I just wanted to say that I very much appreciate the Biologos attitude toward science, and I think you guys do good work. As an atheist, I have in the past found kindred spirits in those who reject ancient creeds and instead embrace the findings of modern science–evidence. However, I have in the past year or so, become a bit uneasy with the idea of counting myself as a member of the atheist community.
For one, there is outright hostility toward the theistic viewpoint. Now, I agree with many (if not most) criticisms of theistic viewpoints advanced by atheists. For starters, there is no evidence for theism.
Admittedly, the hostility is a two way street. But the whole “we have the right view, you have the wrong one” thing never sat well with me, no matter where it was coming from. It’s something that atheists often criticize when they see it in theists, and it’s one of the things that formerly led me to conclude that theism was somehow intellectually dishonest. But (truth be told) quite a few atheists exhibit the same behavior when they group together. No matter how you slice it, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Neither atheist nor theist can prove nor disprove God’s existence. But (frustratingly) most communiques between the two involve an assumption that it is rational to take a position on God’s existence one way or another. To me, it isn’t clear what one should decide. Some theists say that they take their position on faith. I can accept that, albeit with MANY reservations. But I do not accept that it is more reasonable to take one position over another on faith alone. The only things I can say are: the atheist position relies on fewer assumptions than the theistic one, and that (all things being equal) the atheist position has far fewer problems.
I would be interested to hear from theists who have tried communicating with atheists. What has been your experience? What is your assessment of the atheist position?
I, for one, am through bickering with theists. There was a time when I got something out of it, but that time has passed. I’d rather try to better understand theists than prove them wrong. After all, God’s existence IS something of an unprovable matter. Isn’t it more fruitful to try to look for common ground than bicker over matters that will never be settled?
I support the efforts of many atheist social organizations. But I see little point in hanging around with atheists these days. All we really ever wanted was to live our lives without coercion from religious institutions. We’ve pretty much won that battle, as far as I’m concerned. And if we haven’t won it yet, we soon will. I think that, since the battle for justice is now behind us, we should focus on healing the rift between ourselves and believers. I’d rather understand a theist than win an argument with one.
That’s why I appreciate the BioLogos approach. Even with all I have said, I will still fight tooth and nail to assert that a holy writing has no say concerning scientific fact. You guys get that. And I appreciate it.