UPDATED: Beyond New Atheism?
By CASPAR MELVILLE - GUARDIAN
Updated: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 20:13:54 UTC
UPDATE: Caspar Melville has posted a blog about the reaction to his article. You can read it here.
I'm bored by New Atheism. It's time we move on and leave the years of irascible, impatient, blunt, godless discourse behind
Today I have been defending New Atheism in the morning, and will be attacking it in the evening. At 9am, I debated the Christian theologian Alister McGrath, author of the wittily titled Dawkins Delusion and critic of New Atheism, on Christian Premier Radio. You can bet I swotted up on my Dawkins and Hitchens for that. But at 6pm at the Royal Society of the Arts the magazine I edit, New Humanist, will be hosting a debate called "After New Atheism: where next for the God debate" where the panellists – award-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson, conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, historian Jonathan Rée, the whole thing chaired by Laurie Taylor – will be invited to consider how we can move beyond the crude and simplistic perspective on religion popularised by New Atheism.
Does this make me a hypocrite? I'm going to say "no", though I would wouldn't I? The fact that I can both defend and attack it represents my ambivalence about the phenomenon of New Atheism, or more precisely my certainty that New Atheism is very good at some things and bad at others. For the purposes of what follows I use New Atheism as a somewhat baggy but, I think, useful shorthand for the trenchant anti-religion polemics of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett (though he is more scientific and more polite) and AC Grayling, plus a few others.
- - 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.
- - eBay auction Comments
Albert Einstein's Historic 1954 "God Letter" Handwritten Shortly Before His Death
MORE BY CASPAR MELVILLE
Caspar Melville - New Humanist 26 Comments
Our friend and colleague Sanal Edamaruku, the President of the Indian Rationalist Association, is facing arrest for exposing a fraudulent ‘miracle’ in a Catholic Church
Caspar Melville - Guardian.co.uk,... 36 Comments
We are not yet in a country which has to protect religious sensitivities at all costs