May 25 2008

The New Atheism

Published by under Meetings,The New Atheism

Our next meeting, on 13 June, will look at the new atheism. Recent years have seen the publication of a number of best-selling books that frontally attack God and religion. They include:

  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • God is not Great by Christopher Hitchins
  • God the Failed Hypothesis, by Victor Stenger
  • Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris

Our meeting will examine this new phenomenon and ask questions like the following:

  1. Will the advance of science inevitably bring about the end of religion?
  2. How can Christians deal with the violence that the bible ascribes to God, for example the holy wars, where God commands that everything and everyone must be destroyed?
  3. How satisfactory are modern theologians’ attempts to talk about God in new ways?
  4. What are the unspoken convictions and assumptions that lie behind these attacks?

There is no lack of voices that have responded critically to these new books.

Madeleine Bunting: “Richard Dawkins’s attack on religion is an intellectually lazy polemic not worthy of a great scientist.” Link here.

John Gray: “The attempt to eradicate religion, however, only leads to it reappearing in grotesque and degraded forms. A credulous belief in world revolution, universal democracy, or the occult powers of mobile phones is more offensive to reason than the mysteries of religion, and less likely to survive in years to come. Victorian poet Matthew Arnold wrote of believers being left bereft as the tide of faith ebbs away. Today’s secular faith is ebbing, and it is the apostles of unbelief who are left stranded on the beach.” Link here.

I’m looking forward to lively discussion!

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