Michael Bachelard's Story on the New Atheism - a reponse
By RUSSELL BLACKFORD - METAMAGICIAN AND THE HELLFIRE CLUB
Added: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 00:00:00 UTC
The article referred to was just posted on RD.net at http://richarddawkins.net/articles/4900
In today's Sunday Age, Michael Bachelard has a feature article on the world-wide trend towards outspoken atheism (the so-called New Atheism that we hear so much about), which he relates to the forthcoming Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne. (I am scheduled to speak at the Melbourne Convention along with far more celebrated writers and thinkers such as A.C. Grayling and Richard Dawkins ... and many others from Australia and elsewhere.)
Human faces of atheism
Most of Bachelard's article tells the stories of various individuals who have turned away from religious belief: Damian Coburn, who was raised in an extreme offshoot of the Catholic Church; Anne Robinson, who began as a Christian but went through a spiritual quest that included dabblings with Buddhism, New Age magic, and Wicca; "Aam" (a protective pseudonym) who comes from a Bangladeshi Muslim family; Leanne Carroll, who was schooled by nuns, but had an atheistic moment of epiphany at the age of 12; and Joe Kilgour, who lapsed from the faith of his very religious Uniting Church family.
These are all interesting stories, and I'm grateful to Bachelard for making them public. I could recommend the article just for these stories, which give contemporary atheism not just one but several human faces.
However, some of the other commentators quoted in the article make observations that require a response. Strangely enough, I am more concerned about a couple of reactions from fellow atheists than the more-or-less predictable ones from various theologians and religious leaders.
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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
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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').
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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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