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“A New Breed of Atheist” Friday, August 3, 2007

Posted by henry000 in atheism, Christianity, Christopher Hitchens, Dawkins, humanism, rationality, reason, religion, Richard Dawkins, secularism.
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A writer at ChristianPost has joined a chorus of concerned religious lots in attacking the current atheism movement spearheaded by Dawkins and Hitchens and all. He identifies this new breed atheism, or anti-theism, as something that is:

There’s no substance, just anger and a lot of hot air.

The lack-of-substance argument has been widely used as a main criticism to these hot-selling anti-theism books such as The God Delusion; some even calls them naive and simplistic. I have stressed it previously that when criticising religion or any other ideology systems you need not to be a complete scholar in the subject – there is a difference between being completely ignorant and being knowledgeable enough.

Further, the writer notes:

They don’t argue; they yell. They’ve decided that, simply because they dislike religion, there is no reason to respect it. In their minds, it’s stupid, dangerous, and that’s all that needs to be said.

He also addresses the current atheism trend from the more concerned atheists (emphasis mine):

The old-guard secular humanists are questioning this new trend, and rightly so. Most traditional atheists simply had their own belief system, and if we wanted our belief system that was okay. The new breed reflects the death of truth. They’re like the communists who feared religion more than anything else because it was a competing truth claim.

How many wrongful claims can you find in this single paragraph along?

Incredibly atheism has been equated once again to a belief system. No it isn’t! If so, what is it and what is its faiths and beliefs?

We don’t fear religion. We are incredibly concerned about the dangers religion has shown over and over again, and these dangers are based on irrationality and blind faith. The dangers range from discrimination against non-believers, to religious-based practices such as honour-killing, genital-mutilation, creationism to name just a few, and to global-wide conflicts that I need not to mention here.

This is why the new atheism is being blunt and in-four-face, bringing the religion down from its pedestal.

Further, in a sweeping generalisation the new atheism movement is being labelled as a system that competes with religion to claim truth. Again this is wrong. Atheism keeps an open mind as to what the so-called truth is – it never claims truth. Religions do. And they do that based not on rational approaches but on dogmatic beliefs and ancient writings. Each religion claims it is the truth religion, let alone the plethora of cults and denominations.

The new atheism may be too loud and blunt – get used to it and get over it.

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Comments»

1. Atheism » Atheism August 2, 2007 6:35 pm - Friday, August 3, 2007

[…] ?A New Breed of Atheist? A writer at ChristianPost has joined a chorus of concerned religious lots in attacking the current atheism movement spearheaded by Dawkins and Hitchens and all. He identifies this new breed atheism, or anti-theism, as something that is: … […]

2. blueollie - Friday, August 3, 2007

Actually, my guess is that this “new breed of atheism” will eventually die out, in the same way that people eventually lose resistances to diseases that died out a long time ago. 🙂

3. Oklahoma! « blueollie - Friday, August 3, 2007

[…] On Evolution: has a post in a similar topic. […]

4. D. Peace - Saturday, August 4, 2007

The writer at ChristianPost does what all Christians do when confronted with the atheism argument: attack the presenter, not the argument itself.

If Dawkins, or any of the “new breed” decides to vocalize his or her opinion more vehemently, he or she is instantly dubbed a loud-mouthed agitator, without a thought ever given to the underlying message at hand.

Stop worrying about whether or not the presenter of the argument is “too loud” or whether or not he is arguing with too much vigor. Just get to the point. Atheists claim that faith without proof isn’t enough to base all existence on earth on. Christians: Prove there’s a God and the conversation will be over.

When atheists argue that religion is a social ill, all they’ve done is crack open a history book and judged the situation objectively. It’s done more harm than good a thousand times over. No aspect of atheist ideology is based on impartial and biased passion. In fact, the whole idea is that we should set our feelings aside and take an objective look at the truth of the world.

Now, if Christians can just come up with a response to that instead of wasting everyone’s time by claiming that Richard Dawkins is too bellicose, we might get somewhere. Pretending that volume invalidates the argument is stupid… it’s just tip-toeing around the issue.

5. D. Peace - Saturday, August 4, 2007

I’d just like to add that the old “Well, you’re close-minded for not tolerating MY close-mindedness!” routine is getting old really fucking fast.

I once spoke out against racism in an argument, only to be called a bigot for not tolerating the KKK.

True story.

6. h3nry - Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thank you D. Peace for the succinct comment! Perhaps one day we could all speak out against the ills and irrationality of religions one day without being called intolerant or arrogant and so on. And this is what the so-called “new atheists” are trying to achieve.

7. D. Peace - Saturday, August 4, 2007

I find it horribly ironic that atheists are considered close-minded. The entire argument presented by Dawkins, Harris, and company is that we should be open-minded enough to completely take our own subjective opinions out of the picture and judge the questions of life and the origins of the universe objectively and without prejudice.

All possible opinions are valid theories, but we can only take seriously and give credibility to the theories that are provable and factual. Anything else is just wasting our time.

The allegations of close-mindedness only make sense in that atheists are presenting their conclusions with too much vehemence, which bothers religious fundamentalists. It’s the TONE rather than the CONTENT that gets dragged through the mud.

Actually, most atheists I know are really open-minded.

The typical atheist response to religion: “If religion has a provable basis in reality, show it to us. Until then, stop ruining society with shit that doesn’t make any sense.”

This is honestly the situation as I see it: Organized religion has been society’s playground bully since nearly the dawn of time. If what they believe has no basis, it doesn’t matter. It’s because they believe it that it’s canon. Everybody else has to go along with it or else they get their ass suitably kicked.

I don’t know how much you know about playground bullies, but they always have the same response to someone calling them out on their bullshit, and that is to cry foul. They’ll become super-defensive and overly sensitive and accuse the person who’s able to cut through their nonsense of bullying themselves. If you’ve ever attempted to break up a fight, you’ll notice that it’s always the bully who started it that plays the part of the victim, and casts you in the role of merciless tormentor.

Religion has a similar response to atheists in that the easiest solution is to slander whoever is trying to knock them off their pedestal rather than taking an unbiased look at themselves and their own misconceptions. It’s always easier to say “Fuck you, buddy” than “Maybe I’m wrong”. And to those who say atheists are too close-minded to admit maybe they’re wrong, I can only say that atheists have given religion about 4,000 years to make a fucking ounce of sense and it still hasn’t. Time’s up.

As for the “new breed” article, I’ll say it again: Christians don’t have any answers, just knee-jerk responses to a perceived threat. That doesn’t hold water. Nothing has been proven on their end. They can only criticize atheists, they can’t substantiate their own theories. Just like the playground bully who lashes out at the guy breaking up the fight, Christians are lashing out at atheists rather than taking a look at their own arguments. The “new breed” tag just means atheists are getting louder and are no perceived as a greater threat.

8. D. Peace - Saturday, August 4, 2007

EDIT: That last sentence should have read “…now perceived as a greater threat.”

9. blueollie - Saturday, August 4, 2007

Bottom line: theists think that the intellectual situation is symmetrical and it really isn’t.

If someone says, “I believe X and you should too”, then it is up to them to prove that X is correct. THEY have the burden of proof, not the person who says “I don’t believe that.”

The only exception, of course, is the Flying Spaghetti Monster; you have to disprove HIS existence if you are to deny His Noodleness, since I know that HE exists since HE has touched me with HIS Noodly Appendage. 😉

10. D. Peace - Sunday, August 5, 2007

Exactly. The onus is on THEM.

FSM rocks, by the way. Ra-men my Pastafarian brothers.


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