5/24/09

Atheism - The New (Emergent) Atheists, part 3 of 4

We now continue Atheism is Dead’s consideration of the New Atheist movement headed by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

Part 1: Who Are The New Atheists? and What Are Their Claims?
Part 2: What Is Their Appeal? and What Is The New Atheist Movement?
Part 3: An Atheist New World Order – A One World Atheist Religion
Part 4: Is The New Atheist Movement Dead? and Let Us Heed Their Words


An Atheist New World Order – A One World Atheist Religion
Following on the steps of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778, who conceived of a civil religion) and Auguste Comte (1798-1857, who conceived of a religion of humanity), the New Atheists tear down Christianity and seek to build their church in the rubble.

Daniel Dennett stated:

… there could be a rational religion.[1]

Sam Harris elucidates:

There would be a religion of reason … We would be able to invoke the power of poetry and ritual and silent contemplation and all the variables of happiness so that we could exploit them. Call it prayer, but we would have prayer without bull****… At some point, there is going to be enough pressure that it is just going to be too embar­rassing to believe in God.[2] [expletive censored]

Dan Barker (of the Freedom From Religion Foundation) de­clared:

Darwin has bequeathed what is good….abortion is a blessing.[3]

Dan Barker also stated:

Atheism and Freethought and true humanistic moral­ity are, are so much more clear, so much more useful, so much more reasonable…Atheists and agnostics are more accountable they are more moral … true human­istic morality which is much superior to Christian mo­rality.[4]

Michael Martin (atheist philosopher and professor emeritus at Boston University) stated:

I’m nicer than God … Atheism is so special. So life affirming. So, so superior morally to the Christian sys­tem. So more respectful of human dignity and, and hu­man intelligence.[5]

Michael Shermer stated that his study of evolution was:

…far more enlightening and transcendent, spiritual, than anything I had experienced in seven years of be­ing a born-again Christian.[6]

Michael Shermer also made reference to, “the spiritual side of sci­ence” which he referred to “sciensuality.”[7]

Richard Dawkins stated:

…you and I probably do have…feelings that may very well be akin to a kind of mystical wonder when we contemplate the stars, when we contemplate the galaxies, when we contemplate life, the sheer expanse of geological time. I experience, and I expect you ex­perience, internal feelings which sound pretty much like um, what mystics feel, and they call it God….con­templating mitochondria is actually much grander than anything that you will get by contemplating the tradi­tional objects of religious mysticism.[8]

Richard Dawkins also stated:

…science does have some of religion’s virtues…almost worship…beyond the wildest dreams of saints and mystics…far outclasses any of the…world’s re­ligions…The universe at large couldn’t possibly be anything other than indifferent to Christ, his birth, his passion, and his death.[9]

These attempts to co-opt science for the purposes of filling the God shaped hole in every human heart are fulfillments of Romans 1:18-23, 25:

… men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eter­nal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Profess­ing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corrupt­ible man…who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Fuller quotes are provided in History of Atheism.

By the term “child abuse,” the New Atheists refer to teaching your children your faith. They consider this worse than physical abuse. They not only condemn this but seek to dictate childrear­ing.
Daniel Dennett wrote:

…many declare, there is the sacred and inviolable right of life…On the other hand, many of the same people declare that, once born, the child loses its right not to be indoctrinated or brainwashed or otherwise psychologically abused by those parents.[10]

Richard Dawkins stated:

It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in?[11]

Richard Dawkins also stated:

A phrase like “Catholic child” or “Muslim child” should clang furious bells of protest in the mind … Catholic child? Flinch. Protestant child? Squirm. Mus­lim child? Shudder.

The ultimate goal (besides “society stepping in” shud­der) is that this, “might lead children to choose no religion at all.”[12]

The New Atheists seem to overlook the fact that children sometimes are referred to in such a way due to cultural and/or social consid­erations and not theological. For instance, Judaism has a Bar/Bat Mitzvah when a child becomes a willing/thinking adult and decides to make a commitment to the faith. Likewise, various forms of Christianity have confirmation, etc.

Next we will consider whether the new atheist movement is dead.

[1] During his interview with Gary Wolf, “The Church of the Non-Believers
[2] Ibid.
[3] During his debate with John Rankin entitled “Evolu­tion and Intelligent Design: What are the issues?
[4] During an audio clip that was played in an interview with William Lane Craig.
[5] During his debate with Phil Fernandes entitled “Does God Exist?”
[6] From a video that was entitled “Kent Hovind Schools Dr. Mike Shermer
[7] During his debate with Jonathan Wells entitled “Why Darwin Mat­ters” – video, audio
[8] During his interview with Jonathan Miller
[9] Richard Dawkins, “Is Science a Religion?
[10] Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell – Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), p. 326
[11] During his interview with Gary Wolf, “The Church of the Non-Believers
[12] Richard Dawkins, “Now Here’s a Bright Idea

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