Eclecticist: New Atheism
Show Notes & Research
Broadcast: 22nd August, 2013
Last update: 22nd August, 2013
- Intro music
- Introduction and description of the podcast in general, goals, modus operandi
- What An investigation of everything from the perspective of two English brothers (black men) who consider themselves to be relatively normal (Muslims). We discuss one topic per show.
- Who Benjamin de-Campos (designer, believer), Geoffrey Campos (engineer, devil’s advocate)
- How We decide on a topic of interest, spend a little time researching it, record a podcast, publish the notes
- Why The chief benefit is the fostering as much understanding of this world, the only world, while we can and to hopefully prompt further thought and discussion
- Introduce the topic: New Atheism
Since the religiously motivated terror attacks on America in 2001 subsequently known as '9/11', a wave of animosity towards structured religions in general and Islamic nations in particular has produced the meme 'New Atheism' and the many volumes that undergird it. In this show we discuss the derivation of the term, key players, effects on religious communities and the potential trajectory of an inflammatory vocal attack on faith. Is there anything new about atheism?
(What we do not intend to talk about at length.)
- evidence for or against in any great detail or the topic of debate
- The phrase refers to a resurgence (arguably) of interest around the place of religion in society and its negative influences on public thought. Possibly originally coined by Gary Wolf in an article published in Wired magazine in 2006 entitled: ‘The Church of the Non-Believers’.
‘The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking.’
- Activism, vocalism, condemnatory, Muscular atheism
- 4 men and their critical works are at the core though there are many others enjoying the limelight:
- Sam Harris neuroscientist and philosopher. Book: The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004)
- Richard Dawkins Zoologist, Evolutionary Biologist. Book: The God Delusion (2006)
- Daniel Dennett philosopher, cognitive scientist. Book: Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006)
- Christopher Hitchens Non-fiction writer, journalist. Book: [UK] God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion (2007). [US] God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
- Religion spreads false claims to facts, corrodes relationships between populations, provides a framework for charlatans, retards intellectual and technological growth, endorses discrimination and absolutism.
- What are each of the so-called new atheist’s agendas and how they differ
- Problem with perceived cruelty to children
- Counter evidence from natural selection
- Giving good people bad reasons to be good
- ‘It is time that scientists and other public intellectuals observed that the contest between faith and reason is zero-sum’
- ‘The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe.’
- Limitation of the mind
- Intellectual honesty, problem with the ‘atheist but..’ crowd e.g. patronising, ‘let’s not rob them of their beliefs’
- Condemnation of religion, toleration of
- Religious are less intelligent and productive than non-religious
- self promotion from a bandwagon
- Issues with professing belief but don’t behave religious
- Vilification of Islam through fear ‘Islamophobia’
- Tricks e.g. ‘Gish Gallop’ from Eugenie Scott, Duane Gish
- Debate topics
- The trouble with definitions
- God - incoherent?
- General religious terms
- Fingers in ears on both sides
- appeal to authority
- no true scotsman
- Credibility of the claims of religion
- Pascal’s wager
- The perfect love of God, suffering etcetera
- Omniscience, omnipresence
- Jewish Eruv, North West London Eruv site: http://nwlondoneruv.org/. This is a string which surrounds an area within which Jews can carry objects on the Sabbath owing to restrictions in the Talmud.
‘Britain's first, and biggest, eruv was created in February 2003. The eruv has a boundary 11 miles long and encloses an area of 6.5 square miles. It covers Hendon, Golders Green and Hampstead Garden Suburb, together with parts of Childs Hill, Cricklewood, East Finchley, Finchley and Mill Hill.
‘Pushing things is also forbidden - so families with small children (who would use prams and pushchairs) or the physically disabled (who would use wheelchairs) are effectively housebound. They can't even go to the synagogue to fulfil their religious duties on the Sabbath.’ - BBC
- Effects on society e.g. the oppression of women
- Response from the media
- Response from the Church
- The problem with interpretation
- From Humanists: http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4271/beyond-dawkins - New Atheists are going about
- Response from Dawkins on his tweet (All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.): http://www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2013/8/9/calm-reflections-after-a-storm-in-a-teacup
- Discussion of a growing breed of liberals claiming that the new atheists are ‘just as bad’ as the fundamentalists, why that is nonsense and the irony of the possible situation where the new atheists have made their ‘cause’ even more unattainable. Or something.
- Discussion of ‘the arrogance of science’
- Science changes all the time
- Melvyn Bragg
- Western Women of all people speaking out in defence of religions that humiliate them.
- Next topic will be Alternative Energy, available soon!
- Fade out music choice - something open source so poor quality but we won’t get sued.
Pope John II’s pine box coffin in St. Peter’s Basilica
Eric Hovind, the religious apologist son of Kent Hovind, biblical literalist and tax dodger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG7SebZ-U9M
The Life of Brian defended by Monty Python's John Cleese and Michael Palin.
‘The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.’ —Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995), quoted from Victor J Stenger, Has Science Found God? (2001)
[Daniel Dennett] ‘Compatibilism (or soft determinism) is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe both without being logically inconsistent.’ —Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism
Lawrence Krauss, an American cosmologist and theoretical physicist
Poster of logical debates: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/assets/FallaciesPosterHigherRes.jpg
Study: World Is Turning More Religious; Atheism Declining