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Author Topic: "Beyond ‘New Atheism", in NY Times, Sept. 14, 2011.
Stephen
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Post "Beyond ‘New Atheism", in NY Times, Sept. 14, 2011.
on: September 15, 2011, 17:10
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There is a nice piece in the New York Times today call "Beyond New Atheism". It's at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/atheism-scientific-versus-humanist/?hp#preview. It is by Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

I submitted a letter:

As a physicist who embraces the Baha'i view that \"religion … must go hand-in-hand with science\", it is a delight to see the thinking of non-evangelical atheists like Kitcher coming to the fore.

There are serious problems with secularism and modern western ideologies. I just calculated that there were more than 120 million deaths that are directly or indirectly caused by them since 1800 (90 million from the two world wars alone!). So there are compelling reasons to look beyond them for something better and to look ahead and back to what is sound in religion. In the past, religion has been a powerful bulwark against humankind's more savage urges. It may well play that role in the future.

So reasoned discourse about secularism - which I take to include (1) the view that intelligence and reason are non-essential parts of the universe (otherwise, why reject the generalization to God?), (2) a 19th century physicist's clockwork and materialistic picture of the universe, and (3) an embrace of mainstream evolutionary philosophy minus complexity theory - is very, very important.

And from those of us who grew up when atheism and secularism were a creative and thought-provoking parts of the culture: WELCOME BACK!

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