By MICHAEL BACHELARD - THEAGE.COM.AU
Added: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to LWS for the link.
DAMIAN Coburn once lived in a cult-like Catholic offshoot in which owning a new car was frowned upon as being too much like investing in a graven idol. But Coburn bought one anyway, and called it the Golden Calf. Anne Robinson was raised a Christian but as a teenager became a pentacle-wearing witch who was in touch with the earth goddess Gaia and performed magic spells to win love, or money. Aam grew up in a strict Bangladeshi Muslim family, where marriages were arranged, the Koran taken literally and a set of religious and cultural taboos were woven together into a complete way of life.
These three Australians are united by a religious upbringing. But in the past few years all have been united by something entirely different. They've shucked off their faith and become part of a growing world-wide movement - atheism.
What is driving this move is a matter for debate. Some say it's a reaction against religious terrorism, fundamentalism. Others that the habit of Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, Tony Blair and others of wearing their religion US-style on their sleeves has prompted a backlash, with people concerned about the political lobbying power of faith. Still others believe the children of 1960s hippies have grown up without strong childhood indoctrination and are now embracing rationalism and science.
The new atheism is bigger, more organised, and much more assertive than ever before. It's based on the belief that science explains everything we need to know about the world so there's no need for religion. Its founding texts are by scientist Richard Dawkins and writer Christopher Hitchens, and religion, in their eyes, is not just some harmless illusion, it's a dangerous, immoral force in society.
Chris Chambers and Petroc Sumner -... Comments
Science has an uneasy relationship with journalism, so what can be done by both sides to improve coverage
Will Self - BBC News Magazine 100 Comments
We chase "fast culture" at our peril - unusual words and difficult art are good for us, says Will Self.
Annie Murphy Paul - New York Times 26 Comments
New support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience.
Nick Cohen - The Spectator 40 Comments
If you turn on the news tonight and hear of a bomber slaughtering civilians anywhere from Nigeria to the London Underground, I can reassure you of one point: the bombers will not be readers of Richard Dawkins.
Amol Rajan - The Independent 39 Comments
Their assault illustrates the extent to which defenders of religion still dominate our press, the brutal retaliation exacted on clever opponents of faith and the incorrigible stupidity of Sayeeda Warsi's claim about "militant secularism" last week.
Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net 341 Comments
I can’t help wondering at the quality of journalism which sees a scoop in attacking a man for what his five-greats grandfather did.
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