In line with my favourite English language newspaper's current promotional slogan, I finally got round to reading this comprehensive, yet somewhat contrarian piece on the New Atheism. It is probably in reaction to the ascendancy of religious fundamentalism that there have been some topical publications which now serve as focal points for the New Atheist movement called The Brights.
Personally I harbour strong sympathies towards that movement, although I accept some people's need to hedge against the negligible, but non-zero probability of god's existence. However, I wouldn't go as far as to reject the approach on that ground, as the article's author does in conclusion. My biggest problem with it is the apparent doctrinary approach, which brings it into the vicinity of another neo-movement. Combine that with the contingency of faith's reality and you have a recipe for failure. It is much more promising to just let the idea quietly run its course. The genie of Reason is out of the lamp ...
P.S. It just crossed my mind that another reason against being a fervent New Atheist is that faith can be, and in the posited absence of freedom of religion rightly should be, seen as an instance of the freedom of thought. To which The Brights surely cannot object.
Labels: philosophy, politics
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