You may have spotted in the news that this weekend a bunch of atheists are gathering in Washington D.C. to celebrate reason. A couple of logical errors with this, if I may.
Number one. By having this ‘Reason Rally’ it would seem that they’re inferring that anyone who has faith in anything supernatural is somehow choosing to be unreasonable. By opposing the thoughts behind this rally I’m clearly disagreeing that reason is a bad idea…but I don’t. And, obviously, no-one does. No-one actively holds a position they consider unreasonable. So these atheists that are rallying clearly feel so little confidence in their beliefs that they feel the need to use straw man arguments. Good starting position.
Number two. David Silverman from American Atheists explained the reasons behind the rally:
The Reason Rally is not about eradicating religion. There is a difference between wanting a secular government and a nontheistic government. A secular government is one that gives no preference to any religion or to non-religion. This allows the government to remain neutral and to protect all religious belief.
Oh, well done, David! Maybe you are being reasonable after all!
Oh, no, actually it seems he’s not. Have a little read of his blog at the Washington Post and you’ll see that his issue is that people in America vote for religious people over atheists regardless of how similar their manifestos may be. So he’s not bothered about atheists not being able to run (he’s obviously not rallying against public policy) but he is bothered about people being informed of how to vote by their faith.
In other words, he’s saying that faith is fine, so long as it only affects your private life rather than being demonstrated in public.
Which is ironic, seeing as this is being communicated through a public demonstration.
Oh, and as a little postscript, the Washington Post has also stuck on a blog post written by a guy who shows the New Atheists’ irrationality a little clearer than I do.