The Archbishop of Canterbury is Right: Atheists *Are* Cool

Last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that “atheism is cool” and that’s why the church is having so many problems getting its message across.

Yesterday, I responded to that comment in the Washington Post‘s On Faith section. In short, I think he’s right about our coolness. But we’re only part of the reason people are running away from religion. An excerpt from the article is below:

Atheists, on the other hand, pose a rational opposition. We know that one political party will never stand for all of us, that homosexuality isn’t a sin, and that the scientific method is the best way we’ve ever had to evaluate truth claims. Those facts alone mean that we have little to do to convince young people that we’re on the side of reality. We’re honest about what we believe and open about why we believe it. Anyone can fact-check the claims of an atheist with ease. (Good luck getting citations after a sermon.)

You can read the full piece (and leave your comments) over there.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Dos Ekans

    The pope looks like Emperor Palpatine and the Archbishop has villain eyebrows. No wonder everyone’s so afraid to go to church.

    • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

      The Archbishop gives me the “Saruman the White” vibe. We all know how he ended up.

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

    It’s faintly amusing to see people in the States taking the archbish so seriously. I think if people in England had to pick one word to describe him it would probably have to be ‘duffer’.

    • Anonymous

      I’d use “anachronism” personally.  I’m sure that he’s a very nice, well meaning, old chap but his job just doesn’t have a place in modern society. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684125632 Aaron Harmon

    Cool? Does that mean we all have to get orange spray tans and make duck faces in pictures?

  • Anonymous

    My response:

    I think that it is interesting that Dr Williams considers atheism to be problem to such an extent that he feels he has to explain it away.  Not believing (or more likely not even caring) what the priests and vicars tell you isn’t cool.  It isn’t rebellion against the establishment.  It’s simply lack of interest in the claims of religion.  Dr Williams should be concerned as to why fewer and fewer people are attracted to church in the UK.  It is his life’s work after all.  For the rest of us it is obvious: Church and religion doesn’t speak to us.  it doesn’t represent our views.  It doesn’t interest us.  God isn’t accepted as being a true hypothesis of life’s mysteries.  Religion’s various claims about gods aren’t supported by rational argument or by evidence.  We aren’t convinced and we have more interesting things to think about.

  • Demonhype

    I’m sorry, I find his strange curly-cue triangle eyebrows to be…mesmerizing.  And creepy.  He looks like a satyr.  :)

  • http://oddboyout.blogspot.com/ oddboyout

    It would be cool if the Church of England turned into a humanist organization and abandoned the whole christianity thing.

  • Alexis

    It doesn’t really count it he spells it “kewl”.

  • http://thingsfindothinks.com Andrew Finden

    His point about Dawkins’ attempt at philosophy getting.much more coverage than the reply of respected philosophers (e.g Ward) is valid. In

  • http://thingsfindothinks.com Andrew Finden

    His point about Dawkins’ attempt at philosophy getting so much coverage while the replies of philosophers like Ward get very little is valid.
    Practical Atheism seems to be the default in the UK population and the establishment perhaps more actively anti-christian (house of lords aside)


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