Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This guy, Nemo (12/26/10) thinks Christianity will wither away but that it would be a calamity to go right from theism to new atheism

What would “victory” look like?

Complete victory of New Atheism would be a calamity, and the nature of the question suggests the (a)theocratic false ambitions of the New Atheists, who have been hyped into thinking atheism some kind of scientific proof to it.

The passing away of Xtianity is probably inevitable, over a very long time, but the next stage of consciousness should be a robust study of the history of religion, the development of self-consciousness, and a kind of Kantian wariness at the tendency of all groups, religious or atheists, to create dogamatic or totalitarian cults out of metaphysical beliefs.
The intolerance of the new atheists, even to agnostics or other types of atheists, is an important warning that they are the same idiots in a new disguise as the Christians.
Lest this seem exaggerated consider Michael Parenti’s ‘new atheist’ book in the wake of the others, with its diatribe against Tibet: there ‘atheism’ means looking the other way at the destruction of Buddhists through murder ethnicide, and indoctrination.
The only safe stance is an intelligent agnosticism, and the intolerance toward even that shows the new atheists in their cultic infatuation, a mood created by Dawkins and his clever promotions of pseudo-science.
So let us fear this victory, and not let it happen. There is no need for victory. All that is needed is a pluralistic society where opinion is not controlled.

It's doubtful Christianity will pass away and even if it does I'm not sure that prove what most atheists think it would prove.

true this is a ID source, so take it with a grian of salt, but it does document that New Atheism and old Atheism are fighting. Irrationality of new atheism vs rationality of old.

e g r e g o r e s

UK Guardian attacks Harris as Totalitarian
Posted by on August 2, 2009
I was beginning to wonder whether or not this issue of Francis Collins’ nomination to be NIH Director had played out, but then I just saw that Andrew Brown begins his August 2, 2009 column in the UK Guardian like this
Anyone tempted to believe that the abolition of religion would make the world a wiser and better place should study the works of Sam Harris. Shallow, narrow, and self-righteous, he defends and embodies all of the traits that have made organised religion repulsive; and he does so in the name of atheism and rationality. He has, for example, defended torture, (“restraint in the use of torture cannot be reconciled with our willingness to wage war in the first place”) attacked religious toleration in ways that would make Pio Nono blush: “We can no more tolerate a diversity of religious beliefs than a diversity of beliefs about epidemiology and basic hygiene” ; he has claimed that there are some ideas so terrible that we may be justified in killing people just for believing them.

And he ends it like this:

But militant atheism, of the sort that would deny people jobs for their religions beliefs, doesn’t actually believe in real science at all, any more than it believes in reason. Rather, it uses “science” and “reason” as tribal labels, and “religion” as a term for witchcraft. Any serious defence of the real, hard-won and easily lost enlightenment must start by rejecting that style of atheism entirely. What use is it to be right about God and wrong about everything else?
Parenthetically I want to say that I feel especially indebted to Brown for drawing my attention to yet another example of just how incredibly godawful the writing of these New Atheists can be:
But, obviously, Brown’s critique of Harris has far more to do with substance than style. Brown correctly condemns Harris’ arguments (“To the extent that Harris has any argument at all”), as “fantastically illiberal”. But personally I believe that Brown gives too much credit when he also characterizes the posture that Harris has assumed as only “embryonically totalitarian”. That embryo hatched when Harris published his first book, if not before.

The Chronicle of Higher Eudcation
Jan 21, 2011,
The New Atheist's Narrow World view
By Stephen T. Asma

new atheists world view is narrow minded and has nothing to say to the 3d world and people struggling to survive in dire poverty. from the Chronicle of higher education

With tongues in cheeks, Rich­ard Daw­kins, Chris­to­pher Hitch­ens, Sam Har­ris, and Dan­iel Dennett are embracing their reputation as the "Four Horsemen." Lampoon­ing the anx­i­eties of evan­geli­cals, these best-sell­ing athe­ists are em­brac­ing their "dan­gerous" sta­tus and dar­ing be­liev­ers to match their for­mi­da­ble philo­soph­i­cal acu­men.

Ac­cord­ing to these sol­diers of rea­son, the time for re­li­gion is over. It clings like a bad gene rep­li­cat­ing in the pop­u­la­tion, but its use­ful­ness is played out. Sam Har­ris's most re­cent book, The Moral Land­scape (Free Press, 2010), is the lat­est in the continuing bat­tle. As an ag­nos­tic, I find much of the horse­men's cri­tiques to be healthy.

But most friends and even en­e­mies of the new athe­ism have not yet no­ticed the pro­vin­cial­ism of the cur­rent de­bate. If the horse­men left their world of books, con­fer­ences, classrooms, and com­put­ers to trav­el more in the de­vel­op­ing world for a year, they would find some un­fa­mil­iar religious arenas.

Hav­ing lived in Cam­bo­di­a and Chi­na, and trav­eled in Thai­land, Laos, Viet­nam, and Af­ri­ca, I have come to ap­pre­ci­ate how re­li­gion func­tions quite dif­fer­ent­ly in the de­vel­op­ing world—where the ma­jor­ity of be­liev­ers ac­tu­al­ly live. The Four Horse­men, their fans, and their en­e­mies all fail to fac­tor in their own pros­per­i­ty when they think a­bout the uses and a­buses of re­li­gion.

Har­ris and his colleagues think that re­li­gion is most­ly con­cerned with two jobs—explain­ing na­ture and guid­ing mo­ral­ity. Their sug­ges­tion that sci­ence does these jobs bet­ter is pret­ty con­vinc­ing. As Har­ris puts it, "I am ar­gu­ing that sci­ence can, in prin­ci­ple, help us un­der­stand what we should do and should want—and, there­fore, what oth­er people should do and should want in or­der to live the best lives pos­si­ble." I a­gree with Har­ris here and even spilled sig­nif­i­cant ink my­self, back in 2001, to show that Ste­phen Jay Gould's pop­u­lar sci­ence/re­li­gion di­plo­ma­cy of "nonoverlapping mag­is­te­ri­a" (what many call the fact/val­ue dis­tinc­tion) is in­co­her­ent. The horse­men's mis­take is not their claim that sci­ence can guide mo­ral­ity. Rather, they're wrong in imag­in­ing that the pri­ma­ry job of re­li­gion is mo­ral­ity. Like cos­mol­o­gy, eth­ics is bare­ly rel­e­vant in non-West­ern re­li­gions. It is cer­tain­ly not the main func­tion or lure of de­vo­tion­al life. Science could take over the "mo­ral­ity job" to­mor­row in the de­vel­op­ing world, and very few re­li­gious prac­ti­tioners would even no­tice.

It's becoming rather common place to see people, not fundies, leftists and liberals and humanists recognizing the narrow mined totalitarian nature of new atheism.

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