This was written as a response to numerous comments that Darrow received on his last post.
It seems that this blog struck a chord with some people who are Atheists in their belief/faith system. A number have called me on my assertion that Atheism is dying and they have stated that it is growing. Let me respond with a few points:
1) When I say that Atheism is dying, I mean that the systems that were founded upon the Atheistic (and materialistic) set of assumptions – Communism, Fascism and Hedonistic-Capitalism have died or are dying. These system have fallen (or are falling as we witness the current global economic crises) because the Atheistic mental infrastructure upon which they were founded has proven insufficient for human life, liberty, justice, happiness, and the deepest longings of the human spirit.
2) While Atheism is in its death-throws, Atheists are not. Modern Atheists have become militant or dogmatic in their assumptions. In the past, Atheists were happy to engage with reason with Agnostics, Christians, Hindus, or anyone from another school of thought. The militant Atheists of today no longer want a level playing field and discussion provided by the Judeo-Christian concept of the freedom OF religion. They are fighting for the freedom FROM religion. They want to move any discussion of religion from the public square. I think this is another sign of the desperation of the modern Atheist. The militant Atheists, unlike more honest Existentialists of an earlier generation, do not want to look at or be confronted by the logic of their assumptions. After all, if there is no God, then everything that has its basis in his existence is gone. Love, beauty, morals, truth, and the significance of human life all disappear. The logical consequences of Atheism is suicide. Or, if one does not have the courage for suicide, then there is a step away from reason. If I escape from reason, I no longer need to live faced with the reality of my Atheistic assumptions.
3) As some have indicated, many people in the West are fleeing from a Christianity that no longer seems relevant. Tragically, this is true. Europe is certainly post-Christian and the USA has reached a tipping point. But people who are fleeing Christianity are not becoming Atheists. They are moving towards alternative forms of spirituality. They cannot stand the emptiness and spiritual vacuum of Atheism. At the same time, they do not want the costly faith of a God who is Lord of their life and a faith that has a solid meta-physic and a set of moral absolutes. Those who are leaving “traditional faith” are, with few exceptions, wanting a spirituality without content and morals. They want a feel-good faith that lets them live life on their own terms. Perhaps this is a new form of Atheism. I prefer to call it post-modern, neo-paganism.
-Darrow L. Miller