Will the new atheism survive?

Gavagai
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Will the new atheism survive?

I thought this discussion among some of the philosophy students in Florida was pretty interesting, and I share it here for interested readers. It's their take on the recent atheist literature promulgated by Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris, responsible for increasing the popularity of more agressive forms of atheism. Enjoy:

http://unfspb.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/will-the-new-atheism-survive/

 

Rude, offensive, irrational jackass.


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Did David worry about the

Did David worry about the size and power of his opponent when he took on Goliath?


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The better question is will

The better question is will theism survive?

It won't. Not in it's current form anyway. Science consistently errodes the fabric of literal theism and the dogma that goes with it. We may never rid ourselves of the notion that "something bigger than us is out there", but organized religion is on its way out, and I think deep down theists understand that. Short of a new Dark Age, you can kiss it goodbye.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Gavagai wrote: I thought

Gavagai wrote:

I thought this discussion among some of the philosophy students in Florida was pretty interesting, and I share it here for interested readers. It's their take on the recent atheist literature promulgated by Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris, responsible for increasing the popularity of more agressive forms of atheism. Enjoy:

http://unfspb.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/will-the-new-atheism-survive/

 

quote Or is it necessary in order to combat the brute of religious extremism that runs rampant in our society today

Smiling 


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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

The better question is will theism survive?

It won't. Not in it's current form anyway. Science consistently errodes the fabric of literal theism and the dogma that goes with it. We may never rid ourselves of the notion that "something bigger than us is out there", but organized religion is on its way out, and I think deep down theists understand that. Short of a new Dark Age, you can kiss it goodbye.

 

exactly, we will always be debating the existance of a higher power, but the notion of a higher power that has any human like traits such as emotion and compasion will die out, and we know enough about the human mind to put all those "God spoke to me" and "i felt Gods touch" claims to rest

 

Maybe religion is an evolutionary gateway, at first serving a purpose but now we're trancending it, so it's good. 


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The "new atheism" is a vocal

The "new atheism" is a vocal reaction that will no longer be necessary if its proponents succeed in securing the legitimacy of the atheist position in theist dominated areas. The only difference in my behavior, for instance, is that I talk about not believing in religious ideas, whereas before I didn't see the need to mention it.


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The Patrician wrote: Did

The Patrician wrote:
Did David worry about the size and power of his opponent when he took on Goliath?

 No. David trusted in God because of his experience with the scientific method of cause and effect.

It took millions of years to create the stones he found in abundance that were just the right size to sink into the brain of Goliath.

Notice please, the behemoth of atheistic education in our scientific community.

And yet, one little stone in a river bed makes it look like such small thinking.

Thanks for the great analogy. I'll remember that as the immense crowd of atheists scream at the Christians at the next Rational Response Squad debate against them.

Or then again, I could just do the research myself. I'll head to any city in the Western world and try preaching to the huge crowds of non-believers gathered there at night, or in the daytime at coffee shops and malls.

Now Goliath has another massive army behind him. Still the same old Goliath. Ranting and all.

 

0 x 0 = Atheism. Something from nothing? Ahhh no.
And Karl, religion is not the opiate of the people, opium is. Visit any modern city in the western world and see.


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nonbobblehead wrote:The

nonbobblehead wrote:

The Patrician wrote:
Did David worry about the size and power of his opponent when he took on Goliath?

 No. David trusted in God because of his experience with the scientific method of cause and effect.

Like Rocky Balboa trusted in the spirit of Appollo (literally!)when he single handedly ended Communism!

Quote:
It took millions of years to create the stones he found in abundance that were just the right size to sink into the brain of Goliath.

Blasphemy, the earth is only 6,000 years old. 10,000 tops.

Quote:
Notice please, the behemoth of atheistic education in our scientific community.

Indeed, I used to watch wrestling back in the day too. Andre the Giant was the man!

Quote:
And yet, one little stone in a river bed makes it look like such small thinking.

Wow, and one little cancer cell spread like wild fire and ate my grandfather's leg. I totally see your point!

Quote:
Thanks for the great analogy. I'll remember that as the immense crowd of atheists scream at the Christians at the next Rational Response Squad debate against them.

Oh, no, thank YOU for putting it all into perspective with a story about a rock and a Giant, just in an even more ironic way than was originally posted!

Quote:
Or then again, I could just do the research myself. I'll head to any city in the Western world and try preaching to the huge crowds of non-believers gathered there at night, or in the daytime at coffee shops and malls.

Could you, please? Go now, don't make another post, just pack your bags and do god's work. Seriously, PACK YOUR BAGS and GO SOMEWHERE.

Quote:
Now Goliath has another massive army behind him. Still the same old Goliath. Ranting and all.

Nothing a tag team match with Jesus and Thor teaming up couldn't fix.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


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nonbobblehead wrote: The

nonbobblehead wrote:

The Patrician wrote:
Did David worry about the size and power of his opponent when he took on Goliath?

No. David trusted in God because of his experience with the scientific method of cause and effect.

It took millions of years to create the stones he found in abundance that were just the right size to sink into the brain of Goliath.

Notice please, the behemoth of atheistic education in our scientific community.

And yet, one little stone in a river bed makes it look like such small thinking.

Thanks for the great analogy. I'll remember that as the immense crowd of atheists scream at the Christians at the next Rational Response Squad debate against them.

Or then again, I could just do the research myself. I'll head to any city in the Western world and try preaching to the huge crowds of non-believers gathered there at night, or in the daytime at coffee shops and malls.

Now Goliath has another massive army behind him. Still the same old Goliath. Ranting and all.

 

 

Huh... please do bring that up at the next debate. So when you are walking down the street and you trip on a stone, what you're telling us is that God has been molding that stone for centuries.. just sitting around and watching it... waiting for the day you'll bust your ass on it? What? Did you mean that it was his faith that helped him do it? How does that prove his faith wasn't bull? Richard Dawkins succeeds all of the time... and entirely on his own merit. Success has NOTHING to do with it. And and for those stones... if a stranger throws a rock at you and breaks your nose... in your mind it MUST be from God, correct? That stone wasn't "just right" for Goliath.  Perhaps he simply picked it because he was looking around for something to throw at him?  God also made an abundance of stones that are just the right size to hurt you, me and everyone else.  What is your point?  The analogy was that atheism is SMALL (David) and organized religion is BIG (Goliath). In the myth, David won even though he was SMALL. I don't know where you're going with this.. David wasn't employing the scientific method in any way. Prayer doesn't count. Human prayers go unanswered all the time. The scientific method WOULD have told him to NOT trust God. That is, if he had been using it... which he wasn't.  

“The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics.”
-Christopher Hitchens

"I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him."
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez


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Gavagai wrote: I thought

Gavagai wrote:

I thought this discussion among some of the philosophy students in Florida was pretty interesting, and I share it here for interested readers. It's their take on the recent atheist literature promulgated by Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris, responsible for increasing the popularity of more agressive forms of atheism. Enjoy:

http://unfspb.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/will-the-new-atheism-survive/

 

To set your mind at ease, the "new atheism" as you and others term it will survive at least as long as I do. Almost certainly longer. That's a projected period of 50 years according to average lifetimes of males. 60+ depending on medical improvements to come.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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nonbobblehead wrote: Or

nonbobblehead wrote:

Or then again, I could just do the research myself. I'll head to any city in the Western world and try preaching to the huge crowds of non-believers gathered there at night, or in the daytime at coffee shops and malls.

Please tell me where these shopping malls and coffee shops 'FILLED' with non-believers are, I would love to visit them.

Oh wait.... I get it. You are saying the 85% Americans who claim to be christian are not "true christians". Right?


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More No True Scotsman shit.

More No True Scotsman shit. By the way, atheist books are bestsellers lately.


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if i were to hit a guy in

if i were to hit a guy in the head with a stone, it wouldn't mean much other than it was a lucky shot.

if the guy were bigger than me would that make it special? well no in fact it would be a little less so as his head would be harder to miss.

 If i say "God guide this rock" before i throw it, suddenly it becomes this magnificent divine act.

How could God put the stone there especially when free will means i could have picked up any stone, ofcourse my human mind means that i know what shape a stone needs to be to fly straight.

In other words, if God doesn't exist, would david still have picked the same stone? ofcourse because he knows enough about firing a sling to know a good stone

 

while we're being so sure of things in the old testament, i think there was some stuff about rape, woman beating and murder in there as well. 


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Yes, "new atheism" will

Yes, "new atheism" will survive.  If the book sales of those are an indication, the crowds will no doubt be looking for the next things those same authors write. (and people looking to make more money, will of course jump right behind these writers now.)  

 

Also isn't Bill Maher working on a film of this nature as well?  (heard him mention something on one of his shows, but don't know the details)

 

As much help as the books are,  it's the films that have the opportunity to reach more people.  Look at how much exposure the Al Gore and Michael Moore stuff gets from both sides of those debates.  No single one of them will change everyone, but each time they start making people question what they believe.. and creates more pinholes in the armor.


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nonbobblehead

nonbobblehead wrote:

Notice please, the behemoth of atheistic education in our scientific community.

Secular education is not atheistic education. Why to some believers have such a difficult time with the concept that secular does not equal atheistic?

Secular means that it does not relate to religion. It does not answer to a religion and does not oppose religion.

Secularism is about us all getting along by not forcing our opinions about god onto others. It is not about the destruction religion.

This must be realted to the way christians tell us they are being oppressed because they are loosing the right to oppress others.

 

Another point is that science must be atheistic, in the weak sense - some call it agnostic but Sapient will hit me if I use the term that way (note to Sapient, I was joking - please don't hit me). It doesn't say god doesn't exist but it can never invoke things outside of nature (ie God) to explain natural phenomenon. 

Science is the study of the natural (physical) world. If you use god in a theory, you are not being scientific. Not because science it anti-god but simply because, by definition, science cannot deal with anything supernatural. 

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


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everything that exists is

everything that exists is natural. if these so called "supernatural" things exist then they are natural and therefore are within the realms of science. unfortunately no supernatural claims have ever been substantiated


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nonbobblehead wrote: No.

nonbobblehead wrote:
No. David trusted in God because of his experience with the scientific method of cause and effect.

Or David just knew that if he got him square between the eyes with a hard, fast moving projectile it was game over.

Quote:
It took millions of years to create the stones he found in abundance that were just the right size to sink into the brain of Goliath.

Right. Because we hadn't learned to break rock at that point which is why there were no roads or buildings around then. Oh wait, there were. Opportunity doesn't imply placement.

Quote:
Notice please, the behemoth of atheistic education in our scientific community.

And yet, one little stone in a river bed makes it look like such small thinking.

You're trying to make a point here. I can tell, I just can't tell what it actually is.

Quote:
Thanks for the great analogy. I'll remember that as the immense crowd of atheists scream at the Christians at the next Rational Response Squad debate against them.

Hey look on the bright side. At least you won't be getting stoned to death or burnt alive at the stake.

Quote:
Or then again, I could just do the research myself. I'll head to any city in the Western world and try preaching to the huge crowds of non-believers gathered there at night, or in the daytime at coffee shops and malls.

Now Goliath has another massive army behind him. Still the same old Goliath. Ranting and all.

I think you're missing the point. Most atheists don't actually care - you won't get sustained abuse, just a lot of children "Mummy, look at the funny man!"

 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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SamSexton

SamSexton wrote:
unfortunately no supernatural claims have ever been substantiated

You're wrong! I do have personal proof... Deep down in my heart I know that there is something that transcends nature, you're just unable to see it because you're atheist... oh wait, I'm atheist as well. Guess it was just my imagination... that aside, it's almost certain that "new" atheism (another nice term theists made up? Sounds like the "new Europe"..) will survive. It seems rather unlikely that suddenly all atheists would stop voicing their opinions.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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The Patrician wrote: Did

The Patrician wrote:
Did David worry about the size and power of his opponent when he took on Goliath?

 

A theist metaphor for an atheist position?

 

Fascinating. 


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MattShizzle wrote: More No

MattShizzle wrote:
More No True Scotsman shit. By the way, atheist books are bestsellers lately.

 

Hmmm ...

 

Argument by wallet? Atheism must be true. 


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Part of me is glad that the

Part of me is glad that the new "millitant" atheism is around. I know of certain theists working in subtle ways to increase its popularity, and many theists I know of are hoping that radicals like RRS continue to gain attention from the media. As a result of being exposed to this kind of atheism, many theists who were previously uncritical and dogmatic are beginning to reflect more deeply on the nature of their views. Many are realizing for the first time how important it is to be educated on these issues, so that they can rationally combat door-knocking atheists who suggest that they "recycle the bible" or who declare "war" on various holidays. Many are getting into philosophy and the sciences. I've heard about a project being developed by (apparently) some average "youth pastors" as a result of reading Dennett and Dawkins. They're well-funded, and they'll be traveling to different churches and systematically encouraging thousands of young theists across the nation to enter the academia and develop a more intellectual lifestyle. Apparently, they're passing out tutorials on "logical fallacies" along with academic literature that's critical of atheism. They expect the training to spread like a wildfire. But who knows if it will. And who knows how good the "training" will be. What's ironic is that they're using quotations from Dawkins's latest book as a strategy for "waking up" these young theists in rather dramatic ways.

This does not seem to be the goal Dawkins had in mind. Part of the reason for this, perhaps, involves the hardcore strategy that groups like RRS and Dawkins choose to employ. This strategy seems to me to push theists away from athesim; when they're pushed, they simply go to their nearest "apologist" for help. They're not being pulled in by welcoming arms.

So it seems like Dawkins, in some cases at least, is becoming a strong impetus for many (though certainly not all) theists to equip and refine their beliefs, rather than relinquish them entirely. Dawkins and other "millitant" atheists are motivating theists to be extremely concerned with acquiring the critical thinking skills that will enable them to articulate and defend their views. Uncritical forms of fundamentalism are diminishing. That's progress. What's especially good is that theists who learn these skills will be able to easily discern propaganda and rhetoric from solid argumentation; they will not be impressed by the former. This will be helpful when they read some of the popular literature surrounding these issues. I think Dawkins should be thanked for this.

Rude, offensive, irrational jackass.


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Need to think outside America

There WAS a conflict between religion and rationalism and guess what religion LOST Religion in the western world is a dead parrot. As a serious political force in teh western world christianity is dead, dead and thrice dead

People who take religion in Europe (much bigger population than the US) is under 2%, far less than the people who are openly gay. Just a matter of time before the US catches up.

 It's the reason the British Hitchens and Dawkins are in the US there are no religious nuts left to fight here.

And before you say muslims are taking over europe they are a tiny % of the 2% i mentioned above 

It's the same in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea.

 I do feel sorry for Americans having such nuts running your country but realistically for how long?

 

I'm 35 and I can honestly say I've met more people who admitted to following the Flying Spaghetti Monster in Europe than have admitted to being a christian

 

There is a dustbin (waste basket) of history with slavery, racism, homophobia (very recent one that), and religion and its full

Thank god I'm an atheist  Smiling


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I can tell you right now

I can tell you right now what's going to happen when thousands of young theists go out and get a real education: they won't be theists long.

The posts on that site were amusing. I guess the fact that some non-philosophers are getting published on philosophical matters is really rubbing some "real" philosophers the wrong way. Maybe if they ever emerged from their caves to say something that was relevant they could get a piece of the pie, too. 

It was interesting, Gavagai, to see a bit of the argument we're having on the other thread repeated there. The philosophers were attacking Dawkins et al. for going after a straw man version of religion (creationism, fundamentalism etc) that doesn't accord with the faith of the smart people. There's only one problem: the straw man is the religion that is actually out there. The "refined" God that isn't subject to logical fallacies and gross violations of physics only exists in the brains of a few intellectuals (and still isn't real!). Dawkins, Harris and other new atheists (love the term!) have their sites set on the God of the people, the God that is driving the political movements. Who cares what some ivory tower intellectual thinks about God? The important thing is to get the man in the street to wake up from his delusion.

 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Gavagai wrote: Part of me

Gavagai wrote:

Part of me is glad that the new "millitant" atheism is around.

I kinda miss the old days when I could just be arrogant and believe I was the only one to figure out that religion made no sense. 

 

Gavagai wrote:
As a result of being exposed to this kind of atheism, many theists who were previously uncritical and dogmatic are beginning to reflect more deeply on the nature of their views.
 

Unfortunately for you Christ does not hold up very well to critical thought. The preparedness to be uncritical and dogmatic is the only thing that keeps that faith alive. 

This is great. Christians forced to break out of their ignorance in order to defend their faith and therefore turning into atheists.

 

Gavagai wrote:
Apparently, they're passing out tutorials on "logical fallacies" along with academic literature that's critical of atheism.

Also wonderful. Once they understand logical fallacies they will be able to see why those arguments against atheism fail.

Gavagai wrote:
What's ironic is that they're using quotations from Dawkins's latest book as a strategy for "waking up" these young theists in rather dramatic ways.

The irony will be that in trying to ironically strengthen faith using those who oppose it you will in the end weaken faith. 

Gavagai wrote:
This does not seem to be the goal Dawkins had in mind.

I think it's exactly the goal he had in mind - Get people to think. There's too few people thinking.

Gavagai wrote:
That's progress. What's especially good is that theists who learn these skills will be able to easily discern propaganda and rhetoric from solid argumentation; they will not be impressed by the former.

I hope so.

Then appeals to emotion, fear and authority will no longer work on them and the theistic apologists will no longer be able to convince them of anything. 

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


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Gavagai wrote: Part of me

Gavagai wrote:

Part of me is glad that the new "millitant" atheism is around. I know of certain theists working in subtle ways to increase its popularity, and many theists I know of are hoping that radicals like RRS continue to gain attention from the media. As a result of being exposed to this kind of atheism, many theists who were previously uncritical and dogmatic are beginning to reflect more deeply on the nature of their views. Many are realizing for the first time how important it is to be educated on these issues, so that they can rationally combat door-knocking atheists who suggest that they "recycle the bible" or who declare "war" on various holidays. Many are getting into philosophy and the sciences. I've heard about a project being developed by (apparently) some average "youth pastors" as a result of reading Dennett and Dawkins. They're well-funded, and they'll be traveling to different churches and systematically encouraging thousands of young theists across the nation to enter the academia and develop a more intellectual lifestyle. Apparently, they're passing out tutorials on "logical fallacies" along with academic literature that's critical of atheism. They expect the training to spread like a wildfire. But who knows if it will. And who knows how good the "training" will be. What's ironic is that they're using quotations from Dawkins's latest book as a strategy for "waking up" these young theists in rather dramatic ways.

This does not seem to be the goal Dawkins had in mind. Part of the reason for this, perhaps, involves the hardcore strategy that groups like RRS and Dawkins choose to employ. This strategy seems to me to push theists away from athesim; when they're pushed, they simply go to their nearest "apologist" for help. They're not being pulled in by welcoming arms.

So it seems like Dawkins, in some cases at least, is becoming a strong impetus for many (though certainly not all) theists to equip and refine their beliefs, rather than relinquish them entirely. Dawkins and other "millitant" atheists are motivating theists to be extremely concerned with acquiring the critical thinking skills that will enable them to articulate and defend their views. Uncritical forms of fundamentalism are diminishing. That's progress. What's especially good is that theists who learn these skills will be able to easily discern propaganda and rhetoric from solid argumentation; they will not be impressed by the former. This will be helpful when they read some of the popular literature surrounding these issues. I think Dawkins should be thanked for this.

If this is a side-effect of Dawkin's, et al writings, then I am glad to hear of it.  Like Tilberian, I do not think these people will be theists long if they truly begin to examine their beliefs and the history surrounding their religion and others.  I have no doubt that Dawkin's and the others are grateful for whatever contribution they make in encouraging theists to look at their beliefs with a critical eye since that is what is needed to successfully debate it with atheists.  I grow tired of the same old "the bible is true because I believe it is true" and god of the gaps arguments.  Educated theists would be a welcome change. 


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It seems a mere speculation

It seems a mere speculation at best to suppose that the more theists educate themselves, the more inclined they'll be toward atheism; wishful thinking, at worst. There are thousands of highly educated theists in the academia. I think the best thing we can say is, "time will tell."

Quote:
Who cares what some ivory tower intellectual thinks about God? The important thing is to get the man in the street to wake up from his delusion.

It is often the intellectual whose advice the man in the street seeks when bombarded with the atheism of Dawkins.

Rude, offensive, irrational jackass.


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Quote: It seems a mere

Quote:
It seems a mere speculation at best to suppose that the more theists educate themselves, the more inclined they'll be toward atheism; wishful thinking, at worst.  There are thousands of highly educated theists in the academia. Time will tell.

There is a correlation between education levels and atheism but that's not the issue. We are talking about critical thinking and applying it to religion. I knew two girls who were studying biology in university but were still creationists. They had the education to see it was nonsense, what they didnt have was the inclination to apply critical thought to it. Education does not guarantee critical consideration of your opinions, sometimes not even those that relate to the subject you're educated in.

The point is that if christians are going to learn specifically about critical thinking and how it applies to their faith, then they will be better equiped to see the flaws in all the aruments that defend it.

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


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jce wrote:

jce wrote:
If this is a side-effect of Dawkin's, et al writings, then I am glad to hear of it. Like Tilberian, I do not think these people will be theists long if they truly begin to examine their beliefs and the history surrounding their religion and others. I have no doubt that Dawkin's and the others are grateful for whatever contribution they make in encouraging theists to look at their beliefs with a critical eye since that is what is needed to successfully debate it with atheists. I grow tired of the same old "the bible is true because I believe it is true" and god of the gaps arguments. Educated theists would be a welcome change.

Fundies are getting more militant, withdrawing even further from reality. In my family there has been a bit of a backlash. My mother has been acting even weirder than normal and I'm astounded by the number of people active in local fundy churches. Some have moved to the bible belt to insulate themselves, but there has been a "revival" of sorts here.

I went with my mother to pick up my little step-nephew (is that a word?) from church. In a very rural area we passed three large churches. As we passed church 2, I noticed someone had painted a black "entrance" on a rock to represent the empty tomb. It was Wednesday night and there were tons of people at church 3...lots of little kids getting indoctrinated like I was.

I dislike visiting my mother's house because it's become a bunker against reality. Usually, Faux News is blaring on the TV and there are various fundy books lying around. My mother hasn't read anything but the bible and books by the likes of Sean Hannity in years. The last time I was there I snorted when I saw a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life. Both of her kids abandoned Christianity and she's clinging on for dear life. My brother is still a right-wing fanatic, but he's not religious.

Even though I haven't brought it up in a long, long time, my mother freaked out on me a few weeks ago (don't wanna go into it). The fundies know it doesn't look good, so a lot of them are becoming obsessed with "end times" crappola, which doesn't bode well for the rest of us. Their kids may end up "rebelling" like I did. Some will; some won't. Some will be enslaved for the rest of their lives.

Hmmm...I really would like to move away from here, but maybe the fundies will do me a favor and move to the bible belt. Should we encourage a mass exodus to Texas and then just build a huge fucking wall around it? Smiling

Like someone posted upthread (is that a word?), the only thing new about my atheism is I got fed up with keeping my mouth shut.  I got fed up with "respecting" Christianity.  I got fed up with those who believe in belief.  Hey, I tried that route myself, but it leads nowhere because the only people who get a say are the religious nuts.  They're the ones who won't live and let live.  I tried.  I really did.  But they kept screwing me over and screwing me over and screwing me over.  I'm not going to take it anymore.

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No. The new atheism will

No. The new atheism will not survive.

 

If atheists indeed prize rationality and logic as highly as claimed then atheists are

1) Wrong, god exists and through rational process this will be shown, hence atheim will disappear

2) Correct, there is no god and rationalism will eventually eliminate theism and there will be no need for "militant" atheism.

 

I suppose a third possibility is that contemporay culture collapses into violence and anarchy and then who really cares? 


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wavefreak wrote: No. The

wavefreak wrote:

No. The new atheism will not survive.

 

If atheists indeed prize rationality and logic as highly as claimed then atheists are

1) Wrong, god exists and through rational process this will be shown, hence atheim will disappear

2) Correct, there is no god and rationalism will eventually eliminate theism and there will be no need for "militant" atheism.

 

I suppose a third possibility is that contemporay culture collapses into violence and anarchy and then who really cares?

Yeah, good points.  The "new" atheism will survive only as long as the "old" respect granted to fantastical beliefs simply because they were labeled sacred.  

I doubt god will finally show up with a towel around his waist saying, "Geez, sorry guys!  I mean, I really had planned on coming back and proving my existence and all, but one thing led to another...there was this big war on Troxlan 4 and then some numbnut on Ooglebargle 2 decided to pretend to be me.  I'd just hopped in the shower when I realized, oops!  Well, I'm here now...so...how's earth?" 

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Quote: 1) Wrong, god

Quote:

1) Wrong, god exists and through rational process this will be shown, hence atheim will disappear

2) Correct, there is no god and rationalism will eventually eliminate theism and there will be no need for "militant" atheism.

I suppose a third possibility is that contemporay culture collapses into violence and anarchy and then who really cares?  

Or 4) nothing much changes. Those that need religion will continue to cling to old ones or invent new ones and try to inflict their faith on everyone else. Atheists will remain millitant to defend their right to disbelieve and make sure that others are aware that mythical magical megalomaniacs are not the only way (and certainly not the best way) to explain reality. 

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


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Gavagai wrote: It is

Gavagai wrote:

It is often the intellectual whose advice the man in the street seeks when bombarded with the atheism of Dawkins.

And is consistently disappointed when confronted with the sophistry and vagueness that theistic "intellectuals" employ to create a God that doesn't fall before criticism.  

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ParanoidAgnostic wrote: Or

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:
Or 4) nothing much changes. Those that need religion will continue to cling to old ones or invent new ones and try to inflict their faith on everyone else. Atheists will remain millitant to defend their right to disbelieve and make sure that others are aware that mythical magical megalomaniacs are not the only way (and certainly not the best way) to explain reality.

 

So this would be the worse case scenario? 


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Quote: So this would be

Quote:

So this would be the worse case scenario? 

No, worst case senario would be that one of the groups that want to set up a world-wide theocracy succeeds and punnishes all those who don't accept the same desulsions with torture and death.

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


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ParanoidAgnostic

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:

Quote:

So this would be the worse case scenario?

No, worst case senario would be that one of the groups that want to set up a world-wide theocracy succeeds and punnishes all those who don't accept the same desulsions with torture and death.

 

IMHO, that will never happen. Power seized in that manner sows the seeds of its own destruction. It might succeed for a short time but then violence and anarchy takes over. 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
ParanoidAgnostic wrote:

Quote:

So this would be the worse case scenario?

No, worst case senario would be that one of the groups that want to set up a world-wide theocracy succeeds and punnishes all those who don't accept the same desulsions with torture and death.

 

IMHO, that will never happen. Power seized in that manner sows the seeds of its own destruction. It might succeed for a short time but then violence and anarchy takes over.

Nothing is infinite. (Insert famous Einstein quote here.)

At least so far, history shows us that all civilizations fail.  I see no reason for that to change unless we manage to drive ourselves into extinction (which I consider to be a distinct possibility).  Extinction is one thing Einstein missed in his famous quote.  It does last forever. 

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Iruka Naminori wrote:

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Extinction is one thing Einstein missed in his famous quote. It does last forever.

Not yet it hasn't. Wink

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Gavagai wrote: Part of me

Gavagai wrote:

Part of me is glad that the new "millitant" atheism is around. I know of certain theists working in subtle ways to increase its popularity, and many theists I know of are hoping that radicals like RRS continue to gain attention from the media.

The new atheism is nothing more than people finally getting fed up with being subject to the fantastical belief systems of others as a basis for social and political policy and finally having the courage to stand up to the delusion ruled masses and speak in their own interest. My, my, what militants these heathens are.  

 

Quote:
As a result of being exposed to this kind of atheism, many theists who were previously uncritical and dogmatic are beginning to reflect more deeply on the nature of their views. Many are realizing for the first time how important it is to be educated on these issues, so that they can rationally combat door-knocking atheists who suggest that they "recycle the bible" or who declare "war" on various holidays. Many are getting into philosophy and the sciences.

This is so very telling of theisms approach to questions and why it can not support honest inquiry. You state that most theists are uncritical and dogmatic in their views (which is sounds to these ears like nothing more than an attempt to place yourself and others you consider 'qualified' to intellectualize a belief system in a superior light to the uneducated masses) and then claim that it is important to be educated on 'the isues', not in an honest attempt to determine truth, mind you, but in order to be able to "combat door knocking atheists". You show that what you and many theists desire is that the uneducated masses of slack-jawed theists take their presuppositions and educate themself as long as that education does not conflict with their pre-existing belief. You want them to find support for their previously blind belief as opposed to openly searching for what actually is. This is not the pursuit of knowledge.

 

Quote:
I've heard about a project being developed by (apparently) some average "youth pastors" as a result of reading Dennett and Dawkins. They're well-funded, and they'll be traveling to different churches and systematically encouraging thousands of young theists across the nation to enter the academia and develop a more intellectual lifestyle. Apparently, they're passing out tutorials on "logical fallacies" along with academic literature that's critical of atheism. They expect the training to spread like a wildfire. But who knows if it will. And who knows how good the "training" will be. What's ironic is that they're using quotations from Dawkins's latest book as a strategy for "waking up" these young theists in rather dramatic ways.

Yes, propoganda wars are always a sign of intellectually honest enquiry. These youth pastors should be proud of their attempts to 'educate' the youth. This new atheism, as you and others with agendas call it, is nothing but a response to theism. To combat it, as you seem to think necessary, instead of presenting this counter view in its own, legitimate, voice shows the level of open mindedness that has always been a tell tale sign of the 'intellectual' theist.

Quote:
This does not seem to be the goal Dawkins had in mind. Part of the reason for this, perhaps, involves the hardcore strategy that groups like RRS and Dawkins choose to employ. This strategy seems to me to push theists away from athesim; when they're pushed, they simply go to their nearest "apologist" for help. They're not being pulled in by welcoming arms.

Its not about pulling people in with welcoming arms. That is a strategy to instill dogmas without regard for truth. That is the territory of theism. This 'new atheism' is simply about presenting the counter information and allowing minds to process it and come to their own conclusions. Of course these atheists would prefer to see others leave theism but they do not offer prizes and rewards to win converts. Instead they use a novel 'take the facts and come to the honest conclusion' approach. 

Quote:
So it seems like Dawkins, in some cases at least, is becoming a strong impetus for many (though certainly not all) theists to equip and refine their beliefs, rather than relinquish them entirely. Dawkins and other "millitant" atheists are motivating theists to be extremely concerned with acquiring the critical thinking skills that will enable them to articulate and defend their views. Uncritical forms of fundamentalism are diminishing. That's progress. What's especially good is that theists who learn these skills will be able to easily discern propaganda and rhetoric from solid argumentation; they will not be impressed by the former. This will be helpful when they read some of the popular literature surrounding these issues. I think Dawkins should be thanked for this.

Your post does not instill much confidence in me that the 'new atheism' will help to enlighten theists at all as you seem to think they should use education to support pre-existing beliefs. Sadly, I have seen no reason to consider other theists motives to be any more honest.

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Great post Vessel! Everyone

Great post Vessel!

Everyone be on guard for this strawman of the "militant" atheist that is looking to destroy religion by force. I have never seen any atheist, ever, advocate this as a course of action. I have only rarely seen atheists promoting even government action of any kind with regards to religion, and then it is usually to remove some infiltration of the public system by religion or to end some concession that religions get for no good reason (such as not paying taxes).

The atheist movement at this moment is different from theistic movements and different even from political movements in that it seeks only to convince and persuade with words and ideas. In fact it is notable that this is all that atheists have ever attempted to do, discounting Communists who were in the grip of a rival faith-based ideology rather than proper atheism. 

We should all be encouraged that the ChristCon spin machine is cranking up to start spoon-feeding lies about atheists into the mouths of its minions. It means that they feel threatened, as they should, since religion has always failed tests of critical examination, even from within its own ranks.

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Gavagai wrote: ... I've

Gavagai wrote:
... I've heard about a project being developed by (apparently) some average "youth pastors" as a result of reading Dennett and Dawkins. They're well-funded, and they'll be traveling to different churches and systematically encouraging thousands of young theists across the nation to enter the academia and develop a more intellectual lifestyle ...

I hope those pesky youth pastors suggest my alma mater, Eugene Lang College at the New School here in NYC.  It was voted the number 1 school in the country where students, "ignore god, daily" ... As for an intellectual lifestyle (whatever that is ...), I certainly hope they take up the lifestyle habits of the intellectual philosophy and mathematics concentrators at Lang: cigarettes, scotch, irony and primiscuous sex.  It might lighten those theists up ...

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Tilberian wrote: Great

Tilberian wrote:

Great post Vessel!

Thank you. I took the liberty of putting that in bold text.

Quote:
Everyone be on guard for this strawman of the "militant" atheist that is looking to destroy religion by force. I have never seen any atheist, ever, advocate this as a course of action. I have only rarely seen atheists promoting even government action of any kind with regards to religion, and then it is usually to remove some infiltration of the public system by religion or to end some concession that religions get for no good reason (such as not paying taxes).

Yes. For some reason an atheist  speaking out and placing their views into the public arena as a topic of discussion is always portrayed as the predecessor to an inevitable violent persecution of the poor downtrodden theistic majority. It is nothing more than a centuries old propoganda tactic. The theist (of whatever persuasion) attempts to paint all who dare to publicly challenge their dogmatic ideologies or tenuously held faith based beliefs as an agressor. It is a defense mechanism by which the theist, consciously or not, attempts to villify and naysay all objections before they are even proposed; a necessary component of such an intellectually fragile belief.  

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Iruka Naminori wrote:

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Extinction is one thing Einstein missed in his famous quote. It does last forever.

Maybe not. Smile

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/yellow_number_five/science/8387

 


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Ha ha. That site is now

Ha ha. That site is now proven itself as run by a bunch of amateurs who know nothing about biology, physics, philosophy, cosmology, and anything else scientific. Post awaiting moderation my ass. Theists just don't like it when they get owned do they? Rofl.

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