A Small Idea?

It's no secret that I hate marketing. I hate it in all its guises. I hate that it is the primary driver of political discourse in this country. Create a derogatory analogy or factoid, repeat it ad nauseum, then insist that it's sound because it's repeated so often. A lot of political 'facts' follow this life cycle. Associated with this method is the 'emperor's new clothes' strategy that insists that anyone who disagrees must be ill informed or unsophisticated. Defenders absurda smugly insist that the valid arguments that prove their superior enlightenment are always around the next corner or deeper within the confines of the vast oceans of BS within which they sail. Never mind that most great truths become quite obvious without a PhD in obfuscation.

I see these tactics in the popular claims about the gnu atheism. 'They are strident and shallow in their understanding of sophisticated theology', we are told repeatedly. 'They aren't the intellectual giants of atheism past'. They are derided as supporting a small idea. PFFFT! An e-raspeberry I say.

Sorry but that isn't the problem. The gnu atheists are playing a different game than nonbelievers of times past. It's not a small idea. It's a different world. Atheists of the past had to contend with a world where it was a forgone conclusion that all should accept the fact of a god's existence and all the nonsensical ramblings that go along with that. It was a given. A nonbeliever was expected to provide a detailed examination as to why they did not believe this prevailing wisdom. It was a hopeless fixed game where the skeptic was expected to provide proof of a negative.

Now days, nonbelievers refuse to play this biased game. Today, the onus has shifted. The believer, not the skeptic, must provide proof of the existence of their god. That requires increasingly 'sophisticated' (i.e., desperate) apologetics that are so convoluted and obtuse that one really need not spend much time refuting them.

And if it's become a smaller game, it's only because discounting the evidence in favor, requires nothing more.


Harvey said...

The "game", as you put it, is ever smaller as our knowledge of the Universe enlarges at its expense. One can only hope that "God", as a concept, will eventually wink out like a guttering candle when the true light of knowledge has finally eclipsed Man's need for it.

pboyfloyd said...

Depending on where you live, the Christians can make some truly pointed arguments like burning your house down, bullying your children, stalking you relentlessly 'til you leave town.

All in the name of Jesus, of course.