This is part 8 of a series reacting to the contents of the Jaffe memo. Readers who have been following along may want to refresh their memory and obviously new readers should read what has come before or, barring that, at the minimum find the Jaffe memo linked in part one and read it. I …
About five years ago I published a collection of essays that is no longer available for purchase. The collection is titled after the essay below. It is not, as far as I know, something I’ve published elsewhere. I was thinking of it recently and decided it should be dusted off. It seems as relevant today as when I first wrote it.
That Which Atheism Becomes
Some might say that I just like to argue. The truth is that I believe that ideas have consequences and some consequences are more severe than others. Arguing, or more precisely, debating, these ideas helps everyone on all sides of a position understand a position better. In theory, if you could of got Bin Laden to sit down to have a nice debate you could of aroused for him some of the critical consequences of his beliefs and demanded that before he acted on them he had a much firmer basis. According to many Muslims, such a basis does not exist. I will leave that issue to them to sort out. But Bin Laden does have this going for him: he takes a belief to its rational conclusion. There are many dangerous beliefs out there that people consider harmless simply because they aren’t taken to their rational conclusion.
This is in response to this article here, which discusses teachers’ opposition to sending out promotional material for an atheistic camp that was given to them- presumably without school endorsement- to distribute to students. I will pass over the unspoken irony and more obvious and tired objection that if it had been a Christian camp …