I posted this on CADRE by mistake, but I hope they like it. But I want it here too.
People who run the educational system in America, UK, and probably all major English speaking countries (excluding New Zealand) out to be shot. They should just be put up against the wall and shot. I don't mean the teachers (not my sister)! but those who run the wretched excuse for an educational system (of cousre I don't really mean that, I'm JUST JOKNIG!). When I used to substitute "teach" (baby sit) I would sit at lunch in the teacher's lounge and every single conversation I had with teachers was about the failure of the system, and every single teacher admitted it is a dismal failure and that they don't do any real teaching.
In considering the ignorance of atheists I encounter on the net, I have long believed that their true ignorance is a failure of the educational system in America. Most of them just don't know the intellectual background of western culture, or the extent to which our culture is predicated upon Christian concepts. I think those of us who are historically aware have even forgotten a great deal of this. Almost every idea we have in modernity come to us as a left over form Christian doctrine.
The rise of the Christian religion obliterated a great deal of the pagan influence of Greco-Roman world. There are many surviving folkways in Greece, there are a lot of texts and various ideas that come to us from Greece, mostly via the church. For the most part there is no real remembrance of what the ancient world was or what their thinking was pre-Christianity.
By the same token, moderns have done a similar number on Christianity. The contemporary student is so cut off from the historical facts of the culture that we are constantly finding them on message boards lost, confused, wondering without a clue, and the only direction they have grasped and cling to with white knuckles is their ever deepening hatred of Christianity.
some of this ignorance is so shocking I can't believe it. Tonight on CARM one of the designs of the apologetics board argued that Trinitiarn doctrinal terminology "rapes the English language." This is so because the Trinitarian concept of "person" totally distorts the concept of "person" that we have in English. Of cooers never mind that Trinitarian doctrine was settled by the fourth century, when English didn't even exits (I'm sure if they even spoke old English in the British isles that early). Of course our modern concept of person evolves out of the notion of persona (Hypostasis) that was used from the Greek (the word for substance) in making the doctrine. So this atheist has the whole thing backwards, English rapes Greek to come up with modern concept of personated, but the origin of the concept is the Trinitarian doctrine!
How many times have I confronted atheists whose idea of a Bible contradiction was just not knowing how to read a text? My favorite example; song of songs, the voice of the turtle is heard in the land. Well, heck, turtles dot' have voices! Couldn't stupid Bible people see that? Or hear it? or not hear it? Excuse me, it's "Turtle dove." Its' a bird. Or, how could Christ be a door when over there he says he's a gate, what a contradiction! Many atheists seem to ink Shakespeare just wrote in cliches, he's just much adieu about nothing.
I think a lot of the hostility is based upon cultural divide and we need to start educating the church. The problem is the church! Christians don't appreciate this stuff. How many average church pew sitters would the allusion to much due about nothing? We need to begin by making the church aware of its own intellectual heritage. Then we need to start trying to put stuff back in the schools, not creationism, let that one go! Let's worry about just getting the reality of western letters into the schools.
(you know I could get to like this spell check thing--this may be the begining of a beautiful frienship)