Yesterday I caught a late-night repeat of Rod Liddleâ€™s documentary â€œThe Trouble With Atheismâ€. Iâ€™ve not seen much TV recently so I was pleased to be able to take some time to watch something that wasnâ€™t the 7:45AM rerun of an American front-room soap opera. Sadly I was to be disappointed and, eventually, incredulous. Instead of an intellectually nourishing investigation of matters pertaining to the non-belief in God I found myself watching a lazy, rambling sequence of interviews with tired looking intellectuals, punctuated with the odd close-up on Liddleâ€™s large face.
It seems that Liddle intended to demonstrate that atheists hang their beliefs on either cosmology or Darwinism. He then tried to demonstrate how both of these ideas were on troubled ground, ultimately wandering into Marxist pogroms and Nazi eugenics. Atheist fundamentalists, Liddle wanted to demonstrate, are big trouble.
What Liddle seems to have missed entirely is that there simply is no such trouble with atheism. Atheism doesnâ€™t mean oppressive anti-God diatribes or instant wars; just a belief that all that Beard In The Sky stuff is purposeless. The UK doesnâ€™t seem to be struggling with its institutionalised atheism: thereâ€™s a separation between Church and government and we are, for the most part, getting along without belief in God. This doesnâ€™t mean that weâ€™re relying on Cosmology or Darwinism either; weâ€™re just relying on practical experience. We do not believe that guidebooks to living in the desert written 2000 years ago make worthwhile manuals for life. We see no benefit in worshiping invisible beings in the large halls that litter our landscapes. We do not believe in God, not because of Darwinism, or cosmology, or propaganda penned by Richard Dawkins, but because it is irrelevant.