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What in God's name has happened to the New Atheists? They seem to have disappeared.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Wanda_the_Wonder, Jul 1, 2020 at 6:47 AM.

  1. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder Occasional commenter

    Remember them? Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens - and on the periphery Stephen Fry and Geoffrey Robertson QC. Ten years ago they were going great guns; now you never hear of them.
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Christopher Hitchens died nearly a decade ago, so maybe he's excused from not Tweeting recently. Stephen Fry is still much around. Dawkins is nearly 80, so maybe he's retired.;)

    PS Nothing 'new' about Atheism.
    catmother, Jamvic and ilovesooty like this.
  3. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder Occasional commenter

    'PS Nothing 'new' about Atheism'

    I didn't say there was. I referred to a specific group.

    This modern-day atheism is advanced by a group of thinkers and writers who advocate the view that superstition, religion and irrationalism should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever their influence arises in government, education, and politics.

  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    All taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot??
    Aquamarina1234 likes this.
  5. Standards

    Standards New commenter

    This is clearly why

    Personally I thought it was miraculous that no swearing was involved
    DrLinus and coffeekid like this.
  6. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Like XR and climate change, yesterday's news. BLM will shortly follow.
    peter12171, WB and DrLinus like this.
  7. sadscientist

    sadscientist Senior commenter

    They obviously haven’t got a book to publicise.
    Kandahar, WB, DrLinus and 1 other person like this.
  8. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    They had no real message and so had nothing to sustain their movement.
    Also many of them were profoundly boring.
    Kandahar likes this.
  9. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

  10. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    What is the point of this thread? (Apart from the OP starting a new one every single day in some sort of egotistical self flaggelation, that is).
  11. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    If you do not like this thread then do not visit it.

    @Wanda_the_Wonder, keep up the good work.
  12. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Pasolini's Gospel According to St Matthew is considered by many to be the greatest film about Christ ever made. Its director was an atheist Marxist homosexual.

    The film is dedicated to the memory of Pope John XXIII.
    NoseyMatronType likes this.
  13. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    Richard Dawkins is still active. Outgrowing God : A Beginner’s Guide was published in September 2019.

    It has received a lot of reviews and ratings on Amazon. So it must have sold well. And there has already been a response to it authored by Rupert Shortt called Outgrowing Dawkins.

    Penguin also published this earlier in the same year:


    Meanwhile, in his 2016 publication The Atheist Muslim, Ali Rizvi mentions that, ‘...to thousands of closeted ex-Muslims actually living in the Muslim world that I have corresponded with over the last seven years, he [Dawkins] is widely regarded as a hero. The aggressive, up front approaches of people like like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens seem somehow relatable and resonate with them.’

    Elsewhere in the same publication, he adds this:

    ‘From Turkey to Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Palestine, these [New Atheist] books became wildly popular, often hidden and shared underground in their pirated, unofficially translated bootleg forms, because those governments didn’t like them one bit. Even in Turkey, a secular democracy and one of the most progressive Muslim-majority countries in the world, the translators of The God Delusion were threatened with jail and the official website of Richard Dawkins was banned.’

    Overall then, New Atheism hasn’t disappeared nor does it seem to be on the wane.

    However, the influence of secularists like the ‘Four Horsemen’ is possibly overestimated. The last time I checked, only a modest increase in those declaring themselves to be atheists had been registered in surveys (or it might have been the last census). Although Sunday church attendance is much lower in the UK (down to about 750,000), a lot of the population here that are unaffiliated with other faith traditions tend to hold private beliefs in a higher power of some sort, with some of the younger generation embracing a revival of pagan beliefs and practices, thanks to the popularity of TV shows like ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’.

    As far as I know, Sam Harris maintains some sort of meditative practice. And shortly before he died, Hitchens admitted, ‘I’m a materialist…yet there is something beyond the material or not entirely consistent with it, what you would call the Numinous, the Transcendent, or at best the Ecstatic…It’s in certain music, landscape, certain creative work; without this we really would merely be primates.’
    Jamvic and George_Randle like this.
  14. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    So did Tamagotchis.
    DrLinus likes this.
  15. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder Occasional commenter

    'And shortly before he died, Hitchens admitted, ‘I’m a materialist…yet there is something beyond the material'

    I liked Christopher Hitchens' writing very much - although I often disagreed with his views.

    I think the big mistake the New Atheists made was trying to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested on his visit to Britain in 2010. I think the public turned against them from that point.

    'Sunday church attendance is much lower in the UK (down to about 750,000)'

    Kandahar likes this.
  16. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    The figure is taken from Jules Evans The Art of Losing Control, but I have come across similar estimates elsewhere.

    Attendance at Pentecostal Churches in the UK bucks the trend of declining attendance to an extent, and Nicky Gumbel’s Alpha Course has also been successful.

    A point made by Evans in that aforementioned book is to suggest that the brand of rationality supported by the New Atheists might have become over-emphasised in Western culture in recent times and fails to satisfy a basic human need for self-transcendence.
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Nothing to do with religious belief.

    Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens paid lawyers to investigate the possibility of prosecuting the pope for crimes against humanity.

    They argued that Pope Benedict XVI should have been arrested when he visited Britain in September 2010 and put on trial for his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Earlier in the year a letter had emerged from 1985 in which the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger urged that a paedophilic priest in America not be defrocked for the "good of the universal church".

    The Vatican had suggested the pope was immune from prosecution because he was a head of state. But Dawkins and Hitchens believed that because he was not the head of a state with full United Nations membership, he did not hold immunity and could have been arrested when he stepped on to British soil.
    ilovesooty likes this.
  18. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    The reality is once you exclude god or a god figure you have little hope left except face a blank wall of extinction. Not all can face that wall and not care/ Most forms of atheism are forms of nihilism in which god is replaced by self wonder and conceitedness that you have reasoned out a 'GOD' figure.
    People ( as St Augustine supposedly said ) have a god shaped blank in their lives that only God can fill'
    Atheism seems to appeal to 'intellectuals',who reason out god.
    Most folks have an innate desire for life to be more than born, live, die and extinction.
  19. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Waiting for God?
    nomad likes this.
  20. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I feel some sympathy for your position, it's religion that needs the kicking.

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