The new, New Atheism

Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby gilnv » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:56 pm

Generally, I avoid this section of "Deism, Theism, & Atheism: God Talk" like the plague, but in recent months this section has talked about more than 'is there or isn't there a God'.

However, maybe I've missed something? Isn't a theist someone that thinks God exists? Isn't an atheist someone that believes there is no God? And aren't both these viewpoints unproveable?
What is a New Atheist?
Isn't an agnostic someone that says 'the existence of God can't be proven or disproven?

I haven't read all the links that are in the replies so please let me know if reading all the links are necessary. If so, I'll gladly pass and leave this thread to others. :scoot:

Best regards, Gil.
P.S. As an agnostic, other than hating all the violence that religion has caused, the only thing I don't like about atheists and theists is that - other possibilities don't get considered fairly. Other possiblities tend to get lumped in with the science and/or god extremes.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby Inquisitor » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:10 am

gilnv.......Some points I'd like to inject here. Not only do Theists believe there is a god, they (at least the Abrahamic type) require others to do so as well....or else. Atheists simply have no believe in a god....any god. Theism has used their revealed faith texts to prove their the existence of their god and faith for centuries and for decades now have gone into various scientific disciplines to do the same. I might suggest they have failed in all cases. Atheism (in the classical sense) is not evangelical and does not seek to convert others to their non-belief; regardless of what recent branches of Atheism may have come about. Atheism, for the most part, only responds to the claims of Theists. Yes, there are groups like Freedom From Religion that go overboard and do not represent reasonable Atheism. Atheism does not take the position that there "can be no god", only that given what we know, the evidence (or lack thereof) strongly suggests that there is no god as is classically understood. Although both Theism and Atheism are "unprovable" given any scientific method, there is a preponderance of likelihood. Agnosticism at its core is about lack of knowledge regarding a god.....they consider what is currently on the plate as unconvincing. But at the end of the day, even Agnostics go about their day to day life as Atheists. So are Agnostics Atheists?......yes in a way. Are Atheists Agnostic?.....yes in a way. You mention "other possibilities". Maybe you could expound on what they are that do not involve science or theism. (barring of course meditation / spiritualism)
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby Bill » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:06 am

romansh wrote: when an organization tries to surreptitiously undermine the scientific waters ... it can expect a backlash. And this backlash has come from believers as well as non-believers.

It is no longer surreptitious: it is Tea Party official doctrine to bring fundamental religion back into the American Way of life. Since evolution = anti-Christianity, they have made opposition to evolution one of their prime policies.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby Inquisitor » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:20 am

Bill.....I'm curious as to your opinion on Francis Collins. (Evolutionary Theist) There seems to be a growing number of Christians that espouse his position.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby romansh » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:31 am

Inquisitor wrote:Bill.....I'm curious as to your opinion on Francis Collins. (Evolutionary Theist) There seems to be a growing number of Christians that espouse his position.

This is not a particularly new phenomenon Inquisitor.

Growing up in the UK I don't recall meeting a Christian that had a problem with evolution or a 4 billion year old Earth.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby Inquisitor » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:38 am

Romansh.....Here in the US mainstream Christianity appears to stand on one side or the other. Francis Collins' position has proven problematic for him in most Christian circles. He has caught a lot of flack for it. I give him credit for being flexible though.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby whateverist » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:49 am

Right. I've always thought there is just no reason for a believer to saddle themselves with ridiculous beliefs about history and natural science on account of religion. It should lead them to better theology to get the science right. Instead, the authors of the wedge and their ilk, seek to subvert knowledge that undermines what they already believe. So unworthy.

Glinv, I don't think atheism has to be a faith position. Agnosticism as I understand it (and as has been explored extensively here) is merely an unwillingness to claim as knowledge ones beliefs regarding gods. Some agnostics may take the more extreme position that evidence in either direction is impossible, but one is still agnostic if they don't know what evidence may be possible. Theists and atheists can, and I think should, cop to agnosticism if they are serious. Atheism I think is just the lack of belief in gods, not the assertion that they do not or cannot exist. Some atheists do take the more extreme stand. They are then subject to the same sorts of criticism leveled at fundy theists.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby romansh » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:53 am

Inquisitor wrote:Romansh.....Here in the US mainstream Christianity appears to stand on one side or the other. Francis Collins' position has proven problematic for him in most Christian circles. He has caught a lot of flack for it. I give him credit for being flexible though.

Most?
I suspect it is only a problem with fundamentalist positions. ...

Amongst Roman Catholics and most Episcopalians I doubt Francis Collins' position is a problem. Unfortunately they are by and large silent when it comes to Collins. Even Dawkins is respectful of Collins.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby Inquisitor » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:00 pm

Whateverist.....Theists and atheists can, and I think should, cop to agnosticism if they are serious

I don't think this would work. Moving from a position of belief or unbelief to a position of without knowledge is, I think, taking a step backwards. If our convictions/beliefs are to be based on something, it should be on knowledge or observable evidence (or the likelihood of probability, not merely possibility). A Theist believes he has the knowledge and considers it the truth. An Atheist does not believe, in light of the lack of available knowledge. I'm quite sure that both consider themselves on serious ground. As I have stated before, even Agnostics, at the end of the day, live their lives pretty much as Atheists.....without belief.
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Re: The new, New Atheism

Postby Bill » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:53 pm

Inquisitor wrote: As I have stated before, even Agnostics, at the end of the day, live their lives pretty much as Atheists.....without belief.

In my experience, most newly minted atheists have reached their position by finding cause to reject their religion. A belief in god and a belief in their inherited religion are one and the same. When one goes, so does the other.

On the other hand, it has been my experience that agnostics reject religion, but keep open some possibility of deities existing. Ergo, we are alike in our lack of religion, but dissimilar in whether we dismiss, or not, the idea that gods are impossible entities.

(I used to think it not impossible that the Big Bang was the first cause, and had to have a cause - which implied some supernatural event that was the cause. But then I came across modern physics which recognizes un-caused events. So it is theoretically possible that the big bang was un-caused, and the necessity for a supernatural event dissipates)
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