Stenger, Victor. According to Harris, faith is the permission religious people give one another to believe things strongly without evidence. The focus was on this group of antagonistic-to-religion writers, this of militant atheists, who began to ascend – began, actually, their writing careers as atheists, and particularly addressing the problem of religion, dated post-9/11. The moral component is the assumption that there is a universal and objective secular moral standard. Ruse, Michael. Atheism being a lack of belief makes it centre on the agent which retains the belief, effectively defining the term as a psychological state of belief rather than a proposition. The Reason for God: Belief in God in an Age of Skepticism (New York: Dutton, 2007). Watching what happened on 9/11 led him to say, "This is an issue that needs a response, that needs to be addressed." Finally, as regards ethics, critics argue that a problem with the New Atheists biological answer to the philosophical question concerning the ontological ground of the universal moral standard is that it could only explain what causes moral behavior; it can’t also account for what makes moral principles true. Given this, Dennett questions whether any of the people who claim to believe in God actually do believe God exists. And that, somehow, we can all just get along, when every world religion claims – and, in fact, if we add atheism in to the mix, as a religious system –. A misogynist, homophobe –" Our immediate reaction – and I think it's a God-given reaction – is to be repulsed and be offended. David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, offered four observations about the research findings. Another thing that I'm hearing you say is that Nietzsche seemed to have an awareness and even an empathy for what was lost in a death of God, a view that the modern group lacks. Whereas the former categorization suggests that Dawkins thinks that faith is necessarily non-rational or even irrational, the latter description seems to imply that faith is merely contingently at odds with rationality. – are all questions that science can provide the answers to. Harris is much more willing to affirm that there are certain benefits of religion, but it's not necessary, we don't need it. Because I think one of the mistakes that can be made is, we can treat it as something that can be easily dismissed. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York: Norton, 2004). That leads Nietzsche to a real crisis, because he realizes the implications of the world view, he realizes the implications of what he's believing. Or just the harsh reality of life in a fallen world, the real struggle for them. Hitchens hints at his own source of secular satisfaction by claiming that the natural is wondrous enough for anyone. I interrupted you a bit earlier to make the point that, if the Israelites had wiped out all the Canaanites, there would be no Rahab and there would be no Jesus. MISSION STATEMENT: AAI’s Mission is to support atheist organizations around the world by assi… to the controversial (prohibition of “victimless crimes” such as drug use and prostitution, criminalization of abortion and euthanasia, “child abuse” due to identification of children as members of their parents’ religious communities, etc.). A criticism of the New Atheists by an atheist. When you think about the revulsion that people feel today, about the kind of violence that we're seeing, and the human instinct to say, "That needs to be completely gotten rid of," that's no different, in many ways. So some of that phenomenon is a cultural phenomenon. DTS Voice offers biblically-centered articles, stories, podcasts, and points of view from the DTS family designed to encourage and equip the church for gospel transformation. Atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. But he writes his Letter to a Christian Nation/The End of Faith, which was published in 2004, which he started writing September 12, 2001. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). Though it is difficult to find a careful and precise definition of “faith” in the writings of the New Atheists, it is possible to glean a general characterization of this cognitive attitude from various things they say about it. Second, if the content of morality is not made accessible to human beings by means of a revelation of God’s will, then how do humans know what the one moral standard is? If there is no divine being, then there are no divine revelations. God: The Failed Hypothesis. A review of and expansion upon the principles of the New Atheism with responses to many of its critics. Of course, the Early Church reflected this, and actually generated much sympathy for what it was that they believed, because they didn't respond, oftentimes, in kind. Its primary text, the Avesta, combines the Gathas (Zoroaster’s writings) with the Yasna (the scriptural basis of Zoroastrianism). So, a real discussion to be had. Dawkins endorses the general hypothesis that religion and religious belief are byproducts (what some evolutionary biologists call “spandrels”) of something else that has survival value. A Christian minister’s reply to objections against Christianity of the sort raised by the New Atheists together with his positive case for Christianity. 31-32). In old England, it was defined as "a system of morality, veiled in allegory (or a story) and illustrated by symbols." The key fault lines and tensions around new atheism and other elements within the broader atheist, secular and humanist population, are also explored, considering the extent to which new atheism can be said to have been thus far successful in its goals. Has called Mother Teresa a fraud, and – He really is – he makes Dawkins [laughs] look like a nice guy. Harris, Sam. With equal passion, and in some cases with an intensity that reflects the fact that it's their religion that's being besmirched by what's being done. Dawkins is less committed to this specific hypothesis than he is to the general hypothesis, and he is open to other specific hypotheses of the same kind. Not in any way to minimize the horror of some of these stories. Critics allege that Dawkins’ assumption that God would need an external cause flies in the face of the longstanding theological assumption that God is a perfect and so necessary being who is consequently self-existent and ontologically independent. And I think that one of the key issues here is – at least maybe to the second problem – it's the problem of religion. First, what is the content of morality? But then there are a lot of others who are much more sober minded, much sadder about losing faith in the possibility of the existence of God. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. Dennett adds that when an event is sufficiently puzzling, our “weakness for certain sorts of memorable combos” cooperates with our HADD to constitute “a kind of fiction-generating contraption” that hypothesizes the existence of invisible and even supernatural agents (2006, pp. That, in a post-9/11 world, and in a world of threats of terrorism, people are afraid. A case for studying the history and practice of religion by means of the natural sciences. And of degrees, levels, and kind that has not been seen in human history, until our day. That part of the story has to be told, too. Dennett discusses a number of these specific hypotheses more thoroughly in his attempt to “break the spell” he identifies as the taboo against a thorough scientific investigation of religion as one natural phenomenon among many. As for metaphysics, Dawkins has been criticized for engaging in an overly cursory evaluation of theistic arguments and for ignoring the philosophical literature in natural theology. What seems to have happened in recent memory is that there is an increasing awareness of the conflict between a militant religion, and then the fear of conflict with another militant religion. So the problem of evil – and, you might say, so how does that lead to atheism? Dawkins agrees with Harris that the God of the Bible and the Qur’an is not a moderate. It is difficult to identify anything philosophically unprecedented in their positions and arguments, but the New Atheists have provoked considerable controversy with their body of work. Many of them are not militant atheists, many of them are sad. I don´t think its outlandish to say that most deconverted young adults, between the ages of 15-30 are way more probable to agree with the New atheists than with Old atheists like Nietzche or Hume. “Is Yahweh a Moral Monster? In the early 2010s, New Atheism was less in the headlines than it had been during its heyday. They're the people who get the press. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Penguin, 2006). How can there be this horrific evil? A response to the New Atheists by a secular Jew that defends traditional religious thought. But I think there are ways to – as you mentioned, accountability to a Holy God, God's longsuffering, His patience. A defense of Christianity against the criticisms of the New Atheists. So, I thank you for coming in, and I thank you for being a part of The Table, today. Following the religion’s rules during life can become merely a means to achieve the end of a blissful afterlife rather than something having intrinsic value of its own. The new atheism is the opposite of this. How do we actually learn to do that? Where was He when I lost my job? And the way we respond to them has got to be compassionate and loving. But it really doesn't address the issues that are particularly facing us at the present time. Right? Many non-theists have located the natural basis for morality in human convention, a move that leads naturally to ethical relativism. Copan, Paul. Moreover, given the New Atheist epistemological assumptions (and their consequences for religious epistemology), some criticism of their views has included questions about whether their reliance on empirical science is scientifically justified and whether there is adequate evidence to support their thesis of evidentialism. You kind of bring those altogether, and you have what could be called a perfect storm. Hitchens says that religious faith is ultimately grounded in wishful thinking. Letter to a Christian Nation (New York: Vintage Books, 2008). So, let's go through the four, and talk about what each of them brings to the table. The New Atheists appeal to the deliverances of the empirical sciences as their criterion for rational religious belief. But the flipside of this is the question, well, then, what do you do? In spite of their different approaches and occupations (only Dennett is a professional philosopher), the New Atheists tend to share a general set of assumptions and viewpoints. Because the answers to all the fundamental questions – Where do we come from? But actually went out of His way to command that people love their enemies, and pray for them, et cetera – things like turning the cheek, et cetera. A collection of essays by philosophers and theologians defending the rationality of theistic belief from the attacks of the New Atheists and others. And it creates a culture of fear. Married for over 40 years to Sally, he is a proud father of two daughters and a son and is also a grandfather. And one of the similarities that I keep hearing over and over again is that, "Christianity doesn't work for me. Those kinds of questions. He is married to his best friend, Janice, and they have two grown children, a son-in-law, and one granddaughter, Marlo Grace. So, Glenn, I appreciate you – or, Dr. Kreider – coming in, being a part of our podcast. God's on our side." Harris calls the source of this basic moral knowledge “moral intuition.” Since the other New Atheists don’t argue for the moral principles to which they appeal, it seems reasonable to conclude that they would agree with Harris. The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2009). Actually to sit down and have conversations about how to do that. Other works include both positive and negative evaluations of the New Atheism. The New Atheists seem to be generally agreed that theistic belief has generally worse attitudinal and behavioral moral consequences than atheistic belief. Eagleton, Terry. You know, when you think about what makes the Sermon on the Mount particularly distinctive. I mean, part of the rise of this is because it has become more socially acceptable, more popular, because there is – they have platforms and publishing. “Why I think the New Atheists are a Bloody Disaster,” https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/why-i-think-the-new-atheists-are-a-bloody-disaster, posted August 14th, 2009. There is a lot of buzz that goes around with regard to how some are publicly challenging the Christian faith. They believe empirical science is the only (or at least the best) basis for genuine knowledge of the world, and they insist that a belief can be epistemically justified only if it is based on adequate evidence. The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. Harris has a degree from philosophy, too, from Stanford, a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He does sketch a brief version of the cosmological argument for God’s existence but asserts that the final conclusion does not follow because the argument does not rule out alternative possibilities for the universe’s existence. If there are no divine revelations, then every sacred book is a merely human book. It's easy for us to step back and remind ourselves that the world has always been a scary place, there has always been sin and death and conflict. So, God's grace even in the midst of His judgment is important. That sadness, that disappointment, that sobriety, if you will, is not found – at least not to the same degree – in the New Atheists. How can that exist in a world where God is good? a linguistic point of view definition of terms and meaning introduces the potential for understanding Atheism is in the broadest sense an absence of belief in the existence of deities . Dawkins labels his argument for God’s non-existence “the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit,” because he thinks that God’s existence is at least as improbable as the chance that a hurricane, sweeping through a scrap yard, would have the luck to assemble a Boeing 747 (an image that he borrows from Fred Hoyle, who used it for a different purpose). 119-120). Dawkins further states that the God hypothesis creates a vicious regress rather than terminating one. Dennett hints at a different objection to the Bible by remarking that anybody can quote the Bible to prove anything. What science will show about religious belief, they claim, is that this belief can be explained as a product of biological evolution. The New Atheists are not philosophers of religion, and none of them addresses either theistic or atheistic arguments to any great extent. Their approach is very distinctive, it's very belligerent. Regarding the metaphysical component, the New Atheist authors share the central belief that there is no supernatural or divine reality of any kind. And who exactly are we talking about? Dennett goes on to engage in a relatively extensive speculation about how religion and religious belief evolved from these purely natural beginnings. The Selfish Gene, 2nd ed. A critical reply to Dawkins and Hitchens (“Ditchkins”) by a Marxist literary critic. Dawkins, Richard. Dawkins speculates that this cognitive disposition, which tends to help inexperienced children to avoid harm, also tends to make them susceptible to acquiring their elders’ irrational and harmful religious beliefs. And, in fact, what you see within these religions is a gradiation in which there are people who are as repulsed by what is going on in our world, today, in the name of religion, as others of other religions are. He and Janice enjoy live music, good stories, bold coffee, and their five rescue dogs—two pugs, a chihuahua, a terrier named Chloe, and a black lab, Carlile. For instance, our symbols for the Entered Apprentice Degree are … He celebrates the liberation of human beings from ignorance due to the growing and assumedly limitless capacity of science to explain the universe and everything in it. 7-37. The combination of their reliance on science and their adherence to evidentialism entails that a religious belief can be justified only if it is based on adequate scientific evidence. Harris also hints at reasons to deny God’s existence by pointing to unexplained evil and “unintelligent design” in the world. Is it new? There never has been. Copan, Paul and William Lane Craig, eds. New Atheism is modern-day atheism advanced by a group of thinkers and writers who advocate the view that superstition, religion and irrationalism should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever their influence arises in … Amarnath Amarasingam (Boston: Brill, 2010), 212. There will come a day after which we must ask, whenever a person dies, 'could they have been saved if medical science hadn't been retarded by religious belief?' He's much more gentle and kind in his presentation, although every bit as strident in the beliefs that he holds. 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