I am struggling with a thought this morning, so I thought I’d ask y’all for some feedback.
During Mason’s chat with Christopher Hitchens she said, ” I want to grow up to be a freethinker. My mom says I’m not, but I already am.” I winced. And then tried to explain that I was following Richard Dawkins’s advice about not labeling children. (This part was cut from the video.)
Then when Mason was interviewed by the local paper she said, “I wouldn’t say I’ve decided my religion yet. I’m going to kind of experiment around and see if there’s any religion I like in particular. But if I do decide to be a freethinker, the chances are very high. … I just want it all to make sense.”
That was my doing. We had had a talk about “keeping an open mind” at age nine.
But, a reader at Why Evolution is True commented that she sounded like a little “accomodationist.” I’d never heard the term before. (Remember, I am rather new to atheism and have kept my thoughts to myself for the past few years. Going to the Texas Freethought Convention felt like a dangerous and daring foray into the snake-pit.)
I am wondering what I am doing wrong. I understand that you can’t appease fanatics, but if you are a “hard-core” atheist are you also a fanatic as well? I don’t want to be close minded and judgmental, but I also don’t want to be a useless glob of wishy-washy protoplasm. How do you strike a balance?
So, in the spirit of socratic irony…
What is accomodationism? Why is it wrong? Is it ever OK? What should we teach our children about religious ideas?