New thread on militant atheism

HillsboroMom

Active member
Okay, so let's start a new thread on what it means to be a "militant atheist," who they are, what we ought to do about them, whether they're worse than fundamentalist Christians and/or fundamentalist Muslims, etc.

And anything else from that other thread that should be carried over here :)
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I would have been happy to continue in the other thread. Maybe the thread starter there could learn a thing or two about how to engage in actual discussion. I'm good with either your or his definition of 'militant atheists'. I think our first job, prior to deciding what to do about them, is to actually find some.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
Okay, so let's start a new thread on what it means to be a "militant atheist," who they are, what we ought to do about them, whether they're worse than fundamentalist Christians and/or fundamentalist Muslims, etc.

And anything else from that other thread that should be carried over here :)
I'd say a militant atheist would be one whose highest priority -- or at least one of his highest priorities -- would be the elimination of religion. A militant atheist extremist would think it was justified to do so by force if necessary. I've seen a few such militants online, though I don't know of any IRL. (At least I don't know any IRL who've been explicit about this.)

I'd distinguish between a militant atheist and (for example) a militant anti-Christian, such as Voltaire.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Okay, so let's start a new thread on what it means to be a "militant atheist," who they are, what we ought to do about them, whether they're worse than fundamentalist Christians and/or fundamentalist Muslims, etc.

And anything else from that other thread that should be carried over here :)
I would describe a militant atheist as one who thinks that religion in general, and Christianity in particular, is a bad thing per se, and should be opposed at all possible times.

This in contrast with the atheist who thinks that it is some of the consequences of religious teaching that are bad, and that these should be opposed whenever they rear their head. An example would be attitudes towards sexuality and gender identity.

Then there is the most common atheist of all, who simply doesn't give a stuff
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
A militant atheist is a buffoon who believes that no belief can be true without empirical evidence to validate that belief, yet has no empirical evidence to validate the truth of THAT belief.

I can think of one in particular who frequents this forum, espousing such nonsense, oblivious to the hypocritical irony, while seasoning his foolishness with nauseating gestures of fake conciliation.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Okay, so let's start a new thread on what it means to be a "militant atheist," who they are, what we ought to do about them, whether they're worse than fundamentalist Christians and/or fundamentalist Muslims, etc.

And anything else from that other thread that should be carried over here :)
I would define a militant atheist is someone who insists that religion is all and always bad and espouses that view whenever possible, 'preaching' it to all and sundry.

About the only person I can think of who might fit that bill is Dawkins and since I only ever see him on TV, I don't really know if he qualifies either.
 
D

Diogenes

Guest
A militant atheist is a buffoon who believes that no belief can be true without empirical evidence to validate that belief, yet has no empirical evidence to validate the truth of THAT belief.

There's already a term for that, it's called "logical positivist". And as pointed out here:


So... a militant atheist is someone who is not necessarily even an atheist. Makes perfect sense.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
I'd say a militant atheist would be one whose highest priority -- or at least one of his highest priorities -- would be the elimination of religion. A militant atheist extremist would think it was justified to do so by force if necessary. I've seen a few such militants online, though I don't know of any IRL. (At least I don't know any IRL who've been explicit about this.)

I'd distinguish between a militant atheist and (for example) a militant anti-Christian, such as Voltaire.

I sometimes distinguish between "atheists" and "anti-theists." People who simply have no god, vs. people who are specifically against people who believe in god(s).
 
D

Diogenes

Guest
I never said that others besides militant atheists cannot meet my description. I've just never met one.

Under your definition, and individual could be an atheist and militantly oppose theism, but they would not be a militant atheist as long as they held to logical positivism.

Only "militant atheists" could meet your description of a "militant atheist".
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Yeah, because it's a tautology. You're definition of "militant atheism" lacks any reference to strong opposition to theism which is independent of logical positivism.
Not interested in "logical positivism." I described a militant atheist, LHA, perfectly. No tautology was involved.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
There are a bunch of definitions of militant atheism already in this thread, and for the sake of discussion, I'm fine with all of the reasonable ones (which excludes only one of them so far). I was even willing to assume the term referred to gnostic atheists - those who know No Gods Exist.

The thread's problem is that every single definition so far here puts "militant atheists" into a vanishingly small minority. Yes, yrger meant the term to troll atheists into responding to his nonsense, but everyone seems to agree that "real" militant atheists aren't much of a problem. They might be as numerous as serial killers, but given they tend to restrict their efforts to discussion forums and the occasional court case, I don't think anything really needs to be done about them.

edit: as an agnostic atheist, I admit I'm anti-Christianity (the religion, but not necessarily its adherents), but I mostly restrict that to discussion forums. I've not attended a few Christmas celebrations because of this antipathy, but not within the last 5 years - and that's as militant as I get.
 
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