Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Why Are Christians and Atheists so Dependent on Each Other?

I've been an active vlogger on YouTube since November 2007, and in that time I've noticed some odd trends. One of the most interesting is the co-dependence of YouTube atheists and YouTube Evangelical Christians. They both wage a dialectical war of opposition that results in the lowest common denominator of 'debate'.

Just want to say upfront that I'm an atheist, but I don't feel the need to be an evangelical atheist...That doesn't mean that I condone the absurd belief of extreme forms of Christianity. But having said that, I also don't feel the need to support any form of unconsidered and unfounded beliefs...

Those atheists who have the high viewing numbers on YouTube are often those who take strong stands against Christian nonsense. And while I see their point and agree to some extent with their desire to point out extreme Christian fallacies in in thinking, I'm becoming extremely bored with the repetition of it all....

How many times can atheists point out that the story of Noah's flood is nonsense? Who do they intend as their audience for such videos? No rational person, atheist or Christian, believes in the literal 'truth' of Noah's flood. So why are there so many videos from atheists stating this obvious fact, and why do those videos invariably get high ratings and viewer numbers? The only explanation that makes any sense is that the YouTube atheist community has a very high threshold forthe tolerance of boredom.

I would be interested in a videos about the recent Pew poll which shows that Evangelical Christians support torture. It might lead to really talking about something of substance.

But the truth is, I think YouTube does something to the attention span of the average viewer. It fragments concentration and makes viewers continually go for the most mindless.

The quality of debate and exchange on YouTube is usually caricature masquerading as profound thought. I just found a blog from Madeleine Bunting which says much of what I'm trying to say here, but says it better. A lot of new atheists are expressing strenuous disagreement with her point of view, but I for one thought it was a refreshingly honest read.

Also of interest is Alain de Botton's new site, School of Life. This is exactly what we need. Ways to explore in order to find the wisdom and depth we will need to live a worthwhile lives.

New atheists will rightly point out that we can't lose sight of what science has done for us, and I agree. Evolution, cosmology, the earth sciences and all the scientific disciplines have made extremely valuable advances in the collective knowledge of humankind. The problem creeps in when those advances are claimed to be a complete ontology of existence, because they are not and could never be that. Furthermore, no true scientist would claim that they are.

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