New Atheists and Old Atheists

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Kayla
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Re: New Atheists and Old Atheists

Post by Kayla »

tbieter wrote:Dennett thus looks forward to the day in which members of the clergy can be brought to court for teaching, for example, that prayer is efficacious,
a lot of people - most in my surroundings - believe in the effectiveness of prayer

however anyone who said 'well i have lots of people praying for me so maybe i dont need as much modern medical intervention' would generally be regarded as a loony

so the implication here is that prayer is only effective as a complement to medical care rather than a replacement

this is different from the claims of say, homeopaths - who actually promote their wortheless crap as a replacement for actual medicine

homeopaths are obvious frauds

but a preacher who says 'well our brother bob is getting the best medicine available but we should also pray for him to further improve his chances' is not committing any obvious fraud unless he charges money for the prayer and promises specific results

you could reasonably argue that what the preacher is saying is vacuous or wrong - but fraudulent?
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Rortabend
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Re: New Atheists and Old Atheists

Post by Rortabend »

I am an atheist but I'm not keen on the new atheists and I certainly agree that their is a whiff of the totalitarian about them, particularly with Dawkins. Advances in science and its ability to explain phenomena previously falling under privileged religious explanations have understandably led them to their position. Yet their postivism about science seems curiously immune to advances in philosophy that have led us to reject positivism and its reductive ambitions, and instead embrace a more pluralistic position vis-a-vis competing belief systems. This is hardly surprising in Dawkins' and Hitchen's case, neither of whom are/were philosophers, but what is Dennett's excuse?
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Kayla
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Re: New Atheists and Old Atheists

Post by Kayla »

their excuse is that they are children of the reformation

in an alternate universe they are all harsh unsmiling calvinist ministers

when i hear dawkins and his fans talk that is what i see - humorless calvinism

calvin et al had this idea that if everyone just read the scripture themselves and applied correct method of interpretation everyone would come to the same conclusion about what proper christian doctrine should be - which we know is not what happened so calvin had to resort to burning people at the steak

his bastard children have a similar idea - if everyone just acquaint themselves with the correct scientific facts and think about them correctly - everyone would arrive at the same conclusions

more generally there is a common tendency for people to think that the reason others disagree with them is because the others either do not have all the facts or are not thinking correctly
chaz wyman
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Re: New Atheists and Old Atheists

Post by chaz wyman »

Rortabend wrote:I am an atheist but I'm not keen on the new atheists and I certainly agree that their is a whiff of the totalitarian about them, particularly with Dawkins. Advances in science and its ability to explain phenomena previously falling under privileged religious explanations have understandably led them to their position. Yet their postivism about science seems curiously immune to advances in philosophy that have led us to reject positivism and its reductive ambitions, and instead embrace a more pluralistic position vis-a-vis competing belief systems. This is hardly surprising in Dawkins' and Hitchen's case, neither of whom are/were philosophers, but what is Dennett's excuse?
Their excuse is that you are caricaturing them.
Hitchens was never a positivist; Dawkins has stated time and again that science is not equipped to answer any moral position and repeatedly distances himself from Darwinism as a moral guide; Dennett is naive more than positivist.
chaz wyman
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Re: New Atheists and Old Atheists

Post by chaz wyman »

Kayla wrote:their excuse is that they are children of the reformation.

At a stretch they might claim to be children of the Enlightenment!!!


in an alternate universe they are all harsh unsmiling calvinist ministers

when i hear dawkins and his fans talk that is what i see - humorless calvinism.

calvin et al had this idea that if everyone just read the scripture themselves and applied correct method of interpretation everyone would come to the same conclusion about what proper christian doctrine should be - which we know is not what happened so calvin had to resort to burning people at the steak

his bastard children have a similar idea - if everyone just acquaint themselves with the correct scientific facts and think about them correctly - everyone would arrive at the same conclusions

more generally there is a common tendency for people to think that the reason others disagree with them is because the others either do not have all the facts or are not thinking correctly
[edited by iMod]
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