The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

says archbishop of Canterbury

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#21  Postby Nebogipfel » Apr 09, 2012 8:39 pm

Well, he's spent nine years with, on the one side, a futile struggle to hold together a community dead set on vicious fratricidal bloodletting over the issue of whether gay men and women of any kind should be allowed to do the invisible magic stuff which has hitherto been the sole province of straight men, and on the other side with Darth Benedict's tanks parked on his lawn.

He can't be a happy chap, so I suppose this may be a way of venting frustration at a safe target. I must say, If I were him, I'd be tempted to say sod the lot of you, and join the New Atheists.

Come over to the Dark Side, Rowan. We have cookies! :naughty2:
Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#22  Postby Onyx8 » Apr 09, 2012 9:40 pm

Nebogipfel wrote:Well, he's spent nine years with, on the one side, a futile struggle to hold together a community dead set on vicious fratricidal bloodletting over the issue of whether gay men and women of any kind should be allowed to do the invisible magic stuff which has hitherto been the sole province of purportedly straight men, and on the other side with Darth Benedict's tanks parked on his lawn.

He can't be a happy chap, so I suppose this may be a way of venting frustration at a safe target. I must say, If I were him, I'd be tempted to say sod the lot of you, and join the New Atheists.

Come over to the Dark Side, Rowan. We have cookies! :naughty2:


Slight amendment in bold there Nebo. Hope you don't mind.
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#23  Postby Nebogipfel » Apr 10, 2012 9:05 pm

Onyx8 wrote:

Slight amendment in bold there Nebo. Hope you don't mind.


Not a bit! :lol:
Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#24  Postby xrayzed » Apr 10, 2012 11:51 pm

Social trends are often cyclical, and much of the recent discussion in the media was largely centred around a number of books by prominent atheists that appeared at roughly the same time. So it is entirely possible that the recent high levels of discussion in the media about atheism have temporarily peaked.

This does not in any way imply that atheism is going away, or that if there is a decline we won't see another resurgence, and possibly an even wider and louder debate than we've had to date. It sure as hell doesn't mean that atheists have suddenly decided that they really do want to kowtow to magical invisible beings after all.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#25  Postby Oeditor » Apr 11, 2012 10:26 am

I suppose Williams has something to crow about, though: crypto catholic Blair's government has been replaced by what's looking like a gang of openly pro-religion schemers. As exemplified by give-away Gove and the awful halal-meals Pickles.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#26  Postby Paul » Apr 11, 2012 10:38 am

not forgetting Baroness 'egg on face' Warsi who, in February, said

Britain is under threat from a rising tide of "militant secularisation"


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17021831

So is the tide in or out, or is that a tsunami approaching? :dunno:
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#27  Postby Will S » Apr 11, 2012 10:46 am

xrayzed wrote:Social trends are often cyclical, and much of the recent discussion in the media was largely centred around a number of books by prominent atheists that appeared at roughly the same time.

Certainly, the market for books defending or promoting atheism is pretty well saturated.

It's interesting that, not so long ago, just about the only book of this kind aimed at the intelligent general reader was Bertrand Russell's 'Why I am not a Christian'. At times I don't think it was even in print (though it is now).

It's amazing how the religious community had it so easy for so long. No wonder they complain about 'militant atheism/secularism'!
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#28  Postby turnerj41 » Apr 11, 2012 10:58 am

Utilitarian communist environmentalist posing as a Christian, he needs reprogramming at Oral Roberts University
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#29  Postby Will S » Apr 11, 2012 1:10 pm

I think there is something very interesting going on. Here's an experience of my own.

In the 1990s, I joined an Internet conferencing service, CIX, in which discussions on all manner of subjects went on, including religion. As an atheist, I got embroiled in many discussions with religious people, mainly Christians, many of whom were evangelical. And were they vocal and self-confident! They certainly communicated their belief that their position was normative, and that it was people like me who were weird and eccentric. Certainly, they made me feel, over and over again, that I was venturing into a den of lions. Then, after some years' membership, I realised that it was taking too much of my time. Also, I had another large demand on my time looming, so I gave up using CIX.

However, about a year ago, I rejoined after an absence of more than five years, during which time, of course, 'the new atheism' has got going. And how things have changed! It's a complete reversal. There remains from the past one, highly aggressive, Christian who participates occasionally - and who gets almost no support from his fellow Christians. Apart from that, the general tone of the religious discussions is much more quiet and muted; it leaves me feeling that, these days, that it's the beliefs of us secularists which are normative.

I can't be absolutely sure, of course, but I'm left with the strong feeling what I'm seeing is one of the effects of 'the new atheism'.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#30  Postby Bribase » Apr 11, 2012 11:06 pm

Well... they did invent the spectre of militant, shrill, strident, closed minded, scientistic (or whatever the fuck you call it) new atheism. I guess they should be the ones to let us know when it is going away.

That reminds me, guys! Things are looking up for us as well! The subversive communist agents that previously hid under your beds and sought to convert people to their cause through manipulation of the nation's entertainment media have been foiled!

Unfortunately, I suspect that the evil clown that lived in my closet and taunted me when I was little may be back.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#31  Postby james1v » Apr 11, 2012 11:12 pm

xrayzed wrote:Social trends are often cyclical, and much of the recent discussion in the media was largely centred around a number of books by prominent atheists that appeared at roughly the same time. So it is entirely possible that the recent high levels of discussion in the media about atheism have temporarily peaked.

This does not in any way imply that atheism is going away, or that if there is a decline we won't see another resurgence, and possibly an even wider and louder debate than we've had to date. It sure as hell doesn't mean that atheists have suddenly decided that they really do want to kowtow to magical invisible beings after all.



My large...

Im sure, every redundant religions priestly class, thought that. Right up to the end. :think:
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#32  Postby xrayzed » Apr 12, 2012 6:34 am

Whatever the case may be about the "high tide of 'new atheism'", it doesn't follow that this is good news for the established churches. There has been a clear long-term decline in church attendance - data below for 19800-2005 - and I see no indication this is reversing.

That's a 42% decline over 25 years. It's going to take a very large number of newly-converted ex-new atheists to fill those gaps.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#33  Postby trubble76 » Apr 12, 2012 8:05 am

If New Atheism has passed, we could always fall back on Atheism OriginalTM. Perhaps add a dash of lime? :dunno:
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#34  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Apr 12, 2012 8:11 pm

Fenrir wrote:"I'm going to retire so I'll claim victory for no obvious reason before I go."...

That's about the sum of it.

xrayzed wrote:Social trends are often cyclical...

That doesn't mean that beardy simply declaring that we're in such a cycle, and that the cycle has peaked, is anything other than baseless intellectual laziness and/or wishful thinking.

trubble76 wrote:If New Atheism has passed, we could always fall back on Atheism OriginalTM. Perhaps add a dash of lime? :dunno:

Mmm... lime...
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#35  Postby xrayzed » Apr 14, 2012 1:02 am

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:
xrayzed wrote:Social trends are often cyclical...

That doesn't mean that beardy simply declaring that we're in such a cycle, and that the cycle has peaked, is anything other than baseless intellectual laziness and/or wishful thinking.

True.

I don't know if it's peaked or not. I'd needed to see some data before making that judgement. But even if it is true "has peaked at this time" doesn't equate to "going away", nor imply it might not return stronger than ever in the future.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#36  Postby DougC » Apr 14, 2012 1:08 am

xrayzed wrote:
Horwood Beer-Master wrote:
xrayzed wrote:Social trends are often cyclical...

That doesn't mean that beardy simply declaring that we're in such a cycle, and that the cycle has peaked, is anything other than baseless intellectual laziness and/or wishful thinking.

True.

I don't know if it's peaked or not. I'd needed to see some data before making that judgement. But even if it is true "has peaked at this time" doesn't equate to "going away", nor imply it might not return stronger than ever in the future.

When the churches start filling up again I'm gonna worry. People are just more apathetic towards religion nowadays. Its just not a concern in peoples lives.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#37  Postby xrayzed » Apr 14, 2012 3:53 am

The 2010 Global Atheist Convention had 2,500 attendees. I'm at the 2012 GAC, and there are 4,000 attendees. Maybe New Atheism hasn't peaked yet after all.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#38  Postby turnerj41 » Apr 14, 2012 10:00 am

xrayzed wrote:The 2010 Global Atheist Convention had 2,500 attendees. I'm at the 2012 GAC, and there are 4,000 attendees. Maybe New Atheism hasn't peaked yet after all.


I think Christians have a billion or more people, more people show up to mass at the Vatican than the GAC. I think the overall sentiment is that religous people are gaining ground.
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#39  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 14, 2012 10:13 am

turnerj41 wrote:I think Christians have a billion or more people, more people show up to mass at the Vatican than the GAC. I think the overall sentiment is that religous people are gaining ground.

Ah, sentiment.

sen·ti·ment (snt-mnt)
n.
1. A thought, view, or attitude, especially one based mainly on emotion instead of reason.

2. A personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty.

Now where have I heard that kind of thing before? :scratch:
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Re: The high tide of "new atheism" may have passed

#40  Postby Paul » Apr 14, 2012 10:39 am

turnerj41 wrote:I think Christians have a billion or more people, more people show up to mass at the Vatican than the GAC. I think the overall sentiment is that religous people are gaining ground.


IIRC the sizes of the crowds that attended events on the Pope's 2010 tour of the UK were in generally smaller than the previous papal visit in 1982.

For example:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/16/pope-benedict-thousands-turn-out
The church had predicted up to 100,000 people would line the 3½ miles through central Edinburgh. Early estimates suggested the crowd was nearer 60,000, though the council later claimed there were some 125,000.

At all events, it lacked the intensity and emotion of the visit by John Paul II in 1982. Then the crowds on Princes Street were 10 deep in places.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11333448
The Catholic Church in Scotland had hoped to attract up to 100,000 to the event, but later reduced the capacity after a slow take-up of tickets.

This despite having Susan Boyle as his support act!
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