Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Atheists on the "new atheism"

So the new atheism is to the old atheism what lo-fat marge is to butter, according to Utne Reader?
Dalrymple’s basic, but crucial observation is that this latest spate of antireligious book lack originality. “[They] imagine themselves to be like the intrepid explorer Sir Richard Burton, who in 1853 disguised himself as a Muslim merchant, went to Mecca, and then wrote a book about his unprecedented feat,” he writes. “They advance no argument that I, the village atheist, could not have made by the age of 14.”

Where have I heard that before? By the way, hat tip to Stormbringer who sends me a summary of his own views in these matters - quite different from theirs.

The main thing that concerns me is that people like Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins - popular new atheists - have a viewpoint about life that would make much that most people believe - for what they think to be good reasons - a crime, or next thing to it.

Just thought you might want to know.

I am currently reading "old atheist" Antony Flew's book, There IS a God, explaining why he abandoned five decades of atheism. I'll say more about his book shortly, but the most remarkable thing about it is the vastly superior civilization Flew inhabited to anything the "new atheists" seem to offer. If their idea is not catching on, that's probably why.