I was live-blogging the interfaith panel at Reasonfest the other day. I had a consistent gripe that was very simple.
The common ground between theists and non-theists lies precisely where the atheist already resides: in secularism. Interfaith people are all about doing good, an act which requires zero belief in god. The problem is that since faith is in the name [interfaith] allows faith, a poison to humanity, to get the credit for helping. This is bad.
Charitable work is a secular thing: anybody can do it. By calling it interfaith it allows faith, a force for the maintenance of irrationality, to leech the merit.
My frustration with the panel was that even though this was brought up by Greg Lammers early in the panel it was never suitably addressed (which is likely why I got a substantial round of applause for bringing it up during the Q&A).
James Croft came onto my blog to offer another rebuttal that says nothing about this problem and it is getting very frustrating.
So we don’t attend, let people of faith do all the work alone, and allow them to legitimately claim ALL the credit? SCORE! It’s not like they will stop doing the work because we choose not to show up. Better to get stuck in and show people you can be good, principled atheists who can work beside others without compromising our views.
Who on earth is suggesting we let the interfaith people do **ALL** the work? Atheists and theists work together for charitable causes all the time without the banner of interfaith.
James seems to think that all cooperation will stop unless it’s under that misleading moniker. It won’t. Faith will just stop getting acclaim it hasn’t earned for the efforts we atheists are putting in. Since faith creates so many problems for the world, we have a vested interest in preventing it from getting that acclaim.