I have read this article published today in the Huffington Post, Secular Humanist Takes on New Atheism. The article plots those like Dawkins, Harris, Stenger, et al against Humanists, namely Paul Kurtz, who has recently published a Neo-Humanist Statement.

I am not so sure that I am comfortable with declarations and statements in an area that should be (to me) organic and emerging with dialog, cultural shifts, reason, discovery, etc. For example, with the increasing dialog and growing awareness of how children are indoctrinated into a specific religion without recourse or human rights to choose .... how does Kurtz'a statement make room to address these issues which many of us feel are wicked and paramount to some form of enslavement or abuse?

I think we can be good, loving, purposed people as Atheists or Humanists or Freethinkers, etc. But, I don't think that means that we can turn a blind eye to atrocities around us.

What do you think about this seemingly division? ... or is this division being orchestrated to create a division and by who really?

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You summed up what I was thinking, especially with your last paragraph. I spent 20+ years as a "true believer" in a conservative Christian community (and only have been an atheist for perhaps the past 3-4 years), and I am still working through the anger I have over the wasted time and hangups caused by religion. When I interact with religious people from this perspective, I can't understand how they can possibly believe the things they do that are so obviously harmful and irrational, and yet I felt the exact same as them only a short while ago. Of the few atheist friends I have found since I deconverted, none of them were raised in a religious environment and they don't understand why I'm so infuriated at Christianity in particular, since they generally see it as a nuisance rather than a harmful world view.
I'm with you on that. At first I was angry at myself for being so easily influenced, but when most of my Christian friends told me condescendingly that I was just going through a phase or being influenced by evil spirits my anger shifted against religion in general. It's not a phase; it's simply a lack of belief.

And, it's not like I went out of my way to stop believing. I wanted to be a missionary, for God's sake (pun intended). For three years I took every biblical studies/apologetics/philosophy course I could, looking for reasons to believe, asking for evidence from professors, pastors, friends & family, and heard plenty of reasons to believe, but none of them held any water. For over five years of vanilla agnosticism afterward I was frantically looking for reasons to believe because I didn't think anyone could have a sense of morals without a god to base them off of.

Eventually I decided that the fact that there are other human beings to interact with is a sufficient reason for morality. Now that I am around some Christians who are genuinely good people and don't pull the hypocrisy card, I've been able to find some common ground and work through a lot of the anger, but it's still lonely. The funny thing is that the only difference in my actions from when I believed and now is that I care more about other humans than I did then.
I felt very tortured by religion as a child. I was never sexually abused or anything like that ... but all the lies that I had to regurgitate to serve others (church, family, organizations, etc.). I hated it and always knew that it was spiritually wrong from a humanistic point of view. And now, I don't really hold much anger over the past (lost time, schizo life, etc.) because now I feel such an overwhelming sense of freedom, rationality, saneness and I am getting a good ride on that without looking too far behind me. But, the one thing that, because of my experience, really troubles me is the indoctrination of children, sometimes against their will other times as "innocent" acculturation. I think it is heinous and wicked to socially or aggressively force these beliefs onto children ... even the ones that don't know any better and pick it up and propagate it even more, generation after generation (of course that is the very point of indoctrination).

Religious beliefs being imposed on innocent, trusting children should be illegal everywhere. And if you feel as strongly about that 1 point, as I do, you will never be seen as an ally to religious groups, as it seems to be suggested as possible by Kurtz's blueprint (I don't like lists of rules or guidelines to begin with ... as it becomes a sort of dogma itself) or other Humanism inter-faith alliances. Atheists are of all colors .. we simply should address issues as need be ... we aren't all the same and our diversity should be a strength, not a weakness or something that should be controlled, structured or fixed. And our very diversity should never divide us.
I like the way you think! And I agree!
As Adrianna states, there is nothing "new" about "New Atheism". In fact, I don't care for the term at all for that fact, not because some use it as a perjorative. Likewise, I use the term "Accomadationist" because it works, not as a perjorative, although some Accomadationists take offense to it. I am not sure why, since it describes their position quite plainly.

I think that many in the Accomadationist camp seem to confuse or conflate two types of discourse. Public discourse and private discourse. They do the same when they refer to the compatibality of religion and science. The two are not compatibale, but this doesn't mean they can not co-exist, as they clearly do, evidenced by religious scientists. But religious scientists never use religion in their science, or it ceases to be science.

What it all boils down to for me is, do we tolerate and encourage, tacitly or otherwise, viewpoints that are at odds with reality? It might be a political expediant thing to do, but as we have seen demonstrated time after time after time, even seemingly innocuous delusions can be harmful.

And if people don't want their private beliefs to be subjected to ctritical analysis, they should keep them private. That means keep them out of public schools, government, and legislation. It does not mean they can't express their religious beliefs otherwise.

Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.
Once again brilliant discussion and comments. It makes me proud to be an Atheist and an associate and I hope friend of all of you on thinkatheist.
You all give me so much ammunition to use when I try to get my point across to the religious. We do not know if the majority of people have a religion as we have never had a serious census, but then would people be honest.
I consider you a friend! Which is why I was shocked to discover that we were not "friends" on T|A!
Anyone who thinks that the 'New' Atheism is actually new needs to read some Robert Ingersoll. The only reason that it is considered 'new' is because there has been a subsidence of secularism in the public square (due in no small part to the religious lobby's mostly successful attempt to connect secularism/atheism with boshiviks/socialism/communism during the first part of the 20th century) and we're just now beginning to resume speaking up for ourselves and refusing to sit quietly and let ourselves be marginalized.
I agree with your uneasiness over the statement about morals. If any morals that are agreeable to the modern measuring stick were novel in any way, maybe there is something there. But that much of the morality outlined in the Bible is ignored by most modern theists and would be considered barbaric, unnecessary, confusing, contrary to science, or all of the above, to most theists and atheists alike, also takes away from this idea that respect must be given to religious ideals.
Plus, much of the morals dictated by religions that are actually moral were not 'invented' by those religions, but rather adopted by them. In other words, what morality religions have are obtained by acquiring them from the people involved with the religion, rather than being imbued into the people by the religious proclamations.
Right indeed. Without the people involved, no religion would have a moral code of any sort.


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