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#199731 - 11/03/06 01:36 AM Wired Magazine/The New Atheism
Evil_Eve Offline
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Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 4234
Loc: 1313 Mockingbird Lane
I was reading the newest issue of 'Wired' where the front cover graced the words:

The New Atheism (in bold black letters) This of course, caught my immediate attention.

No Heaven. No Hell. Just SCIENCE.

Beautiful!

Let us visit inside the crusade against religion.

I highly suggest the reading of this article. I found it ammusing, informative, and highly intellectual.

Our players:

Richard Dawkins who is an Evolutionary biologist from the Univeristy of Oxford (where a memorial to Percy Byssche Shelley resides who infact, was expelled almost 200 years ago from that very college for atheism). One of my favorite poets as well, (next to Byron).

Richard Dawkins wrote 'The God Delusion'.

Our other player:

Sam Harris. Neuroscientist, his latest provocation? Letter to a Christion Nation.

A sample from the article:

Three years ago, Dawkins adopted a new word to demacrate the types of things he couldn't belive in. The word is bright, a noun. Coined by Sacramento, California, eduacators Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell to designate a person with a natuarlistc worldview, bright was designed to be broader than the atheist movement; it is merely God that is untenable, but superstition, credulity, and magical thinking in general.

The New Atheist insight is that one might start anywhere-with an intellectual argument, with a vissceral rejection of Islamic or Christian fundameantalism, with political disgust and then, by relentless and logical steps, renounce every supernatural crutch.

Another key player in the 'Church of the non believers':

Daniel Dennett. Philosopher, Turfts University.

His latest provocation: Breaking the spell.

The Illusionist:

Penn & Teller:

They want to make religion disappear. Never shy about their atheism (Penn's got tht Nevada license plates 'atheist' and 'Godless'. The two have been raising their voices.

Even the oft-silent Teller to decry to muddying line between chruch and state. (From Wired magazine).

Again, I quite enjoyed this article and think that others of like mind may as well.

Something key was mentioned in the article about politics and that key being this:

No Atheist has nor ever WILL be elected for office.

Sad but in our present/current time? True.

You must believe in something (not nothing) to be elected.

I suppose I would just 'lie' about my religious stance or lack thereof if it came down to that.

I imagine that there are many in office that don't believe in the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny but who will proclaim that there is a God just to get elected.

Well, if the mere name of 'God' can get them elected or bring them profit, I suppose there are worse/harder way's to make a dime...

Money, however, has never meant that much to me. Would I like to have it? I suppose I would but it's not of 'high' importance to me'.

I digress, once again, I go off on a tangent.

Read the article if you so desire. I found it quite wonderful.

I would be interested in hearing others thoughts after they have read the article for themselves.
_________________________
Satan LIVES!
If you could....would YOU?



"Our religion does not require martyrs."
Magistra Nadramia.

FEARED!
Revered.
YOU can be a voice for the voiceless.


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#199732 - 11/03/06 03:13 AM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Evil_Eve]
Mr_47 Offline
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Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3082
Loc: Pure Imagination
I read this article awhile back, I was going to wait until the online version was available to post a link, as it is a long article.

Which, by the way is now available here.

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#199733 - 11/03/06 07:07 AM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Mr_47]
Evil_Eve Offline
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Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 4234
Loc: 1313 Mockingbird Lane
Thank you!

Splendid.

I thought it quite interesting that this article was published in 'Wired' magazine of all things.

I was discussing it with a friend on the telephone yesterday and he said "This article is in Wired"?

Why yes!
_________________________
Satan LIVES!
If you could....would YOU?



"Our religion does not require martyrs."
Magistra Nadramia.

FEARED!
Revered.
YOU can be a voice for the voiceless.


Top
#199734 - 11/03/06 11:13 AM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Mr_47]
Virus9 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
Thanks for posting the link. For the most part, I think the article was very good; I just wish they wouldn't have included Sam Harris.

I'd probably find more to agree with Mr. Harris on if it weren't for his utter dismisal of pragmatism and propagation of a "new-agey" mindset.

Steven Pinker would have been a much better choice.
_________________________
Everyone is special in their own way, and by "special" I mean the short-bus variety.

"Recognize the phrase 'national interest' as a synonym for 'self-interest' and you will find no moral obstacle that cannot be removed from the highway of ambition."
-Lewis Lapham

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
-Winston Churchill

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#199735 - 11/03/06 12:16 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Virus9]
TrojZyr Offline
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Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
Oh, good. Someone else who dislikes Sam Harris besides me!
_________________________
"Gentlemen, the verdict is guilty, on all ten counts of first-degree stupidity. The penalty phase will now begin."--Divine, "Pink Flamingos."

"The strong rule the weak, and the cunning rule over all." HS!

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#199736 - 11/03/06 12:20 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Evil_Eve]
Isabel23 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 2041
I am in sympathy with much of what was in the essay.

My thoughts on the essay and upon your comments:

In terms of human behavior, the conundrum presented to the protagonist in the movie Contact was an excellent example of how those in power use religiosity.

Jodie Foster's character was rejected for traversing the unknown because she was an atheist. Later, after having experiences that shook her certainty about the way the universe works, her character's testimony was rejected because she confessed to no longer being an atheist.

It all had to do with what suited those in power.

Atheism can become just as much a religion as other fixations. Atheism as defined by Dennett, Dawkins, et al is fixated on materialism and scientific reductionism. Matter is primary and in principle every bit can be tracked and the entire future of the universe can be predicted. Consciousness and all other slippery events are nothing but side effects of matter interacting with matter. Free will is an illusion due to our inability to in fact calculate all the information available.

The fixation on Christianity as a mortal danger to humanity is also itself dangerously oblivious of context. They are fighting the last war, not paying attention to the new dangers on their doorsteps.

I found Rupert Sheldrake's review of Dennett's book Breaking the Spell to be amusing and thoughtful. The unbearable brightness of being right

I also find Skeptical Investigations to be almost as useful as Snopes.

This is an excellent topic, Eve!
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Isabel
CoS Magistra

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#199738 - 11/03/06 12:39 PM Just ask yourself this. [Re: Quaark]
Nemo Offline
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Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12591
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Would there have been any hassle at all for the good general if he had chosen to do this fifty years ago?

Nope.

"The times they are a-changin'."

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#199739 - 11/03/06 12:39 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: TrojZyr]
Virus9 Offline
CoS Priest

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
To be fair, he does have some compelling arguments for his opinions. The part that gives me trouble is that he presents his opinions as absolutes.
_________________________
Everyone is special in their own way, and by "special" I mean the short-bus variety.

"Recognize the phrase 'national interest' as a synonym for 'self-interest' and you will find no moral obstacle that cannot be removed from the highway of ambition."
-Lewis Lapham

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
-Winston Churchill

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#199740 - 11/03/06 12:42 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Virus9]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
Precisely.

He's an atheist fundie. The "brights" seem to be just as clueless about how to appeal to people as the Christians are.
_________________________
"Gentlemen, the verdict is guilty, on all ten counts of first-degree stupidity. The penalty phase will now begin."--Divine, "Pink Flamingos."

"The strong rule the weak, and the cunning rule over all." HS!

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#199742 - 11/03/06 01:29 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Isabel23]
Virus9 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
Matter is primary and in principle every bit can be tracked and the entire future of the universe can be predicted. Consciousness and all other slippery events are nothing but side effects of matter interacting with matter. Free will is an illusion due to our inability to in fact calculate all the information available.

I've seen this argument applied many times, and I can't help but wonder where people get it from. I'm not so familiar with Dennet's work, but to apply your statement to Dawkins or Pinker ammounts to a misrepresentation of what they've written.
_________________________
Everyone is special in their own way, and by "special" I mean the short-bus variety.

"Recognize the phrase 'national interest' as a synonym for 'self-interest' and you will find no moral obstacle that cannot be removed from the highway of ambition."
-Lewis Lapham

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
-Winston Churchill

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#199743 - 11/03/06 01:30 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Quaark]
Virus9 Offline
CoS Priest

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
Even their approach to the subject of religion can be rather caustic at times.
_________________________
Everyone is special in their own way, and by "special" I mean the short-bus variety.

"Recognize the phrase 'national interest' as a synonym for 'self-interest' and you will find no moral obstacle that cannot be removed from the highway of ambition."
-Lewis Lapham

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
-Winston Churchill

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#199745 - 11/03/06 01:45 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Quaark]
Virus9 Offline
CoS Priest

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
Caustic?

Perhaps, but it sure isn't stuffy and humorless.


True, but you can still only call someone an idiot so many times before they stop listening.

"You say "caustic" like it's a bad thing."

Moi? Not at all. Making people think you're an asshole is a perfectly legitimate technique for getting them to go away.



Admittedly, a lot of people dig caustic, so long as it's obviously schtick. That and obvious talent have driven Penn & Teller to success. When it's so obviously a put on, the only people left paying attention are those who are already in agreement.

Simply put, they're not going after converts.


Edited by Virus9 (11/03/06 01:59 PM)

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#199746 - 11/03/06 02:02 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Quaark]
Isabel23 Offline
CoS Magistra

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 2041
Dr Strangelove can rear his ugly head anywhere, anytime.

Thanks for the link, Daark!
_________________________
Isabel
CoS Magistra

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#199748 - 11/03/06 02:18 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Quaark]
Virus9 Offline
CoS Priest

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
Who cares if I have a fenderbender under those circumstances?

Under those circumstances, who cares if you have a driver's license?
_________________________
Everyone is special in their own way, and by "special" I mean the short-bus variety.

"Recognize the phrase 'national interest' as a synonym for 'self-interest' and you will find no moral obstacle that cannot be removed from the highway of ambition."
-Lewis Lapham

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
-Winston Churchill

Top
#199750 - 11/03/06 02:31 PM Re: Wired Magazine/The New Atheism [Re: Virus9]
Mr_47 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3082
Loc: Pure Imagination
You're welcome. I always find it important to post a link to your sources. I agree it is a good article as well. I have a Wired subscription and I read this article a few weeks ago. I was going to share it then, but the online version wasn't available.

I agree also that Mr. Harris wasn't exactly a great choice to include in all of this, but hey when looking for a "New Age Atheism," I suppose they wouldn't mind having propogation of the "new agey" mindset as you put it.

I primarily enjoyed the article for Richard Dawkins' participation.

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