The latest issue of Wired came to my mail box today – after, of course, I had read most of the content online. The cover is a piece advocating “The New Atheism.” Is it new? No, of course not. It’s the same atheism of yesteryear. The difference is that atheists are being a bit more honest about their views.
In all but one area.
Atheists continue to talk about “religion” as if they are somehow outside of it, and those with other views are inside of it. Atheism is a religion. It is not the absence of religion (which, at least for human beings) is quite impossible. We all have to answer the existential question in some way.
I was a bit disappointed with Wired for giving the atheists such a pass on naturalism.
For example, they write:
The New Atheist insight is that one might start anywhere — with an intellectual argument, with a visceral rejection of Islamic or Christian fundamentalism, with political disgust — and then, by relentless and logical steps, renounce every supernatural crutch.
Hmm…. relentless and logical steps? Again, I would point to the existential question (Did all of this come from nothing?) not to mention the real morality that lies behind naturalism.
One of the atheist’s key points is that slavery existed because religious morality supported it. It’s a fact: many religious people supported and took part in slavery. However, let me point out to my atheist friends that slavery was abolished because of religious morality as well.
In 1759 a young man was born named Wiliam Wilberforce. At the age of 25 he converted to Evangelical Christianity and, as a result, became interested in the abolition of slavery. Wilberforce joined with Clarkson (another Evangelical!) and a number of Quakers to strengthen and develop tha abolitionist movement. The first step in their quest was to stop the slave trade. Through Wilberforce’s efforts, British ships were outlawed from transporting slaves in 1807. Next year will be the 200 year anniversary of William Wilberforce’s greatest personal triumph.