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'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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anaconda
Posts: 219
Joined: June 18th, 2009, 11:07 pm

'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#1 Postby anaconda » February 12th, 2015, 9:30 pm

It's something of a pet hate of mine to see atheism discussed or analysed in any context other than the simple non belief in a deity. More and more I'm reading about atheism as a world view or as a philosophy. Understandably religios will create an imaginary and simplistic set of atheist values for their own ends. You will be familiar with the 'argument' that morals derive from a creator or associated tome and how could anyone possibly be a decent human being let alone a cohesive society exist without core rules and values past down from above. Another regular critique is delivered by selecting someone of dubious character or responsible for evil acts who is/was an atheist, and so this becomes the reason for any wrong doing. Hitler (despite his links to Catholicism) is perhaps the most used example. The inference is that non belief is a driving force to do harm, and that a good solid belief would cure this sickness!

The term 'new atheism' comes with fresh intent, at least in what I'm pickng up from America to describe the four horsemen and others who have been vocal and strident in their criticism of religion over the past ten years or so. It seems to me that this proactive atheism and the 'new' label has also allowed a broader redefinition in some people's minds, and the term itself ,I understand to now be a 'defined' and established term (Id like to be wrong here). Language undergoes change and words can develop new meanings, rightly or wrongly, simply by their use, irrespective of any apparent contradictions. I've also heard atheists trying to describe what atheism is about, going beyond the simple definition and heading towards the territory of humanism. This is counter productive in my view.

Do you have any views or experiences re this?
John

thundril
Posts: 3607
Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#2 Postby thundril » February 13th, 2015, 1:10 am

I count myself as a moderate atheist and a militant secularist.
Moderate atheist: - God seems neither probable nor necessary to me. What you believe is your business. I will make no great fuss about this.
Militant secularist:- Lots of people believe lots of different things. We all have to live in the same world. Our civil rules and laws should be shaped to be more or less acceptable to all, but not to favour one set of religious beliefs over others. In this matter, I will be very militant if necessary.

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lewist
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 8:53 pm

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#3 Postby lewist » February 13th, 2015, 8:06 am

Thundril makes a good case. I would subscribe to what he says, except maybe I'm not very militant.

Religion in the USA is well established and in some cases it is a creed of hate; in others it is a creed of wilful misunderstanding with closed minds. Many religious Americans have open minds and are very accepting of the views of others.

We're a' Jock Tamson's bairns.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Altfish
Posts: 1821
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#4 Postby Altfish » February 13th, 2015, 8:10 am

I always have believed that 'atheism' is a lack of belief in gods - simple...no strings attached.

The world view is 'Humanism' which takes into the realm of looking after the planet, respect for animals, human rights, etc. etc.

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Tetenterre
Posts: 3192
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#5 Postby Tetenterre » February 13th, 2015, 12:30 pm

Although I am atheist, I don't like to describe myself in terms of what I am not; I'd rather be described in terms of what I am. I like to think I am a secularist, humanist, rationalist...
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#6 Postby Dave B » February 13th, 2015, 12:49 pm

I'll go for being labeled as a "humanist" alone, at least it describes a positive attitude, a life with positive content and not a hole with no idea of what might fill that void!

Used to be, "Atheist, humanist" but that is tautology.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Compassionist
Posts: 3224
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#7 Postby Compassionist » February 17th, 2015, 1:31 am

anaconda wrote:It's something of a pet hate of mine to see atheism discussed or analysed in any context other than the simple non belief in a deity. More and more I'm reading about atheism as a world view or as a philosophy. Understandably religios will create an imaginary and simplistic set of atheist values for their own ends. You will be familiar with the 'argument' that morals derive from a creator or associated tome and how could anyone possibly be a decent human being let alone a cohesive society exist without core rules and values past down from above. Another regular critique is delivered by selecting someone of dubious character or responsible for evil acts who is/was an atheist, and so this becomes the reason for any wrong doing. Hitler (despite his links to Catholicism) is perhaps the most used example. The inference is that non belief is a driving force to do harm, and that a good solid belief would cure this sickness!

The term 'new atheism' comes with fresh intent, at least in what I'm pickng up from America to describe the four horsemen and others who have been vocal and strident in their criticism of religion over the past ten years or so. It seems to me that this proactive atheism and the 'new' label has also allowed a broader redefinition in some people's minds, and the term itself ,I understand to now be a 'defined' and established term (Id like to be wrong here). Language undergoes change and words can develop new meanings, rightly or wrongly, simply by their use, irrespective of any apparent contradictions. I've also heard atheists trying to describe what atheism is about, going beyond the simple definition and heading towards the territory of humanism. This is counter productive in my view.

Do you have any views or experiences re this?

To be precise, I am a strong agnostic regarding the existence and nature of all deities. I prefer to call myself a Humanist and a Compassionist. I hold compassion and reason in highest regard. I do my best to live a compassionate and rational life. I respect the rights of others to have whatever religious beliefs they wish to hold but no one should be coerced into any religion.

Cheese85
Posts: 8
Joined: February 18th, 2015, 4:21 pm

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#8 Postby Cheese85 » February 18th, 2015, 10:25 pm

Just joining here, but perhaps from a different perspective.

I'm not a humanist I don't think, as I don't care for humanity, only those of my own social group.

I think that to actively care for humanity and the planet as a whole, one must at some stage make choices between freedom, survival and our planet remaining in tact, I'm not a humanist because I don't believe humanist values solve these larger future problems for humanity.

I am an athiest, and I think anyone who associates themselves with an organise religion should expect to be questioned on a number of topics, especially regarding intolerance, and I initially lose respect for them.

If someone walked around with a nazi symbol around their neck, they get no respect from anyone of intelligence, I don't see how that differs from religions.

I agree that I don't think that athiest is a term that can encompass my thoughts, I'm not sure what term does.

On a separate note I do like and connect with the term antithiest.

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Nick
Posts: 10848
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: 'New' atheists and atheism as a world view.

#9 Postby Nick » March 12th, 2015, 6:57 pm

lots to discuss here cheesy, but I won't bother unless you come back....


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