The Anti-God Squad
By ROBERT WRIGHT - FOREIGN POLICY
Added: Mon, 07 Dec 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to mordacious1 for the link
Three years ago Wired magazine popularized the term "New Atheism" with a cover story about the "crusade against belief" launched by Richard Dawkins (No. 18), Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. (Christopher Hitchens, No. 47, filled out the roster later.)
Now the crusade is encountering powerful and possibly pivotal resistance.
It isn't that the citadels of faith are rolling back the tide of unbelief. Among intellectuals -- a target audience of the New Atheists -- professing traditional faith is no more common than it was three years ago, and may even be less common.
But the New Atheists' main short-term goal wasn't to turn believers into atheists, it was to turn atheists into New Atheists -- fellow fire-breathing preachers of the anti-gospel. The point was to make it not just uncool to believe, but cool to ridicule believers.
And this year doubts about that mission have taken root among the New Atheists' key demographic: intellectuals who aren't religious and aren't conservative. Even on the secular left, the alarming implications of the "crusade against religion" are becoming apparent: Though the New Atheists claim to be a progressive force, they often abet fundamentalists and reactionaries, from the heartland of America to the Middle East.
- - BBC News Comments
A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.
Robert F. Worth - New York Times Comments
A great article about Jerry DeWitt and the growing presence of atheist communities
Chip Rowe - Playboy Comments
Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins
- - YouTube - townsquare Comments
Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, Huffingtonpost.com) leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').
Kimberly Winston - Washington Post Comments
Last weekend, the Atheist Film Festival showed more than a dozen films about separation of church and state, freedom of religion (and no religion), the conflict between science and religion in public schools.
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Albert Einstein's Historic 1954 "God Letter" Handwritten Shortly Before His Death
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Robert Wright - The Atlantic Comments
Hawking wasn't available to answer that question, but I did manage to have a long conversation with an American physicist who had also doubted the existence of the Higgs--Lawrence Krauss