"New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

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met
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"New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by met » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:34 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g5qsMW3bt8

Neither participant much likes the terms, & the physicist seems bemused, but the "new Xian" Irish guy wins ( or at least wins fans by being simultaneously psychologically astute & entertaining....)
Firstly, I want to argue that New Atheism treats fundamentalism as a problem rather than as the solution to a problem.
To understand this we can look at how alcohol abuse functions. The excessive alcohol consumption is not the problem, but an attempt at self-cure, it is then the solution to a problem. If the person doesn’t deal with the problem for which the alcohol is the solution they will always struggle. Even if they do manage to stop drinking another symptom will simply arise whether that be chain smoking, excessive fitness or bouts of aggression.
In a structurally similar way, instead of seeing fundamentalism as a problem it is more helpful to see it as a defense mechanism that is providing a psychological service to the individual. Because of this, if someone gives up their religious fundamentalism and adopts a new system, without addressing why they embraced religious fundamentalism in the first place, the new system will simply function in the same way as the old one.
For example, in Northern Ireland, it is not uncommon to see a former paramilitary join the church. But generally the type of religious commitment they adopt has the same belligerence, intolerance and tribal markers as their previous political fundamentalism. Why? Because their new found religious belief is functioning in the same way as their political fundamentalism. Namely protecting the person from dealing with a complex set of personal and political antagonisms.
In response to this the New Atheist will point out that they are not advocating another system, but rather are offering the critique of a system. They claim that atheism is a religion in the same way that baldness is a hairstyle or health is a disease i.e. it isn’t.
However this answer fails to address the way in which even the rejection of a system can itself operate in structurally the same way as a system. In other words, “Nothing” can be given a positive charge and can act as a tribal identity.
This is captured beautifully in a joke that Derrida would tell of a Rabbi walking into a synagogue and publically saying, “I am dust, I am nothing.” Then a priest came in and did the same. Followed by an Imam. Finally the caretaker of the building entered and also said, “I am dust, I am nothing.” On hearing this the three religious leaders turn to each other and whisper, “who does he think he is, saying that he’s nothing?”
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: "New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by KR Wordgazer » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:31 am

I don't have time to watch a 58 minute video, but the quote is very interesting. I agree that fundamentalism is a coping mechanism, and I think at its root is a need for certainty, a fear of mystery and open-ended questions, and a fear of others who don't think the same way. Whether the fundamentalism is in politics, religion or non-religion, economics or something else, the fundamentalist group circles its wagons and shuts out everything it's afraid of.

As an adult child of alcoholics I do see the similarity with alcoholism. And I have seen people leave religion and become just as militantly gate-keeping as atheists. But ultimately, fundamentalism springs from fear.
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Re: "New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by met » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:30 am

Peter Rollins makes those kinds of points in that video. Then his opponent, the New Atheist/physicist author, Lawrence Krauss - objects, ". . .but that's science!" He seems bemused by Rollins's approach yet doesn't quite see the subtler critique being offered to his own position. Science, in the form of the social sciences, tells us that we are NOT really very rational creatures, so tat puts the New Atheists's entire project - to see the world run by reason, logic, and clear thinking rather than "superstition" - scientifically at risk. Also (with a nice irony) that point about our lack of rationality was originally made by one of the great 19th century "New Atheists," Sigmund Freud, who spearheaded that type of research and thinking...

Elsewhere Rollins said, "it's not that the New Atheists go too far in their thinking, it's that they don't go far enough."

He says the same think about fundamentalists, however. Fundamentalists, according to him, don't go far enough in taking the Bible seriously. If they did, they'd have to grapple with all its difficulties and contradictions and discover that it's really not suitable to be a simple rulebook they can follow - or a set of clear propositions they can avow - without much thought or consideration. It's questionable whether the set of texts known as 'the Bible' have any kind of rational resolution between them, and despite his being an Xian author/philosopher, Rollins doesn't think they do.


here's a link to some similar kinds of thoughts about the Ham-Nye debate a couple of nights ago...
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... or-me.html\
"Ham seems blithely unaware that his view of the Bible is only possible in the world of the Enlightenment, where objectivity and reason are still king. The text of the Bible is stripped from its context where it floats in heavenly neutrality, waiting for clear-minded and unbiased interpreters like Ham to seamlessly and easily apply it to modern science. Thus the Bible ceases to be an ancient text, and therefore ceases to really say anything other than what we want it to say.

On the other hand, Nye argues, unlike his subtler atheist comrades, that the only other option is to doom the Bible to the dustbin of history in favor of the modern religion of reason, science, and “discovery.” “Mainstream science,” Nye argued repeatedly in the debate, must eschew any contact between science and the sacred, lest we risk the collapse of American ingenuity and progress. This type of alarmist sectarianism is remarkably close in tone to Ham’s prophetic warnings, and just as founded in the religion of logic and reason."
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: "New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by Metacrock » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:25 pm

Heard of Rollins but can't remember who he is. I know who Krauss is, I attack him in the book I'm writing now. he's an idiot, even though a brilliant physicist. An idiot when he talks about religion.
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Re: "New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by met » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:50 pm

I think the stereotypes thrown around on The Big Bang Theory do hold up sometimes. When they get involved in public discourses, sometimes scientists don't realize that wut's goin' on in the streets is WAY more complex than anything they're doing in the lab....
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: "New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:04 pm

Metacrock wrote:Heard of Rollins but can't remember who he is. I know who Krauss is, I attack him in the book I'm writing now. he's an idiot, even though a brilliant physicist. An idiot when he talks about religion.

Ironically I think this type of "reason will save us" mentality is just like the type Dostoyevsky criticized in "Notes from the Underground" and "Brothers Karamazov", that man's rarely acts in a wholly rational manner and does things in spite of its self interest.
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Re: "New Religion" vs "New Atheism"

Post by Metacrock » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:37 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
Metacrock wrote:Heard of Rollins but can't remember who he is. I know who Krauss is, I attack him in the book I'm writing now. he's an idiot, even though a brilliant physicist. An idiot when he talks about religion.

Ironically I think this type of "reason will save us" mentality is just like the type Dostoyevsky criticized in "Notes from the Underground" and "Brothers Karamazov", that man's rarely acts in a wholly rational manner and does things in spite of its self interest.
no kidding. that's what's going on with global warming. Some scientists we are at the tipping point where it will be no return and yet they are all the more skeptical of it and just using Orwellian tactics to bury the science.

that should be issue no 1 with every thinking person now.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
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