Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wired running social experiment

The November cover Story covered Atheism - Wired has posted every last comment on the story, thousands of them.  

We would have sworn that our November cover story on New Atheism was going to generate a firestorm of reader criticism, delivered with a side order of brimstone just for good measure. Wrong. You all just started calmly talking. And talking. And talking. We got more responses to this article than to any piece in memory. Brimstone quotient: low.

Source: Wired News: So. Many. Letters

For example:

From Paul Dernavich
Topic: Church of the Non-Believers,Issue 14.11,Religion

Can we fully trust our eyes and minds to inform us about reality? You conclude perhaps not, but then you left two dots unconnected, because although the gaudy megachurch you wrote about is also in service to that idea, so is the entire career of "New Atheist" Penn Jillette.

It would have been fascinating to put all of these so-called New Atheists in a room and have them interview each other. Because when somebody like Dawkins says he believes in democracy, he's lying. The book of Genesis idea that man is created in the image of God - now that sounds like a great basis for democracy. But these leading edge non-believers all betray an attitude that, for the good of humanity, political power needs to be wrestled from the hands of the weak and stupid and placed in the hands of the enlightened few. That sounds suspiciously like the philosophies - call them Old Atheism if you will - that democracies rightly fought to destroy throughout the 20th century.

The full range of response are covered, surprisingly few are hateful. It is worth an hour to read them. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, and some will make you say, and some will make you scratch your head and wonder what they put in the water in Plano Texas.

From D Marshall
Topic: Church of the Non-Believers,Issue 14.11,Religion

As an analogy of sorts, consider the plight of the pre-born: comfy and cozy inside momma's womb without a care in the world or a clue that one exists. Think junior believes there's life after birth? Absurd! It's beyond his comprehension and defies his realm of understanding. His current environment offers no evidence of the life beyond and there‚s no way we post-borns can tell him "everything's gonna be OK - just you wait...this place will blow your mind!" Still, something far greater awaits him that, at present, he has no capacity to understand.

d marshall
plano, texas

Wired had done a good thing for Atheism. We should all read and post.


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