Basic questions from an open-minded theist
I have a couple of basic questions and am hopeful that I can get some short, to-the-point responses:
1. Does The Rational Response Squad assert absolute certainty that no "god" exists now or ever? If yes, how do you justify having absolute certainty about this? If no, how do you escape the charge that you also hold a position that you cannot prove empirically? I've seen your working definitions of atheism, theism, agnosticism and reviewed much of your site but saw nothing that addresses this question adequately.
2. Being a reformed Christian fundamentalist (but, admittedly still a believer in something vaguely Christian), I am a big critic of religion as it is typically practiced, particularly the fundamentalist brands. However, I see the characteristics of fundamentalism exhibited in non-religious endeavors as well. My personal definition of fundamentalism is as follows: having an unassailable position that you in word and/or deed essentially require that others hold as well (those that do not hold your position are deserving of your contempt, intolerance, and, perhaps, deserving of violence as well). With this definition in mind, I contend that fundamentalism is the problem, not religion. I also contend that the elements of fundamentalism inescapably infiltrate *every* system of human creation - at least to some degree -- and that includes atheism. Just as many have died and suffered at the hands of intolerant religious fundamentalists, many have died and suffered at the hands of those that purport to be atheists and wish to eradicate the influences of religion (see the history of communism as practiced in Russia, China, etc.). For a more recent example, I find no discernible difference between the vitriol and intolerance displayed by Richard Dawkins versus that found in some fundamentalist churches (you guys really need to find a better spokesman than Dawkins, by the way). The basic question is: What is The Rational Response Squad doing to guard against this human tendency towards fundamentalism?
I appreciate your sincere consideration of these questions. Blessings from the alleged transcendent being to which I profess faith.