Author Topic: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?  (Read 991 times)

Phyllis Tyne

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Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« on: November 06, 2018, 07:57:25 AM »
In my view yes.
It is a literary movement, it is organised, it is public, it has been identified as a stealth religion, it has beliefs and practices beyond atheism, It has founders etc.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 09:06:27 AM »
I think most of what is called New Atheism, at least on the surface, is antitheist in nature. I am just an atheist.

Trentvoyager

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 09:11:55 AM »
I think most of what is called New Atheism, at least on the surface, is antitheist in nature. I am just an atheist.

Indeed. There is one self described uncultured boor and ignoramus on here who is unable to distinguish between new atheism and atheism. At least if the way the poster condemns all atheists equally is taken into consideration.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 09:26:24 AM »
Indeed. There is one self described uncultured boor and ignoramus on here who is unable to distinguish between new atheism and atheism. At least if the way the poster condemns all atheists equally is taken into consideration.
A lot of what might be described as New Atheism though is simply, people being openly atheist. In some cultures that's important, for example, in the US where despite the constitution there is a cultural bias against atheism, or worse in states where it is actively repressed. That I might campaign for Raif Badawi's freedom, doesn't make me a New Atheist. As ever, I find simplistic labels tell me very little about people.

Stranger

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 09:43:25 AM »
Is there such a thing as New Atheism?

Depends what you mean by 'thing', I guess. AFAIK it's a label that's been applied to the views expressed by some authors (notably the 'four horsemen': Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens). I'm not aware that it is anything more than that.
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Sebastian Toe

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 10:22:06 AM »
In my view yes.
It is a literary movement, it is organised, it is public, it has been identified as a stealth religion, it has beliefs and practices beyond atheism, It has founders etc.
It is a label.
A label is a thing
Yet, the number of people who self describe using that label is not large.
Can you give any examples?

I know it's a blow for you that the number of self proclaiming 'New Athiests' on this forum can be counted on the fingers of one foot.
All of those long hours put in to carefully craft your witticisms, gone to waste!
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jeremyp

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 12:31:54 PM »
In my view yes.
It is a literary movement
You mean several people have written books in which they claim there is no god? Several people have written books about car mechanics. Is that a literary movement?

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it is organised,
Really?

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it has been identified as a stealth religion
Not legitimately.

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it has beliefs and practices beyond atheism, It has founders etc.

Who are the founders? What are the beliefs and practices?

"New atheist" is a label people have applied to certain atheists* who have been prepared to air their views publicly. I don't think there's anything more to it than that.

*I don't really like the term "antitheist" it superficially implies they are against God whereas they are actually against theism or religion.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 12:38:33 PM by jeremyp »
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Rhiannon

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 12:35:25 PM »
In my view yes.
It is a literary movement, it is organised, it is public, it has been identified as a stealth religion, it has beliefs and practices beyond atheism, It has founders etc.

You sound paranoid.

jeremyp

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 12:39:21 PM »
It is a literary movement,

Can we call a series of posts by Vlad a bowel movement?
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 01:16:53 PM »
I am indebted to Stranger who wished to point out that New Atheism was different from atheist and gave two links to definitions, one an informative Wikipedia entry which can leave one in no doubt that it definitely is 'a thing'.


Since though it doesn't seem to be the thing to own up to belonging to and to prevent wrangling over whether one is an atheist, a new atheist, a 'you ain't seen me, right' atheist, an apatheist, a 'go on then, try to land a label on me' atheist......Let's look at a set of beliefs which are recogniseably collective and see which contributors can sign up to.


We should also proceed in the knowledge that groups of people collectively believing/behaving in the same way don't always get to choose what they are known as....Shakers, Quakers, Christians, New Atheists etc. and proceed with the maxim that if it walks like a Duck and quacks like a duck it is a duck.


So friends, how many of these can you sign up to?

The "God Hypothesis" is a valid scientific hypothesis,since it claims effects in the physical universe.

Like any other hypothesis it can be tested and falsified.

God is a scientific hypothesis that can be tested by standard methods of science.

The hypothesis fails any such tests.

Naturalism is sufficient to explain everything we observe in the universe, the most distant galaxies, the origin of life, the existence of different species, and the inner workings of the brain and consciousness.

Nowhere is it necessary to introduce God or the supernatural to understand reality.

Religious or supernatural claims (such as the virgin birth of Jesus and the afterlife) are scientific claims in nature. 

God is a Failed Hypothesis

A God of the three omnis, cannot logically exist.

Science and religion are in conflict,

It is completely unrealistic to claim that religion keeps itself away from science's turf, restricting itself to morals and values.

A universe with a supernatural presence would be a fundamentally and qualitatively different kind of universe from one without.

Science and thereby currently unknown objective facts may instruct human morality in a globally comparable way.

There are objective states of well-being.
 
Religion has a biased and privileged position in society.

The influence of religion in the public sphere must be challenged and reduced.


Source Wikipedia.
 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 02:05:50 PM by Phyllis Tyne »

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 01:26:40 PM »
It is a label.
A label is a thing
Yet, the number of people who self describe using that label is not large.
Can you give any examples?

I know it's a blow for you that the number of self proclaiming 'New Athiests' on this forum can be counted on the fingers of one foot.
All of those long hours put in to carefully craft your witticisms, gone to waste!
Yes some labels are completely misplaced eg ''antitheist comedian''.


Is it really a problem of self identification? After all look at that ghastly ''shall we call ourselves 'the Brights''' business. Isn't it just the character flaw where you don't want the others to put a handle on you?


That you and your fellows do not want a name or be named seems almost superstitious.


Or perhaps Seb, the truth is that now New Atheism is a toxic brand.

Sebastian Toe

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2018, 04:39:28 PM »
Yes some labels are completely misplaced eg ''antitheist comedian''.


Is it really a problem of self identification? After all look at that ghastly ''shall we call ourselves 'the Brights''' business. Isn't it just the character flaw where you don't want the others to put a handle on you?


That you and your fellows do not want a name or be named seems almost superstitious.


Or perhaps Seb, the truth is that now New Atheism is a toxic brand.
Do you mind if someone puts an incorrect label on you?

The only person that I can see attempting to place the New Atheist label on people is yourself.
Is it because you perceive it to be toxic?
Maybe it is because you have a character flaw?
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 05:36:33 PM »
Do you mind if someone puts an incorrect label on you?

The only person that I can see attempting to place the New Atheist label on people is yourself.
Is it because you perceive it to be toxic?
Maybe it is because you have a character flaw?
For better or worse, people who collectively make a song and dance or are behaviourally and ideologically distinct are named. I didn't come up with the description (apparently it was someone who identifies as an agnostic). I wasn't the first or only person who talked of them as a stealth religion( That was an atheist).


In any case, what is the problem with the term New Atheist? What is it about it that leaves you apparently unreasonably exercised?


Finally, did you take my survey of beliefs which have been associated with New Atheism?

How many did you agree with?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:44:26 PM by Phyllis Tyne »

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 06:13:15 PM »
Do you mind if someone puts an incorrect label on you?

The only person that I can see attempting to place the New Atheist label on people is yourself.
Is it because you perceive it to be toxic?
Maybe it is because you have a character flaw?
You are on your own Vlad No one but you has ever referred to anyone as a New Atheist, Never have , Never will.


There are no New atheists Vlad, There are no theists Vlad


There is nothing beyond the forum Vlad

There is only the forum Vlad....

Sebastian Toe

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 07:49:48 PM »
You are on your own Vlad No one but you has ever referred to anyone as a New Atheist, Never have , Never will.


There are no New atheists Vlad, There are no theists Vlad


There is nothing beyond the forum Vlad

There is only the forum Vlad....
Persecution complex as well?
Maybe you need to take another 'indefinite' leave of absence,
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2018, 08:11:15 AM »
Persecution complex as well?
Maybe you need to take another 'indefinite' leave of absence,
Your refusal and the refusal of other atheists to take part in a survey of specific beliefs noted as concomitant to atheist writing is a act against knowledge and understanding.

What is it you are all afraid off?

Stranger

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2018, 09:37:43 AM »
Your refusal and the refusal of other atheists to take part in a survey of specific beliefs noted as concomitant to atheist writing is a act against knowledge and understanding.

What is it you are all afraid off?

I think it's probably lack of interest, rather than fear. I read through it and decided that I couldn't sign up to any of them without further qualification or clarification, with the possible exception of "A God of the three omnis, cannot logically exist." but even that sounds like it's saying the idea is inherently inconsistent (which may be what Stenger meant, I don't know, I haven't read his book) but it's more likely that it means that the idea is inconsistent with the world we observe - which I agree with.

So there you go, one out of 16. Doesn't look like I'll get my New Atheist badge...      :'( 

It should also be pointed out that all these points are just what you've taken from the wiki page about New Atheism and most of them are from Dawkins and Stenger (according to said page). So this is your take on somebody else's take on what a couple of authors have said...
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2018, 10:12:42 AM »
I think it's probably lack of interest, rather than fear. I read through it and decided that I couldn't sign up to any of them without further qualification or clarification, with the possible exception of "A God of the three omnis, cannot logically exist." but even that sounds like it's saying the idea is inherently inconsistent (which may be what Stenger meant, I don't know, I haven't read his book) but it's more likely that it means that the idea is inconsistent with the world we observe - which I agree with.

So there you go, one out of 16. Doesn't look like I'll get my New Atheist badge...      :'( 

It should also be pointed out that all these points are just what you've taken from the wiki page about New Atheism and most of them are from Dawkins and Stenger (according to said page). So this is your take on somebody else's take on what a couple of authors have said...
1: Yes I acknowledged it as a list taken from Wikipedia. That was necessary to avoid the "oh, this is just Vlad" effect.

2: Thank you for actually responding and saying why you could sign up to one but that you prefer to remain agnostic about the rest.

3: With the exception of yourself, the lack of interest seems to be in relinquishing the role of interrogator to take the role of interegatee.

Stranger

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2018, 11:43:17 AM »
1: Yes I acknowledged it as a list taken from Wikipedia. That was necessary to avoid the "oh, this is just Vlad" effect.

Yes, so it's your selection from wiki's selection, of the points made by (mainly two) of the so-called "New Atheist" authors. It's not exactly definitive.

2: Thank you for actually responding and saying why you could sign up to one but that you prefer to remain agnostic about the rest.

I don't think agnostic is the right word. I think many are too vague. For example "The "God Hypothesis" is a valid scientific hypothesis" - what god hypothesis? On the one hand, the hypothesis that a god created the universe about 6000 years ago is making a scientific claim, one which has clearly been falsified. At the other extreme, a deist type god hypothesis clearly makes no testable claims at all.
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Sebastian Toe

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2018, 11:43:56 AM »
Your refusal and the refusal of other atheists
Where have I stated that I am am atheist?
Are you labelling me Vlad?
Show your working.....
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2018, 11:52:10 AM »
Where have I stated that I am am atheist?
Are you labelling me Vlad?
Show your working.....
If I am wrong in referring to you as an atheist then you have my sincere apology.

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2018, 11:59:47 AM »
Yes, so it's your selection from wiki's selection, of the points made by (mainly two) of the so-called "New Atheist" authors. It's not exactly definitive.

I don't think agnostic is the right word. I think many are too vague. For example "The "God Hypothesis" is a valid scientific hypothesis" - what god hypothesis? On the one hand, the hypothesis that a god created the universe about 6000 years ago is making a scientific claim, one which has clearly been falsified. At the other extreme, a deist type god hypothesis clearly makes no testable claims at all.
All fair points

What about religion and science being in conflict? Given what you have said about the age of the earth episode, do you now think you could sign up to that idea, or does the statement still seem vague.

Stranger

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2018, 12:06:33 PM »
What about religion and science being in conflict? Given what you have said about the age of the earth episode, do you now think you could sign up to that idea, or does the statement still seem vague.

It still needs qualification because it depends on what religion you are talking about. The same examples apply: literal creationist religions are in conflict but not deism.
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Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2018, 12:20:31 PM »
It still needs qualification because it depends on what religion you are talking about. The same examples apply: literal creationist religions are in conflict but not deism.
Yes, I see.

jeremyp

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Re: Is there such a thing as New Atheism?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2018, 12:31:18 PM »

The "God Hypothesis" is a valid scientific hypothesis,since it claims effects in the physical universe.

Like any other hypothesis it can be tested and falsified.

God is a scientific hypothesis that can be tested by standard methods of science.

The hypothesis fails any such tests.
The problem is the claim that there is only one god hypothesis. The most general version "God created the Universe" cannot be falsified. It makes no predictions. The god hypothesis subscribed to by fundamentalist Christians can be falsified and has been - there was no global flood that wiped out all but eight people, for example.

Quote
Naturalism is sufficient to explain everything we observe in the universe, the most distant galaxies, the origin of life, the existence of different species, and the inner workings of the brain and consciousness.

Nowhere is it necessary to introduce God or the supernatural to understand reality.
Yep. I can subscribe to that one.

Quote
Religious or supernatural claims (such as the virgin birth of Jesus and the afterlife) are scientific claims in nature. 
Some are, some aren't.

Quote
God is a Failed Hypothesis
See above. There is not just one god hypothesis. However, all the ones that are falsifiable probably haver been falsified.

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A God of the three omnis, cannot logically exist.
Can omniscient god predict everything that omnipotent god can do? No, otherwise omnipotent god can't change its mind.

Quote
Science and religion are in conflict,
Yes.
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It is completely unrealistic to claim that religion keeps itself away from science's turf, restricting itself to morals and values.
This is manifestly true.

Quote
A universe with a supernatural presence would be a fundamentally and qualitatively different kind of universe from one without.
I can't answer that because I only have experience of the one I live in.
Quote
Science and thereby currently unknown objective facts may instruct human morality in a globally comparable way.

There are objective states of well-being.
A tentative "yes in principle" to both of those.
 
Quote
Religion has a biased and privileged position in society.
Manifestly true.

Quote
The influence of religion in the public sphere must be challenged and reduced.
Yes.
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