Any honest atheist must admit that he has his doubts, that occasionally he thinks he might be wrong, that there could be a God after all — if not the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition, then a God of some kind.Not really, if the word atheist is to have any meaning at all. Atheists don't question the nonexistance of god. Ever. That's what makes them atheists!
People who claim certainty about God worry me, both those who believe and those who don’t believe. They do not really listen to the other side of conversations, and they are too ready to impose their views on others. It is impossible to be certain about God.Both sides do it? Not really. Believers tend to demand more special accommodations in public life than non-believers. And the idea that a secular state should remain religiously impartial is somehow an atheistic plot to "impose their beliefs" on believers is nonsense.
And the same argument that this author uses as the atheist position against Pascal's wager is the very reason why the both sides do it argument is bunk. Not acknowledging any belief is a recognition that there are many competing sects, and not favoring one over another is the only way to accommodate them all.
So again, it's not non-believers imposing their non-belief on believers.
And because one philosophy type can't conceptualize the idea of certainty, he dismisses the concept outright.
What is important is the common ground of the question, not an answer. Surely, we can respect anyone who approaches the question honestly and with an open mind. Ecumenical and interfaith religious dialogue has increased substantially in our age. We can and should expand that dialogue to include atheists and agnostics, to recognize our common humanity and to stop seeing one another as enemy combatants in a spiritual or intellectual war.
What dialogue? Outside the ivory tower of academic philosophy, there is a real-life zero sum culture war being waged by believers against non-believers. Charlatans like Dave Barton go around rewriting history to try and recast the nation as christian in origin, however untrue that may be.
Or the ambitiously titled One Million Moms (all 64,000) of them, that are now boycotting Olive Garden, not because of Olive Garden's shitty food, but because Lucifer is too sexy? That's not non-believers doing battle against faith.
God isn't the answer, and god isn't the question either. What we need is for incredulous philosophers, who dismiss unbelief out of hand, to stand aside and not speak for those of us who genuinely do not believe, and never will.
We also need those that demand that society remake itself around a particular sectarian dogma to learn their place, and realize that official recognition of one is discrimination against all others and the only way for neutrality is to avoid the both the question and the answer altogether.
You can be a religious as you want at home and in church, but if you demand a bathtub mary outside city hall, you've crossed that line.
And no, non-belief, or atheism isn't a religion.