Old Guard or New Atheism
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01-03-2011, 06:45 AM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
(01-03-2011 03:33 AM)riseinside Wrote:  The one thing I am vocal about is the bumper stickers on my car. For me I feel like it gives those that might be on the fence about religion will know there is somebody out there that thinks like they. Ive had 2 people come up and thank me for the stickers and have gotten a few thumbs up and head nods while driving so that makes it well worth it for me. I don't put them out there to piss anybody off but want to keep others from struggling with their beliefs like I did and feeling like they are alone in that world.

I wish I could put bumper stickers on my car, or one of those 'Darwin fish'. 2 reason why I don't:

1. I don't put stickers on my car, bad on the paint.
2. Afraid some stupid theism will key my car.
Also it might be a problem when visiting some family. Tongue If I had a work vehicle or something I'd put one on, just not on my nice shiney car.
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01-03-2011, 09:39 AM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
(28-02-2011 10:06 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  I call false dichotomy on that =]

I'm not even sure if there is a difference, but I've heard people talking about the "Schism" in atheism (A hypothesis I'm not sure if I agree with). From what I've gathered, what people call "New Atheism" is the movement started by Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and other atheist's books in an effort to not be the "silent opposition" anymore.

I know that there are some people who prefer to not stir the pot. There have been some people who have confronted Hitchens and Dawkins on their methods of confronting theism, saying that their rhetoric isn't helping anyone. There's a youtube video from the Beyond Belief discussion where Neil Degrasse Tyson confronted Dawkins about this.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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01-03-2011, 10:35 AM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
Of course there are going to be differences of opinion in a "belief" set where the only commonality is a shared disbelief. Not everyone who disbelieves in Santa shares the same ideas on how to instruct children that Santa isn't real either. Nobody labels that a "schism" and frets over how it makes the "group" look when one sub group of a-Santa-ists is more vocal than the other. But the fact is that within the ranks of atheism there are different camps. Some are content to let others figure it out for themselves. Others take a more activist role.

Personally I think it has always been this way. Thomas Paine was the Dawkins of his day. Mark Twain was the Hitchens of his time. Today, the main difference is that the zeitgeist in free societies has help from new media and new science. The movement isn't new. The opportunities are.
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01-03-2011, 03:41 PM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
I'd probably sweat like a pig in a debate, and the ridiculousness would make me just stare at the other guy with my mouth open ''No. No. No. He did not just tell me that evolution theory causes school shootings''.
I'm also pretty much full of religion and bored of the subject, because the claims of religion are so obviously false and ridiculously easy to refute. My interest has shifted to evolutionary, cellular and molecular biology and to scientific subjects in general. Way more exciting than religion.

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01-03-2011, 05:23 PM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
I like this thread. Smile

I guess I had been Old Guard for many years, but have gotten fed up with religion being pushed - especially in and on government that I had to find a voice and speak out.

I don't go out of my way to bash religion, but if someone opens the door...I have no problem walking in...

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02-03-2011, 05:16 AM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
Old Guard, I'd say. I never really bring up religion to anyone I know is religious. Mainly because I don't really care about it, I guess. Tongue I like showing lots of people sciency videos, though, but not to start anything, only because I genuinely think they're fascinating. Tongue Only time I really get in a discussion is if it's brought directly to me. Someone posts a bible verse on my Facebook wall? I kindly dissuade them from doing so again and refute the verse. It usually erupts from there because most bible-verse posters don't take kindly to polite rebukes. Tongue

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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02-03-2011, 05:20 PM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
Old guard with a sprinkling of new a. I used to just be angry and hope for the complete downfall of religion. Went through a calmer period in life and now I say live and let live, as long as it doesn't interfere with the state or education, the latter being a pet peeve of mine.

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02-03-2011, 09:44 PM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
The so called New atheism is simply a contemporary fabrication to meet religious radicalism with it's own antithesis. At one time the Abrahamic faiths were considered atheists by Pagans. Now, it's the literalism faiths hold for Deific identity, anthropomorphism, that rallies the divisive lines in the sand between those who say there can be no thing there at all, and those who say not quite.
And then create whatever it is they imagine is, in their own image and likeness in the process. While absolutism and even science fosters a new breed of faithful. Those who instead of relying on man made faiths cleave just as ardently as any fundamentalist monotheist to the tenet theory afforded in Science. As if Science can't prove it or theorize within the realm of acceptable possibility or reason, it simply isn't possible.

I don't think atheism garners a higher rung on any imagined ladder toward reason, if some or any of those who are atheist adapt the same zealot personality as their contemporary faith filled opponents. However, that does nothing to stop rebuttal and even contempt from arising in the ranks of the atheist community at times when any one atheist dares say,with regard to outlining their personal and rational point of view that they are a spiritual atheist.
Oh the shock! The rebuttal. The denial that that is at all possible. How tragic. How human. When ego glossy and alive to itself can dare say either or in the first place. Yes there is a god(s), goddess(es). Or no, that's just not possible.

We're human. We can only play with what we have to work with. That doesn't mean eternity follows our rules. Or power, fits the mold that we can live with. Absolutism, thinking it's a contest of wills for possession of world dominion of the intellect, is naive.

Yet, very human.

It's that chronic predisposition to the things mortality affords, that make human zealot and fundamentalist when it comes to the ego that thinks it knows what it can prove to it's own satisfaction that provides entertainment for the Universe itself I'm sure. The terrestrial gag reel, as it were. Tongue

I've heard Dawkins stick his foot in his absolutism a time or two. So I don't think holding atheist authors up as icons of no faith serves to support rational individuality, either. They're simply individuals who speak for themselves and in print, unto others who care to read and consider. Be they scientists or theorists or opinionated individuals, they share but they are not infallible nor possessed of anything that comes close to anointing them as that authority to define for me, or any individual in my opinion, what atheism is and how it must be lived. Sadly, there are atheists who don't see it that way. But happily, that's what keeps life fun and as such inspires dialog so that we can all hash it out to our satisfaction, still without ever being able to declare absolutely we are the only one's that got it right. As if no god answers all questions and salves all doubt.

We make a mistake, I believe, when we presume to launch those writers, free thinkers, into a lofty position that assumes the heights in their own right like unto a messenger of atheism, or as a leader for those unfaithfilled. It serves no purpose to reject a fictional messiah and substitute it for one that atheists can embrace in it's stead.

So for me, I'm not member of the old guard in that I don't have to defend living my life to anyone else. If confronted, or intrigued I'll certainly enter into a discourse with someone of faith regarding what they hold dear. I have no respect for Christianity nor for any man made faith that requires the faithful to it to relinquish their intellect so as to be approved or saved from an alleged higher power who as such thereby admits as an alleged supreme being it can only feel secure in that station if it's worshiped by those it created to be dumb, ignorant and self-deprecating.

I'm also not what I'd call a new atheist as is defined or examined by the likes of Dawkins and other mainstream atheist writers. Religion is a band-aid, a life preserver, afforded to those who are afraid to live with themselves facing the reality that there is no thing like them that cares about their station in life. That it is indeed all up to the individual to create a life day by day until it's over with and then to know that one certain destiny that makes us all equal, theist or atheist, is that when we stop breathing forever none of us know what's next.

Religion seeks to placate the human ego's incessant desire to have an answer for everything that is, so that the frail human self-esteem can feel safe in it's own skin in this vast world populated by nearly 7 million more than that one little "me".
I'd rather know all that, or at least think I do, and be surprised. As opposed to holding faith in invisible friends who some tell me love me so much they damn me at birth and then commit suicide on a stick, so as to save me from themselves because that's just how omni~benevolence is shaped!

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05-03-2011, 12:01 AM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
Hello, I am new here and this is my first post on the forum. I have been of the "old guard" for the most part for quite some time. I have usually kept my mouth shut except in the company of friends because the few debates that I have had with believers tend to get ugly, with them looking at me like I'm the devil and me looking at them like they are idiots.

Also, many in my family are believers and I like them. I don't want to be alienated from the family, nor do I want to cause my mother the pain of thinking her son will go to hell because he doesn't believe. Lately though, I have been rethinking my position as a (mostly) silent atheist. This is largely due to the fact that I reluctantly joined facebook about a year ago, and many christians on the site are quite vocal and are really starting to piss me off. More and more I am finding it undesirable to stay silent while everyone else is spewing ignorance.

A few good things have come from me joining facebook though, and one of those positives is that I have found communities such as this one, which make me feel less alone, give me more courage to stand up against the christian majority, and also stimulate my mind with thoughtful discussions.
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02-04-2011, 01:54 PM
RE: Old Guard or New Atheism
Old Guard and New Atheism? They sound like a couple of straw men to me. Most people will probably act somewhere in the behavioural spectrum between these two extremes, depending on a variety of circumstances.

For the most part I don't raise the subject of atheism with family, friends or co-workers unless it arises naturally. I will lay out my arguments and listen to theirs, but I don't expect anyone will change their mind based on the conversation. And if the argument does get tense and angry, then the relationship you have with those people is more important than going for the nuclear option. Agree to disagree and keep it civil.

On the other hand, if I'm being evangelized by strangers, I consider the bastards have asked for it and let them have both barrels.

The first two instances are personal interactions. Public discussions are another matter, and should be vigorously pursued, particularly where religion impacts government and public policy. Often this is as much about the freedom to believe or not believe - two sides of the same right - as it is about a religious dogma. So I often find myself defending Islam against blatant discrimination, simply because freedom of religion in a secular society also guarantees my right not to believe.

However it falls out, I like to go for the jugular.
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