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What is it?
Q. Just what is the "New Atheism" you talk about in your article, "Worthless Machines?" Can you define it? How is it different from traditional atheism? What does this group advocate? Who are they?
Thank you for your questions.
Traditional atheism was promoted by people such as Madelyn Murray O'Hair in the 1960s and Communist regimes such as those under Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. It includes survival-of-the-fittest proponents such as Hitler, and birth-control eugenicist Margaret Sanger who advocated limiting the population of black African citizens.
The New Atheism is popularized by a current group of scientific/philosopher atheists: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. (The late Christopher Hitchens is probably a believer now, although uncomfortably so).
They possess a rigorous, fundamentalist conviction of their correctness. It is the atheistic-counterpart of religious fundamentalism.
Nothing Known except Nothing Known
The New Atheist dogma can be characterized by, "You positively, absolutely cannot know anything for sure and it is immoral to teach otherwise." In their hostile attacks against those who believe in God they are violating their own premise. (How is it they can "know for sure" there is no God if one cannot know anything for sure)?
The New Atheists are militant, virulent, atheist evangelists. For example, they seek to limit pro theist colleagues from receiving tenure at colleges. They pursue vigorous policies that ridicule and limit fellow scientists from believing in intelligent design. If fellow scientists dare to violate their anti-religious dogma they are thrown out of prestigious, scientific communities.
Set Limits for Academia, Publishers,&Families
Similarly, students are prohibited from passing graduate exams or receiving acceptance of a dissertation should it deviate from evolutionary theory. Publishers refuse to print books written by intelligent design proponents. The New Atheists try to promote the idea that families who inculcate children into religious ideologies are immoral and should be stopped from religious abuse.
Ben Stein's film Expelled
Ben Stein did a wonderful job documenting the various abuses from the atheist community directed at any who dare to disagree with them in his recent documentary "Expelled."
Thankfully, the new generation is more sophisticated than we thought. The underground online community is filled with seekers who want the truth about established conventions - whether it is exposing fraud from monetary authorities, learning about medical abuse or learning how New Atheists attempt to bully dissenters.
God Gene Evolved
New Atheists try to make sense of religious inclinations by teaching an idea that mankind "evolved" a God-gene to help man cope with annihilationist "truths." (Never mind that the Apostle Paul 2000 years ago already mentioned that mankind shows "the work of the Law written in their hearts and conscience" in the book of Roman 2:15. This was an early recognition of a God "gene").
No Room for Superstitious Nonsense
At one time some atheists embraced a live-and-let-live philosophy. No longer. The New Atheists promote "religious" intolerance of those who reject their brand of scientific-idolatry. They have no use for men whom they think are superstitious and who believe in what they think is the adult version of the tooth-fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus. New Atheists believe that religious people are delusional or mentally ill.
Believers in God and particularly those who believe in the Christian deity are scorned with vehemence and ridicule. So much for tolerance - they have none!
Cannot Stay in the Box
New Atheists define their debate parameters and put in a box any who disagree with them. They have not been able to explain things like complex information encoded into DNA blueprints. They cannot explain the origin of life.
Their thesis is:
"First there was nothing and then it exploded."
Intelligent Believing Scientists
But, try as they might they cannot just "ridicule away" fellow scientists such as Francis Collins, Paul Davies, Michael Behe, Hugh Ross, Frank Tipler or Stephen Meyer, for example.
In the New Atheists quest to suppress religious views of science and to ridicule all who deviate from their own brand of fundamentalism, they fulfill the Biblical admonition: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1).
Neither Hate nor Cave-in
Christians should neither hate them nor cave-in to atheistic policies. We are made in the image of God. Therefore, we can continue to act like it even in the face of rabid, militant hostility against people of faith. We need to remember Jesus' words,
"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great - for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12).
Jesus told us that a day will come when,"In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out" (Luke 13:28).
If you think Hitchens and Dawkins are ranting and railing against God and Christians now, just wait until then! So pray for them. As much as they hate it, they really need our prayers… P.S. If Hitchens is right it doesn't really matter, does it? But, if he is wrong then he is eternally miserable.
Biola University: Does God exist? 2009. (DVD). Debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig presented by BIOLA University. 4 April. www.biola.edu/apologetics.
Meyer, Stephen. 2009. Signature in the cell. New York: HarperOne.
Ross, Hugh. 1996. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Authors Valorie Mays Emilio holds an MA in History from UCLA. Ken received his BS from CSULB and an MA in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University. They teach and write articles for the Gospel Rescue Mission in Grants Pass, Oregon, where Ken also serves as Director.
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