A strange(and unfair) idea that the new atheism is possibly promoting is the idea of wiping out religion from the world. It is a type of approach which is creating certain type of atmosphere where religious people don't even get their rights. For example, Richard Dawkins said in 'The Unbelievers' that we should mock religious people with contempt. I mean, why?
I, despite of being an atheist, am a secularist. I don't think that this type of approach will help them a little bit. In contrast, it will enlarge the clash, and will promote arrogance both for theists and atheists. Theists should get their rights until or unless they start indoctrinating their children or start to force their beliefs on others. Secularism is what we need.
Another kind of atrocity I am witnessing is the slogan scientists must be atheists. Umm, no. I don't know that whether or not any atheist activist said this or any of the four horsemen(perhaps some horsewomen also), but I think you might be familiar with this because it is so common indeed. However, it is purely a fundamentalist point of view that scientists must be atheist. Because scientists are humans. And also a statement of a scientist is not necessarily a statement of science.
Anyway, I wanted your views in this particular issue to purify my opinions.
Hello Rounaq I am a militant atheist since 1968 from Spain.
I agree with in both points.
"New" Atheism, there is nothing new about being atheist. For millenniums up to today atheist have been killed by dogma of many religions. There are 13 countries (mainly Muslim ones) where death penalty against atheists is still being applied.
I don´t want abolish religion like Lenin did or Stalin.
I believe that by social evolution religions will disappear by themselves.
We just need to tell the UN to make an international rule to keep religions out of SCHOOLS.
That's perfectly correct. Religions should be out of the schools, even out of the childhood. And yes, the term 'new atheism' isn't in the sense you think. Even you know it. New atheism is a term that is denoted to some era of historical significance of atheism, of course not as there are some 'new' types of atheists.
Starting with the UK Aberingi.
"Richard Dawkins said in 'The Unbelievers' that we should mock religious people with contempt. I mean, why?"
Because some religious people say things that can't be verified. We can't verify that there was a garden of Eden, or Adam and Eve, or a flood that covered the entire Earth. We can't verify there was Jesus or a Christ. Assumptions flow from some religious in torrents without even evidence that they even checked the archeology, paleontology, biology or any of the sciences. They read it in the bible! What kind of evidence is that? It is the writings of some goat herder, tribal people who had ulterior motives to write what they did. They wanted property, power over others. They wanted to manipulate people to believe certain things so they could exploit them. They read the bible and believe it gives them te right to murder, plunder, rob, and even rape.
Of course, I mock religious people! It is the only response to an unsupported claim. Those who study the bible or any other religious propaganda study primitive evidence. Why? You explain that to me and I will pay attention to what you write. I don't have to agree, even as I consider what you write.
Even the claim that religious is of the spirit. Nonsense! It does not require religion to live in a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty and order of the universe. Simply looking at the night sky or a flower can fill one with a sense of respect for the order of things. Learning about geology and the time scale takes my breath away. Studying anthropology enriches in ways mythology can never do. Sure, I want my great-grandchildren to study religions, all of them. I want them to know what people thought, believed, even gave their lives for. The bible is not a book of instruction or science. It is a book of memories, of fables told by primitive people in an attempt to understand how the universe works. They couldn't see bacteria, but they read it is required to wash one's hands. Was that imperative based on science? Well, if you count the experience of women who realized those people who washed their hands before touching food had a better survival rate than those who don't. Of course they didn't think of it in those terms, but it is a simple matter of observation. It also is a simple matter to see patterns in the sky at night that looked like familiar objects. Ancient people around the Earth saw the same patterns and named them according to their recognition of something they knew, or suggested an idea. Sirius, the Dog Star has many other names, depending on where one lives.
There are those who expect me to respect religions! Why?! What is there to respect?! I respect the people who can remember generations of ancestors. I respect people who treat others with compassion. What is there to respect about the hate that they justify with holy scriptures? Why the war against women? or Homosexuals? Hate mongering, pure and simple.
Can you respect a person who mocks people who mock people to teach that mocking is wrong? Which is by the way, you. Excuse the ad-hominem.
By mocking religious people you are doing nothing but to enlarge the clash. That affects nothing positively. As it does when religious people mock atheists, which probably makes you more arrogant. The same happens when you mock them.
You can mock people, that is your choice. But in no way you 'should' mock people.
I think you've got the wrong end of the stick Rounaq. Firmly held delusions, I admit, warrant sympathy, not derision, but considering it mockery to recognise the intellectual emptiness of hocus- pocus quackery is what I'd expect to come from a pulpit. These are tautological arguments nurtured, by religious fruitcakes, over historical time, to describe the arrogance of mere mortals in defiance of the lord. Think again about the wisdom of what your saying.
Sympathy is secondary, understanding is primary. Firmly held delusions aren't negative until it forces one to commit atrocities or it spreads in a unfair way like childhood indoctrination. Yes, when you realize the close-mindedness, your primary duty(as a human being) is to try erase it. But mocking isn't the way it is done. On the contrary, it enlarges the delusive evilness.
Think, how does mocking help? And how does a logical argument help? It is our duty to make them understand.
Firmly held delusions aren't negative until it forces one to commit atrocities or it spreads in an unfair way like childhood indoctrination.
Just answer me one question Rounaq. What am I supposed to understand?
You are supposed to understand that firmly held private delusions don't deserve mocking.
Again Rounaq, I give up.
Let's mock the meme, mock the religion, or mock faith as a foundation of life instead of reality, but let's not mock the people.
It's called distinguishing person from behavior. You need to respect people. That doesn't mean we have to forgo mockery of illogical beliefs that cause untold harm to themselves and others.
Why define them as firmly held private delusions? These delusions are NOT private. If they were actually private, nobody would care.
We can respect religionists while disrespecting the mind viruses holding them in thrall.
Ruth, I agree with you on almost everything you write and am deeply enriched by your knowledge and wisdom. On this issue, I strongly disagree. A person who believes something and imposes that belief on others deserves nothing but contempt.
For example, there are those who believe they are entitled to the act of violence to gain compliance of children. It is a fallacious belief and because they act on their belief, It is appropriate to challenge them.
People act upon their values. If I determine their values exist on unhealthy grounds, it is my responsibility to dispute them. I can't remain silent, to reveal respect for them is to violate my principle of being honest, concrete, specific and descriptive of what I believe to be crime against another. I realize what I am saying is subjective and open to criticism. It is a worse crime to remain silent.