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May 9, 2006

Fundamentalist Atheists?

Here, once again, A. C. Grayling writing in The Guardian:

It is time to put to rest the mistakes and assumptions that lie behind a phrase used by some religious people when talking of those who are plain-spoken about their disbelief in any religious claims: the phrase "fundamentalist atheist". What would a non-fundamentalist atheist be? Would he be someone who believed only somewhat that there are no supernatural entities in the universe - perhaps that there is only part of a god (a divine foot, say, or buttock)? Or that gods exist only some of the time - say, Wednesdays and Saturdays?... Or might it be that a non-fundamentalist atheist is one who does not mind that other people hold profoundly false and primitive beliefs about the universe, on the basis of which they have spent centuries mass-murdering other people who do not hold exactly the same false and primitive beliefs as themselves - and still do?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at May 9, 2006 8:55 PM


I'd say it is the latter and not the former (as I sit here laughing). Is it possible to be a fundamentalist non-believer? In that case I am also a fundie anti-unicorn and anti-Santa Clause person.

Expanding on this type of terminology, are there reformist atheists and othodox atheists?

It's all symantics, of course. I'm sure that the terminology of fundamentalist atheist does in fact refer to one who is open and ardently atheist.

Posted by: JustinOther at May 10, 2006 5:58 AM

I am fundamentally torn between being an abstact realist and a realistic abstractionist.

Fear=trying to remember the future. Just a thought.

Posted by: Jay Saul at May 10, 2006 12:15 PM

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