist for a while. Am I a Gold Atheist? I guess.
So, here are some of the views of "Gold Atheism":
There isn't a god. There really isn't. The idea of god has, over the centuries, been designed to be impossible. Take every bit of scientific knowledge we have about people, and you have to throw it away and assume the opposite to get god. God is a personality that has never changed, never grown, never learned, as he is infinite and eternal. He's supposed to be a mind without flesh. By all the standards of reason, god is quite literally brain-dead. Minds we know exist are awe-inspiringly complex things, the most complex things we know of, and yet god is supposed to be simple, indeed defined as such by doctrine. It's clearly all nonsense, and it has to be, as the last thing theism wants is for god to be vulnerable to science. Enough is enough.
Away with supernaturalism. It's a non-starter. It's nothing more than trying to make not having evidence seem respectable. The supernatural is not beyond science. Science deals with supernaturalism perfectly well, by rejecting its claims as not worthy of attention, except perhaps as a matter of psychology. Miracles are only miraculous because they are too rare and absurd to investigate. There is a name for miracles that turn up often enough to take a look at – physics.
Theology is silly. It may be worth studying regarding the history of ideas, but today it's a joke. Theology is to philosophy what homoeopathy is to medicine: it's all about nothing. So, no more putting up with the old theological bait-and-switch. Talk of god as some rarefied essence of being should not detract from the fact that the same god hates condoms or wants adulterers stoned. Any Christian theologian who tries to make belief seem purely academic and lovely should be pressed to first explain how a 3-day old corpse stood up and walked around, and why believers are supposed to celebrate that fact by ceremonial cannibalism.
Science is simple and universal. Scientists don't take an oath of naturalism when they go into the laboratory. They just try out stuff and see what happens. Science is what we would use no matter what reality is. It's nothing more than testing to make sure that what we believe is not just in our heads. There is no other way to know what is real, as to know what is real, we have to test our beliefs against reality. It's obvious.
Religious faith is bad. It's a corruption of the normal sense of the word faith. We have faith in people when they have earned it. Religious faith is unearned. It's not virtuous and it's not clever. Promoting trust without reason and faith without evidence is immoral. It's thinking without a seat belt: dangerous for individuals and their passengers on life's journey.
No accommodation. Religion is another way of looking at reality, but it's the wrong way. There's no point listening to a point of view regarding ethics from someone who believes that the god of one or more Testaments is someone to be admired. There is no subtle mystery to the goodness of god – he's clearly a nasty piece of work, and anything but an example to follow. People are free of course to believe what they like, but there should be no getting away with talking scientific or philosophical nonsense and expecting protection from criticism because you say that your words are religious.
Yes, we can prove a negative when it comes to god. Well, as much as we can prove a negative about the existence of anything. We have looked where believers have looked and seen nothing. Believers have also seen nothing. When people resort to “you can't prove a negative” to defend a position, they have proven the negative with the use of that response. If they can't come up with a positive solid defence of their belief after thousands of years of god-belief, we don't need to concede anything. It's case closed.
Gold atheism is about having things our way for a change. It's about starting with what we know and being intolerant of nonsense. It's about celebrating the freedom and dignity and humanity of a materialist world-view.
Are you a Gold Atheist too?