Atheism is the new goth

magilum
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Atheism is the new goth

I hesitate to dignify this trivial, vacuous charge, but since it's considered a good enough argument by some detractors of atheists, I'll deign to address it.

"Atheism is the new goth."

That is the argument in toto, and devastating though it is, some might call it glib, even puerile. It's a category mistake, given that it equates a general philosophical label to a fashion trend -- how can it be such when it can be derived independent of particular culture, precedes the implied time period, and has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion? Was megaphone crooning the heir to Platonism? I'll paraphrase, ironically, the villainous Nicole Wallace from "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," that it's pop-philosophical drivel that wouldn't butter your parsnips. No, I won't indulge the unqualified use of the phrase any further, for it depends entirely on the question that it begs:

"The New Atheism."

My own recent 'conversion' to atheism boils down to a shift in terminology: from the popular misconception about the word 'agnostic' (the assumption that it means 'uncertain&#39Eye-wink to the precise use of the word 'atheist,' referring specifically to a 'weak'/'agnostic' -- or as Dawkins put it, 'de facto' -- atheism premised on the lack of any evidence behind any god claims thus far. I don't know whether it can be known whether or not there are gods (hence agnosticism, a lack of claim to knowledge), but I don't see any substance behind any explicit god claim I've heard (hence atheism, a lack of belief); further, I don't see any meaning, even conceptually, to the term 'god,' so I lean toward ignosticism or theological noncognitivism as well. That's my story, but is there a broader trend that could be called "new?"

Self-professed atheism has only been recorded for as long as apostasy could no longer be a capital offense; it's thus difficult to say how long an explicit non-belief in a culture's de facto deities can reach back into history, and it's difficult to use said history to argue against dilute forms of apologetics that suggest mankind is hardwired to believe in something (anything) if only for some rhetorical purpose, because we do see 'belief' spanning the millennia. One could argue that the transition from the polytheism to monotheism/henotheism, old to new testaments, Christianity into deism during the enlightenment, and to the nominal religion practiced by most in the first world today, represents a trend away from elaborate mythological explanations and earnest piety relied on in the past: but this is, admittedly, not outright atheism. So the claim that humanity doesn't need to believe at all, or that not all of it does, is one with necessarily shallow roots, that will be tested over the coming decades as explicit atheism is 'practiced' in our culture.

But the charge of "New Atheism," as it has thus been used, is nothing so insightful; its benign language masks its implications. "New" is almost never a good prefix for a philosophical category; I don't think I need to go into the most common association for "neo-." That alone can bring to mind bigotry, ideological fanaticism, militant radicalism, political instability and upheaval, and antisocial mayhem; and thus these are some of the possible hidden charges against atheists; which some of the more ballsy believers express directly. Another hidden meaning to "new" is that something is trendy, glib, conformist -- most of all, temporary. If atheists are silly teenage trend-chasers, what is there to do but pat them on the head and walk away? If this charge is so for some unidentified demographic, what does it have to do with me? Should my credibility suffer because an unidentified person is unable to defend a belief we nominally share? This is a straw-man used to poison the well and avoid real discussion.


Hambydammit
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Here's another

Here's another consideration when trying to answer the question of the "inherent" need to believe in "something." Let's remember that until Darwin (or Wallace) publicly proposed the theory of evolution, there was a giant gap at the base of our scientific method and understanding. No matter how well we might explain electricity or magnetism or gravity, we could not explain life. With no available tools to examine the seemingly "greatest" of mysteries, we were left to choose from the other available options -- namely religions.

In other words, until little more than a century ago, humans had very plausible reasons for believing in a god. Since we crossed the great barrier from nomad to agrarian, we have been aware of an alternative to god for approximately 1% of the time.

In a very mathematical and real way, any philosophy that includes a plausible scientific explanation of life is a New Philosophy. We're just trying out our atheist legs, in an evolutionary sense. Consider an atheist in say, fifteenth century Europe. An educated man might know enough to see through the religious mumbo-jumbo of the warring church factions, rejecting it out of hand. He might, in his heart, even reject the idea of any monotheist god -- but what would he do next? If he had any brains about him, he'd keep his mouth shut and grumble silently, for he had no better explanation. All he had was an intuitive sense that it was wrong.

Hume, unaware of the theory of evolution, got incredibly close, but even so facile a mind as his could not, in the end, espouse atheism in the way we see it today. Darwin really did change everything. We haven't had nearly enough time to see what the long term impact of a scientific alternative to religion might be.

The "New Goth" argument is as ill-conceived as any other stick-in-the-mud argument. Consider: TV, radio, internet, planes, and electricity itself were all regarded as fads once.

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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At least we are not the new

At least we are not the new emo,

Plus, i have found several goth chicks to be hot. Smiling 


Hambydammit
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I've always thought Goth

I've always thought Goth chicks are hot, but I have problems with candle wax on my ass and Evanescence in the cd player.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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shelley
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i don't know what's with me

i don't know what's with me and all the quotes lately but hamby i'm going to have to steal this one.


ParanoidAgnostic
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Hambydammit wrote: I've

Hambydammit wrote:

I've always thought Goth chicks are hot, but I have problems with candle wax on my ass and Evanescence in the cd player.

I don't see the problem with the candle wax. 

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


Milkshake89
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Zombie wrote: At least we

Zombie wrote:

At least we are not the new emo,

Plus, i have found several goth chicks to be hot. Smiling 

Lol, is Jesus emo ? 


wavefreak
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Hambydammit wrote: I've

Hambydammit wrote:

I've always thought Goth chicks are hot, but I have problems with candle wax on my ass and Evanescence in the cd player.

 

 

I cut Evanescence quite a bit of slack. Amy Lee (that's her name, right?) has an amazing voice. 


wavefreak
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Milkshake89 wrote: Zombie

Milkshake89 wrote:
Zombie wrote:

At least we are not the new emo,

Plus, i have found several goth chicks to be hot. Smiling

Lol, is Jesus emo ?

 

Nah. Jesus never felt sorry for himself. And what emo kid has enough energy to clear out a temple full of money changers? 


Cpt_pineapple
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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

I've always thought Goth chicks are hot, but I have problems with candle wax on my ass and Evanescence in the cd player.

 

 

I cut Evanescence quite a bit of slack. Amy Lee (that's her name, right?) has an amazing voice.

 

Yeah, it's Amy Lee.
 

They suck. Hard.

 

When I first heard about them, I thought they were a Christian group since they met at Bible camp. 

 

 


I AM GOD AS YOU
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   as usual magilum,

   as usual magilum, thats some Xlint writting bro.

"Self-professed atheism has only been recorded for as long as apostasy could no longer be a capital offense .... "

- That's why I say Jefferson and yes even Jesus were Atheists.  Buddha like they were. Obviously Atheistic.

 Wavefreak, Jesus was not happy that last night in the garden, and yelled from the cross 'Why have you forsaken me' .... OUCH, my heart breaks ....

 

 


wavefreak
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

I've always thought Goth chicks are hot, but I have problems with candle wax on my ass and Evanescence in the cd player.

 

 

I cut Evanescence quite a bit of slack. Amy Lee (that's her name, right?) has an amazing voice.

 

Yeah, it's Amy Lee.

They suck. Hard.

 

When I first heard about them, I thought they were a Christian group since they met at Bible camp.

 

 

Then she needs better music. She has great pipes. Of course it could be so over produced I'm not hearing the real Amy. 


wavefreak
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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

as usual magilum, thats some Xlint writting bro.

"Self-professed atheism has only been recorded for as long as apostasy could no longer be a capital offense .... "

- That's why I say Jefferson and yes even Jesus were Atheists. Buddha like they were. Obviously Atheistic.

Wavefreak, Jesus was not happy that last night in the garden, and yelled from the cross 'Why have you forsaken me' .... OUCH, my heart breaks ....

 

Yeah, but an emo only whines about imagined injustice. Jesus had freakin nails through his hands (or so I've been told). So he could bitch a bit and not seem like a drama queen.


latincanuck
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    I got to hear her

    I got to hear her live at Much Music (I was downtown that day and was passing by there at night) and yeah she has a great live voice, which is really rare in music artists these days.


I AM GOD AS YOU
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    hey wavefreak, the

    hey wavefreak,

the caring Jesus I admire,

I give that Jesus idea a thumbs up,

  "a cognitive masochist" ???

Why do you confuse me ? , you funny guy ....

giggles and tickles on U 2 

I am a happy atheist ....

 


shikko
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Hambydammit wrote: I've

Hambydammit wrote:

I've always thought Goth chicks are hot, but I have problems with candle wax on my ass and Evanescence in the cd player.

Evanescence is goth like Good Charlotte is punk.

And be thankful the wax was ON your ass.

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