Who is the best advocate for atheism in Australia?
No I don’t think its Hitchens or Dawkins…
This week while driving I was doing a bit of listening to Tim Minchin and I would suggest he is possibly one of the most alluring voices for contemporary atheism. His songs are very funny, his lyrics insightful and acidic, even if they are often completely and blatantly offensive. I found myself singing ‘White Wine in The Sun’ this week as I was working, a song that begins ‘I really like Christmas…’ and then goes on to mock the idea of faith and a belief in the divine.
‘Storm’ again delves into the existential/metaphysical but this time from a different perspective as he tells the story of being at a dinner party with an opinionated and naive woman who has some belief in a spiritual (not Christian) realm. The song slowly increases in vehemence and ridicule, but at the same time is wonderfully and wickedly funny.
The good book is a rockabilly style tune that ridicules the possibility of the Bible having anything useful to say to a 21st C world. And so it goes on…
If Minchin wrote of Islam I think he’d likely be dead by now, but seeing as its Christianity (and we can apparently laugh at ourselves) he continues to trot out lyrics that demean and despise.
I’d suggest Minchin is a compelling voice for atheism not necessarily because his arguments are compelling, but moreso because his method of communication is one that sneaks past your defenses and stays with you. Perhaps he won’t unseat many Christians with his virulent tirades, but if you are a ‘default’ secularist / atheist (because you haven’t really delved into questions of faith) in any depth then his songs will affirm what you claim to believe.
Humour and music are a much more potent medium than text and debate and while Minchin does get tiring with his objections, I’d say he has more than likely given plenty of people reason to sign up for a secularist worldview
If I were an atheist I’d pick Minchin as my ‘voice’ rather than the intellectuals as he can be hilarious, disarming and incredibly violent at the same time.