“Atheist and agnostic evangelism can be Diet Coke misleading if we pretend that atheism and agnosticism aren’t real divorces from vital sources of hope in human beings.”
Hamelin insists that what is crucial here is not how people feel about the truth, or the disappointment of hopes that the truth might lead to, but the truth itself; and he says that, as opposed to emotions, atheists:
. . . care about how people think: skepticism and critical thought are valuable in and of themselves, it just so happens that if adopted thoroughly they lead inevitably to atheism.
Hmm. Skepticism and critical thought, if adopted thoroughly, must lead inevitably to atheism? I wonder why Mr. Hamelin is not skeptical of that assertion. His position is akin to the religious fundamentalist who says that the application of reason must inevitably lead one to the conclusion that God exists. It appears that neither the dogmatic religionist nor Mr. Hamelin have kept open the possibility that reasonable people, exercising both their “skepticism” and “critical thinking”, can sensibly disagree with them concerning their own conclusions about God and God’s existence. Aside from being presumptuous, isn’t this also just a teensy bit condescending of other people’s intelligence?
I really wish that I was as certain of anything as dogmatic religionists and Mr. Hamelin apparently are of everything.