Monday, May 07, 2007

"Rise" of Atheism and Paganism

It seems to me that a select few individuals are promoting a "rise" in atheism, or rather a few individuals are becoming more vocal about it. Books seem to be coming out non-stop which attack religion, claiming it to be the worst "human invention" that plagues mankind. The authors focus on religious wars and conflicts, usually ignoring contributions (such as the storage of knowledge by the Muslims; the Catholic Church's contribution by devout Catholics to genetics and Astronomy; etc). They seem to ignore several conflicts promoted by atheists, such as the atrocities of Stalin and Mao.

Most of their arguments are against Christianity. Thankfully, nothing to worry about there. But it seems they feel the three-monotheistic faiths are the only ones worth mentioning. Some mention other religions such as Buddhism, but many polytheistic faiths are ignored.

One article in Newsweek a couple weeks ago (I can find it if needed) had an interview between Rick Warren ("Purpose Driven Life") and an atheist. The atheist claimed "... no one worships other gods anymore, like Zeus..." (paraphrase). Now, of course, anyone reading this can see how he displays his ignorance. I, for one, do worship Zeus.

Richard Dawkins, when he had his 15-minutes (it seems), would constantly constantly, and with much annoyance on my part, claim "[w]e're all atheists to those other gods. Atheists go one step further."

This case of ignorance and perhaps intellectual arrogance probably stems from the fact that modern Paganism is still largely ignored in the academic community. Only recently has it started to become a subject of interest as Paganism grows and matures. Is this acceptable though?

How do you (the reader) respond to this, both emotionally (religion is a very emotionally-driven area of life) and intellectually? I can't help but get a sinking feeling, as well as a feeling of self-doubt, as if my faith is somehow invalid. I get over it, but it is a very psychologically damaging experience. It upsets me a great deal.

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