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Anti-theism and NOMA

Skepticalone
Posts: 6,093
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1/22/2016 8:58:41 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
The first time I ever heard of anti-theism was in the books and debates of Christopher Hitchens. Clearly, he felt religion was a poison. I had a hard time with this - how could anyone go that far? At the time, I had recently lost my faith and was still very sympathetic to religion and religious thought. Religion had been my hope, my community, my morals, ...my crutch, and I still (unknowingly) considered religion as an incontestable authority in many areas. Being very scientifically minded, the idea of non-overlapping magisterium (NOMA) seemed very appealing and reasonable since it suggested science and religion could exist in separate kingdoms. Science could operate in the empirical world, and religion could cover values/purposes.

Since then, I have come to realize NOMA is a pipe dream and gives too much credit to religious thought. Apparently, many religious persons see NOMA as a concession from science and have taken advantage by challenging scientific conclusions with magical thinking, arguments from incredulity, dishonesty, and ultimately, ignorance (pseudoscience). Unfortunately, ignorance is compelling to the ignorant, and being ignorant is a very common condition. For these reasons, I no longer hold NOMA to be reasonable, and religion, where it falsely claims authority over science (I'm not sure religion has any valid claim to authority) should be vigorously pounced.

Do I think religion is a poison? No, but it certainly can be, especially when held dogmatically. Does that make me an anti-theist? I'm not sure, maybe.

I would like to hear your thoughts. Feel free to agree or disagree. (This post is not meant to be non-believer specific.)

1. What is anti-theism to you?
2. Is it reasonable?
3. Should NOMA be scrapped?
4. Does religion have legitimate authoritative claims over any coherent domain?
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dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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1/22/2016 10:04:24 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/22/2016 8:58:41 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
The first time I ever heard of anti-theism was in the books and debates of Christopher Hitchens. Clearly, he felt religion was a poison. I had a hard time with this - how could anyone go that far? At the time, I had recently lost my faith and was still very sympathetic to religion and religious thought. Religion had been my hope, my community, my morals, ...my crutch, and I still (unknowingly) considered religion as an incontestable authority in many areas. Being very scientifically minded, the idea of non-overlapping magisterium (NOMA) seemed very appealing and reasonable since it suggested science and religion could exist in separate kingdoms. Science could operate in the empirical world, and religion could cover values/purposes.

Since then, I have come to realize NOMA is a pipe dream and gives too much credit to religious thought. Apparently, many religious persons see NOMA as a concession from science and have taken advantage by challenging scientific conclusions with magical thinking, arguments from incredulity, dishonesty, and ultimately, ignorance (pseudoscience). Unfortunately, ignorance is compelling to the ignorant, and being ignorant is a very common condition. For these reasons, I no longer hold NOMA to be reasonable, and religion, where it falsely claims authority over science (I'm not sure religion has any valid claim to authority) should be vigorously pounced.

Do I think religion is a poison? No, but it certainly can be, especially when held dogmatically. Does that make me an anti-theist? I'm not sure, maybe.

I would like to hear your thoughts. Feel free to agree or disagree. (This post is not meant to be non-believer specific.)

1. What is anti-theism to you?

The active opposition to religion and the beliefs that are at its core.

2. Is it reasonable?

Unfortunately, yes.

3. Should NOMA be scrapped?

Again, yes. It cannot be maintained as religion or, more correctly, people will use religion to intrude on areas that religion has no business being in for their own purposes and well-meaning followers will jump to its defense when it is called for its intrusion.

4. Does religion have legitimate authoritative claims over any coherent domain?

In my opinion, no. It does not inform reality and doesn't even accurately reflect it. It's magical thinking that cannot endure actual critical thinking or analysis.