So classes have started up again for the fall semester. Currently I am enrolled in a class called World Religions which is essentially the study of different religions of our world. Our text book is the seventh edition of Living Religions by Mary Pat Fisher, in it being a very interesting definition of atheism.

"Atheism is the belief that there is no deity. Atheists may reject theistic belief because they seem to be incompatible with the existence of evil in the world, or because there is little or no concrete proof that God exists, or because theistic beliefs seem unscientific, or because they inhibit human independence. A movement called "New Atheism" is attacking religious faith as being not only wrong, but actually evil because it can be used to support violence....The leading figure in the New Atheism movement is Richard Dawkins, Oxford Professor of the Public Understand of Science and author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. Around him a debate is raging about whether science itself is fully "scientific," in the sense of being totally objective, or whether it is a culturally-shaped enterprise based on unproven assumptions, the same criticism that its atheistic proponents make about religious faith."

So to keep it short, does anyone know where this is coming from? How can science be culturally driven?

Views: 19

Comment by Reggie on September 3, 2009 at 1:02pm
It sounds like a theist's attempt to objectively define atheism.

I can't nail down the sources, but I have a many times come across this "teach the controversy" type of attack on science as being full of assumptions and no better than religion. I find it humorous that in order to discredit science, theists will try to compare it to their religious beliefs. That simply says to me that they admit that their beliefs are based on unproven assumptions. However, I would not concede that science is in any way similar. It may not be perfect, but the beauty of science is that it is self correcting and dynamic, not static and stale like religion. It is also the best tool we have available to tell us about reality and nothing else comes even close.

Need proof? Look around. We live in a world built by science. From cell phones and the internet to plane travel, electricity, and modern medicine, all of it is made possible by the scientific method. And this is not the same claim as a theist pointing out all the trees and birds not being possible without God. I would hope that I would not need to explain why they are radically different.

As far as science being culturally driven, I have no clue what they mean. The only thing that comes to mind is Ben Stein and his belief that science is filled by a culture of people who simply want to deny God.
Comment by Doug Reardon on September 3, 2009 at 3:27pm
Check out neomodernism.
Comment by Matt on September 3, 2009 at 4:59pm
I think what surprised me the most is the movement. New Atheism, when did we all the sudden become a movement?
Comment by Reggie on September 3, 2009 at 10:13pm
I think what surprised me the most is the movement. New Atheism, when did we all the sudden become a movement?

I guess when the books begin topping the charts.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on September 4, 2009 at 5:22am
Where are we going?
Will I need sunscreen?
Comment by Wesley on September 5, 2009 at 12:16am
I think my definition is more accurate.... Atheism is merely the non-acceptance of any of the theistic proposals.... This book definition you quoted seems very 'canted' towards one God. If it was non-biased it would say Gods in the plural and not God in the singular.


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