Archive for the 'The New Atheism' Category

Mar 07 2010

My Journey With Richard Dawkins

Published by under Opinion,The New Atheism,Themes

Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion” hit the headlines a long time ago now and many more books aiming to show religion to be intellectually untenable have since arrived on the market. With tortoise-like slowness, I have been reflecting on the new atheism. I’d like to share my journey, indicating how various people have helped me on the way.

The God Delusion is of course a passionate attack on religion. Although I knew that the kind of religion he mainly had in mind was US Christian fundamentalism, I was wary, even rejecting, of the book. Continue Reading »

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Aug 02 2008

The New Atheism: a Response from Drewermann

Published by under The New Atheism

Eugen Drewermann, the outspoken German theologian who is very well-known in Europe, but almost unknown in the English-speaking world, now has his own monthly radio programme. Each session is three hours, during two of which he answers listeners’ questions. Thanks to the modern miracle of podcasting, I can download and listen to these programmes.

Recently, I was listening to his programme on the topic “The Unfreedom of Free Will,” which dealt with issues that modern brain science raises about free will. To my surprise, Matthias Beier, author of the only full-length book on Drewerman, called in. He wanted to know Drewermann’s response to the new atheism of Dawkins and Hitchens. In particular, Dawkins regards God as a human projection, but Drewermann regards God as ‘absolutely good person.’ “Why is God more than a projection?” Beier wanted to know. Continue Reading »

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Jul 04 2008

Book Review:God and the New Atheism

Ian didn’t manage to get to our second meeting on The New Atheism. Instead, he wrote a review for the national newsletter on the book “God and the New Atheism” by John Haught.

“His main thesis is that the three authors, drawing their concept of God and religion from fundamentalist and literalist religion, produce a similar kind of atheism: superficial, literal, and lacking engagement with the long-standing intellectual traditions of the Western religions.”

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Jul 03 2008

Keith Ward on Dawkins

Published by under The New Atheism

I must say I enjoyed the humour in this excerpt from an article in The Tablet:

So why can Professor Dawkins only see the bad in religion? Why is he incapable of making an objective, “scientific”, study of it, in all its diversity? Why is he unable to make distinctions between the many different forms of religious belief? I do not know the answer to these questions, but I do know this apostle of reason, when confronted with the word “faith”, suddenly becomes irrational, careless of truth, incapable of scholarly analysis. I really think it must be some sort of virus, and I wish my colleague a speedy recovery.

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Jul 01 2008

A Critique of John Gray

Published by under Meetings,The New Atheism

At our 27 June meeting, Brian presented the following critique of John Gray’s article in the Guardian, that Laurie referred to in announcing the meeting.

I don’t question Professor John Gray’s moderate social conservatism. I believe it is sincere, as would be his view that religion is one of its bulwarks. But so far it seems to me that his defence of religion against Dawkins and the so-called New Atheists is too shallow and popularist. This leaves a question in my mind as to why Gray has become so prominent in ‘liberal’ and media circles.

There has been a steady revival in religious as well as political conservatism. People crave a more traditionalist, settled world, and the New Atheist attacks on the ‘God-concept’ have been unsettling. Whenever that kind of disturbance happens, well-financed conservative forces go for a ‘backlash’ through their think-tanks, their consultative agencies that influence and serve the ‘establishment’, and their almost complete control of the media. I leave you with the question: Am I being paranoid, or is my suspicion about Gray’s sudden rise to appear to be an authoritative demolisher of the New Atheists, justified? Continue Reading »

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