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Real debates about faith are drowned by the New Atheists' foghorn voices - Comments

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 1 by Jay Cee

Winge winge winge. Madeleine, think of something new to say.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:32:00 UTC | #344562

AllanW's Avatar Comment 2 by AllanW

Yep, typical crap from Mad Bint but at least she's getting her arse kicked in the CiF comments attached to this article.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:41:00 UTC | #344565

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 3 by Jay Cee

She was a good journalist when she wrote about feminism but at the moment she seems obsessed about New Atheism (see all of her recent work). She has a chip on her shoulder about Dawkins making her look like an intellectual lightweight on the radio. She's trying to be contrarian to an emerging movement and publicises herself as a martyr for moderate religion. The article comes across as whining and snide. I'm sure Dawkins gives the most of the royalties from his book straight to charity (or his foundation) so she's really a dishonest, manipulative, winge. She implies that society will fall into anarchy if christianity is removed too quickly. One look at Denmark, Sweden and Finland says otherwise.

I won't waste my time reading her anymore until she has something new to say.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:42:00 UTC | #344566

Nervous Wreck's Avatar Comment 4 by Nervous Wreck

By junking the Christian myths, the danger is that the replacements are "cruder, less tested, less instructive".


Why stop at Christian myths? Junk them all and replace them with atheism that is "less crude, more tested, more instructive."

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:42:00 UTC | #344567

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 5 by SaganTheCat

ffs

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:44:00 UTC | #344568

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 6 by Jay Cee

Allan,

I think I remember you commenting on her article last time, am I right£ Am I right to say that this is virtually indistinguishable from the last article she wrote£ She must be running out of ideas if she has to shallow her old shite and regurgitate it.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:47:00 UTC | #344569

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 7 by hungarianelephant

in a recent UK poll, only 22% could identify what Easter was celebrating

Something about chocolate rabbits, right?

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:50:00 UTC | #344571

AllanW's Avatar Comment 8 by AllanW

See for yourself.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/madeleinebunting

It's a useful facility to see a developing trend of articles by one author (I use the same facility on the Times website to monitor Matthew Parris' articles). Just go to 'comment' on the Guardian website then 'contributors' and search the alphabetical listings.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:53:00 UTC | #344572

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 9 by Quetzalcoatl

There's nothing like reading a Madeleine Bunting article to make you yawn cavernously.

There's really nothing new. I do like the way the economic crisis is used as a reason that we need faith all of a sudden. After all, the faith that was around prior to the economic crisis hasn't exactly done a great deal of good, so it's a mystery as to why Bunting feels that things will be any different now.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:54:00 UTC | #344573

Ardiem's Avatar Comment 10 by Ardiem

What the hell is new athiesm anyway and how is it distinguishable from old athiesm? Presumably it's just a term coined to make it look like a new breed of fundamentalism that needs stamped out.

And as for this being 'holy week' is this because the whole resurrection story has so many holes in it, it looks like a pair of Mad Bint's fishnet stockings?

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:56:00 UTC | #344574

mitch_486's Avatar Comment 11 by mitch_486

Richard Dawkins could stump up for the crates of champagne out of his sumptuous royalties from The God Delusion.


One cheap-shot too many for the likes of me. A serious waste of time, this article.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:57:00 UTC | #344575

Old Sarum's Avatar Comment 12 by Old Sarum

This article is one of many breaths of fresh air we can anticipate, as the genuinely thoughtful people increasingly dismiss the New Atheist agenda.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:59:00 UTC | #344578

blitz442's Avatar Comment 14 by blitz442

"What "belief" used to mean, and still does in some traditions, is the idea of "love", "commitment", "loyalty": saying you believe in Jesus or God or Allah is a statement of commitment. Faith is not supposed to be about signing up to a set of propositions but practising a set of principles. Faith is something you do, and you learn by practice not by studying a manual, argues Armstrong."

So back to this again. The religious propositions turn out to be indefensible nonsense, so the religious say that it was never about the propositions in the first place. Did she learn nothing from her browbeating from Dawkins£

Madeline, if it is only about compassion and love, why the need for the imaginary friends£

Atheism will dutifully go away as soon as people stop making claims about God that they cannot back up.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:00:00 UTC | #344581

HenryFord's Avatar Comment 13 by HenryFord

So ... much ... stupid.
It's genuinely hard to know where to start.

"in a recent UK poll, only 22% could identify what Easter was celebrating."
Pagan springtime fertility festivals that were hijacked by a virus like religion?

Or is it the one where we paint each others faces, throw the kids on a bouncy castle and spend the weekend in a beer garden?
Yeah, the true spirit of easter.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:00:00 UTC | #344579

Ardiem's Avatar Comment 16 by Ardiem

in a recent UK poll, only 22% could identify what Easter was celebrating

Something about chocolate rabbits, right?


And here I was thinking it was celebrating the multitude of ways you can eat a Cadbury's Cream Egg.

How do you eat yours?

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:01:00 UTC | #344583

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 15 by glenister_m

Re: Comment #360869 by hungarianelephant

Reminds me of Richard Jeni's routine when he does the abbreviated church service: "So this guy Jesus gets whacked, that's Christmas, buy a tree. Three days later, he rises from the dead, that's Easter, get a hat."

I'm curious how many believers know why they have a tree and yule log at christmas, and a rabbit bringing chocolate eggs at easter...

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:01:00 UTC | #344582

agn's Avatar Comment 17 by agn

Using Karen Armstrong as a voice of reason or morality is simply perverse.

That lady fully endorses that Mohammad ordered the assassination of two poets who wrote disparaging poems about his so-called "religion".

She says he was involved in a "grave intellectual struggle" that concerned the "survival of Islam", and hence, inexplicably, Ms. Armstrong concludes he was entitled to kill those two.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:03:00 UTC | #344584

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 18 by Quetzalcoatl

Old Sarum-

Madeleine Bunting is a christian, not an atheist. So of course she's going to dismiss the "New Atheist agenda" whatever you imagine that mythical beast to be.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:04:00 UTC | #344586

g-21-lto's Avatar Comment 19 by g-21-lto

"But the modern distortion was to make God into a proposition in which you either did or did not believe."

I'm sorry, is this supposed to mean something? Unless I'm misreading, she's just defined "true" religion as a vague form of agnosticism in which practitioners think warm fuzzy thoughts about a postulated being that may or may not actually exist (and about which we couldn't actually say anything meaningful anyway, if it did), but its existence or not is missing the point, you silly atheists.

Methinks it's not just the atheists who will have a problem with this definition.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:05:00 UTC | #344587

siflrock's Avatar Comment 20 by siflrock

Wow. A 1300 word admission that religion is bunk, but necessary for people to be able to sleep better. Talk about an own goal. She could have saved herself a lot of time by simply writing, "I know gods don't exist, but that makes my tummy hurt. Therefore, I believe."

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:06:00 UTC | #344588

Old Sarum's Avatar Comment 21 by Old Sarum

Madeline, if it is only about compassion and love, why the need for the imaginary friends£
I think she made it clear that she's not concerned with imaginary friends (or at least imaginary friends who are not acknowledged to be imaginary). She's focused on the creation of cosmologies that are both humanly meaningful and consciously mythical, and recognising the many important roles such imaginitive transformations have played in human affairs, not as static tenets of dead belief systems, but dynamic ways of interacting with the world and with other people.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:07:00 UTC | #344589

3ddm's Avatar Comment 23 by 3ddm

"One can only presume that the New Atheists are organising a fabulous party to celebrate."

I might open a bottle of sparkly stuff later, but I'll hang fire on the party for when we finally get religion out of schools, politics and public life thanks.

We'll be nailing a bunny to a cross this weekend just like everbody else.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:09:00 UTC | #344591

mitch_486's Avatar Comment 22 by mitch_486

12. Comment #360876 by Old Sarum on April 6, 2009 at 8:59 am

"New Atheist agenda".


I don't know what this is, nor do I care. It was formulated by the religious for the religious, and stamped onto atheists. What a crock of shit.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:09:00 UTC | #344590

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 24 by Quetzalcoatl

Old Sarum-

She's focused on the creation of cosmologies that are both humanly meaningful and consciously mythical


I'm sorry, but this is just a florid way of saying "making stuff up".

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:10:00 UTC | #344593

Vaal's Avatar Comment 25 by Vaal

Oh Madeleine What a load of trite, banal gumph.

while the bigger question of how, in a post-religious society, people find the myths they need to sustain meaning, purpose and goodness in their lives go unexplored

Why would you need to rely on a myth to sustain meaning, purpose, and (what?) goodness, in your life? To be free of supersticion and myth is liberating and fulfilling. Sucking at religions empty nipple is no answer to anything, other than abject intellectual capitulation.

in times of crisis - such as the economic recession - the brittleness of a value system built on wealth and a particular conception of autonomy becomes all too apparent, leaving people without the sustaining reserves of a faith to fall back on

More mewling. Madeleine, religion thrives on peoples misfortunes. I expect that their lips are slavering with the prospect of proselytizing the unfortunate. I went to a friends christening, against my better judgement, shortly after the Tsunami, and was disgusted by the pastors unconcealed relish at the opportunity for their missionaries to convert the local population. Praying isn't going to help people; help, support and confidence will.

I wonder if Madeleine is aware that Easter has its origins in Paganism...
The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe

Didn't include that in your article, did you Madeleine?

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:11:00 UTC | #344594

Caudimordax's Avatar Comment 26 by Caudimordax

David Sedaris takes a French class in which the students discuss Easter:

The Italian nanny was attempting to answer the question when the Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, "Excuse me, but what's an Easter?"

Despite her having grown up in a Muslim country, it seemed she might have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," she said. "I have no idea what you people are talking about."

The teacher then called upon the rest of us to explain.

The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. "It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and . . . oh, shit."

She faltered, and her fellow countryman came to her aid.

"He call his self Jesus, and then he be die one day on two . . . morsels of . . . lumber."

The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.

"He die one day, and then he go above of my head to live with your father."

"He weared the long hair, and after he died, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples."

"He nice, the Jesus."

"He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today."

From Jesus Shaves

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:11:00 UTC | #344595

Old Sarum's Avatar Comment 27 by Old Sarum

I don't know what this is, nor do I care
Have a read of people like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens etc.

The New Atheist agenda is essentially concerned with the re-establishment of a Western monoculture, completely dominated by science and intolerant of imaginitive thinking.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:12:00 UTC | #344596

Colwyn Abernathy's Avatar Comment 28 by Colwyn Abernathy

One can no longer assume most people will be aware of this, let alone the events these days mark;


What? The Vernal Equinox, as well as the first Sunday after the first full moon after said celestial event? I mean, you DO know that's how we determine Easter Sunday, yes? Which is, oh how do I say this, uh...PAGAN! Every Christian holiday has Pagan roots. How many of y'all know that, then?

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:12:00 UTC | #344597

rickmbari's Avatar Comment 29 by rickmbari

'...how, in a post-religious society, people find the myths they need to sustain meaning, purpose and goodness in their lives...'

I go for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

Seriously, Madeleine, maybe you need myths but I don't. I find the Prisoner's Dilemma sufficient to convince me of the benefits of altruism. What goes around comes around.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:14:00 UTC | #344598

NMcC's Avatar Comment 30 by NMcC

Old Sarum says:

I think she made it clear that she's not concerned with imaginary friends (or at least imaginary friends who are not acknowledged to be imaginary). She's focused on the creation of cosmologies that are both humanly meaningful and consciously mythical, and recognising the many important roles such imaginitive transformations have played in human affairs, not as static tenets of dead belief systems, but dynamic ways of interacting with the world and with other people.


Christ! You could have fooled me. I was under the impression that it was a pile of crap, largely consisting of, at best, unsubstantiated claims and, at worst, out and out lies.

Oh, and the names of a few non-entities thrown in to try and make it look as if she isn't the only whining fraud.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:15:00 UTC | #344599