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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

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Andrew Brown, Marxist critic who works for the Guardian, major left wing newspaper.

New atheism is a political movement and not an Intellectual one:

Brown's blog on the Guardian site
In part this is difficult because the new atheism is largely a political and social rather than an intellectual movement. In some ways it can be understood as the canary in the coalmine of American power and exceptionalism.
this guy is an expert in ideology. This guy knows ideology when he sees it. He distills an idea for New Atheism (which proves one of my major assertions). His method for piecing together the ideology is to find the communality in the works of the major leaders of their movement, the major New Atheist writers.

The ideas I claim are distinctive of the new atheists have been collected from Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Jerry Coyne, the American physicist Robert L. Park, and a couple of blogging biologists, P Z Myers and Larry Moran. They have two things in common. They are none of them philosophers and, though most are scientists, none study psychology, history, the sociology of religion, or any other discipline which might cast light on the objects of their execration. All of them make claims about religion and about believers which go far beyond the mere disbelief in God which I take to be the distinguishing mark of an atheist.

These are the ideas:


There is something called "Faith" which can be defined as unjustified belief held in the teeth of the evidence. Faith is primarily a matter of false propositional belief.
The cure for faith is science: The existence of God is a scientific question: either he exists or he doesn't. "Science is the only way of knowing – everything else is just superstition" [Robert L. Park]
Science is the opposite of religion, and will lead people into the clear sunlit uplands of reason. "The real war is between rationalism and superstition. Science is but one form of rationalism, while religion is the most common form of superstition" [Jerry Coyne] "I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented." [Dawkins]
In this great struggle, religion is doomed. Enlightened common sense is gradually triumphing and at the end of the process, humanity will assume a new and better character, free from the shackles of religion. Without faith, we would be better as well as wiser. Conflict is primarily a result of misunderstanding, of which Faith is the paradigm. (Looking for links, I just came across a lovely example of this in the endnotes to the Selfish Gene, where lawyers are dismissed as "solving man-made problems that should never have existed in the first place".)
Religion exists. It is essentially something like American fundamentalist protestantism, or Islam. More moderate forms are false and treacherous: if anything even more dangerous, because they conceal the raging, homicidal lunacy that is religion's true nature. [Sam Harris]
Faith, as defined above, is the most dangerous and wicked force on earth today and the struggle against it and especially against Islam will define the future of humanity. [Everyone]
All of these propositions will be found in the authors I have cited as well as in the comments to religious articles here. I sometimes think that only the last two are unique to the new atheists: you can certainly find the others in earlier authors. But those are the six doctrines which I would reject when saying rude things about the new atheists.
let's take them one at a time:

There is something called "Faith" which can be defined as unjustified belief held in the teeth of the evidence. Faith is primarily a matter of false propositional belief.
This is nothing more than the message board atheist fallacy about the nature of faith. The Faith article in Westminster Dictionary of Theology is like two huge pages of small type. It's much too complex to just pack into this loaded self serving ideological propaganda slogan. "unjustified bleief" no believer accepts that faith is unjustified and thus this is not a definition but a slogan. The Westminster article show that faith means as much "faithfulness" or commitment as it does placing confidence in an hypothesis. Faith is placing confidence in a hypothesis toward the end of making a commitment and remaining faithful to the placing of such confidence.

The cure for faith is science: The existence of God is a scientific question: either he exists or he doesn't. "Science is the only way of knowing – everything else is just superstition" [Robert L. Park]
Of course we only need a cure if there's an illness. There is no such illness because faith is not a negative. Of course the existence of God is not a scientific question. I've disproved this and written about why it's not many times.

the phrase in that point science is the only way of knowing is the atheist fortress of facts concept that I've talked about many times. Everytime I've brought it up on CARM they deny it then go on to prove I'm right by embracing it. So they deny it with one breath and embrace it with the next. Anyone who really knows much about history and Philosophy of scinece knows this is BS.

Science is the opposite of religion, and will lead people into the clear sunlit uplands of reason. "The real war is between rationalism and superstition. Science is but one form of rationalism, while religion is the most common form of superstition" [Jerry Coyne] "I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented." [Dawkins]
The identification of reilgion with superstition belies all the talk about reason. When we actaully get around to apply some reason we see their argument is merely circular reasoning. They will say "theology is stupidity" but demand that they quote some theologian to prove its' superstition they say "I have not read theology, I don't to read it because I know it's stupid." That sort of anti-intellectual clap trap is a higher crime against reason. Reason is the last these jokers really believe in. The Dawkins statment at the end is the most anti-intellectual piece of crap ever uttered.

They are making the assumption that scienc eis reason but it's actually oppossed to reason because that concept contradicts what is said above about scinece being the only from of knowledge. Atheist disparage logic as a means of understanding the world. They deny that there is any other form of knowledge. Logic is a from of reason. Reason is not empircal observation. So therefore they are actually contradicting because reason is a competeing form of knowledge to empirical science.


In this great struggle, religion is doomed. Enlightened common sense is gradually triumphing and at the end of the process, humanity will assume a new and better character, free from the shackles of religion. Without faith, we would be better as well as wiser. Conflict is primarily a result of misunderstanding, of which Faith is the paradigm. (Looking for links, I just came across a lovely example of this in the endnotes to the Selfish Gene, where lawyers are dismissed as "solving man-made problems that should never have existed in the first place".)
Here we have one of the most interesting. It's not only working from the myth of progress that modernity loves define itself by (thus demonstrated that it's an outmoded way of thinking--disproved by Postmodernism) but it also reads like an eschatology. This marks it as a true aspect of ideology. All ideologies have an eschatology, an end times, a end point toward which the great struggle of the ideological vanguard resolves itself in their victory. Check out past versions:


Christianity: Return of Christ in the end times

Marxism: Worker's paradise

Black Muslims: Black Supremacy

Feminism: Gynarchy (matriarchy)


there the new atheists have the scientific post religious society. this more than anything proves it's an ideology. The rest of the points are just rehashes. They have all the aspects of an ideology:

a exigence, a villain, a vanguard, a audience, a great struggle, an eschatology


Marxism:

exigence: exploitation of the working class.
villain: Capitalism
Vanguard: communist party
audience: workers
great struggle: class warfare
eschatology: worker's paradise.

Works with any ideology one cares to name.

Nation of Islam:

exigence: exploitation of the black race
Villain: White race
Vanguard: Fruit of Islam (black Muslims)
Audience: Black people
great struggle: racism
eschatology: Black society becomes dominate society.

new Atheism:

existence: faith prominent in society
Villain: religion
Vanguard: new atheists
Audience. people who hate religion
great struggle: to destroy religion
eschatology: scientific society post religious.

Having an ideology doesn't' necessary make people wrong. Both Marxists and Black Muslims have their salient points. New atheists, however, are totally afraid to admit they have an ideology. They will never admit it. Even the loyal opponent Hermit is still avidly denying that there is one. Which is odd becuase they seem to think they are the only valid view point there is.

3 comments:

Actually, it makes it very obvious that people are very prone to magical thinking and it suggests that there is no god that demands that you have "faith" in him or believe a particular thing. It actually makes a very good case for people beings skeptical about all supernatural claims, all purported divine knowledge, all purported invisible beings, all people claiming to know what happens after death (or even THAT something happens after death) and all those who tell you that a loving god will send you to hell if you don't believe the right unbelievable story.

"it" makes it very dubious? What is "It?" you clearly don't understand what supernatural is. why would all of those ideas be made dubious becuase of some grang of half illiterate unread simpletons who can't abide people saying things they don't agree with, like the atheist morons?

how does the fact that are are illiterate atheists in the world make religion dubious?

Felicity, I have a question:

If you are an atheist, why is there a link to a online Bible university when I click on your name?

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