Science & Faith
3/24/12 at 11:49 PM 1 Comments

Reason Rally Participants Urged to Mock Religion

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I'll briefly comment on Lillian Kwon's Christian Post article about the Saturday March 24th Reason Rally.

Kwon writes:

Richard Dawkins, author of the best-selling The God Delusion, was the most anticipated and well-known speaker at the rally. In his brief address, Dawkins encouraged fellow atheists to ridicule those who claim to be religious. ... "Mock them, ridicule them in public," he urged. "Don't fall for the convention that we're all too polite to talk about religion."

I thought reason was all about carefully examining evidence and listening patiently to each person who makes a case for a particular view. This entails civility and careful thought, not ridicule and mockery. Dawkins does not appear to highly value such rules for respectable public discourse.

Gilson, who blogs at ... argued that atheists "have no business claiming the brand of reason" because "they don't reason very well." ... "reason ... means being able to start with a premise or some evidence, move through a line of thinking and arrive at a conclusion without stumbling upon fallacies that lead you to a wrong conclusion."

Emphasis on mocking the opponent rather than seriously engaging their reasons for beliefs does not display a high value for reason itself. As Christians, we need to model for the world such careful, patient rationality.

The Christian blogger [Gilson] believes atheists can "get away" with saying "it's unreasonable to be a Christian" because of how Christianity is portrayed in the media. "I don't think the message of Jesus Christ in its truth, in its sensibility is getting into the media very effectively. I think that the vast majority of Christianity in the media is distorted."

Well said, Gilson. In our postmodern culture, spinning a story to fit your assumptions seems to trump careful thought. See Gilson's edited volume that was designed to respond to the Reason Rally (I blogged on it here).

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