“New” Atheism?

In my daily searching of atheist news and tidbits, I see the phrase “new” atheists pretty often. I find it interesting. The article below is a critique of this group of non-believers. However, I offer this opinion. I think that this is more of a critique of the modern Internet culture where extreme views (one way or the other), get all of the attention. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The most vocal and divisive voices are heard. Live and let live, I say. Do I find the concept of organized religion or the existence of a white bearded man in the sky ridiculous? You bet. But if some people need that belief to get them by everyday, I say more power to them. Do I poke fun? Sure I do, that is the lens in which I view most things…with a sense of humor. I humbly offer you the article below as yet another point of view about modern atheism.

Why self-respecting atheists should ditch the New Atheists

Ryan Cooper
February 25, 2015

Courtesy of The Week

 

I grew up in a conservative small town, where there was the strong belief that evangelical Protestantism was the only route to the good life, and that I was going to be tortured for eternity for not signing up. It’s no surprise, then, that I was often attracted to the “anti-theist” diatribes of Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, otherwise known as the New Atheists.

 

But time changes all things. Though still far from religious, I no longer accept the more extreme narratives of the New Atheists, the certainty of their religious claims, and their historical view of religion. The atheist community would be well advised to chill out.
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Rula Jabreal: Another “Moderate” Muslim Lying for Her Extremist Comrades

 

By Fabrizioferri [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Once again one of my favourite shows has been hijacked completely by the topic of Islam. In a career spanning three decades Bill Maher has criticised every religion he can manage, but now it seems he has taken a step too far, because he has insulted … gasp … ISLAM. Oh dear.

Islam: the lovely peaceful religion that asks its followers to kill anyone of another faith, the woman-loving religion that claims one man is worth two women, the tolerant faith that orders the death of anyone who draws a cartoon or writes a book about the Prophet big Mo, the child friendly religion that makes excuses for its most famous Prophet marrying a six year old girl (even moderate scholars deem Mohammed a paedophile under our understanding), only to consummate with her when she turned nine years old (total gentleman), the all knowing and perfect religion that claims the world is flat and falsely proclaims that sperm comes from between the backbone and the ribs – regardless of how loud the Dr’s laugh. Yes that Islam, and people wonder why it needs to be criticised?
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An Open Letter to Ben Affleck

Dear Ben Affleck,

 

I recently watched the video of your appearance on the show Real Time with Bill Maher, with guests Sam Harris, Nicholas Kristof, and Michael Steele. It was Maher’s show though, right? Couldn’t really tell from the video. Honestly Ben, I think there is a lot for everyone to learn from this encounter, which is why I am spending my time writing this open letter to you. Let’s get right to it, because too many human lives are at stake.

 

I am going to be very critical of you in this letter, because like many other people in our society, you are looking at this issue completely backwards. Before I start with that though, I want to make sure to say I believe your heart is in the right place. It is clear to anyone who watches the video that you truly care about people. You are deeply concerned about how we homo sapiens treat one another, but what you are failing to understand is so are Maher and Harris. Having your heart in the right place is not enough, and if you can keep an open mind while reading this, I think you will understand why.

 

What was your mindset going into this discussion? Based on your non-verbals, voice tone, and overall defensive demeanor, which was neither provoked nor warranted, it appeared as though you came into this with some preconceived beliefs about Harris and/or the issue at hand. I’m not completely familiar with the structure of Bill Maher’s show, so correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the new guest supposed to get a couple of minutes of uninterrupted air time before the other guests join in?

 

Harris only had thirty seconds before you blurted out,

 

“Thank god you’re here.”

Continue reading “An Open Letter to Ben Affleck”