We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Unlike the Enlightenment atheism of the 18th century, which arose in a still predominantly religious society and which frequently went to some effort to disguise or mute its disbelief, the new new atheism proclaims its hatred of God and organized religion loudly and proudly from the rooftops. And unlike the anti-modern atheism of Nietzsche and Heidegger, which regarded the death of God as a catastrophe for the human spirit, the new new atheism sees the loss of religious faith in the modern world as an unqualified good, lamenting only the perverse and widespread resistance to shedding once and for all the hopelessly backward belief in a divine presence in history.
Is it not odd that intelligent people would view that as an important thing to do? I often think of modern proselytizing atheism as a form of religion, in which they replace God with a devil, who now must be driven from the land. I agree with Berkowitz' piece that the arguments are both thin and emotion-based, with minimal philosophical or theological background.
this book is hardly mainstream theology,philosophy,or even archaeology,but it might provoke some thought along the lines of the Theism/atheism debate here at Maggie's Farm...i'd go so far as to say it is central to the topic:
The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble
by Jr., Robert Bowie Johnson
Johnson's premise is that Greek culture was based
on a "theology" directly opposed to Hebrew
(and by implication,Christian...and,indeed,Islamic,
monotheistic,Abrahamic,Creator God religion)...
the confusion of gods in the Greek pantheon
does not mean they are without a hierarchy:
Johnson claims Zeus and Hera are...Adam and Eve,
and the story of these two in the Garden is told via the sculpture of the Parthenon..
Walter Burkert ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Burkert ) is generally considered the authority on Greek mystery cults. I 've found no debate or commentary online between the two men,which tends to undercut Johnson's credibility,but the topic is very interesting.
describing Greek religion as "Gnosticism" in the pejorative sense from the Christian point of view,might not be
very far off the mark,if what Johnson posits is accurate.
I guess I will have to stop calling myself "atheist", since I don't believe in that either.
What makes me sick is that there should only be two sides to the discussion. As if someone who doesn't believe is automatically opposed to religion, or should be. (I am not)
I do not need a man pretending to be my "god" and telling me what to believe in! That is directly contrary to the idea that an "atheist" doesn't take orders from deities. If atheistic blowhards like Hitchens expect me to take their word on it, they seek to replace G_d with man, and that is exactly what I do not want- meet the new boss...
What is wrong with living in freedom and harmony believing what you like and remembering that politics and religion are not the best topics for discussion in public? What we get from the new new atheists is that its somehow not a private thing. I like privacy and will not welcome the bible police.
I helped a Ukranian with his english papers in college and will always remember his story of the neighbor who was arrested for having a bible, the wrong kind I guess. (never to be seen again) Is this what rabid anti-religionists want? Enforced non-religion?
Damn, I feel like going to church just to be around some sane people.
phil, I don't think you'll find any more sane people at church than at a humanist meeting. I'm a Christian and I don't go very often-some of those people scare me. I know they mean well as opposed to the virulent new new athiest crowd.
When I first became a Christian it was about 2 years after I became sober. I held high rank in the bible police and the temperance police. My enthusiasm to share my new found joy and freedom probably bordered on obnoxious to some and counter productive to most.
I've relaxed over the years and let God take over many of my self appointed duties.
I know, it's just the squeaky wheels getting the book deals. Sensational isn't it, to bash G_d?
The Christians I know are what I call "real" in that they don't push it around. They appreciate my morals (I try to be good to people, honest etc.) and I appreciate theirs (the ten commandments belong in public, for instance).
My father says G_d is working through me whether I like it or not.