A week ago, I went to the American Atheists 2009 conference, and for the most part, had a great time. Melisa and I got to meet a lot of great people, and talk, and heard some great speakers.
One experience, however, has stuck in my mind since the conference, and I thought I’d share about it. I’m pretty much a left-wing liberal secular humanist atheist, while my wife is a dyed in the wool right wing Ayn Rand objectivist atheist. This, in itself is causes some interesting discussions in our house, but hey – Discussion of differing ideas is what makes the world go around, right?
Well, that’s kind of what disappointed me. When I mentioned that fact to the people at our table after Mike Malloy said he couldn’t see how you could be right wing and atheist, (And hearing some of the loud agreement with that statement at the conference), I was dumbfounded as to how close-minded some of our fellow atheists seem to be on this topic. When my wife mentioned some of the ideas of objectivism to a lady at our table, she (the lady in question) became livid at the idea that government shouldn’t help the indigent and the poor. This seemed to color the rest of the conversation we were having as well. Now, I do disagree with this statement, but it seems to me that this type of thing should be able to be discussed without the obvious anger and revulsion at some logical and rational level.
In any case, it seems that even we, who claim to be open minded and rational, tend to have a bit of work to do in our own camp as well.