Friday, July 16, 2010

I Am a Fundamentalist Atheist

You may have heard or read the term "fundamentalist atheist," hurled by people who purport to be both religious and enlightened, to reconcile faith and reason, God and science. They see themselves as sensible moderates, as the only really sensible people in sight, actually, and decry "extremists" both of the fundamentalist religious and of the atheist type.

And sometimes they refer to us atheists -- or to an awful lot of us, anyway -- as fundamentalist atheists.

Well screw it, and screw them, I'm adopting the epithet and I'm going to wear it proudly. Many others before me have adopted an epithet and worn it proudly. "Gothic" as in gothic architecture was originally an insult. Gothic cathedrals still stand proudly, the insult is almost entirely forgotten. A similar sort of thing happened with the art movement known as les fauves (the wild beasts), and with punk rock. And now it has just happened again.

PS, 20. May 2015: I never was a fundamentalist atheist. I wrote this before I understood was is meant by the term. I did notice that it's a needlessly insulting term. If you want an atheist to stop listening to you, call him or her a fundamentalist atheist, that'll do the trick more than 9 times out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Just like to know why you are ok with being extreme. By the way, extreme is always contingent upon the view of the majority. For example, a thousand years ago a non-geocentrist position would have been extreme, but entirely correct as well.