The Big Think seems obsessed with the relationship between science and religion. I can’t think of how many posts I’ve done about their interviewees discussing this issue. The 14-minute video below features a number of prominent people weighing in on the question, “Has science made religion useless?” That’s a question different from, “Is there a … Continue reading Has science made religion useless?
Paul Troop has a short essay at the University of Oxford’s Practical Ethics site: “What do do with the redundant churches after the demise of religion?” Troop starting thinking about stuff after he heard Dan Dennett lecture at Oxford, where he said that after atheism’s triumph the abandoned places of worship could be used as … Continue reading What’s the harm in believing something false, so long as it makes you happy?
A new report from the University of California News Center describes data on American religiosity from the “General Social Survey” (GSS), a project that has been following American social attitudes since 1972. The project is in turn run by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) here at the University of Chicago. You can download the … Continue reading “Formal” religiosity declining in US, but nonbelief stays level
There’s a new “Note to atheists” by Sidney Callahan in the National Catholic Review online. Callahan is not as critical of atheists as even some other atheists are (viz., Julian Baggini or Alain de Botton), but at the end she brings up a modernized version of Pasal’s wager: When atheists realize they are accepted and … Continue reading Pascal’s Wager comes around again
Smelling blood, the media has spent the past two weeks attacking New Atheism, going so far as, in the case of Theo Hobson of The Spectator, to label Richard Dawkins as a “joke figure“, which he most certainly is not. Just two days ago, one Freddy Gray, Hobson’s colleague at the Spectator, piled on with … Continue reading The “Islamophobia” canard revisited
The good news is that, as most of us know, Eric MacDonald, the Official Website Uncle™, reinstated his website Choice in Dying after a very short interlude at Freethought Blogs and an announcement that he would write no more. I’m glad he changed his mind. The bad news is that Uncle Eric is banging on … Continue reading Uncle Eric once again goes after scientism and New Atheism, touting “other ways of knowing.” I. The supposed failures of New Atheism
This Spectator piece by Douglas Murray, “Atheists vs. Dawkins” (with the subtitle, “My fellow atheists, it’s time we admitted that religion has some points in its favour”), is now six days old, but deserves a brief comment. The word “Dawkins” in a title always makes me wary, for he, though perhaps the world’s most prominent … Continue reading Douglas Murray, atheist, extols religion in The Spectator
UPDATE: Over at No Cross No Crescent (a website on the new Skeptic Ink network), the author further takes apart the claim that atheists must offer a substitute for religion. One of the interesting statistics on offer is that 88% of those who identify with no religion in particular are NOT looking for a religion … Continue reading Why New Atheism is supposedly worse than the Old
As science advances at the expense of religion, the faithful evolve new strategies to keep to the trenches and avoid a retreat. One of these runs something like this (not a literal quote; I’m confecting the argument): “The New Atheist accusation that religion rests on literal beliefs is bunk. Dawkins and all you miltant atheists … Continue reading An increasingly common argument of religionists and faitheists
The conservative historian Getrude Himmelfarb has a rather lame essay in The Wall Street Journal: “The once-born and the twice-born: the militant quest for certitude among the New Atheists has a peculiarly old-fashioned feel about it.” It’s a rather rambling piece, most of it devoted to simply recounting William James’s famous book, The Varieties of Religious … Continue reading Gertrude Himmelfarb analyzes New Atheism—badly