Author Topic: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?  (Read 8138 times)

Keith Maitland

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How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« on: October 25, 2017, 01:58:17 PM »
"The problem with New Atheism was that its whole shtick was repeating obviously true things that everyone already knew? But about 80% of Americans identify as religious, 63% claim to be “absolutely certain” that there is a God, and 46% think the world was literally created in seven days. This is a surprising number of people disagreeing with a thing that everybody already knows. I could be misreading the article. The article could be wrong. But I don’t think so. This is my intuitive feeling of what was wrong with New Atheism as well. It wasn’t that they were wrong.... Just that they were right in a loud, boring, and pointless way"



RTWT here:



http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/24/how-did-new-atheism-fail-so-miserably/



SusanDoris

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 02:04:32 PM »
What makes you think that what you call 'new atheism' has failed?
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 02:05:20 PM »
But about 80% of Americans identify as religious, 63% claim to be “absolutely certain” that there is a God, and 46% think the world was literally created in seven days.
Single snap-shot statistics aren't very helpful in looking at trends. When one compared longitudinal data - looking at how religiosity is changing over time - then the USA is just the same as nearly every other developed country with longstanding freedom of religion. That trend being an increase in the proportion of the population that are non religious and are atheist, and a decrease in the proportion that are religious.

Now the USA does differ from many other countries, most notably western European countries, in that the starting point levels of religiosity are high, but the trend is the same - declining religiosity and increasing atheism. In fact the proportion of people in the USA saying they are atheist pretty well doubled from 2007 to 2014, albeit from a low base.

SusanDoris

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 02:17:42 PM »
In my, optimistically enthusiastic, opinion,  the momentum towards atheism has begun as more and more people watch and listen to the news and achievements of scientists and engineers who have sent probes to outer planets and their satellite moons which have sent back an enormous amount of information.

The reliability of such science and the continued total absence of objective evidence of any god/spirit/et wil gradually impinge itself more and more on minds so that that momentum will continue. A pity it will not be strong enough before the end of my life.
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Outrider

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 02:18:49 PM »
"The problem with New Atheism was that its whole shtick was repeating obviously true things that everyone already knew? But about 80% of Americans identify as religious, 63% claim to be “absolutely certain” that there is a God, and 46% think the world was literally created in seven days. This is a surprising number of people disagreeing with a thing that everybody already knows. I could be misreading the article. The article could be wrong. But I don’t think so. This is my intuitive feeling of what was wrong with New Atheism as well. It wasn’t that they were wrong.... Just that they were right in a loud, boring, and pointless way"



RTWT here:



http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/24/how-did-new-atheism-fail-so-miserably/

How can it so confidently claim that 'New' atheism has failed, when there is no clear definition of what 'New' atheism is, or what it's goal was. If, perhaps, 'New' atheism is just old atheism without a self-imposed mute button, I'd say the fact that people claim they're fed up hearing about it probably means that it's been successful. Atheism is no longer taboo, no longer the abnormal, it's just another point on the spectrum that people are welcome to attest to.

Job done, I'd say.

O.
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New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

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wigginhall

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 03:38:46 PM »
I found it a baffling link, partly because as Outrider has said, it doesn't define what New Atheism is.   Well, it talks a bit about Dawkins and Harris and others, but I'm not sure how they have failed.   To do what?

Actually, reading the previous article (in the Baffler), helps, as it sets the scene in the US, and various groups such as atheism+, and varying fallings out among such groups on the left.   I don't think it makes much sense in the UK.   
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 03:52:43 PM by wigginhall »
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 04:26:30 PM »
They failed to give anybody a philosophical erection.
New atheism was identified by D Sloan Wilson as a stealth religion and as the prof has pointed out is going the way of religions

The growth area I would have thought is apatheism. And you won't find many of those on a forum with the title Religion ethics.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 04:46:14 PM »
They failed to give anybody a philosophical erection.
New atheism was identified by D Sloan Wilson as a stealth religion and as the prof has pointed out is going the way of religions

The growth area I would have thought is apatheism. And you won't find many of those on a forum with the title Religion ethics.
So if I 'identify' D Sloan Wilson as a red cummerbund waist size 32, that means he's the wrong colour and size for my black tie evening?

ProfessorDavey

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 05:05:40 PM »
New atheism was identified by D Sloan Wilson as a stealth religion and as the prof has pointed out is going the way of religions
Which Prof? Are you talking about me, in which case I said nothing of the sort. Rather I explained that atheism was growing in the USA - I was silent on 'new atheism' firstly as I have no idea what this is, and secondly because I don't believe there has been a survey that specifically asks people whether they are 'new atheists' (or is it New Atheists) rather than just atheist.

Nearly Sane

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 05:14:17 PM »
New atheism is like new romantics, better hair, more make up than the old romantics and lots of cool new atheist clubs like Ricky's and The Dawkz.

Shaker

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 05:57:59 PM »
Others have correctly identified the central flaw in the thesis: for 'new atheism' to fail it would have had to have had some sort of programme or mission or objective at which it could fail (or succeed) in the first place. In reality it was no more than a convenient shorthand, thought up by an interviewer from IIRC Slate magazine, to refer to three people (Dawkins/Dennett/Harris) who separately published books within a short space of time of each other.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 06:01:22 PM by Shaker »
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Walter

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 06:03:54 PM »
New atheism is like new romantics, better hair, more make up than the old romantics and lots of cool new atheist clubs like Ricky's and The Dawkz.
go on then  , I'll have a giggle with you 😂😂😂

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 08:27:51 PM »
Others have correctly identified the central flaw in the thesis: for 'new atheism' to fail it would have had to have had some sort of programme or mission or objective at which it could fail (or succeed) in the first place. In reality it was no more than a convenient shorthand, thought up by an interviewer from IIRC Slate magazine, to refer to three people (Dawkins/Dennett/Harris) who separately published books within a short space of time of each other.
Cunningly crafted post disguises that there was a fourth Christopher Hitchens. Collectively referred to by disciples as the four horsemen the new atheists then prefaced and postscripted each others books and toured with each other and made mutual youtubes in each other's houses and shows.

Know this New Atheist officer? I've never published dependently on him in my life.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 09:10:15 PM by 'andles for forks »
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Shaker

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 10:08:40 PM »
Cunningly crafted post disguises that there was a fourth Christopher Hitchens.
Not mentioned in the aforementioned Slate article as his book came later.

Quote
Collectively referred to by disciples as the four horsemen the new atheists then prefaced and postscripted each others books and toured with each other and made mutual youtubes in each other's houses and shows.
And?
Pain, or damage, don't end the world. Or despair, or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man, and give some back. - Al Swearengen, Deadwood.

Humph Warden Bennett

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 05:15:01 AM »
New atheism is like new romantics, better hair, more make up than the old romantics and lots of cool new atheist clubs like Ricky's and The Dawkz.

I get the impression that Keith is arguing the opposite, in that the lveiws of the ikes of Dawkins, Gervais, etc have not had the success that they should have had because the they are seen as unpleasant belligerent repetitive bores?

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2017, 07:18:34 AM »
In my, optimistically enthusiastic, opinion,  the momentum towards atheism has begun as more and more people watch and listen to the news and achievements of scientists and engineers who have sent probes to outer planets and their satellite moons which have sent back an enormous amount of information.

The reliability of such science and the continued total absence of objective evidence of any god/spirit/et wil gradually impinge itself more and more on minds so that that momentum will continue. A pity it will not be strong enough before the end of my life.
New Atheism according to Wikipedia and atheist philosopher of science Massimo Piglucci is characterised by commitment in various measure to Secular humanism, antitheism, scientism and partially overlapping magisterial or POMA and your commitment the latter is evident here.

There is of course no commitment to these on the part of apatheism.Most apatheists would start to whistle and thumb twiddle in the presence of a New Atheist.

The problem for religion and new atheism of course is commitment. Given what we are required by government and society to be committed to, most people given a choice will not emotionally invest in anything else but play and low level sensual stimulation.

This means that enthusiasm for science is replaced by scientism and the comforting tones of Attenborough and dancing dolphins.

This isn't true of the states where the religious impulse and room for zealous discipleship and commitment is ingrained and where the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens located in order IMHO to tap in and advance their world view.
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Sriram

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2017, 07:25:04 AM »

IMO many of the atheists (New and Old...what's the difference?) are not just repetitive bores but they also lack vision and insight.  Intelligent perhaps but no wisdom. Sorry guys...no offence... :D

Britain in particular, being one of the pioneers in Science and modern thinking...seems to have gotten stuck in its own success and glory. Science is the new 'religion'.  Britishers seem to be resting on their laurels and wallowing in their atheism as though it is some sort of a path breaking new find that no one has thought of before.

This is a pity because atheism is as old as the hills but lacks any true insight or comprehensive perspective.  It lacks integration and a big picture view. Most recent atheists are looking out of a window that someone like Dawkins or Harris have shown them and believe that the little window gives them access to all the world, beyond which there cannot possibly be anything else.

I guess it will change in the coming decades.








Gordon

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2017, 07:40:13 AM »
You seem to be confusing atheism with some kind of organised 'big picture' religion: it isn't, and involves little more than simply not holding any beliefs about supernatural agents.

There is no atheist 'big picture' as far as I can see.

SusanDoris

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2017, 07:49:51 AM »
IMO many of the atheists (New and Old...what's the difference?) are not just repetitive bores but they also lack vision and insight.  Intelligent perhaps but no wisdom. Sorry guys...no offence... :D
Most of us are wise enough not to take any notice of such blinkered assertions!


Quote
Britain in particular, being one of the pioneers in Science and modern thinking...seems to have gotten stuck in its own success and glory. Science is the new 'religion'.  Britishers seem to be resting on their laurels and wallowing in their atheism as though it is some sort of a path breaking new find that no one has thought of before.

This is a pity because atheism is as old as the hills but lacks any true insight or comprehensive perspective.  It lacks integration and a big picture view. Most recent atheists are looking out of a window that someone like Dawkins or Harris have shown them and believe that the little window gives them access to all the world, beyond which there cannot possibly be anything else.

I guess it will change in the coming decades.
An you know all this how? Are you one of those who believes that, as someone I know says, consciousness came before the sun!!!

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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2017, 08:10:12 AM »
You seem to be confusing atheism with some kind of organised 'big picture' religion: it isn't, and involves little more than simply not holding any beliefs about supernatural agents.

There is no atheist 'big picture' as far as I can see.
But there is a New Atheist big picture.The advancement in various measure of secular humanism, scientism, antitheism and partially overlapping magisteria.
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Sriram

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2017, 08:57:40 AM »
You seem to be confusing atheism with some kind of organised 'big picture' religion: it isn't, and involves little more than simply not holding any beliefs about supernatural agents.

There is no atheist 'big picture' as far as I can see.


Yes...I am in fact saying that Atheism does not have a Big Picture view of the world.  It merely asserts that it does not believe in anything that cannot be explained by natural law.  That is its limitation as also perhaps that of science itself.  Any philosophy that ties itself with science is limited by its scope.

Walter

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2017, 09:32:16 AM »

Yes...I am in fact saying that Atheism does not have a Big Picture view of the world.  It merely asserts that it does not believe in anything that cannot be explained by natural law.  That is its limitation as also perhaps that of science itself.  Any philosophy that ties itself with science is limited by its scope.
either my mind has not fully woken up yet  or you are talking bollocks , not sure which yet?

Walter

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2017, 09:40:51 AM »
But there is a New Atheist big picture.The advancement in various measure of secular humanism, scientism, antitheism and partially overlapping magisteria.
you need to stop seeing things as organised brain dead people all worshiping at the same temple chanting prayers in some kind of repulsive self absorbed happy clappy  'we know the truth' kind of way . Most atheists I know are simply private individuals , a bit like people who wear false dentures , you wouldn't know unless you asked them

Shaker

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2017, 09:44:14 AM »
either my mind has not fully woken up yet  or you are talking bollocks , not sure which yet?
I'll go for (b) please Bob.
Pain, or damage, don't end the world. Or despair, or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man, and give some back. - Al Swearengen, Deadwood.

SusanDoris

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Re: How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2017, 09:48:39 AM »
I'll go for (b) please Bob.
Me too! And thank you, Walter, for the laugh on a grey morning.
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