New Atheism

From by Steve Piexotto

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I was referred to an excellent article today on atheism by Tall Skinny Kiwi.  

It comes from Wired magazine.  The story is a discussion of the views of New Atheism.  If you’re not familiar, this movement basically asserts that atheists should not be passive, but be secular evangelists.  Some provocative books have made headlines recently from this group, one of the best know being The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.  

To varying degrees this group of atheists believe religion is actually a source of evil, and should be systematically eradicated; it is not a system to be tolerated.

But that’s another blog.

What I do plan to talk about today is how I’m not running scared.  Nope, not today.  I’m also not going to cry “apocalypse.”  The fact is there has always been disbelief in God.  Yes, their is a certain fashion to the New Atheism lately and a bit of media frenzy.

But I do know that God is not giving up any time soon, and my beliefs are strong enough not to be afraid of someone else’s disbelief.  I rather like this quote from Daniel Dennet, an athiest: 

“if you have to hoodwink – or blindfold – your children to ensure that they confirm their faith when they are adults, your faith ought to go extinct.”

I think his point extends beyond children to all of us.  If we have to run in fear and anger from atheism, then how strong is our faith really?

So how do we approach atheists and atheism then?

That’s also another blog.  One for next week at least.


5 Responses

  1. To call new Atheism a movement, is an attempt to both label an idea that is an old as civilisation as a passing fad and to create an enemy against which to rail.

    These men are outspoken atheists, have been for quite some time. Their books became popular and suddenly we have a movement(its a far way off from that).

    No where has there been a call to evangelise, this is an attempt by yourself and others to equate and label Atheism as just another religion.

    The call if any has really been made is to not give religion undeserved respect but to subject it to criticism. When this is done, when people get over the social embarassment of saying they are an atheist, or when they can freely say they are one without fear of losing a job or being run out of town I think much of what these men are talking about will be achieved.

    Do I want religion to be eradicated, goodness no. I would like people to come to their senses. Frankly I am surprised that you didn’t bring out the old chesnut regarding Stalin.

    How would I like to be treated – with repect. Argue against my logic/positions and I will argue against yours and we will probably both be better off.

    I would also appreciate it if you saw the danger inherent in fundementalist christinity, in the past year I have been blogging about a christian foundation that was treating eaing disorders with exorcisms, the Americans have a potential vice president that wants creationism taught in state schools and believes in the end times.

    As an atheist I would like your help in maintaining a free, democratic society where we are all allowed to believe what we want and argue those beleifs peacfully where rediculous and harmful ideas espoused by some religious are scrutinised and criticised (the catholic churches stance on condoms etc)



  2. How do we approach atheism? Get governments and schools to start allowing
    another point of view rather than just the religious point of view. Atheists are in no way a threat to anyone, they are just POed about not having a say in government. I don’t think anyone including religious people want a government which will cause a war because of religious differences. Christianity and Islam will eventually face off against one another in the years to come. The overly zealous will think this is a quick road to their heaven. The clear thinking people will see it as an unnecessary loss of life. We must wake up to reality.

  3. Thanks for reading the blog!

    Thanks for your comments.
    If I may say, please consider my primary audience, and hopefully through that lens my thoughts will be viewed somewhat differently.
    Most of my readers are Christians to some degree, and I really wanted them to give some thought to their reactionary and sometimes knee-jerk actions against atheists like yourself.
    I do apologize if I was guilty of labeling from your perspective. I will say that I was addressing strictly the point of view discussed in the article referenced above.
    Is it too clichè to say that I have a friend who is an atheist (or agnostic at the least)?
    Anyhow, I would love if you would stick around for the week. My blog spends a lot of time discussing culture, both “Christian” and “Secular.” I plan to spend a little time this week talking about atheism’s relation to both.

    Thanks for the other comments as well, everyone.

  4. […] Who Am I ← New Atheism […]

  5. […] sake.“  I couldn’t wait to find out more about what was going on here.  I’ve blogged a bit before about the idea of atheists starting to “evangelize,” for lack of a better […]

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