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“New” Atheism: 15 Reasons Why It Is Irrational

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  • “New” Atheism: 15 Reasons Why It Is Irrational

    James Bishop

    Introduction:

    No doubt as Christians, and religious God believing people in general, we have encountered the many (which actually amounts to an insignificant few, although growing, if we tally the numbers over the years) “New” Atheists out there that take great pride in ridiculing and mocking those of faith, or those that proclaim belief in God. This is the subject of this writing so in this article I will briefly outline why I find these people, and their dogmatic ideology repulsive. I will not be arguing against some of their claims in a thorough manner here, that would be the topic for another article and discussion altogether, yet I will briefly touch on some important relevant points, as we will see.

    I want to make one point very clear before we begin reading this article. That is that not all atheists are like what you will read below. I have friends that are atheists, they are good people, they are not hateful, and definitely not analogous to much of what we will read in this article. In fact, most atheists are not like what we will be seeing below. That is a heads up, so please bear that in mind while reading.

    1) New Atheism is irrational because of the ridicule:

    One of the world’s leading New atheist prophets is that of Richard Dawkins. In his recent “Reason” Rally hosted in Washington he calls on his dogmatic worshipers to: “Mock them, ridicule them,” after which he receives cheers and claps. That is his MO, mock the religious. Dawkins even admits his view as such in an interview:

    “I am a fairly militant atheist, with a fair degree of active hostility toward religion. I certainly was hostile toward it at school, from the age of about sixteen onwards. I mellowed a bit in my twenties and thirties. But I’m getting more militant again now.”

    Dawkins doesn’t really need to tell us that he is “getting more militant again now,” that’s already obvious. But, know this for what it is. This is one of the leading proponents of this worldview inciting hate, and prejudice against those who have different opinions to them. That is intolerance of a high order, that is evidence of a miserable man – you can view the 40 second clip of Dawkins here. In all honesty when I hear or read the words “New Atheism” this video is what comes to mind, this is the brand they are creating for themselves, this is what people will remember. If they are so adamant to get those of religious belief to recant their faith and embrace their militant atheism, why would mocking and the incitement of ridicule favour them? No, people of other beliefs will just further be polarized from people like Dawkins. No-one wins converts by mocking those they are trying to convert!

    2) New Atheism is irrational because of the worshiper ridicule:

    But, oh, how this has rubbed off on the zealous worshipers. Go to any atheist based website, or just view the comments on a relevant Youtube video. If you are not familiar with this you will be shocked, and rightfully so, at what you will read. To leave out the expletives some names flung about in the direction of the Christian are: “religitard,” “retard,” “stone age thinker,” “ancient superstition,” “backwards,” “blind fool,” “fundamentalist,” and on and on ad infinitum. Most of which I have been called before. Not only do I hold firmer to my belief because of this (Jesus predicted that the world would hate his followers, by the way), but I simply stop engaging with them, and hence write articles instead, nevertheless I am addressing exactly what I think of these people here in this article.

    Bear in mind please that this is something called an “ad hominem” attack. That is when someone, usually devoid of intellect on any given or relevant subject, personally mocks and ridicules his opponent instead of critiquing the position his opponent is holding. At the end of the day such a tactic amounts to nothing but the manifestation of more anti-sentiment between the two parties.

    3) New Atheism is irrational because of the intolerance:

    I think it is by now, just after seeing those first few points, obvious that the New Atheist, leader and follower alike, are an intolerant bunch, and proud of it. If they had their way they would eradicate religious belief right this instant – that is what Stalin did or tried to do. It is intolerance that led to the gas chambers; it is this intolerance that left 70 million Chinese dead at the hands of the atheistic regime of China. I don’t at all suggest that Dawkins, or Hitchens would endorse the mass killings of religious believers, but such vitriol on their part is what has led to such massacres occurring in human history. Yet, it’s this intolerance that leads to Facebook pages with names such as “Religious Belief is a Mental Disorder,” “Fuck Jesus Christ and Fuck Christianity”, and “Virgin Mary should’ve Aborted” popping up all over the place.

    4) New Atheism is irrational because it is vindictive:

    Richard Rorty, another one of the former prophets of militant atheism at its best, was a well-known philosopher in his day. He says:

    “So we are going to go right on to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussible.”

    This runs along the same lines that Richard Dawkins inspires for his zealous following. There is no honour in such talk; no respect for those of other beliefs, there is just no respect for people at all. How anyone can become so debauched in their thinking is beyond me. I don’t like certain things, I heartily disagree with many people on issues, but I am not vindictive, I don’t wish them ill fortune, pain, or ridicule. What sort of people would? Yes, militant atheists, and especially the New Atheists. Rorty was meant to be a professor, not somebody who intentionally undermines his students belief systems in order to make their parents look like fools. Imagine he did that to Islam, he wouldn’t, so why do it to Christianity? Because it is a worldview espoused by mostly loving, forgiving people, that makes it the easy target it is, sadly.

    5) New Atheism is irrational because it is arrogant:

    “My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim they right to have it defended against any consensus, and majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with me can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass.”

    The above words come from one of the more well-known New Atheists Christopher Hitchens, he died recently from cancer. I’ve seen him debate, I’ve read his books. But one should, if they are a fan of Hitchens, self-reflect a bit: is that what they agree with? Do they agree with their leader telling others who have different views to kiss his ass? Is that a role model, is that someone to look up to and emulate? Is that who you want to be one day? Do you want to support bigotry like that? For anyone’s sake, I hope not as it’s reflective of an angry, troubled, self-righteous heart and mind. That is not a leader, that is not someone anyone should give attention to. He is not even funny.

    Even though I’ve engaged with some of Hitchens’ work, I would highly recommend for everyone to grab his brother’s book ‘The Rage Against God’, in fact, I have briefly reviewed it here for any interested persons.

    6) New Atheism is irrational because mockery is never an argument:

    When disagreeing with someone else it never helps to resort to mockery, for obvious reasons. When anyone resorts to such tactics they are admitting defeat – they have no counter argument against the assertion of the opponent, and because of this they need to full their void with something, anything. That they do with mockery and contempt in the hope it undermines the opponent. But any intelligent person can see through this and that mockery is not an argument, in fact, I often go away stronger in my belief after such an engagement. It goes to show that the arguments I have, in that instance, are better than the arguments that he has, that’s all it shows, hence it is wise to never to resort to this – it’s like waving a white flag at the end of a battle but at the same time firing off live rounds. But lo and behold, the New Atheist doesn’t seem to grasp this basic fact. In fact, they don’t grasp much of what they mockingly dismiss. So don’t blame them, feel sorry for them, but if you are looking for a worldview with intellectual vigor, its not New Atheism.

    7) New Atheism is irrational because it mocks faith, yet it has faith itself:

    Perhaps the biggest strawman the New Atheist constructs is that faith is blind belief where there is no evidence. Not only do they misrepresent what is meant by Biblical faith, they then go on to assert that they themselves are free of any association with the word. When they say: “Atheism is not a belief like your belief in an ancient sky fairy is!” I question their logic, I seriously question them in my mind. I usually reply:

    “Well, don’t you “believe” that God does not exist? I was under the impression that you believed it, that your believed your atheism. Perhaps I was incorrect.”

    It’s kind of like saying I don’t have any beliefs myself even though I believe your belief is wrong. It is exactly like saying that, it falls foul to the law of self-contradiction. In fact, John Lennox an Oxford mathematician and philosopher of science in an interview, on this very subject, opines:

    “The atheists claim that they don’t have faith. Oh yes they do, in their science, in the rational intelligibility of the universe. But half a minute! Where’s the evidence that that faith is justified in their worldview? It doesn’t exist, because their worldview is that human intelligence is simply the product of a mindless unguided process, but if that’s the case then why would you give it any credence whatsoever? Why would you believe anything that it produces?”

    Lennox, in another interview, goes on to conclude: “Many of the New Atheists regard all faith as blind faith, but that is absolute nonsense.”

    8) New Atheism is irrational because its adherents and the leaders are mostly uneducated on relevant topics:

    Never has anyone dismissed something they disagree with with such a gross and obvious misunderstanding, something that characterizes New Atheism in totality. They characterize God in ways that Christians don’t even believe in him anyway. Then they come up with the spaghetti monster, and make a creator God as analogous to such an imaginary creation. Did any of them perhaps stop to think that created gods are by definition a delusion, just like their spaghetti monster? Probably, with a high degree of probability, not. Did they take note that Christians do not believe the God of the Bible to be a “created” being, but rather the creator? Again, probably not.

    The New Atheist also has a very limited knowledge of the various beliefs within the Christian worldview that Christians tend to have. Some Christians believe the world is 6000 years old, other don’t. Some Christians believe evolution is the antithesis of Christianity, while others don’t. Some “Christians” justify sinful practices (like homosexuality), while others don’t. But the New Atheist can’t see this far, they simply lump all believers into one boat, and strawman torpedo it. Basic etiquette is to never disrespect an opponent by misunderstanding the basic tenets of their belief, but big surprise, respect is not one of the New Atheists strong points.

    In fact, I would strongly suggest you read my quick book review of Hitchens’ ‘God Is Not Great’ just to see how uneducated they are on some matters of relevance. I will end this point on a quote by the atheist historian Tim O’Neill that is worth quoting in full:

    “After 30+ years of observing and taking part in debates about history with many of my fellow atheists I can safely claim that most atheists are historically illiterate. This is not particular to atheists: they tend to be about as historically illiterate as most people, since historical illiteracy is pretty much the norm. But it does not mean that when most (not all) atheists comment about history or, worse, try to use history in debates about religion, they are usually doing so with a grasp of the subject that is stunted at about high school level.”

    He goes on to say: “All too often many atheists can be polemicists when dealing with the past, only crediting information or analysis that fits an argument against religion they are trying to make while downplaying, dismissing or ignoring evidence or analysis that does not fit their agenda”

    Those are honest words from an atheist himself. Not only are they honest, but they are true, they represent what New Atheism is like, just like how a glove fits perfectly on a hand.

    9) New Atheism is irrational because its leaders go beyond their specialization:

    Stephen Hawking is not a New Atheist but an atheist nonetheless. Yet even he is not prone to stretching his mind beyond his specialization as a physicist and cosmologist, and making obvious blunders in other specialized fields. For instance, in one of his books, ‘The Grand Design’, at the beginning he propounds that philosophy is dead, but then goes on to make philosophical assumptions against God in the same book! Talk about an inconsistency, there you have it. I will further note this lack of consistency in Richard Dawkins below, but irrationality on the part of top scientists like this is what led the famous Albert Einstein to once remark:

    “The man of science is a poor philosopher.”

    10) New Atheism is irrational because its leaders lack consistency:

    Atheism, by my judgment, lacks consistency. I believe it lacks consistency even when its leaders aren’t making sub-par arguments and statements. Regarding the New Atheists I will mention one example of this in the form of Richard Dawkins, as we have already met above. In his book ‘River out of Eden’ Dawkins writes:

    “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

    That is a powerful statement right there; that is tantamount to Nihilism, a radical form of atheism that the famous German Friedrich Nietzsche once espoused. Yet, in Dawkins’ more recent book ‘The God Delusion’ he goes on to create his own set of 10 commandments to live by in the 21st century. To list the first three:

    Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you

    In all things, strive to cause no harm

    Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.

    And the list goes on, but wait just a minute, surely any reader can see this inconsistency. Dawkins is making moral judgments, judgments of value, dignity, worth, knowledge, respect and hence forth, but after which he tells us that we live in a universe which “at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

    Which is it? Do we live in a pointless universe where there is no evil, no good, or do we live in a universe where there is dignity, worth, morality and hence forth. Don’t ask Dawkins, because he will say both! You can’t have your cake and eat it too, but that is what Dawkins does. Whereas Dawkins may be a good zoologist and evolutionary biologist, he is hopeless at philosophy as seen in scathing reviews of his book by atheist and religious philosophers alike. Nevertheless, this is what led John Lennox to remark:

    “Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists.”

    11) New Atheism is irrational because it falsely accuses all religion of the violence in the world:

    Religion has caused violence in the past, and it still does in the present. This is true, and we need to own up to it as religious believers ourselves. It is also true that by far the most religious violence is perpetrated by radical Islamists, not Christians, not Buddhists, Jews and so on.

    But I personally have never debated, discussed, or spoken to a New Atheist who admits to the horrors done in their ideology’s name. That, to my mind, is weak, all it is is a weak attempt to dodge any responsibility, and it’s trying to paint an imaginative atheistic utopian image that is highly inaccurate if we look back into recent history. Whereas the Christian admits, like a brave man should do, to its shortcomings done by its adherents (the Crusades, witch hunts etc.), the atheist is simply trying to dismiss any responsibility. In fact, in the ‘Encyclopedia of Wars’ it chronicles 1763 wars fought within the course of human history. The findings suggest that only 123 of these wars have been solely religious in nature – that equates to less than 7% of all wars in history. If you take radical Islam out of the fray then that percentage drops to just over 3%! But what about the non-religious atheistic regimes, the numbers of lives lost is staggering:

    -Joseph Stalin – 42 672 000
    -Mao Zedong – 37 828 000
    -Chiang Shek – 10 214 000
    -Vladimir Lenin – 4 017 000
    -Hideki Tojo – 3 990 000
    -Pol Pot – 2 397 000

    So, don’t, as a New Atheist, tell me that we, the religious, are the root of all evil in this world when violence done in a religion’s name is but a pimple on the face of atheistic intolerance and violence of the past. The facts speak for themselves, own up, take responsibility, move on.

    12) New Atheism is irrational because most of its adherents judge on emotion, rather than on intellect:

    To be honest such shouldn’t be revelatory information at all regarding the arguments they put out there. But take note of the words of Thomas Nagel, an atheist philosopher, in his work ‘The Last Word’:

    “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

    Lawrence Krauss, another vocal atheistic scientist (who I have watched make the same spurious errors I noted above, and more – see this in action in a debate he had with William Lane Craig in Australia), says: “You talk about this God of love and everything else. But somehow if you don’t believe in him, you don’t get all the benefits, so you have to believe. And then if you do anything wrong, you’re going to be judged for it. I don’t want to be judged by God; that’s the bottom line.”

    What these two highly intelligent men are doing is judging reality based on their emotions, not their intellect. In other words, I don’t like the fact that we have to die, but that doesn’t change the fact that I will one day die, hopefully naturally anyway. Krauss and Nagel don’t like the thought of God existing, but that does not mean that God does not exist. Emotions are irrelevant to truth claims. Truth claims need to be judged on other grounds.

    Nevertheless, the vast majority of atheists I have come into contact with hold this form of reasoning. I think Stephen Hawking actually illuminates this atheistic agenda permeating in much of academia when he writes:

    “Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention.”

    What we “like” or “dislike” does not make something true or false. That would be pure emotional reasoning, we are all susceptible to it (most Christians are too) and none of us are immune but we need to recognize it for what it is: emotions, nothing more.

    13) New Atheism is irrational because it fails to credit Christianity where it has done good in the name of God:


    It would be an understatement to simply say Christianity has done some good – not even the New Atheist would admit that. No, Christianity has done loads of good for the world, something totally dismissed out of hand by the New Atheists. In fact, Christopher Hitchens even called Mother Teresa as “fraudulent”, and “fanatic,” what? So, she is a fanatic and a fraudulent for dedicating her life to the services and betterment of others, whilst Hitchens sits cross legged on stage and spits mockery, contempt, and vitriol in the direction of a God believing opponent. What a cheek. What a hypocrite.

    Nevertheless, the example set by Jesus, as well as Teresa, has been emulated by Christians all over the world. These Christians risk their lives by preaching the Gospel to the far away and neglected people of the world. Those very Christians fight daily to improve the communities in the most dangerous and impoverished areas and communities with limited resources.

    Most of modern science has been built upon the Christian belief that God is sustainer and creator of an orderly universe – Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Boyle, Pasteur, Faraday, Pascal, Kelvin, Babbage and hence forth hold to such a view. Scientific inventions such as the barometer (Pascal), actuarial tables (Babbage), vaccination (Pasteur), thermionic valve (Fleming), telegraph (Morse), global star catalogue (Herschel), Ephemeris tables (Kepler), inert gases (Ramsay), electric motor (Henry), electric generator (Faraday), classification system (Linnaeus), and the temperature scale (Kelvin), and many other inventions come from Christian Bible believing scientists. For an even more comprehensive list, see the Wikipedia article.

    The church was the pioneer behind social work, for example Jane Addams was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the movement that sought to bridge the gap between rich and poor in society. Other movements and charities, to name a few, such as the ‘Salvation Army’, ‘Samaritans Purse’, ‘The Mothers Union’, ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Children’, ‘Save the Children’, ‘Action for Children’, ‘Christian Aid’ and also ‘Red Cross’ all stemmed from the belief that man was valuable because he was made in the image of God. In the High Middle Ages, abandoning unwanted children finally overtook infanticide – unwanted children were left at the door of a church or abbey, and the clergy was assumed to take care of their upbringing. This practice also saw the birth of the first orphanages.

    Christianity is known for its care for the elderly and the disabled. Christians birthed Almshouse institutions as early as the 10th century. Conditions in these Almshouses were not always good and there was a social stigma attached to them, however, Almshouses did their best to serve the local community with the little resources they had and cared for those who were abandoned by society. They were the forerunner of nursing homes and hospitals. They sought to provide care for those who were no longer able to work. Almshouses are still active today with some 2600 in the UK alone.

    On top of these Christianity is principally responsible for most of the things these New Atheists, and many others, take for granted in the west, things like civil and social rights and laws, universities and higher education institutions that were all once Christian and built on Christian values (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford etc. – Out of the initial 110 universities started in the US, 100 had Christian foundations), prison reform, healthcare (low cost especially), education rights for women (Mary Lyon), the protection of animals (Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to Animals), feeding of the poor (Food for the Poor has distributed more than $8.2 billion worth of food, medicine, housing materials, water and other aid to the poor of the Caribbean and Latin America since 1982).

    In fact, a recent research project in the UK showed that 81% of evangelical Christians do some kind of voluntary work at least once a month. This compares with a much lower figure of 26% for the population at large, obtained in citizenship surveys by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and is consistent with comparable differences identified by researchers in North America.

    Why, may I honestly ask, do the New Atheists totally ignore all of this, and this is not even an exhaustive list? Instead of giving credit where it is due, we have Mr. Hitchens accusing Mother Teresa of being a fraudulent.

    14) New Atheism is irrational because its adherents say stupid things – like Jesus didn’t exist:

    Bart Ehrman, a leading “agnostic with atheist leanings” (no friend of Christianity, trust me) New Testament scholar explains why atheists are giving a disservice to their name. In this interaction someone from the crowd during the Q&A period remarks: “I do not see evidence in archaeology and history for a historical Jesus!”

    To cut out the explanations and to make a long story short, Ehrman goes on to say (after answering the objection):

    “I mean… I’m sorry, I respect you disbelief. I think that atheists have done themselves a disservice by jumping on the bandwagon of mythicism. Because, frankly, it makes you look foolish to the outside world. If that’s what you are going to believe you just look foolish, you are much better off going with historical evidence, and arguing historically rather than coming up with the theory that Jesus didn’t exist.”

    In all honesty, I think Ehrman is correct. Atheists coming up with the theory that Jesus didn’t exist only supports the Christian belief that he is somehow special. Jesus, in John 15:18, notes this line of atheist thinking:

    “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

    In other words, it becomes obvious to the Christian that atheists dislike Jesus so much that they even want to resort to the clearly unsupported theory that he never even existed. To be honest, to Christians and to me, it just shows that Jesus is threatening to the atheist, and that he causes them headaches. But let us be true for a moment, the atheist doesn’t believe in God, then to them Jesus should just be a man. A man that existed in 1st century Palestine, and died there. But, as we see with atheists trying to dismiss Jesus’ existence, maybe that is also too much for the atheist to admit, maybe because the implications of Jesus for them are Godlike.

    15) We need to call New Atheism out for its irrational tactics:

    I want to end this article on a final point. We must call the atheist out for it. All we simply need to say is that “you are being a bigot, you are being extremely disrespectful, and I won’t engage with you. I will not tolerate being spoken to like that.” Simply say that and leave the thread of conversation, ignore their replies. That is all. Call them out for it, and make sure that they know what you think of their actions and comments.

    I will not add to a society where these militant atheists are allowed to disrespect me, my belief, and millions of others, by allowing them to get away with this contempt. Debating, coming to our own conclusions, and discussing our differences in belief is one thing, but to insult others must not be tolerated, join me in doing just that to make a little difference.

  • #2
    Atheist groups are truly hate groups.
    Comment>

    • #3
      With all due respect, I have to disagree. As a former believer, I understand where you're coming from, but you have a lot of misconceptions.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      1) New Atheism is irrational because of the ridicule.
      Maybe ridicule is "impolite," but put yourself in our shoes. Imagine you live in ancient Greece. Everyone around you worships and adamantly believes in the gods of Olympus. You don't, however, and being constantly bombarded with this religion that you don't believe in is tiresome. You try to point out the errors in the religion, and they attack you and patronize you.

      What would you do?

      In America, it's unconstitutional to require a candidate to be tested for his religious beliefs, and yet eight states ban atheists from public office. As an atheist, must I roll over and take it? I'd rather fight the hatred.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      2) New Atheism is irrational because of the worshiper ridicule.

      To leave out the expletives some names flung about in the direction of the Christian are: “religitard,” “retard,” “stone age thinker,” “ancient superstition,” “backwards,” “blind fool,” “fundamentalist,” and on and on ad infinitum.
      Here's my philosophy.

      1.) If believing a holy book requires you to assume that archaeologists, scholars, evolutionary biologists, geologists, neurologists, and psychologists are "attacking" your holy book with their research, then the more likely scenario is that your holy book is the problem. Many religions have holy books, and not one doesn't have scientific or historic or textual problems of some sort.

      2.) We have reason. If you believe that your particular deity has bestowed reason upon you, then you have the right to use your reason, yes? You use reason to guide you in all other aspects of life. So why is it that, when we encounter unreasonable things in our respective religions--be it Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or Hinduism or whatever--we accuse reason, rather than the religion, of fault? Sure, if one or two people find fault in a religion, it may just be their problem, but when millions of intelligent people find the same faults in a religion--people whose reason is flawless in all other areas of life--then one must conclude that the religion is unreasonable.

      If a deity gives its creatures reason, only to demand they believe an unreasonable religion under threat of eternal damnation, then either (a) that deity is a cruel comic, or (b) that religion is unreasonable.

      A true religion ought to survive all scrutiny. If a religion doesn't survive reason, it must be disregarded. I cannot and I will not continue to subjugate my intellect to something as unreasonable as Christianity, because to accept the Bible in an increasingly intelligent world is a perpetual burden of conscience.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      3) New Atheism is irrational because of the intolerance:
      With all due respect, we see Christianity as no less absurd than any other religion. If Vikings were around today, I'm sure they'd be offended that Marvel has turned Thor into a superhero.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      4) New Atheism is irrational because it is vindictive:
      We don't believe in religion. Religion produces much bad in the world and it always gets a free pass.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      5) New Atheism is irrational because it is arrogant:
      Is not your article here arrogant?

      Originally posted by William View Post
      Even though I’ve engaged with some of Hitchens’ work, I would highly recommend for everyone to grab his brother’s book ‘The Rage Against God’, in fact, I have briefly reviewed it here for any interested persons.
      Or, if someone wants to know what Christopher Hitchens wrote, read Christopher Hitchens.

      No atheists are truly "anti-god(s)." It would be incredibly awesome if someone could prove that there was a god or gods, or an afterlife, a judgment, etc.

      But there's no evidence, and that's the crux of the matter. And not only is there no evidence, but every religion we've encountered yet--Christianity and all the rest of them--is riddled with unreasonable things. Why should I submit my intellect to unreasonable things? What's wrong with pointing out the unreasonable things in religion?

      When you figure out why you dismiss every other religion and deity, you'll know why I dismiss yours.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      6) New Atheism is irrational because mockery is never an argument:
      No offense, but I have to assume that (a) you lied about having read Christopher Hitchens, or (b) you're didn't comprehend his arguments.

      And what is "New Atheism"? Was there an "old atheism" at some point? Mark Twain wrote some nasty things about Christianity that were only recently published. He sounds just like atheists today and he died a century ago.

      Maybe an "old atheist" was someone who kept his mouth shut to avoid oppression.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      7) New Atheism is irrational because it mocks faith, yet it has faith itself:
      Atheism is not faith; it's a reaction against claims of a deity's or deities' existence.

      A person does not "believe something doesn't exist." A person doesn't believe something exist. (You don't "believe Zeus doesn't exist." You don't believe Zeus exists.)

      Besides, if atheism is a "faith," then how do you define a person of no faith? And what difference is there between a person of no faith and an atheist?

      Originally posted by William View Post
      8) New Atheism is irrational because its adherents and the leaders are mostly uneducated on relevant topics:
      Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist whose entire area of expertise contradicts the Genesis creation story. Sam Harris is a neuroscientist who can tell you exactly how the mind is a product of the brain and why there's no reason to believe in the soul. Hitchens was a journalist who'd spent years researching ancient Christianity and textual criticism.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      The New Atheist also has a very limited knowledge of the various beliefs within the Christian worldview that Christians tend to have.
      I was a religious guy for about a decade. I nearly became a priest. I'm willing to bet I understand the intricacies of the various Christian doctrines better than most Christians.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      “After 30+ years of observing and taking part in debates about history with many of my fellow atheists I can safely claim that most atheists are historically illiterate. This is not particular to atheists: they tend to be about as historically illiterate as most people, since historical illiteracy is pretty much the norm. But it does not mean that when most (not all) atheists comment about history or, worse, try to use history in debates about religion, they are usually doing so with a grasp of the subject that is stunted at about high school level.”
      Oh, well then, if some random dude named Tom O'Neill said it, then it must be so.

      I guess he forgot the fact that nearly every professional ANE historian and scholar is non-religious.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      He goes on to say: “All too often many atheists can be polemicists when dealing with the past, only crediting information or analysis that fits an argument against religion they are trying to make while downplaying, dismissing or ignoring evidence or analysis that does not fit their agenda”
      There is no evidence for any religion. Period. If you have some, get cracking on you Nobel acceptance speech.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      Those are honest words from an atheist himself. Not only are they honest, but they are true, they represent what New Atheism is like, just like how a glove fits perfectly on a hand.
      Do you not see your hypocrisy? You, a religious person, have cherry-picked an atheist to "prove" that atheists cherry-pick.

      Oh, and if this Tom O'Neill fellow is an atheist, then you pretty much undermine yourself by quoting him to attack atheism.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      9) New Atheism is irrational because its leaders go beyond their specialization:
      Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist who criticizes Genesis for being unscientific. Ditto on Sam Harris, who's a neuroscientist criticizing the idea that mind survives bodily death.

      If anybody is guilty of your accusation, it's the Christians who claim that evolution/archaeology/neuroscience/history/climatology "isn't true" because "the Bible tells me so."

      Originally posted by William View Post
      10) New Atheism is irrational because its leaders lack consistency.
      Atheism has no "leaders."

      Are not Christian leaders inconsistent? Are not all religious leaders inconsistent?

      Originally posted by William View Post
      That is a powerful statement right there; that is tantamount to Nihilism, a radical form of atheism that the famous German Friedrich Nietzsche once espoused. Yet, in Dawkins’ more recent book ‘The God Delusion’ he goes on to create his own set of 10 commandments to live by in the 21st century. To list the first three:

      Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you

      In all things, strive to cause no harm

      Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.

      And the list goes on, but wait just a minute, surely any reader can see this inconsistency.
      Can't a fellow be a morally upright nihilist?

      Originally posted by William View Post
      Dawkins is making moral judgments, judgments of value, dignity, worth, knowledge, respect and hence forth, but after which he tells us that we live in a universe which “at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

      Which is it? Do we live in a pointless universe where there is no evil, no good, or do we live in a universe where there is dignity, worth, morality and hence forth. Don’t ask Dawkins, because he will say both! You can’t have your cake and eat it too, but that is what Dawkins does. Whereas Dawkins may be a good zoologist and evolutionary biologist, he is hopeless at philosophy as seen in scathing reviews of his book by atheist and religious philosophers alike. Nevertheless, this is what led John Lennox to remark:

      “Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists.”
      Morality is a social contract we agree to so society can exist. Same with any other animal that has societies. In fact, animals even show virtue. Bats will rescue the young of another bat. Elephants will help each other if they get stuck. Elephants have also been observed returning to the sight of a deceased member of its group and "mourning" by tossing and brushing the dirt with its trunk. If you'd like, I can show you a YouTube video of a chimp helping another's chimp's child after the child had been electrocuted. The adult chimp even hugs and soothes the infant chimp.

      We're "good" because there is strength in numbers and a society functions best when its individuals care for the whole. Morality is a produce of evolution.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      11) New Atheism is irrational because it falsely accuses all religion of the violence in the world:
      No, not all.

      But a lot.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      So, don’t, as a New Atheist, tell me that we, the religious, are the root of all evil in this world when violence done in a religion’s name is but a pimple on the face of atheistic intolerance and violence of the past. The facts speak for themselves, own up, take responsibility, move on.
      Atheism is not a "system" of knowledge, nor does it "teach" anything. Atheism is simply the denial of a deity's existence. You're an atheist regarding Zeus, are you not?

      Since you're an atheist, maybe you should take responsibility for Stalin.

      See how absolutely absurd your position is?

      Originally posted by William View Post
      12) New Atheism is irrational because most of its adherents judge on emotion, rather than on intellect:
      I respectfully disagree.

      Take Exodus. According to Chapter 12 (if I remember correctly), 600,000 men left Egypt, plus women, children, livestock, and "non-Israelites."

      If we assume that only half of those men had a wife, that's 600,000 + 300,000 = 900,000.

      If we assume that each of those couples had an average of two children, we get 300,000 couples x 2 = 600,000.

      900,000 + 600,000 = 1.5 million. Not including "non-Israelites," of course. (Most likely, more than 50% of the men had wives, and when you include non-Israelites, the number is probably closer to 2 million.)

      According to Bible math, the Exodus occurred around 1250 BC. The population of Egypt was 3.5 million.

      See the problem?

      That's almost 60% of the nation's population leaving in one day. There's no record of any economic or demographic collapse in Egypt either by the Egyptians or by their neighbors. There's no record of so many people leaving, either by Egypt or by their neighbors.

      I won't even get into the anachronisms in the story, which clearly show that it was written centuries later.

      Going back to my earlier argument, if a deity gives us reason only to expect us to believe an unreasonable religion under pain of eternal hell, then either that deity is a cruel comic, or that religion is unreasonable. And why should I want to bow down to such a petty deity if it did exist?

      Originally posted by William View Post
      13) New Atheism is irrational because it fails to credit Christianity where it has done good in the name of God:
      And how many Christians fail to credit the Muslims for the good they've done in Allah's name? Or the Hindus? Or the Buddhists who run charities?

      Or the atheists who run charities?

      Atheists must be morally superior, because we don't expect an "eternal reward" as compensation.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      14) New Atheism is irrational because its adherents say stupid things – like Jesus didn’t exist:
      What's with all the straw men?

      A small subset of atheists ignores the evidence for Jesus' historicity, but they're a small subset. They're no less embarrassing than the Christians who deny the evidence of evolution.

      My question: Why must anyone cherry-pick which science and archaeology we accept?

      I accept evolution, and I also accept that there was an historical man named Jesus. I also accept that there's no evidence for the religious claims about him.

      Originally posted by William View Post
      15) We need to call New Atheism out for its irrational tactics:
      When we do that to you Christians, you write mean articles about us.

      Gosh.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by The Atheist View Post
        With all due respect, I have to disagree. As a former believer, I understand where you're coming from, but you have a lot of misconceptions.



        Maybe ridicule is "impolite," but put yourself in our shoes. Imagine you live in ancient Greece. Everyone around you worships and adamantly believes in the gods of Olympus. You don't, however, and being constantly bombarded with this religion that you don't believe in is tiresome. You try to point out the errors in the religion, and they attack you and patronize you.

        What would you do?

        In America, it's unconstitutional to require a candidate to be tested for his religious beliefs, and yet eight states ban atheists from public office. As an atheist, must I roll over and take it? I'd rather fight the hatred.



        Here's my philosophy.

        1.) If believing a holy book requires you to assume that archaeologists, scholars, evolutionary biologists, geologists, neurologists, and psychologists are "attacking" your holy book with their research, then the more likely scenario is that your holy book is the problem. Many religions have holy books, and not one doesn't have scientific or historic or textual problems of some sort.

        2.) We have reason. If you believe that your particular deity has bestowed reason upon you, then you have the right to use your reason, yes? You use reason to guide you in all other aspects of life. So why is it that, when we encounter unreasonable things in our respective religions--be it Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or Hinduism or whatever--we accuse reason, rather than the religion, of fault? Sure, if one or two people find fault in a religion, it may just be their problem, but when millions of intelligent people find the same faults in a religion--people whose reason is flawless in all other areas of life--then one must conclude that the religion is unreasonable.

        If a deity gives its creatures reason, only to demand they believe an unreasonable religion under threat of eternal damnation, then either (a) that deity is a cruel comic, or (b) that religion is unreasonable.

        A true religion ought to survive all scrutiny. If a religion doesn't survive reason, it must be disregarded. I cannot and I will not continue to subjugate my intellect to something as unreasonable as Christianity, because to accept the Bible in an increasingly intelligent world is a perpetual burden of conscience.



        With all due respect, we see Christianity as no less absurd than any other religion. If Vikings were around today, I'm sure they'd be offended that Marvel has turned Thor into a superhero.



        We don't believe in religion. Religion produces much bad in the world and it always gets a free pass.



        Is not your article here arrogant?



        Or, if someone wants to know what Christopher Hitchens wrote, read Christopher Hitchens.

        No atheists are truly "anti-god(s)." It would be incredibly awesome if someone could prove that there was a god or gods, or an afterlife, a judgment, etc.

        But there's no evidence, and that's the crux of the matter. And not only is there no evidence, but every religion we've encountered yet--Christianity and all the rest of them--is riddled with unreasonable things. Why should I submit my intellect to unreasonable things? What's wrong with pointing out the unreasonable things in religion?

        When you figure out why you dismiss every other religion and deity, you'll know why I dismiss yours.



        No offense, but I have to assume that (a) you lied about having read Christopher Hitchens, or (b) you're didn't comprehend his arguments.

        And what is "New Atheism"? Was there an "old atheism" at some point? Mark Twain wrote some nasty things about Christianity that were only recently published. He sounds just like atheists today and he died a century ago.

        Maybe an "old atheist" was someone who kept his mouth shut to avoid oppression.



        Atheism is not faith; it's a reaction against claims of a deity's or deities' existence.

        A person does not "believe something doesn't exist." A person doesn't believe something exist. (You don't "believe Zeus doesn't exist." You don't believe Zeus exists.)

        Besides, if atheism is a "faith," then how do you define a person of no faith? And what difference is there between a person of no faith and an atheist?



        Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist whose entire area of expertise contradicts the Genesis creation story. Sam Harris is a neuroscientist who can tell you exactly how the mind is a product of the brain and why there's no reason to believe in the soul. Hitchens was a journalist who'd spent years researching ancient Christianity and textual criticism.



        I was a religious guy for about a decade. I nearly became a priest. I'm willing to bet I understand the intricacies of the various Christian doctrines better than most Christians.



        Oh, well then, if some random dude named Tom O'Neill said it, then it must be so.

        I guess he forgot the fact that nearly every professional ANE historian and scholar is non-religious.



        There is no evidence for any religion. Period. If you have some, get cracking on you Nobel acceptance speech.



        Do you not see your hypocrisy? You, a religious person, have cherry-picked an atheist to "prove" that atheists cherry-pick.

        Oh, and if this Tom O'Neill fellow is an atheist, then you pretty much undermine yourself by quoting him to attack atheism.



        Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist who criticizes Genesis for being unscientific. Ditto on Sam Harris, who's a neuroscientist criticizing the idea that mind survives bodily death.

        If anybody is guilty of your accusation, it's the Christians who claim that evolution/archaeology/neuroscience/history/climatology "isn't true" because "the Bible tells me so."



        Atheism has no "leaders."

        Are not Christian leaders inconsistent? Are not all religious leaders inconsistent?



        Can't a fellow be a morally upright nihilist?



        Morality is a social contract we agree to so society can exist. Same with any other animal that has societies. In fact, animals even show virtue. Bats will rescue the young of another bat. Elephants will help each other if they get stuck. Elephants have also been observed returning to the sight of a deceased member of its group and "mourning" by tossing and brushing the dirt with its trunk. If you'd like, I can show you a YouTube video of a chimp helping another's chimp's child after the child had been electrocuted. The adult chimp even hugs and soothes the infant chimp.

        We're "good" because there is strength in numbers and a society functions best when its individuals care for the whole. Morality is a produce of evolution.



        No, not all.

        But a lot.



        Atheism is not a "system" of knowledge, nor does it "teach" anything. Atheism is simply the denial of a deity's existence. You're an atheist regarding Zeus, are you not?

        Since you're an atheist, maybe you should take responsibility for Stalin.

        See how absolutely absurd your position is?



        I respectfully disagree.

        Take Exodus. According to Chapter 12 (if I remember correctly), 600,000 men left Egypt, plus women, children, livestock, and "non-Israelites."

        If we assume that only half of those men had a wife, that's 600,000 + 300,000 = 900,000.

        If we assume that each of those couples had an average of two children, we get 300,000 couples x 2 = 600,000.

        900,000 + 600,000 = 1.5 million. Not including "non-Israelites," of course. (Most likely, more than 50% of the men had wives, and when you include non-Israelites, the number is probably closer to 2 million.)

        According to Bible math, the Exodus occurred around 1250 BC. The population of Egypt was 3.5 million.

        See the problem?

        That's almost 60% of the nation's population leaving in one day. There's no record of any economic or demographic collapse in Egypt either by the Egyptians or by their neighbors. There's no record of so many people leaving, either by Egypt or by their neighbors.

        I won't even get into the anachronisms in the story, which clearly show that it was written centuries later.

        Going back to my earlier argument, if a deity gives us reason only to expect us to believe an unreasonable religion under pain of eternal hell, then either that deity is a cruel comic, or that religion is unreasonable. And why should I want to bow down to such a petty deity if it did exist?



        And how many Christians fail to credit the Muslims for the good they've done in Allah's name? Or the Hindus? Or the Buddhists who run charities?

        Or the atheists who run charities?

        Atheists must be morally superior, because we don't expect an "eternal reward" as compensation.



        What's with all the straw men?

        A small subset of atheists ignores the evidence for Jesus' historicity, but they're a small subset. They're no less embarrassing than the Christians who deny the evidence of evolution.

        My question: Why must anyone cherry-pick which science and archaeology we accept?

        I accept evolution, and I also accept that there was an historical man named Jesus. I also accept that there's no evidence for the religious claims about him.



        When we do that to you Christians, you write mean articles about us.

        Gosh.
        I think you meant .org and not .com?



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        • #5
          So lets see how many of the points fit The Atheist.

          1) New Atheism is irrational because of the ridicule. Yes.

          2) New Atheism is irrational because of the worshiper ridicule. Yes.

          3) New Atheism is irrational because of the intolerance. Yes.

          4) New Atheism is irrational because it is vindictive. Yes.

          5) New Atheism is irrational because it is arrogant. Yes.

          6) New Atheism is irrational because mockery is never an argument. Yes.

          There is really no need to go on everyone gets the point. He wrote a post in order to refute certain claims about the New Atheism only to prove the points with his post on another board. The New Atheism is also stupid.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Origen View Post
            So lets see how many of the points fit The Atheist.

            1) New Atheism is irrational because of the ridicule. Yes.

            2) New Atheism is irrational because of the worshiper ridicule. Yes.

            3) New Atheism is irrational because of the intolerance. Yes.

            4) New Atheism is irrational because it is vindictive. Yes.

            5) New Atheism is irrational because it is arrogant. Yes.

            6) New Atheism is irrational because mockery is never an argument. Yes.

            There is really no need to go on everyone gets the point. He wrote a post in order to refute certain claims about the New Atheism only to prove the points with his post on another board. The New Atheism is also stupid.
            I think we can rule out "with all due respect" and any sincerity on the poster's part. I'm glad I wasn't alone after having read the above source. I knew right then that the OP wasn't an opinion piece but an observation.

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by The Atheist View Post
              Maybe ridicule is "impolite," but put yourself in our shoes. Imagine you live in ancient Greece. Everyone around you worships and adamantly believes in the gods of Olympus. You don't, however, and being constantly bombarded with this religion that you don't believe in is tiresome. You try to point out the errors in the religion, and they attack you and patronize you.
              Atheists own most of society (Christianity is banned in the schools, half the Supreme Court hates Christians, Hollywood hates Christians)... so why are you complaining about everyone around you? Stay out of Christian forums and churches and you'll hardly even know Christians exist.
              Comment>

              • #8
                I do not have a problem with atheists as long as they stay among themselves just like they used to do before. Previously, atheists just used to be atheists, talk with each other, joke among themselves and kept going on about their lives. Now, they organize conferences, sue churches and christian organizations, ban "hate speeches" or opposing views etc. I know because I used to be an old atheist.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  I have written a number of places about the difference between atheism and agnosticism. I was in a discussion/ argument with a self-proclaimed atheist who also claimed to be an agnostic, You CANNOT be both. The debate started after someone claimed that Dr. Carl Sagan was an atheist. He , in fact, said that atheists could be considered "stupid". He was an agnostic, said that atheist claimed to know something they could not.
                  The only Physicist that I have ever known of who claimed to be atheist is Stephen Hawking. I guess he is just bitter about something, Many physicists are deists, but professing Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus are common among Physicists. Quantu Mechanics demands an observer. Look up Philo Judea and the Logos!
                  Between Einstien and Godel, rationalism was pretty much destroyed in the 20th century (Rationalism is irrational!!). Atheism is generally considered as pure Rationalism.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    If I may disagree, in this part: " 8) New Atheism is irrational because its adherents and the leaders are mostly uneducated on relevant topics:




                    " this argument can so easily be turned around against almost all religions in the world. Sadly a huge amount of leaders today ar uneducated on relevant topics, inside and outside religion. So I think this is a very week argument.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Romans 14:1- "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations"
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Atheist View Post

                        With all due respect, I have to disagree. As a former believer, I understand where you're coming from, but you have a lot of misconceptions.
                        Speaking of misconceptions, one that is often found among professing atheists is "I used to be saved/believe...but now I do not."

                        I will give you the benefit of the doubt, though, as I am convinced there are believers who for some reason or another become "professing atheists." We have to consider the impact of tragedy in the lives of believers and ep a watchful eye for that brother or sister that may be in need of restoration.

                        So tell me, my friend, of your "belief." Were you saved, born again, or...simply a religious person playing Church? Were you brought up in the Church, learned the lingo, and assumed you were saved and walking with Christ? How would you prove that, if asked?

                        And I am asking...


                        God bless.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Thomas Pendrake View Post
                          I have written a number of places about the difference between atheism and agnosticism. I was in a discussion/ argument with a self-proclaimed atheist who also claimed to be an agnostic, You CANNOT be both.
                          Yep. It's like saying "I cannot ever know what's in the box. But I am sure there are some chocolates in there."
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seupaulo View Post
                            If I may disagree, in this part: " 8) New Atheism is irrational because its adherents and the leaders are mostly uneducated on relevant topics:




                            " this argument can so easily be turned around against almost all religions in the world. Sadly a huge amount of leaders today ar uneducated on relevant topics, inside and outside religion. So I think this is a very week argument.

                            Sadly, I have to agree with this. Many among leaders today do not have a faith that is forged in study, prayer, and relationship with Christ, but is handed down through books, written on chalkboards with a demand for memorization, and struggled with until one comes to understand what it is their teachers want them to believe.

                            However, I also agree with the statement made in the quote. That a "leader" parrots something that he has learned from another (his leaders)...doesn't mean he is "educated on relevant topics." what I have found for every argument presented by atheists is that there are many side issues never even broached. For believers, we should not considered ourselves "educated" until we have a broad understanding of what is "relevant" to every issue, and even when we do have what we consider a broad understanding, we continue to search out that which we may not have yet considered in regards to any particular topic or issue.

                            Had a visit recently from some Jehovah's Witnesses, who asked me if I knew who Satan was. She quoted Revelation 20:1-5 as a basis for her prepared speech, yet had no clue as to what it means to be born again. This become known when asked what kind of resurrection took place in this passage.

                            I was told she/they would study the matter and get back to me, as they had an important function at the Kingdom Hall to get to. They haven't been back, so my hope is that study of the issue is the reason, and that perhaps they will return to correct me.


                            God bless.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Atheism to me makes no sense. Almost every belief makes some sense in general term somewhere. But to believe there's nothing and everything goes nowhere is a denial of life. You might as well not be alive if that's true.
                              Comment>
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