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Atheism operates under the same mindset as religious fundamentalism.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 474 times Debate No: 40500
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Anyone who is interested in the debate is welcomed. Comments are highly encouraged. My opponent and myself should respond to points raised in the comment section in the debate forum.
I will let my opponent start us off. Thanks!


Let's consult the Oxford English Dictionary first.

Atheism - Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a God.

Fundamentalism - A religious movement which originally became active among various Protestant bodies in the United States after the War of 1914-18, based on strict adherence to certain tenets (e.g. the literal inerrancy of Scripture) held to be fundamental to the Christian faith; the beliefs of this movement.

Analysis of Atheists and Fundamentalists

Atheism is by no means uniform, and I have chosen three prominent atheists with differing views and Jerry Falwell, a fundamentalist. I was going to use Fred Phelps, but Falwell humiliated himself far more.

Christopher Hitchens

An Antitheist, this refers to one who does not believe in God and does not want it to be true either. Hitchens also believed that the main source of conflict in the world is religion. But is this akin to religious fundamentalism? In his book God is Not Great - How Religion Poisons Everything, he wrote:

"...we (atheists) do not hold our convictions dogmatically: The disagreement between Professor Stephen Jay Gould and Professor Richard Dawkins, concerning 'punctuated evolution' and the unfilled gaps in post-Darwinian theory, is quite wide as well as quite deep, but we shall resolve it by evidence and reasoning and not by mutual excommunication."

Hitchens illustrates how the atheist is dependent upon evidence and reasoning to reach conclusions. The fundamentalist is dependent upon quote mining a text that is in parts more than two millenia old, and has no evidence to support its claims, other than the pseudoscience peddled by the likes of Kent Hovind that have been debunked on numerous occasions.

Richard Dawkins

An Agnostic Atheist, this refers to one who does not believe in God because there is not enough evidence to support such a claim. He admits there could be a God, but only on the premise that given an infinite amount of time, there are an infinite number of possibilities, and refuses to believe in God as long as there is no evidence for it. He maintains that the onus is on the people asserting that God exists to prove that it is so, rather than him having to prove that it is not so.

This is hardly irrational and dogmatic; it is simply saying that if one was to put forward a hypothesis, they have to provide evidence for it to be recognisable as a fact or even as a theory.

If it is an irrational doctrine, then it is up to Christians to disprove the existence of Zeus, Allah, Odin, Ahura Mazda, the Evil Lord Xenu and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and vice versa.

Bertrand Russell

Another agnostic atheist, but he combined it with Cultural Atheism. Being a dedicated socialist, Russell saw religion as an instrument of capitalist repression, since it conditions people to submit to higher authority and fosters fear and repression, which nullifies any positive effects religion has.

This is perhaps the most radical assertion that atheists put forward, that religion causes damage to society. But it was hardly unfounded. When Russell was writing, the Catholic Church was actively supporting fascism in Italy, Germany and Spain, there were religious problems in Ireland between Catholics and Protestants, the KKK was very active in the USA, as was religious fundamentalism. It was easy to see in the early 20th century that religion was not fostering a peaceful, productive world.

I would also like to point out that Hitchens and Dawkins graduated from Oxford, and Russell from Cambridge.

Jerry Falwell

Probably the most significant figure on the Christian Right, Falwell founded the Moral Majority, a fundamentalist lobbying group that campaigned for Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Pro-Defense and Pro-Israel policies.

He made a number of assertions that would, for anyone without the title 'reverend', have ruined a person's credibility.

On the ruling of the Sodomy Laws as unconstitutional:

"It's a capitulation to the gay and lesbian agenda"

On the AIDS epidemic:

"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

On Public Education:

"I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"

On the 9/11 Attacks:

"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

On the Separation of Church and State:

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."

On Feminism

"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals - most of them are failures. They've blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men - that's their problem"

On Homosexuality

" folks would just as soon kill you as look at you."

On the Civil Rights Movement

"The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."

There is quite a distinction between any one of these quotes and quotes by any of the three prominent atheists I have put forward.

The mindset of Falwell was that of a bigot, a conman and a theocrat, not of a rational, freethinking humanist like Hitchens, Dawkins or Russell.
Debate Round No. 1


1Alyssa forfeited this round.


I accidentally left out the fact that Falwell attended an unaccredited Bible college in Missouri.

I'm going to wait for Pro to post some arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


1Alyssa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


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henryajevans forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


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henryajevans forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by henryajevans 2 years ago
All I'm arguing is that atheism does not operate under the same mindset. That's the only point I need to prove, and I have shown it.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
I'd like to debate some of those people Con mentioned.

Christopher Hitchens- Religion is NOT the root of all conflict in the world. All "religious conflicts" actually had underlying, materialistic motives. Plus, some of the bloodiest wars and atrocities in history were all secular: Slavery, World War 1, World War 2, the Vietnam War.

Richard Dawkins- there is only one God. Religious people these days make the mistake of thinking that all those other Gods are separate entities. All religions worship the same God, just in different ways.

Bertrand Russell- Same argument as with Hitchens.

Jerry Falwell- this guy is an idiot. People like him are the reason religion gets such a bad rep.

Too bad. These guys would never accept a debate with a random Sikh who's still in high school.
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