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On A Collision Course With The “New Atheism”

The New Atheism is not that new anymore but if you haven’t heard or read about it, you will. Albert Mohler says, “The New Atheism demands Christian attention and a Christian response.” New Atheism is an in-your-face movement that is characterized by an evangelistic-like zeal to educate and convert people away from believing any kind of religion, including Christianity. Richard Dawkins, “The World’s Most Famous Atheist” has helped launch advertising campaigns on buses in major metropolitan areas that say, “There probably is no god, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” He also has a billboard campaign aimed at children saying, “Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself.”  In addition, Dawkins has also started a movement called, “The Out Campaign”, which is designed to give courage to doubters, skeptics and/or atheists by offering support though like-minded community. As you can see from just a few examples, Dawkins and the New Atheists are zealous to proselytize. Side note:  Is it me or does this all sound and look eerily like the way church is done in a lot of instances?

If you have not heard about the New Atheism then a good place to start is by watching a video called, Collision It is a documentary that follows atheist, Christopher Hitchens, and pastor, Douglas Wilson, as they go on a public tour debating the question, “Is Christianity Good For the World?” The DVD was released in October of 2009 so the content is fairly recent and at 80 minutes in length, it doesn’t get too stale.

I am not suggesting that anyone should go out and buy the books of Hitchens or Dawkins or any other atheist, but I do think it is  important to be aware of one of the movements that is shaping the way people in our communities are thinking. Collision will give you a fairly objective understanding of some of the arguments that are currently being debated and help you understand why they call this atheism, the New Atheism.

Brent Prentice

Author: Brent Prentice

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  • The atheist bus ads are merely more propaganda as Richard Dawkins wonders whether there is occasion for “society stepping in” and hopes that such efforts “might lead children to choose no religion at all.” Dawkins also supports the atheist summer camp “Camp Quest.” Furthermore, with this campaign they are attempting to piggy back on the United Nations.

    Phillip Pullman states the following about his “fictional” books for children, “I don’t think I’m writing fantasy. I think I’m writing realism. My books are psychologically real.” But what does he really write about? As he has admitted, “My books are about killing God” and “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”

    More evidence here:

    How about not labeling me “child abuser,” “brain washer,” etc.:

    Yet again, atheists are collecting “amazing sums” during a time of worldwide recession not in order to help anyone in real material need but in order to attempt to demonstrate just how clever they consider themselves to be—while actually loudly, proudly and expensively demonstrating their ignorance and arrogance—need any more be said?

  • Bud

    Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are no more representative of atheists than Joel Osteen is representative of Baptists. Most of us atheist are generally not against religion. It is generally a voluntary association, albeit usually based on childhood conditioning. Most religionists are okay people. Most of you don’t hate anyone and respect others rights to form their own opinion as do most atheists. I admire the giving that religions achieve but I would bet that the majority of collections end up in infrastructure and fetching more donations. Even so, no harm! Who’s to bother people about how they spend their money? Religion is an important part of our culture. Let’s respect it but keep our government and schools secular to avoid problems. Are times and places for proselytizing and prayer. Public debate is good, even if it tends to polemic. Well wishes to all my Christian, Muslim and Hindu friends

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  • Alan G Phillips Jr

    The so-called “New” Atheism is a lot of things, but it is not new or strictly intellectual. Its protestations against Christian theism track back to very human motivations addressed in antiquity by both the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

    One key motivator beneath the heated rhetoric is a preoccupation with eliminating all notions of personal sin or guilt. Many atheists, though not all, seek to promote the idea that only humans shape morality, as opposed to the belief that divine morality precedes and shapes them.

    Atheists rule out any presumptions of a transcendental morality and plead for morals based on everything from animal studies to theoretical physics. Promiscuous primates to the latest quantum cosmologies are marshalled to their goal: eliminating morality based on divine standards. But really, a libertarian ethic of relativism without any sin appears to be less-than-intellectual and all too human.

    An atheist may exclaim, “Animal studies point us in the direction of polygamy, or infanticide is found in nature” Really? This kind of reasoning passes as enlightened “scientific” thinking today? It is embraced by “higher” education?

    Also, it is interesting to me that the “New” Atheism gained ascendancy in colleges, entertainment and media at approximately the same time that global trade centered on courting large, secular economies like China.

    Furthernore, I do not think it is an accident that increased pressure for acceptance of other non-Christian faiths, like Islam, comes at a time when global elites seek to build a new Roman Empire that mainains good trade relations with countries embracing both moderate and radical forms of anti-Christian ideology. Underlying much current hostility against a traditional Judeo-Christan worldview is the worship of a global economy that has increasingly opted to court wealthy nations with other religious and moral commitments.
    Beneath much of the overt hostility against Christians and Jews today is the love of money over principles, trade over tradition and finances over faith. Mammon trumps the God of the Bible. It is still the prevailing deity in America today.

    There is nothing “new” in worldviews that seek to eliminate God, maximize greed and minimize human responsibility for sin and selfish behaviors. It is as old as humanity itself.

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