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Chapter 2 - Part 2 - What's "New" About the New Atheism?
Benjamin Yim  2017-12-17 00:07:31, 조회 : 76, 추천 : 3

Why God Won't Go Away
Alister McGrath
Chapter 2 - Part 1 - What's "New" About the New Atheism?

        Hello to another beautiful day that has been given to us by God! Today, we will continue with our book, Why God Won't Go Away, by the author Alister McGrath. Which we will be starting chapter 2, What's "New" About the New Atheism?"

        The title of this chapter asks a very important question. What does the New Atheism have that regular atheists don't have already? That's the question to be answered throughout the summary.

        Remember the magazine writer Gary Wolf? The one who coined the term "New Atheism." He gives us an insight with the movement that is called New Atheism. He says, "... the atheism movement... has no choice but to aggressively spread the good news. Evangelism is a moral imperative. Dawkins does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with tolerating them."

        And the response from those atheists that don't consider themselves part of the New Atheism movement is embarrassment. They find their aggressiveness an embarrassing notion for themselves. Why? Because it makes it seem as if all atheists are judgmental, dogmatic, and fanatical. They find their aggressive need to expand their cultural space embarrassing and much more want for mutual tolerance, rather than their mindset of "world dominance." For even the American civil rights movement did not want for the minority to rule over the whites, but for equal acceptance for all.

        And what these responses make clear is that there are different forms of atheism. Apart from those affiliated with the New Atheism movement, they split into two groups. One of those groups are the atheism of indifference. Some of these people can even be considered to be agnostics, those who don't believe that God exists, rather than believing that God doesn't exist.

        The others are those who actively believe that God does not exist, called "committed atheist," who suppose a definite stance. These people argue that believing in God is wrong, however they don't go about hating them or their ideas. Having little hostility toward religious belief or practice, these atheists are often not bothered and much rather enjoy having constructive conversations and debates with those who do believe in God.

        And now, there is a third category of atheists. These are the New Atheist movement followers. In which a common quality of all the followers are an intense anger against religion, which they believe poisons everything. Christopher Hitchens puts their position in a rather explicit way: "I am not even an atheist as so much as I am an antitheist." At first you may think, "isn't that the same thing? Just that atheist is the short version of antitheist?" It would not be blamed for those who confuse the two, however they are different. Antitheists, as the New Atheists are, define themselves by what it is against rather than what it's for. They're not people who don't believe in God, rather they are people who hate religion and anything that includes God.

        One conclusion that can clearly be drawn out by Christopher Hitchens' comment is that the New Atheism movement seems to have a dependency on its enemies for its core identity. We should look at what Greg Epstein, a humanist chaplain at Harvard University, says concerning the New Atheist.

        "While atheism is the lack of belief in any god, antitheism means actively seeking out the worst aspects of faith in god and portraying them as representatives of all religion. Anti-theism seeks to shame and embarrass people away from religion, browbeating them about the stupidity of belief in a bellicose god." In which Epstein then goes on to suggest that the New Atheists should focus on doing some good things themselves rather than going around, repetitively, cursing every religion out there stereotypically.

        But a more astounding thing about the New Atheists is the fact of how they're very much like the ISIS of today. Their extremism is shocking, and the way they ridicule saints as if they're villains and fools is astonishing. For example, recently, Christopher Hitchens slammed Mother Theresa, saying that she is a fanatic and a fundamentalist and a fraud, and argued that millions of people are much worse off because of her life. As bold and confident Christopher Hitchens might have appeared when he first made that statement, shortly after he made an apology towards her and for his comments.

        The New Atheists are like other committed atheists, who believe that there is no such a thing as God. But whereas other atheists make this their primary belief, the New Atheists make it their secondary. Their primary belief is the need to oppose any form of religious belief and practice. And the author tells us of this with one of his own experiences he had with a New Atheists follower. They told him, Alister McGrath, professor of Oxford University, that he shouldn't be teaching here because he believes in God and so he is stupid, evil, and mentally instable. They told him he should be locked up for the greater good. And when he was openly abused in this manner, the people that defended him most are moderate atheists. In which these moderate atheists make the conclusion that we all should follow. That polite society and academic culture make a proper distinction between people and their ideas, believing that it's possible to debate ideas without attacking the person who holds them. However, the New Atheists seem to want to attack both religious people and those atheists that are not part of their cause.

        Now, one of the biggest platforms for the support of New Atheism comes not with meetings, but with online greetings. What do I mean? To be a supporter of the New Atheist movement, you can register online at www.RichardDawkins.net. And this website is now considered to be the world's largest atheist online community. And, as you can expect, these people are no different online than they are in person. Throughout the forums you will find many articles blasting on religions and religion followers, by characterizations as irrational and immoral. One article goes as far as to suggest that religion is like Nazism and needs to be eliminated, not understood. Respecting religion and worshiping God is like worshiping and admiring Hitler, which is morally unacceptable.

        One more common theme among these bloggers is the fact that they are convinced that all religions are out to get them, as if religious groups have nothing better to do. And to them, a preemptive strike is necessary. Before they can get us, let's get them. Kill them before they kill you.

        But why are they so afraid? These people sounds like people at war! But it must also come down their leader being much of a failure, when even compared to other religious authors. Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion, a bestseller and his bestselling book, reached almost a million copies sold in North America. And this almost sounds impressive until you hear of the number of copies that were sold of Rick Warren's Christian book The Purpose Driven Life. It has be reliably reported as having sold nearly THIRTY MILLION copies in the same sales area since its publication around 2002. Now their response to this is that, "Richard Dawkins has one advantage over Rick Warren. All of his books were purchased by people who can read. And actually read books." They're suggesting that everyone and anyone who purchased Rick Warren's book are illiterate, and don't know how to read. Seems farfetched, and the New Atheists have seemingly become arrogant and increasingly disconnected from the real world.

        But not only that, it seems they can be anxious when they see the numbers of Christians in America, or rather those who are not atheists. A survey of religious beliefs in the United States, undertaken at Baylor University in late 2007, tells us that only 4% of Americans clearly define themselves as atheists. In which we can also see a comparison when we look at the number of sales Richard Dawkins made compared to Rick Warren, one million to thirty million.

        And with their lack of support, in comparison to religious groups, it seems as if they will die off quick, for the better. Commenting on God Is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens, Bruce DeSilva says, "Hitchens as nothing new to say, although it must be acknowledged that he says it exceptionally well." The New Atheism certainly has a new feel to it, however, the core arguments are nothing new. Rather, the only new aspect of them is that they're opening aggressive towards religion.

        Yet, these people are also very aggressive to other atheists, atheists who are NOT part of their New movement. A lot of intense anger on the forums is also directed against atheists who are seen to be having good relations with people of faith or who otherwise seem to have betrayed the high ideals and core dogmas of the New Atheism. These are the traitors, the collaborators, the people who contaminate the wonderful name of being an atheist.

        This concludes the first part of chapter 2, "What's "New" About the New Atheism?", in which I hope you were able to understand some distinctive points concerning the New Atheists, and see that they are rather different and "new." It almost seems as if these people are so secluded that their mentally is "it's us or death." I hope I was able to portray that image of such people well, and that you understand the real depths of these people. Thank you!

* admin님에 의해서 게시물 이동되었습니다 (2017-12-30 09:12)


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번호 제목 작성자 작성일   추천 조회
 Chapter 2 - Part 2 - What's "New" About the New Atheism?    Benjamin Yim 2017/12/17 3 76
2  Chapter 1 - The New Atheism: How it All Started    Benjamin Yim 2017/11/26 5 98
1  Why God Won't Go Away - Table of Contents and Introduction    Benjamin Yim 2017/11/26 18 108

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