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Are the New Atheists of Richard Dawkins a Religion?

 
 
Fri 21 Apr, 2017 06:39 pm
My quote 'There is no God and Richard Dawkins is his Prophet

http://debunkingatheists.blogspot.co.za/2010/07/atheism-is-religion.html

They have their own worldview. Materialism (the view that the material world is all there is) is the lens through which atheists view the world. Far from being the open-minded, follow-the-evidence-wherever thinkers they claim to be, they interpret all data ONLY within the very narrow worldview of materialism.

They are like a guy wearing dark sunglasses who chides all others for thinking the sun is out.

They have their own orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is a set of beliefs acceptable to a faith community. Just as there are orthodox Christian beliefs, there is an atheist orthodoxy as well.

In brief, it is that EVERYTHING can be explained as the product of unintentional, undirected, purposeless evolution. No truth claim is acceptable if it cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny.

They have their own brand of apostasy. Apostasy is to abandon one’s former religious faith. Antony Flew was for many years one of the world’s most prominent atheists. And then he did the unthinkable: he changed his mind.

You can imagine the response of the “open-minded, tolerant” New Atheist movement. Flew was vilified. Richard Dawkins accused Flew of “tergiversation.” It’s a fancy word for apostasy. By their own admission, then, Flew abandoned their “faith.”

They have their own prophets: Nietzsche, Russell, Feuerbach, Lenin, Marx.
They have their own messiah: He is, of course, Charles Darwin. Darwin – in their view – drove the definitive stake through the heart of theism by providing a comprehensive explanation of life that never needs God as a cause or explanation. Daniel Dennett has even written a book seeking to define religious faith itself as merely an evolutionary development.

They have their own preachers and evangelists. And boy, are they “evangelistic.” Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens (Speaking of which, our prayers goes out to Christopher Hitchens in hopes of a speedy recovery for his cancer, we need more time with him Lord) are NOT out to ask that atheism be given respect. They are seeking converts. They are preaching a “gospel” calling for the end of theism.

They have faith. That’s right, faith. They would have you believe the opposite. Their writings ridicule faith, condemn faith. Harris’s book is called The End of Faith. But theirs is a faith-based enterprise. The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven.

To deny it takes faith. Evolution has no explanation for why our universe is orderly, predictable, measurable. In fact (atheistic) evolutionary theory has no rational explanation for why there is such a thing as rational explanation.

There is no accounting for the things they hope you won’t ask: Why do we have self-awareness? What makes us conscious? From what source is there a universal sense of right and wrong? They just take such unexplained things by … faith.

There are days when evil and suffering are hard to explain, even for the most ardent follower of God. There are questions we cannot answer.

There are days when every honest Christian will admit doubts about some specifics, but we don’t become atheists. It is because our soul JUST KNOWS that God is there, because God revealed Himself to all of us. Romans 1:18-23

And maybe because atheism is a religion that requires too much untenable faith.

Not only is Atheism a religion, the entire premise is a negative proof fallacy.

 
Doubter
 
  0  
Sat 19 Aug, 2023 05:53 pm
First of all, you need to define religion. Without a clear and precise definition, any further discussion is a waste of time.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, religion is "the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship" https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/religion.

This refutes your idea.
Jasper10
 
  -2  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 01:18 am
@Doubter,
A religion or belief system is something that cannot be definitively proved.

You can only HOPE in it.

The new atheists of Richard Dawkins therefore have a hopeful religious belief system.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 07:59 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:

My quote 'There is no God and Richard Dawkins is his Prophet

http://debunkingatheists.blogspot.co.za/2010/07/atheism-is-religion.html

They have their own worldview. Materialism (the view that the material world is all there is) is the lens through which atheists view the world. Far from being the open-minded, follow-the-evidence-wherever thinkers they claim to be, they interpret all data ONLY within the very narrow worldview of materialism.

They are like a guy wearing dark sunglasses who chides all others for thinking the sun is out.

They have their own orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is a set of beliefs acceptable to a faith community. Just as there are orthodox Christian beliefs, there is an atheist orthodoxy as well.

In brief, it is that EVERYTHING can be explained as the product of unintentional, undirected, purposeless evolution. No truth claim is acceptable if it cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny.

They have their own brand of apostasy. Apostasy is to abandon one’s former religious faith. Antony Flew was for many years one of the world’s most prominent atheists. And then he did the unthinkable: he changed his mind.

You can imagine the response of the “open-minded, tolerant” New Atheist movement. Flew was vilified. Richard Dawkins accused Flew of “tergiversation.” It’s a fancy word for apostasy. By their own admission, then, Flew abandoned their “faith.”

They have their own prophets: Nietzsche, Russell, Feuerbach, Lenin, Marx.
They have their own messiah: He is, of course, Charles Darwin. Darwin – in their view – drove the definitive stake through the heart of theism by providing a comprehensive explanation of life that never needs God as a cause or explanation. Daniel Dennett has even written a book seeking to define religious faith itself as merely an evolutionary development.

They have their own preachers and evangelists. And boy, are they “evangelistic.” Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens (Speaking of which, our prayers goes out to Christopher Hitchens in hopes of a speedy recovery for his cancer, we need more time with him Lord) are NOT out to ask that atheism be given respect. They are seeking converts. They are preaching a “gospel” calling for the end of theism.

They have faith. That’s right, faith. They would have you believe the opposite. Their writings ridicule faith, condemn faith. Harris’s book is called The End of Faith. But theirs is a faith-based enterprise. The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven.

To deny it takes faith. Evolution has no explanation for why our universe is orderly, predictable, measurable. In fact (atheistic) evolutionary theory has no rational explanation for why there is such a thing as rational explanation.

There is no accounting for the things they hope you won’t ask: Why do we have self-awareness? What makes us conscious? From what source is there a universal sense of right and wrong? They just take such unexplained things by … faith.

There are days when evil and suffering are hard to explain, even for the most ardent follower of God. There are questions we cannot answer.

There are days when every honest Christian will admit doubts about some specifics, but we don’t become atheists. It is because our soul JUST KNOWS that God is there, because God revealed Himself to all of us. Romans 1:18-23

And maybe because atheism is a religion that requires too much untenable faith.

Not only is Atheism a religion, the entire premise is a negative proof fallacy.




It is my opinion that most atheists (not all) are as much "believers" as any theists.

They are mirror images of each other.

Atheists tend to get very angry when confronted on this.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 08:01 am
Doubter is correct, however, that atheism IS NOT a religion.

But it is as much belief and faith driven as any religion.
hightor
 
  1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 08:53 am
@Frank Apisa,
That depends on how you define "atheism". Very Happy
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 08:58 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

That depends on how you define "atheism". Very Happy


Very Happy

On a serious note, though, just about every person I know who has chosen to use the word "atheist" as a descriptor or part of a descriptor...

...gives clear evidence of a "belief" that no gods exist...or of a "belief" that it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one does.

It seems to me that one essential for choosing "atheist" as a descriptor...is one of those two "beliefs."

Nothing whatever wrong with wanting to be known as an atheist...and nothing whatever wrong with having those "beliefs."

Just sayin'!
hightor
 
  2  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 11:45 am
@Frank Apisa,
I've found that younger people tend to espouse the more militant variety of atheism, especially those who had grown up in religious households. They may have experienced the displeasure of their families when they announced their rejection of theism, maybe even ostracism from members of their former church community. Their stance is often a counter-reaction to the condemnation they receive from religious believers and they assume an antagonistic stance which mirrors the wrath directed against them. It takes a certain amount of maturity to realize that "belief" isn't the same as "knowledge". I've never found a good reason to believe in a personal supreme creator god but I have no objection to using the term metaphorically – an "act of god", "all god's children", or Einstein's god who "doesn't play dice with the universe". I had a theology instructor who said he only believed in questions!
Jasper10
 
  -1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 11:58 am
@Jasper10,
Atheist/Theist =Atheist/Theist

It’s not all about belief in a God,never was and never will be.

If you are a Theist you may as well swap places with the Atheist if that’s what you think because philosophically you have completely missed the point.

Why? well even the devil, if he exists, could believe in God.There is nothing special about belief in a God.


hightor
 
  1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 12:19 pm
@Jasper10,
Quote:
There is nothing special about belief in a God.


Actually there is – you're committing yourself to a concept for which there is no objective evidence. It's called "faith", and it serves many people very well.
Jasper10
 
  -1  
Sun 20 Aug, 2023 12:28 pm
@hightor,
Philosophically,I assure you,there is absolutely nothing special about merely believing that a God exists because even the devil and his demons can do that, if they exist.

There is more to it than that.
Jasper10
 
  -1  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 12:28 am
@Jasper10,
Philosophically,I would suggest that it’s not about just belief, it’s about belief and acceptance or rejection.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 02:41 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

I've found that younger people tend to espouse the more militant variety of atheism, especially those who had grown up in religious households. They may have experienced the displeasure of their families when they announced their rejection of theism, maybe even ostracism from members of their former church community. Their stance is often a counter-reaction to the condemnation they receive from religious believers and they assume an antagonistic stance which mirrors the wrath directed against them. It takes a certain amount of maturity to realize that "belief" isn't the same as "knowledge". I've never found a good reason to believe in a personal supreme creator god but I have no objection to using the term metaphorically – an "act of god", "all god's children", or Einstein's god who "doesn't play dice with the universe". I had a theology instructor who said he only believed in
questions!



I especially agree that the most militant group of atheists are younger people...and, like you, I understand it.

I also get that part about the metaphorical use of the word god. "God bless you" after a sneeze, "Thank god" (which I have revised to "thank the gods"), and varieties of "goddamit" certainly come into play.

My comments are primarily aimed at noting the similarity of treatment between theists and atheists...both of whom seem to rely on what I feel are guesses about the REALITY of existence.

The REALITY is one very mysterious situation. Attempting to appreciate it is like attempting to picture infinity. Tough thing to do. But theists are convinced one way...and, as you noted, it often served those people well. Fine. Most atheists are also convinced in the other direction...and apparently it serves them well, too.

I would love to see both sides get closer to the agnostic position, because there is a growing danger of too much law-making originating from a desire of some theists to serve the interests of their gods. That, in my opinion, can be dangerous. I do not ever want anything approaching a theocracy here.

Doesn't look as though both sides will merge enough to protect us from that happening right now.

Sad!
0 Replies
 
Jasper10
 
  -1  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 03:20 am
@Jasper10,
My point is, what is the difference between an Atheist and a Theist if the Theist rejects a God that they believe may exist just like a devil and his demons who may exist as well?

Philosophically,this is why I would suggest that belief (on its own) that a God may exist is not enough.
Bogulum
 
  3  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 04:01 am
I think this is one of the more civil and tolerant discussions I've seen on this potentially incendiary subject matter. Kudos to all.
hightor
 
  2  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 04:49 am
@Bogulum,
Sometimes the magic happens! The absence of a few particular people on this site has really toned down the level of rancor, at least for me.
engineer
 
  2  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 07:39 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Doubter is correct, however, that atheism IS NOT a religion.

But it is as much belief and faith driven as any religion.

If you define faith as believing what you are told despite the lack of any evidence in support, I would say atheism is not faith driven, just the opposite. It is lack of blind faith, an insistence on proof. I think that is the fundamental difference and disagreement with religion.
engineer
 
  4  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 08:18 am
@hightor,
True, but they haven't been replaced by people who could intelligently argue their positions. Less than ten years ago, there were people who could argue positions I disagree with in a fairly intelligent manner, but in the last few years, those people have all become radicalized to the point where they do nothing but yell.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 10:47 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

Doubter is correct, however, that atheism IS NOT a religion.

But it is as much belief and faith driven as any religion.

If you define faith as believing what you are told despite the lack of any evidence in support, I would say atheism is not faith driven, just the opposite. It is lack of blind faith, an insistence on proof. I think that is the fundamental difference and disagreement with religion.

In many respects, you are correct, Engineer.

But, I am sure you realize that in the general population of atheists...there are some (MANY) who are sure there are no gods. They actually assert it.

In another forum where I participate, there is a contingent arguing that the existence of a god or gods is impossible.

They are the people to whom my remarks were intended. They are the people I say are guessing there are no gods (believe there are no gods)...and defending that guess (belief) to the utmost. They are, in every respect, expressing faith in their guesses.

At least, that is the way I see it.
hightor
 
  2  
Mon 21 Aug, 2023 11:43 am
@engineer,
Quote:
True, but they haven't been replaced by people who could intelligently argue their positions.

Back in the aughts, after Abuzz went down, I was in a forum where there were some very bright conservatives. They had some detailed objections to the idea of anthropogenic climate change, and, as they were more scientifically literate than I was, the often bested me in our arguments. That forum went down and I don't know where those individuals are now but I would be very surprised if they haven't had to rethink their positions in the light of the evidence which has accumulated over the past decade or so. They weren't stupid – they simply doubted the climate change narrative, suspected it was ideological, and were able to put together coherent objections. As many of them were British, they didn't buy into pro-firearms arguments based on the 2nd Amendment. They weren't racists or homophobes, either.

I bring this up because, as you suggest, the issues have become so ideological that people who oppose, say vaccinations for school kids, will not accept that there might be a middle ground, that it might be smart to protect society as a whole from contagious disease by making sure that young people, who are together in a public, are protected and that this protects our entire society. Instead they yell about vaccines causing autism. I don't know if it's even possible to defend the MAGA i9deology in a rational and respectful manner. "Rational and respectful? Those are terms derived from communism!"
0 Replies
 
 

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