I’ve been told that Americans don’t get irony, and maybe that’s true. But I’ll go out on a limb and say, “A Reason to Hope” is an ironic name for an atheist conference that was cancelled due to “lack of interest.”
A Reason to Hope for what?
Several atheists have told me that atheism is the “absence of belief.” If that’s true, what would be the subject of the conference? “Hello fellow unbelievers. We are not believing here in the very same room.”
And then what? Cut to refreshments?
In reality I think there are probably a lot of quiet atheists out there who really are just not believing. Those are not the kind of atheists who are busy arranging conferences, or buzzing around like angry hornets annoying everyone.
Islam tells us to deal with atheists by by saying, more or less, “you have your way and I have mine.” The problem is a lot of atheists are not content to do the same.
Atheism tends to devolve into an obsessive hatred for religion. Eradicating other people’s doctrines becomes their de facto doctrine, which on the whole makes militant atheists a pretty unpleasant lot.
Their attacks on Islam in particular are the main reason I’m glad their influence may be waning.
I also think they have nothing to offer in the way of moral and spiritual guidance, except nihilism and despair.
The conference was supposed to be held in February next year, and featured the same bitter, nasty atheist luminaries we’ve been hearing about for years. Salman Rushdie and Richard Dawkins were apparently going to speak, along with some others described as “scholars.”
Scholars of a non-existent doctrine? No wonder ticket sales were low.
Have you seen the four-part Is Atheism Dead series posted on The Far Reaching Argument?
The cancellation of a major atheist conference may not be a sign that organized atheism is dead, but it does seem like a promising Reason to Hope.