Over at Strange Notions, We Continue the Look at How Catholics Read the Bible

for the benefit of an atheist audience that nearly always read the Bible like flat-footed fundamentalists.  Last time, I made a passing reference to the devil and the audience completely flipped out and lost the power to read words written for adults, reverting to uber-flat-footed Fundamentalism like Linus clinging to his security blanket.  We’ll see what happens this week.

  • Karla

    Atheism and fundamentalism are two sides of the exact same coin. I think if either party realized how alike they are, they would change their tune quicker than you can wink.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      There are more similarities than many atheists like to think, but less than the oversimplification “two sides of the exact same coin” suggests. For one thing, the recent research by Christopher Silver highlights the non-monolithic nature of modern Atheism/Agnositicsm, showing several distinct subtypes. Those he terms “Anti-Theist” are one type, and perhaps more often drawing notice, but he identifies several other clusters — some more common. (His research contrasts interestingly with Dale Cannon’s “Six Ways” framework.)

      There’s some empirically solid numerical data on the limits of those similarities in Altemeyer and Hunsberger’s “Amazing Conversions: Why Some Turn to Faith and Others Abandon Religion” and “Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America’s Nonbelievers”. Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians” provides a framework that might explain both why this notion may come about, and why it is critically wrong. It is wrong, in that there is a profound difference in correlation on the authoritarian follower (RWA) personality type; fundamentalists tend very high, atheists very low. However, there seem hints in the social science literature that the authoritarian leader (SDO) personality type may tend more common among both fundamentalists and “militant” (or at least “community-forming”) atheists than it tends in the overall population; as such, the traits correlated to SDO may give rise to the perception that the two are simply two sides of the same coin.

    • GordonHide

      Well, I think there’s one key difference. Most atheists will change their minds without looking back if the evidence is good enough.

      • chezami

        I’ve seen little evidence of this. Lots of atheists squeal with unreasoning outrage when an atheist converts.

        • GordonHide

          Perhaps, but that’s because they believe that the evidence, far from being good enough, is virtually non-existent.

          In any case your point is a non sequitur. It has no bearing on whether atheists are open to evidence or not.

          • chezami

            Nah. it’s because most atheists are so ignorant and close-minded to perfectly lucid explanations of the rather obvious metaphysics of St. Thomas–because they deeply *deeply* do not want God to exist.

            • zaxtervid

              Nah. It’s due to complete lack of evidence for any kind of God. If God showed himself plainly and said “Hey guys, I am real”, then we would believe. Otherwise, it’s all magic and fairy tales.


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