Not dogmatic enough!

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By way of A Feather Adrift I found this entry by an atheist blogger who said that he respected fundamentalists more than liberal Christians because fundamentalists have a "coherent worldview" while liberal Christians are guilty of "picking various bits they like while ignoring the parts they don't care for."

This is a familiar refrain from many atheists and I have harped on this topic before ad nauseum. What some call a "coherent worldview" others would term a dogmatic, rigid, and close-minded way of viewing things. (Imagine that--developing a viewpoint based on picking what you agree with and rejecting what you disagree with! Evaluating ideas based on their merit! How reprehensible!) Some of us actually find dogmatic, rigid, and close-minded thinking to be something less than the best way of approaching the complexities of the world. Others, on the other hand, "respect" such outlooks. To each their own, I guess.

8 comments:

Andrew said...

Here in Utah, I have seen a similar story. Hard core, anti-Mormon evangelicals "respect" hardline Mormons. They do not like the more Ecumenical ones.

Mystical Seeker said...

Interesting, Andrew, and that makes sense. It does show how those who are hard core really birds of a feather with their hard core adversaries.

Cynthia said...

I wonder what a "pick and choose" atheist would look like...

Mystical Seeker said...

Hah! Good question, Cynthia.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Fundies and some atheists make the same mistake in thinking liberal Christianity is some hippie/newage/anything goes system and that it has no real substance.

vjack said...

It sounds like you've chosen to misrepresent what I meant by "respect." Not to worry, you're in good company.

I agree completely with the characterization of fundamentalism as "dogmatic, rigid, and close-minded," but it is a coherent view of the world. One I happen to reject, but coherent nonetheless.

When I say I respect this, all I mean to suggest is that I recognize that these are people with clearly identifiable beliefs. They know what they believe, are able to articulate it, and often seem sincere in what they believe. I don't mean that I agree with any of it or that I somehow admire close-mindedness.

Mystical Seeker said...

vjack, I understand perfectly well what you meant when you said you "respected" fundamentalism. Militant atheists obviously don't "agree" with religious fundamentalists on a certain level, but what is interesting to me is that at another level they frequently share with fundamentalists a certain dogmatic outlook about what religion is supposed to be about, and as a result a lack of respect for the ambiguity and nuance and greater sophistication of liberal religion is something that both religious fundamentalists and militant atheists share.

Robert said...

Hi,

My name is Rev Robert Wright, Editor for Christian.com, a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the entire Christian community an outlet to join together and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features like Christian TV, prayer requests, finding a church, receiving church updates and advice. We have emailed you to collaborate with you and your blog to help spread the good word of Christianity. I look forward to your response regarding this matter. Thanks!


Rev. Robert Wright
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