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Featured Myths of the New Atheism

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by IndigoChild5559, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I know many Atheists that I respect. There is a certain brutal integrity to atheism that is admirable. I remember how in CS Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" Ransom includes an Atheist skeptic on the team that fights the demonic entity -- he says that the skeptics keep believers honest.

    But I have a real problem with the New Atheists. Not only are they hateful, undulu rude and obnoxious, but they are hypocrites. They ridicule religion for functioning on a set of unquestioned myths, but they seem blind to thei own myths.

    1. Science will replace religion by answering questions about the universe
    This radically underestimates the many roles and benefits religion. Religion provides social cohesion, meaning and purpose, ethics, etc. There are many biological benefits of rreligion that have evolved such as mental and physical health and a longer life. And then there are the questions of WHY. Why does the universe exist? Why do I exist? Why should I be a good person? Science can never answer those types of questions.
    2. Humankind will progress.
    There is no evidence of this. We progress technologically. But one has only to look at our crime rate and wars and decimation of other species to see that we are still the animals we have always been -- we just do our animal thing on a larger scale
    3. Materialism explains everything.
    It does not. For example, it does not explain the existence of math, which is a complete abstraction existing in our universe independent of human thought.​

    4. Science solves our problems.
    Science certainly solves some problems, but not the most important ones. From science we get modern medicine and thank goodness. We also get creature comforts that make our lives easier by reducing labor. And we get a lot of entertainment for that liesure time. But science utterly fails to make us happy -- something that religion is known to accomplish, especially in areas of the world that don't have the money for scientific gizmos, areas where they don't look to material goods for happiness. What good is health and long life if you can't enjoy it
    This post is inspired by the following article: Why science can’t replace religion
     
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  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    To me, science explains how things work the way they do and religious faith teaches us basic morality.
     
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  3. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    This is the reason that Neil Degrasse Tyson gives for not identifying himself as an atheist.
     
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  4. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Just keep in mind even if they were religious folks they could still be as they hateful, unduly rude and obnoxious, hypocrites. Being atheist doesn't protect one from these personality flaws any more than being religious does.

    There's a bunch of obnoxious folks all about the world. Some of them happen to be atheists.
     
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  5. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Arguing from vengeance ignorance perhaps (I made the expression up spur-of-the-moment :grin:).
     
  6. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    What the hell is `new atheism` ??
    Either one believes that `God` exists or one doesn't !
    Also....religions are fostered by fear of the unknown !
    If one wants to worship, then worship, or don't do it !
    We'll all end up in same place....dead !
    But...what is a `new atheist` for Christ's sake ?
    Anyway...I do believe in Jesus' thinking, sans `God` !
     
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  7. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    The 'New Atheism' is a movement started by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. They have made a crusade out of protesting religion, in efforts to establish Scientific reason at the forefront of society. They debate religion regularly and have written very popular books speaking out against the evils of religion.
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Do you have personal experience with those in this list?

    In person, no one cares.

    That, and science does address where we come from, etc. It doesnt address the morality but we have been discovering where we are from and who are we for eons.

    We will all eventually die. So, all the non scientific stuff just gives meaning to what science finds out. For example, science found out how humans evolved. We can either see it as a threat to ones own religion or put it aside. Unless you place meaning in it, what does it matter.

    I never experience new atheism. I am an atheist because I dont believe in deities. It has nothing to do with science...

    So, is this something you personaly experience?
     
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  9. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I agree with the thrust of your post, but there's a few things I think are worth reminding ourselves of.


    For some humans, it does. Contrary to the popular conception, the sciences are an extension of the religious impetus, not in opposition to it. Some humans can and do use it as a central axis of mythic narratives. I do this myself within my own religion, in fact, though I do not do so to exclusion of other ways of knowing. Some do couch their mythos in the sciences to the exclusion of all else - that's been given the name scientism. They treat the sciences in the same way the religious do their own mythic narratives; science is the authority and yardstick of truth for them. To their view, Science™ is replacing religion, as they don't recognize their own activities as fundamentally religious. IMO, sciences are basically a form or tool of modern religion. :shrug:

    All of the other items in your list serve to reinforce that point. They are all mythic narratives of scientism in particular, and serve a thoroughly religious role. The myth of progress is especially ironic on this point, because it has religious (Christian) origins. I mean, all of those narratives strike me as obviously religious, but, well... the crowd that believes these things? Religion is often a dirty word. It's kinda funny.
     
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  10. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Yup. And they are fools, for exactly the reasons the OP gives. They have managed to misunderstand what role religion performs in people's lives. Science does not attempt to answer the questions and needs that religion addresses: meaning, purpose, belonging, guide to living, etc.
     
  11. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity I'm n ur cookeez
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    It does, and Science can easily become dogmatic, the pet of governments or even of religions. The new atheist is vulnerable to the same faults of religion: the expectation that things will keep going perpetually. They never do. Paint always peels.

    Quite. There is no guarantee, and this misunderstanding is largely the fault of the choice of language. People say 'Advanced civilization'. That is a misnomer. Civilizations rise and then they fall, and they can be backward in one way while very good in another.

    I agree.

    Technical revolutions tend to hurt people. Technology can help with equalizing society, but it doesn't do so automatically.
     
  12. Woberts

    Woberts The Perfumed Seneschal

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    This is the line of division.
    Religion does nothing for humanity that can't be replicated with a secular institution. Also, how does religion help humankind progress? It's been around for a very long time, and we're still the same.
    And yes, science does solve the most important problems. It's pretty hard to be happy when you're dying of Cholera.
    Just another poorly-written "New Atheists are bad, lol!" thread.
     
  13. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I like Sam Harris. He speaks clearly and calmly.
    Dawkins books on evolution are excellent, on atheism he isn't very good.
    Your objections are to the point.
     
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  14. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I don’t like the way you attribute such unconditional and generic negative characteristics to such an undefined group label. I’d suggest such specific accusations should only be levelled at specific targets (with specific evidence). I have first-hand experience of how easily “New Atheists” morphs in to “those atheists”, “all atheists” and then to “you”.

    I agree that the four assertions you list aren’t unconditionally true (though I’m not convinced they’re unconditionally false either) but I’m not clear who (if anyone) has actually proposed them all in the first place. I think it’s also worth noting that my personal opinions on the existence of gods isn’t really relevant to any of them anyway. :cool:
     
  15. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    A very, very good start. I'm a big believer in both science an religion myself.
     
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  16. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Yes, science has certainly shown that humans evolved. Nothing threatening about that. I don't see where that knowledge gives any kind of meaning to anything. It doesn't answer existential questions such as why humans beings are here or what our purpose is. It can't -- such questions are simply not the purview of science.

    I am new to the forum, so I am still getting to know everyone.. I tend to look at people as individuals. Someone may think of themselves as a "New Atheist" but not really fit the definition very well or not fit it in all respects. As I get to know them, I'll become familiar with their nuances. I hope they won't box me in either. We can speak of statistical generalities, but individuals vary.
     
    #16 IndigoChild5559, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  17. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    First, I sense fertile ground for learning in your statement that the sciences are an extension of the religion impetus (and that you do this in your own religion). Please send me a post on this topic.

    What did you think of my point that religion has many more roles than simply explaining how the universe works?

    You are correct that I am saying the New Atheism is Scientism. And what is more, it is an especially hypocritical version of Scientism because it mocks others for their myths while having its own.
     
  18. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I went WAY out of my way to say that I wasn't talking about all atheists.
     
  19. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity I'm n ur cookeez
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    ...and yet sometimes religions start out as secular institutions. It seems like about half of the time.

    No it isn't a new-atheists-are-bad thread. Its a thread that criticizes some claims but not the people nor the existence of atheism.
     
  20. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    This is just not what scientific studies have shown. Religious people are healthier, happier, and live longer.
     
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