Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is faith the enemy? A revealing look at the tenets of New Atheism.

February 22, 2010

There is a movement in this country called NewAtheism. This movement is more aggressive and anti-Christianity than atheists have ever been before. Even atheists argue about the beliefs and methods of the New Atheists.
In order to understand what New Atheists believe, I paraphrase below Andrew Brown's 6 tenets of the philosophy, which are found in his popular internet article The New Atheism, a definition and a quiz. He distills these tenets from the writings of New Atheists Robert L. Park, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris. New Atheists believe. . .
1) Faith is something the ignorant depend on, and it is a form of denial. Faith is held by those who don't want to see the evidence of something to the contrary. Faith is superstition.
2) Science can prove whether or not God exists. It is the only way to know.
3) Science is the opposite of Faith, and, because Science is rational, it will bring enlightenment.
4) Rationalism and Science are so superior to Faith, Faith will lose in any contest. Society would be better if we jettison Faith for Reason. We would get along, too, if we throw out religion. (My note: This last point is reflected in the song Imagine, by John Lennon).
5) Religion's true nature is rage, no matter what form it takes. Fundamentalists and Islam may be obviously outrageous, but more mainstream forms of religion are also dangerous.
6) Faith, as defined as religious and superstitious, is the enemy. It is dangerous, and those with Reason must struggle against it. The outcome of this war against Faith will determine the future of mankind.
They also have changed the definition of atheist. The old atheists simply denied the existence of God. "There is no God." The New Atheists say they do not believe in God. The distinction is small, but to them, it is everything. God cannot be proved by science, they say, and superstitious Faith is the enemy.
You may have noticed, atheists are getting proactive with their beliefs. Bus ads and billboard advertising are just two examples of the effects of this philosophy.
The New Atheists are so proactive and passionate, some say they have tremendous faith in not having faith.
You would expect that Christians would resist this movement, but humanists and other atheists are hesitant when it comes to New Atheism too. Secular Humanist Examiner Paul Fidalgo writes in his articleDistortions of the New Atheists prevent substantive debate about their impact about how the debate over whether to accept the tenets and "instigator position" is causing a rift among secularists.
It's an interesting turn, and, in a future post, I will examine the Christian response to atheists and this new movement.

No comments:

Post a Comment