Good morning to my readers! I’m going to take a step back today from chewing out some people, like I had planned, to discuss a concept that I just had a recent conversation with a family member about. My sister was reading a list of historical contributions to the world from the 90’s on and when she reached this new millennium era she came across this notion of “New Atheism”.
Now at this point if you’re scratching your head and thinking what the heck is “new atheism” believe me you are not alone. Apparently new atheism is the notion of intolerance of ignorance, myth, or superstition; or the disregard for the tolerance of religion. Back that train up there…you’re telling me that there is a group of people out there who have decided that not believing in religion or gods is not enough, now one must be completely intolerant of all these things? I’m starting to feel that in our need to break down societal norms we are moving further and further into an age of intolerance. This is not a good thing people.
What is religion exactly? The sociologist Émile Durkheim defines it as a: unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things. I don’t see the word God in that definition, or myth, or even superstition. What I see is the notion of honoring what is sacred. This changes individually, but the idea of new atheism claims one should be intolerant of this?
The principles of “new atheism” are as follows:
Reading over this chart I am a little nervous. All faith is folly? What about faith in your family, in your government institutions, in your friends? What about faith in yourself? The Bible offers no answer to suffering…well neither does anything else in the world so you lost me on that one. Atheism is a positive philosophy? Teaching intolerance of any kind is not a positive message atheists, I’m not quite sure you understand what that word means. It also states that Godless societies are happier and healthier. But if gods are not what a person holds sacred in their religion then your point is invalid. The society may still have a religion, they just don’t worship a deity. My final gripe with this chart is the notion of religion not being the source of morality. I’m going to have to go on record and state that it certainly is a source of morality. How many societies have shaped their laws and principles from the 10 Commandments in the Bible? Or what of the Wiccan Rede: An ye harm none, do what ye will, which is very similar to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Developing one’s basic morality often becomes a very spiritual journey in life, discounting religious influence is nonsense.
There are four main voices involved in this new atheism movement. I have read some of their articles and books and I found them to be very interesting. They are learned men with very strong opinions and now have the nickname of the four horseman (which I must admit is a little clever). They are:
To these men of science and apparently extreme religious intolerance I must ask what is your point? Do you wish to eradicate organized religion? Is it really bothering you that much? Is your goal just to enlighten what you feel are the uninformed masses or is this something much more personal? How do you want people to react when memes such as this are created:
Personally as a polytheist I find this image very offensive but I have posted it to be fair, not to rile people up. I recognize that throughout history organized religion has oppressed many peoples but I also fully believe that religion has helped people too. Some people claim that they found God and have since become much better individuals turning away from negative and destructive behavior as a result. Despite the fact that there are still human beings that use religion and its symbols as weapons, more and more we are finding people who want to both celebrate their Gods and embrace their fellow man. If there is any societal norm that should be broken down it is the notion of one not being able to love their religion while also finding a way to love humanity and all its faults as well.
Open your selves to tolerance and you will find the peace you need to make it through this sometimes tragic existence…
Amber Mosby…”Forgive me if I don’t get excited”