Re: [asa] NPR on New Atheism

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 18:26:13 EDT

Heya David,

Actually my point could be made broader, and isn't specific to atheists. I'm
saying that there are times when certain standards or ideals are praised
again and again by a given group, but it just doesn't mesh with the evidence
or their actions. The Reign of Terror is an apt example for this case - and
I think "liberty! ... chop chop" etc illustrates that. History teaches that
the same groups responsible for that screamed praise to reason over and
over. I think it's important to ask 'Well, did they really value reason?'
When it comes to the atheists, I think Mike Gene has posted just the latest
example that, no, for all this screaming about "reason!" and "science!",
those things aren't really much of a central concern for NAs. In fact, their
concerns seem to have vastly more to do with competing politics and
philosophy (what a surprise). And that duplicity should be challenged - and
someday I'd like to see a debate against (to give a tired example) Richard
Dawkins where, instead of the usual reflexive gushing over what a brilliant
scientist he is and so on, someone flat out says he's actually harming
science and seems to hardly care for it in an intellectual sense aside from
its political utility.

'Secular morality' and 'secular humanism' are very hard to take seriously.
History's done enough of a number of those "values", but once anyone starts
to inspect them closely they just fall apart. In fact, I think it's
dishonest for materialist-naturalists to use words like 'good' and 'evil'
and 'moral' and 'immoral' seriously, because they do and must (if they're
consistent) mean something vastly different than what they used to. On the
other hand, what objective value is there for secular honesty again?

And while I agree with some of George Murphy's criticisms, I'd also agree
that America was founded on the concept of God-given rights. I think this
'God' was broad deistic and ecumenical (meaning here, not a specific faith,
but a concept of God that those across faiths could find some shared
grounding in), but also with distinct and conscious christian influence.

On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 4:18 PM, David Clounch <>wrote:

> Are you saying "Liberty...chop chop ...Equality...chop
> chop...Fraternity...chop chop...?
> Isn't this what comes from secular morality and secular humanism? Looking
> to the inner standard of right and wrong, ignoring the value of creatures
> (Adam's race) created in God's image?
> Christian civilization has had its excesses too. But always in response to
> the type of insanity demonstrated by the secularists. Look at how very
> dangerous the secular insanity was in France! And later in Germany,
> Russia, Cambodia, etc.
> This is why the USA, having been founded on Christian principles, must
> not throw God out of its operating principles. When it does then all civil
> rights can easily be cast aside just like in those countries.
> On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 9:54 PM, Schwarzwald <>wrote:
>> Heya Mike,
>>> Sounds like hypocrisy. Basically, the New Atheists think the way to get
>>> people to embrace reason and science is to use hateful propaganda, edgy
>>> ridicule, and any other means of arousing negative emotions. Whatever
>>> it takes. New Atheists clearly do not believe in reason and science.
>>> They believe in whatever it takes.
>> Exactly. Not only are they not relying on either reason or science, but as
>> near as I can tell, they don't even want people to embrace those things.
>> Those things have become little more than buzzwords that amount to
>> shockingly little - what's really central is a combination of personal
>> animosity, and social/political considerations. Always has been, and always
>> will be.
>> I reject the common claim that the New Atheists subscribe to 'scientism'.
>> Science is appealed to superficially only insofar as it offers utility - and
>> is either ignored, rejected, or superceded by ideologies otherwise. To make
>> what I think is an apt comparison, during the french revolution the
>> revolutionaries yelled quite a lot about "reason". But does the reign of
>> terror really seem like the result of reason? Do historians, or anyone who
>> reads about that age, talk about how reason triumphed during that reign?

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Received on Wed Oct 21 18:26:30 2009

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