brainninja11Featured By OwnerDec 7, 2012Student General Artist
I understand why people like to draw this parallel, but atheism isn't a religion. Skepticism isn't a religion. The main reason? Anything that Richard Dawkins or any other atheist says can be questioned and examined. Nothing is beyond skepticism. If people don't see that, then it could become religious-like, but I know that I don't keep up with 'mainstream atheism.' I just don't care about not believing in god enough to follow all that all the time.
Depends where you put the boundaries on things like 'religion' and 'priestly order'. I've heard arguments that football can be considered a religion by most definitions, but the fact is that it just isn't. It's so blurry with things like this that you can fit all the categories and still not really be a priestly order.
I'd also point out that the 'seminal texts' you speak of aren't given authority or considered to be unquestionable/inspired by anything greater than the authors themselves, which is a huge distinction that needs to be made.
As an atheist I don't really like Richard Dawkins, especially after he made some misogynistic remarks about some girl the article of which is here [link]
I like scientists. people who are forwarding progress by actually doing things instead of pissing creationists off. Teachers, who instead of instigating creationists actually teach evolution in a non-sarcastic way.
As an atheist I don't understand why we need a movement when science was doing that quite well for centuries XD
No I just voiced my dislike for Richard Dawkins based off of a misogynistic remark.
Maybe we do need a movement after all then...
though you need neither a movement nor a cult to be atheist, though a cult should not be confused with a movement. A movement is like Dadaism (art), or progressivism (politics), a cult is like the Westboro Baptist Church.
where did you get "cult" out of New Atheists? wow.
Guy standing at a podium talking = pastor Is the President a pastor?
Rituals What rituals?
Hierarchy There are those who are famous for their opinions on religion, but there's no chain-of-command amongst atheism. And even if there was a hierarchy, not all of them pertain to religion.
Text There is nothing holy about each book. They're only books that contain either opinions or demonstrable facts. If I burn a stack of Qu'rans, someone might want to put a fatwa out on me. If I burn a pile of collected Hitchens, Dawkins, or Sagan's books, nothing of the sort will happen. There are no guidelines on how to handle such books, whereas my grandmother taught me growing up that it was profane to put anything on top of a Bible.
I have no idea what you're talking about when you say "rituals," and when you say "hierarchy," I think your just mistaking credibility and respect for it. I think Richard Dawkins is a very intelligent, well spoken, and rational man, but he's not the boss of me. His word is not a holy dictum. Anyone can disagree with him. It's best you have a sound, logical reason to disagree, though, since he used logic to reach his own conclusions. He shares them at length, too. The same goes for what you mistakenly call "seminal texts." Works like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens are just their opinions of and arguments against religion and the reasoning behind them, presented at length. You don't have to agree with everything in them, or even to have read them, to be an atheist. They certainly aren't the origin of atheism, either, as poor old Socrates demonstrated for us.
Now, even if you were to disregard all of the above, how do rituals, hierarchy, texts, and outspoken advocates constitute a religion? Religion does not own these things. I'm certain you could find the same for any number of other organizations, like a company, or a military unit, or a political party or special interest group, e.g. the U.S. Marine Corps, the Freemasons, the Ku Klux Klan, the Republican and Democratic Parties, and so forth.
I'm afraid I don't follow. Are you comparing the so-called "Four Horsemen," to Jesus? If so, what is it about the rest of the atheists you find so objectionable as to compare them to Christians? Most importantly, how does that relate to the main question posed by the thread?
But if they never thought, how could they have realized that there is no reason to believe in gods? Disregarding any persons simply ignorant of the concept, of course. Surely to contradict such a widespread, popular opinion would require some degree of critical thinking?
Are you simply implying that atheists are over-reliant on the arguments established by the "Four Horsemen," as they're called? Either way, I think that's a bit unfair. People refer to their works because they are intelligent, rational, eloquent men, who can state their ideas more clearly than most people.
An atheist is one who rejects notions of concepts such as deities. "New atheism" refers to actively challenging laws and attitudes that 1) are based solely on religion, and 2) serve no practical purpose other than to eliminate basic human rights. The idea that ritualistic practices, hierarchy or texts exist in new atheism is pure nonsense, dreamt up by those who wish to strip others of basic rights such as freedom of thought and expression.
"Richard Dawkins looks and sounds like a pastor, and the others look and sound convinced of their own worth. The New Atheists have their rituals. The New Atheists have a hierarchy. The New Atheists have their seminal texts."
A lot of trendy atheists are often ex-fundamentalists. Generally speaking, if you started off up the very liberal end of the religious spectrum, then mere disbelief in classical theism isn't by itself a reason to leave that. Just ask John Shelby Spong.
Fundamentalism (of any kind) teaches you that ideological purity is important, that the world is properly divided into "us" versus "them", it instills a siege mentality where "they" are responsible for all the world's problems, and things would be so much better if "they" were gone and "we" were running the show. There is a sense in which this is what makes fundamentalism "fundamentalism", not the alleged adherence to the "fundamentals" of some ideology or creed.
Fundamentalism scars you for life. If you are brought up this way, the attitude is hard to shake. It's no surprise that there are a lot of trendy atheists who have kept the attitude when losing their religion.