Search Results for "the-evolution-of-atheism-the-politics-of-a-modern-movement"

The Evolution of Atheism

The Evolution of Atheism

The Politics of a Modern Movement

  • Author: Stephen LeDrew
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 0190225173
  • Category: Atheism
  • Page: 262
  • View: 6353
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The concept of evolution is widely considered to be a foundational building block in atheist thought. Leaders of the New Atheist movement have taken Darwin's work and used it to diminish the authority of religious institutions and belief systems. But they have also embraced it as a metaphor for the gradual replacement of religious faith with secular reason. They have posed as harbingers of human progress, claiming the moral high ground, and rejecting with intolerance any message that challenges the hegemony of science and reason. Religion, according to the New Atheists, should be relegated to the Dark Ages of superstition and senseless violence. Yet Darwin did not see evolution as a linear progression to an improved state of being. The more antagonistic members of the New Atheist movement who embrace this idea are not only employing bad history, but also the kind of rigid, black-and-white thinking they excoriate in their religious opponents. Indeed, Stephen LeDrew argues, militant atheists have more in common with religious fundamentalists than they would care to admit, advancing what LeDrew calls secular fundamentalism. In reaction to fundamentalist Christianity and Islamism, this strain of atheism has become an offshoot of the religion it tries so hard to malign. The Evolution of Atheism outlines the essential political tension at the heart of the atheist movement. The New Atheism, LeDrew shows, is part of a tradition of atheist thought and activism that promotes individualism and scientific authority, which puts it at odds with atheist groups that are motivated by humanistic ethics and social justice. LeDrew draws on public relations campaigns, publications, podcasts, and in-depth interviews to explore the belief systems, internal logics, and self-contradictions of the people who consider themselves to be atheists. He argues that evolving understandings of what atheism means, and how it should be put into action, are threatening to irrevocably fragment the movement.

The Evolution of Atheism

The Evolution of Atheism

The Politics of a Modern Movement

  • Author: Stephen LeDrew
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 019022519X
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 256
  • View: 8788
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The concept of evolution is widely considered to be a foundational building block in atheist thought. Leaders of the New Atheist movement have taken Darwin's work and used it to diminish the authority of religious institutions and belief systems. But they have also embraced it as a metaphor for the gradual replacement of religious faith with secular reason. They have posed as harbingers of human progress, claiming the moral high ground, and rejecting with intolerance any message that challenges the hegemony of science and reason. Religion, according to the New Atheists, should be relegated to the Dark Ages of superstition and senseless violence. Yet Darwin did not see evolution as a linear progression to an improved state of being. The more antagonistic members of the New Atheist movement who embrace this idea are not only employing bad history, but also the kind of rigid, black-and-white thinking they excoriate in their religious opponents. Indeed, Stephen LeDrew argues, militant atheists have more in common with religious fundamentalists than they would care to admit, advancing what LeDrew calls secular fundamentalism. In reaction to fundamentalist Christianity and Islamism, this strain of atheism has become an offshoot of the religion it tries so hard to malign. The Evolution of Atheism outlines the essential political tension at the heart of the atheist movement. The New Atheism, LeDrew shows, is part of a tradition of atheist thought and activism that promotes individualism and scientific authority, which puts it at odds with atheist groups that are motivated by humanistic ethics and social justice. LeDrew draws on public relations campaigns, publications, podcasts, and in-depth interviews to explore the belief systems, internal logics, and self-contradictions of the people who consider themselves to be atheists. He argues that evolving understandings of what atheism means, and how it should be put into action, are threatening to irrevocably fragment the movement.

The Evolution of Atheism

The Evolution of Atheism

The Politics of a Modern Movement

  • Author: Stephen LeDrew
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0190225181
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 256
  • View: 4753
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The concept of evolution is widely considered to be a foundational building block in atheist thought. Leaders of the New Atheist movement have taken Darwin's work and used it to diminish the authority of religious institutions and belief systems. But they have also embraced it as a metaphor for the gradual replacement of religious faith with secular reason. They have posed as harbingers of human progress, claiming the moral high ground, and rejecting with intolerance any message that challenges the hegemony of science and reason. Religion, according to the New Atheists, should be relegated to the Dark Ages of superstition and senseless violence. Yet Darwin did not see evolution as a linear progression to an improved state of being. The more antagonistic members of the New Atheist movement who embrace this idea are not only employing bad history, but also the kind of rigid, black-and-white thinking they excoriate in their religious opponents. Indeed, Stephen LeDrew argues, militant atheists have more in common with religious fundamentalists than they would care to admit, advancing what LeDrew calls secular fundamentalism. In reaction to fundamentalist Christianity and Islamism, this strain of atheism has become an offshoot of the religion it tries so hard to malign. The Evolution of Atheism outlines the essential political tension at the heart of the atheist movement. The New Atheism, LeDrew shows, is part of a tradition of atheist thought and activism that promotes individualism and scientific authority, which puts it at odds with atheist groups that are motivated by humanistic ethics and social justice. LeDrew draws on public relations campaigns, publications, podcasts, and in-depth interviews to explore the belief systems, internal logics, and self-contradictions of the people who consider themselves to be atheists. He argues that evolving understandings of what atheism means, and how it should be put into action, are threatening to irrevocably fragment the movement.

Atheists

Atheists

The Origin of the Species

  • Author: Nick Spencer
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1472902971
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 224
  • View: 5165
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The clash between atheism and religion has become the defining battle of the 21st century. Books on and about atheism retain high profile and popularity, and atheist movements on both sides of the Atlantic capture headlines with high-profile campaigns and adverts. However, very little has been written on the history of atheism, and this book fills that conspicuous gap. Instead of treating atheism just as a philosophical or scientific idea about the non-existence of God, Atheists: The Origin of the Species places the movement in its proper social and political context. Because atheism in Europe developed in reaction to the Christianity that dominated the continent's intellectual, social and political life, it adopted, adapted and reacted against its institutions as well as its ideas. Accordingly, the history of atheism is as much about social and political movements as it is scientific or philosophical ideas. This is the story not only of Hobbes, Hume, and Darwin, but also of Thomas Aitkenhead hung for blasphemous atheism, Percy Shelley expelled for adolescent atheism, and the Marquis de Sade imprisoned for libertine atheism; of the French revolutionary Terror and the Soviet League of the Militant Godless; of the rise of the US Religious Right and of Islamic terrorism. Looking at atheism in its full sociopolitical context helps explain why it has looked so very different in different countries. It also explains why there has been a recent upsurge in atheism, particularly in Britain and the US, where religion has unexpectedly come to play such a significant role in political affairs. This leads us to a somewhat paradoxical conclusion: we should expect to hear more about atheism in the future for the simple reason that God is back.

Black Mass

Black Mass

How Religion Led the World into Crisis

  • Author: John Gray
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada
  • ISBN: 0307374939
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 256
  • View: 2959
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Fascinating, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass looks at the historic and modern faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, but at what price? During the last century global politics was shaped by Utopian projects. Pursuing a dream of a world without evil, powerful states waged war and practised terror on an unprecedented scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, entire societies were destroyed. Utopian ideologies rejected traditional faiths and claimed to be based in science. They were actually secular versions of the myth of Apocalypse–the belief in a world-changing event that brings history, with all its conflicts, to an end. The war in Iraq was the last of these attempts at creating a secular Utopia, promising a new era of democracy and producing blood-soaked anarchy and an emerging theocracy instead. John Gray’s powerful and frightening new book argues that the death of Utopia does not mean peace. Instead it portends the resurgence of ancient myths, now in openly fundamentalist forms. Obscurely mixed with geo-political struggles for the control of natural resources, apocalyptic religion has returned as a major force in global conflict. From the Hardcover edition.

Broken Words

Broken Words

The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics

  • Author: Jonathan Dudley
  • Publisher: Crown
  • ISBN: 0307720799
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 240
  • View: 2178
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Abortion. Homosexuality. Environmentalism. Evolution. Conservative positions on these topics are the current boundaries of mainstream Evangelical Christianity. But what if the theological arguments given by popular leaders on these “big four” were not quite as clear cut as they claim? Growing up as an evangelical Christian, Jonathan Dudley was taught that faith was defined by the total rejection of abortion, homosexuality, evolution, and environmentalism. But once he had begun studying biology and ethics, his views began to change and he soon realized that what he had been told about the Bible – and those four big issues – may have been misconstrued. Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics assesses the scientific and cultural factors leading evangelicals to certain stances on each issue, shows where they went wrong, and critically challenges the scriptural, ethical, and biological arguments issued by those leaders today. In Broken Words, Dudley applies the Bible and biology to challenge the fixed political dogmas of the religious right. Evangelicals are confronted for the first time from within their ranks on the extent to which faith has been corrupted by conservative politics, cultural prejudice and naive anti-intellectualism. A re-ordering of American Christianity is underway – and this book is an essential part of the conversation. From the Hardcover edition.

The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945

The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945

  • Author: George H. Nash
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • ISBN: 149763640X
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 490
  • View: 3917
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First published in 1976, and revised in 1996, George H. Nash’s celebrated history of the postwar conservative intellectual movement has become the unquestioned standard in the field. This new edition, published in commemoration of the volume’s thirtieth anniversary, includes a new preface by Nash and will continue to instruct anyone interested in how today’s conservative movement was born.

The God Delusion

The God Delusion

  • Author: Richard Dawkins
  • Publisher: Random House
  • ISBN: 1784161926
  • Category: Atheism
  • Page: 496
  • View: 1033
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The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

Intelligent Thought

Intelligent Thought

Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement

  • Author: John Brockman
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 0307426408
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 272
  • View: 1138
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Evolutionary science lies at the heart of a modern understanding of the natural world. Darwin’s theory has withstood 150 years of scientific scrutiny, and today it not only explains the origin and design of living things, but highlights the importance of a scientific understanding in our culture and in our lives. Recently the movement known as “Intelligent Design” has attracted the attention of journalists, educators, and legislators. The scientific community is puzzled and saddened by this trend–not only because it distorts modern biology, but also because it diverts people from the truly fascinating ideas emerging from the real science of evolution. Here, join fifteen of our preeminent thinkers whose clear, accessible, and passionate essays reveal the fact and power of Darwin’s theory, and the beauty of the scientific quest to understand our world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Battling the Gods

Battling the Gods

Atheism in the Ancient World

  • Author: Tim Whitmarsh
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 0307958337
  • Category: History
  • Page: 304
  • View: 8498
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How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities. Homer’s epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece’s only “sacred texts,” but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or “godless.” Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata. Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity’s establishment as Rome’s state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label “atheist” was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy—and so it would remain for centuries. As the twenty-first century shapes up into a time of mass information, but also, paradoxically, of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions, Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking. By shining a light on atheism’s first thousand years, Battling the Gods offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own, and, indeed, its own heroes. From the Hardcover edition.

Seven Types of Atheism

Seven Types of Atheism

  • Author: John Gray
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • ISBN: 0374714266
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 176
  • View: 7946
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From the provocative author of Straw Dogs comes an incisive, surprising intervention in the political and scientific debate over religion and atheism When you explore older atheisms, you will find that some of your firmest convictions—secular or religious—are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought. For a generation now, public debate has been corroded by a shrill, narrow derision of religion in the name of an often vaguely understood “science.” John Gray’s stimulating and enjoyable new book, Seven Types of Atheism, describes the complex, dynamic world of older atheisms, a tradition that is, he writes, in many ways intertwined with and as rich as religion itself. Along a spectrum that ranges from the convictions of “God-haters” like the Marquis de Sade to the mysticism of Arthur Schopenhauer, from Bertrand Russell’s search for truth in mathematics to secular political religions like Jacobinism and Nazism, Gray explores the various ways great minds have attempted to understand the questions of salvation, purpose, progress, and evil. The result is a book that sheds an extraordinary light on what it is to be human.

Nonsense of a High Order

Nonsense of a High Order

The Confused World of Modern Atheism

  • Author: Rabbi Moshe Averick
  • Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ISBN: 9781535018340
  • Category:
  • Page: 288
  • View: 2308
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Is Atheism more rational than Monotheism? Atheists claim so, but this fascinating, original and meticulously researched masterpiece proves otherwise. Exploring the Modern Atheistic movement in its failed attempts to confront the baffling scientific mysteries of the Origin of Life and Human Consciousness, Man's Search for Meaning, and the relentless human drive to seek coherent abstract Moral Principles; Rabbi Averick demonstrates conclusively that nearly everything that modern atheist thinkers have to say about God is simply nonsense. A powerful and compelling presentation that reclaims the intellectual high ground for the rational believer in God in the 21st Century. Using razor-sharp logic, a rapier wit, and irony-laced humor, Rabbi Averick exposes the gaping flaws in atheistic ideology in general, and in the modern "militant atheism" of writers like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, in particular. Talk show host and best-selling author Dr. Diane Medved (The American Family) put it this way: "If you've ever felt bullied by schoolyard atheists like Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, I have good news...your big brother, in the person of Rabbi Moshe Averick, has just stepped onto the playground!" "A compelling read...In his section on the Origin of Life, Rabbi Averick has dramatically spiked the ball back into the court of the non-believer." -DR. EDWARD PELTZER, Senior Research Specialist, Ocean Chemistry (California)

Tornado in a Junkyard

Tornado in a Junkyard

The Relentless Myth of Darwinism

  • Author: James Perloff
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 9780966816006
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 321
  • View: 1516
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In an easy-to-read text, this book examines growing scientific evidence that is challenging Darwin's theory of evolution: lack of transitional forms in the fossil of mutations (almost universally destructive) serving as evolutionary record, the impossibility building blocks, the bad logic of natural selection theory, the stunning lack of evidence for "ape-men, " the mathematic impossibility of life beginning by itself, more. Also explores how Darwinism helped foster Hitler's racial policies and examines how Inherit the Wind grossly misled Americans about the Scopes trial. Addresses the ever-vital question: Are we here by chance or are we created by God? Indexed, over 80 illustrations, hundreds of quotes from scientists.

Atheist Awakening

Atheist Awakening

Secular Activism and Community in America

  • Author: Richard Cimino,Christopher Smith
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 0199986320
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 196
  • View: 8861
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"According to Cimino and Smith, the new upsurge of atheists is a reaction to the revival of religious fervor in American politics since 1980. Feeling overlooked and underrepresented in the public sphere, atheists have employed a wide variety of strategies--some evangelical, some based on identity politics--to defend and assert themselves against their ideological opponents. These strategies include building and maintaining communities, despite the absence of the kinds of shared rituals, texts, and laws that help to sustain organized religions. Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-identified atheist, secularist, and humanist leaders and activists, as well as extensive observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media, Cimino and Smith illustrate how atheists organize and align themselves toward common goals, and how media--particularly web-based media--have proven invaluable in connecting atheists to one another and in creating a powerful virtual community. Cimino and Smith suggest that secularists rely not only on the Internet for community-building, but on their own new forms of ritual."--Publisher's Web site.

The Oxford Handbook of Atheism

The Oxford Handbook of Atheism

  • Author: Stephen Bullivant,Michael Ruse
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199644659
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 763
  • View: 625
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This handbook is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism - understood in the broad sense of 'an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods' - in its historical and contemporary expressions. It probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives and in a range of global contexts.

Atheist Delusions

Atheist Delusions

The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

  • Author: David Bentley Hart
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • ISBN: 0300155646
  • Category: History
  • Page: 268
  • View: 2338
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Religious scholar Hart argues that contemporary antireligious polemics are based not only upon conceptual confusions but upon facile simplifications of history and provides a powerful antidote to the New Atheists' misrepresentations of the Christian past.

Atheism For Dummies

Atheism For Dummies

  • Author: Dale McGowan
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • ISBN: 1118509226
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 384
  • View: 310
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The easy way to understand atheism and secular philosophy For people seeking a non-religious philosophy of life, as well as believers with atheist friends, Atheism For Dummies offers an intelligent exploration of the historical and moral case for atheism. Often wildly misunderstood, atheism is a secular approach to life based on the understanding that reality is an arrangement of physical matter, with no consideration of unverifiable spiritual forces. Atheism For Dummies offers a brief history of atheist philosophy and its evolution, explores it as a historical and cultural movement, covers important historical writings on the subject, and discusses the nature of ethics and morality in the absence of religion. A simple, yet intelligent exploration of an often misunderstood philosophy Explores the differences between explicit and implicit atheism A comprehensive, readable, and thoroughly unbiased resource As the number of atheists worldwide continues to grow, this book offers a broad understanding of the subject for those exploring atheism as an approach to living.

Modern Muslims

Modern Muslims

A Sudan Memoir

  • Author: Steve Howard
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • ISBN: 0821445774
  • Category: History
  • Page: 230
  • View: 3784
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Steve Howard departed for the Sudan in the early 1980s as an American graduate student beginning a three-year journey in which he would join and live with the Republican Brotherhood, the Sufi Muslim group led by the visionary Mahmoud Mohamed Taha. Taha was a religious intellectual who participated in the early days of Sudan’s anticolonial struggle, but quickly turned his movement into a religious reform effort based on his radical reading of the Qur’an. He was executed in 1985 for apostasy. Decades after returning to the life of an academic in the United States, Howard brings us this memoir of his time with the Republican Brotherhood, who advocated, among other things, equality for women. Modern Muslims describes Howard’s path to learning not only about Islam and Sufism but also about Sudan’s history and culture. When the Brotherhood was thrust into confrontation with Sudan’s then-president Jaafar Nimeiry, Howard had a front-line perspective on the difficult choices communities make as they try to reform and practice their faith freely. As well as a story of personal transformation, the book offers an insider’s perspective on a modernist nonviolent Islamic movement that thrived and was brutally suppressed. An important book for our times, Modern Muslims yields significant insights for our understanding of modern Islam, African history, and contemporary geopolitics.

The Silence of Animals

The Silence of Animals

On Progress and Other Modern Myths

  • Author: John Gray
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • ISBN: 0374229171
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 227
  • View: 5281
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A sophisticated investigation into the persistence of myth in the modern world draws on a wide range of memoirs, poems, fiction and philosophy to explore how the human imagination is compelled by hardship into worlds beyond real experience. By the author of Straw Dogs.

There is No God

There is No God

Atheists in America

  • Author: David Williamson,George A. Yancey
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
  • ISBN: 1442218495
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 144
  • View: 2575
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Explores how atheists have gone from a small group to having a large impact on today's most important issues, ranging from abortion to gay marriage, and looks at why America has been polarized along religious lines.