One of my favorite sites to visit, and I visit it a lot, is Instapundit. Why? It’s an aggregation site and is of course conservative/libertarian (or maybe libertarian/conservative – does it make a difference?) . A host of contributors scour the Internet to discover stories we conservative types may be interested in reading – sometimes it’s something not published or mainstream media. So, I always find some interesting stories there, some are well known, but may have a different take than what would be expected from even a mainstream conservative site.
So, recently as I was scrolling the page, I came across a headline that made me stop, read it, and then read it again. what was it that startled me so much?
VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVE THE MENTAL FORTITUDE TO BE ACTUAL ATHEISTS (I KNOW TWO OF THEM.) MOST OF THE SO CALLED “RATIONAL ATHEISTS” HAVE JUST FILLED THE SPACE RESERVED FOR RELIGION WITH OTHER THINGS. FYI, “SCIENCE” IS A VERY BAD THING TO USE: Modern science: Celebrating a “high priestess” instead of data. I knew we were in trouble deep when I started seeing the signs on front yards “In this house we believe in science” followed by a list of dubious statements most of which are semantically deranged, let alone not scientifically proven.143
Read that first sentence (the uppercase is a standard format on the site). Odd isn’t it? Not anything I haven’t read before, or actually be told to my face. It’s just strange, in this day and time, to see it again. What the person (Sarah Hoyt) seems to be saying is that most atheists are no really atheist at all as she introduces a story about “modern science” (the linked bit in the quote) which has nothing to do with atheism whatsoever (if it mentions atheists, please let me know because I must have missed that part).).
Of course, I think it;’s true that atheists trust science over mumbo-jumbo. It has nothing to do with worshipping science , because science can, and often is wrong. But science does work to get it right where religion wants people to trust they are right, without offering any proof. For those unfamiliar with Ms Hoyt, here’s her bio from Wikipedia.
Although, like anyone, I think I can say I have met some people in the past that have called themselves atheist but in fact, were not once I interacted with them for a while. A few may have been agnostic while others really didn’t know what atheism meant. Those have been in a minority of atheists I have met. I find it strange that she believes it takes “Mental Fortitude” to be an atheist. I would like to know what exactly she means by that? If it’s just toughness, then she’s wrong because for most atheists I know that weren’t born into non-believing families, it is a long, personal journey away from religious belief. So I suspect she’s met very few atheists.
It still, after all this time, bothers me a little when I see a statement like that. Of course, I could say something similar about believers in that these are people that need to believe in something other than themselves to get through the day. I think there’s a modicum of truth there. More bluntly: Children.
That statement doesn’t really say anything about atheists, but does say something about the person that wrote that thought for the world to see and it is what atheists have known for a long time: bigotry. It really is too bad because I’d place a bet right now that if Sarah took a little time to get to know just a few of the atheists I know, she might change her mind. Maybe not and I’d lose the bet but then losing that bet would show her to be an extremist.