08
Dec
08

A Look at The “New Atheistic Evangelism”.

   na2    Well it is Monday morning and as usual I have been looking around at my most favorite atheist’s (Richard Dawkins) website, http://www.richarddawkins.net. I absolutely love to see what is new with Richie D. because he provides some valuable insight about what is new in the world of the, “New Atheism”. Teamed up with his three buddies, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris, Dawkins and his team make up the “four horsemen” of atheism.

     What is particularly interesting about this new atheism, and specifically the four horsemen, is that this atheism seems to be, shall I say, a bit militant in their approach to religion. However, this discussion could go so many directions, but I want to focus particularly on how this “New Atheism” is taking hold in today’s world. For the sake of reading further on the topic of the “New Atheism” consider these two websites, (click here and here).

     One the ways that new atheism is taking hold in our culture is through controversial books. All four of the men described above have written their own books on how religion “poisons” everything. Here is a quote from Richard Dawkins himself from his book, The God Delusion,

      “The God of the Old Testament is arguable the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive , bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”. 

     Wow! This is some harsh language to use about God! Not to mention, that this is also on the back of one of Dawkins’s shirts that he has for sale (for Dawkins sake, I pray that God does not view him the same way)! This is an example of what this new atheism is bringing to the table. Now I am not condemning Dawkins’ because of what he is say, but I am rebuking it because it lacks in the truth of Scripture. It is clear that Dawkins does not understand the error in this thinking because if he did, he would not make claims like this. Dawkins, along with many others like him, do not understand that we humans, are the ones with the sin problem, not God (Romans 3: 23, Romans 3: 9-18, Ephesians 2: 1-3).

     Not only this, but I would say that the new atheism has become a lot like other religions in the fact that they so faithfully hold to it. So faithfully in fact, that they are very “evangelistic” with the way they spread their message. For example, not to long ago there was a campaign to raise money for putting atheistic slogans on the side of buses; it came to be known as the “Atheist bus campaign”. This is what it said on the side of buses (click here for article),

     “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

     Richard Dawkins himself had a large part in this because he would provide money for this campaign to go through. It is funny because at one level we could call Richard Dawkins an “evangelical atheist”. The point here is not to make fun of Dawkins, but to show that this new atheism is in fact being played out like a new world religion in that , it is trying very hard to spread its message to all the world.

     Even more interesting is the fact that they now have a new line of clothes out for people to purchase called, “The Arrogant Atheist” (click here for their website). This is an interesting website to check out because the clothes actually have cool designs. If you look in their FAQ section there is a question that asks, why atheist clothes? They answer by saying that “because religion is stupid, offensive and actively erodes man’s quality of life”. What a statement! It is clear that this new atheism has an agenda and actually is far away from what traditional and academic atheism has thought.

     One example would be William Rowe from Purdue University. Rowe grew up as a Christian but then came to believe that God is not real after all. What is interesting about Rowe’s case now is that he holds to what is known as “friendly atheism” which states that a person is justified to believe in God even if God does not exist. Rowe is not militant to religious belief and there are many of those out there who are with him. Even more interesting is the fact that my own philosophy of religion professor was student under Rowe and when a student asked Rowe who had the upper hand, atheism or theism, Rowe replied and said that it’s a draw! Even a defender of atheistic thought would say that the debate between atheism and theism is a draw. I think Dawkins and many others like him would do well to consider these words from Dr. William Rowe.

     When it all comes down to it, this “New Atheism” is indeed a faith based belief on its own. It comes complete with the makings of one at least, a multitude of people who believe like its leaders (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens), they do public “evangelism”, and they live out atheism as if it were a doctrine from a church. What is wise to remember is that this so-called “New Atheism” is in fact a theology of its own in that its theology is one without God that they so faithfully preach. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, and the like, I am in prayer for you that God would open your hearts and eyes to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please, those of you who read this, consider this passage from Romans 1: 18-20,

     18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Please consider the truth of these words and know that Jesus Christ has been offered as a substitution for that un-belief. This is the essence of who Jesus was, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

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6 Responses to “A Look at The “New Atheistic Evangelism”.”


  1. 1 Shannon
    December 8, 2008 at 11:02 PM

    Someone has taken the time to relate everything in the God Delusion quote you reference to passages in the bible.

    http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2008/12/richard-dawkins-god-of-old-testament.html

    I appreciate the fact that you recognize, as a lot of people do not, that there are ‘friendly’ atheists in the world.

    Shannon

  2. December 9, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    I think, blogger, you’re making too much of this so-called ‘new atheism’. The only new thing is that there are now a number of very high profile and academically accomplished atheists who, as a response to the dangers of religious fundamentalism, are prepared to go on the offensive about religion. The Atheist Bus campaign in London was also a response to religious evangelism in our city, as the article you link to makes clear: ‘I was just keen to counter the religious ads running on public transport, which featured a URL to a website telling non-Christians they would spend “all eternity in torment in hell”, burning in “a lake of fire”‘, says the woman who started the campaign. Dawkins, by the way, did not “provide money for this campaign to go through”. He contributed a mere £5,500 of the £126,000 that has been raised so far.

    Thanks, Shannon, for the link. I was going to say that I thought the quote – which is, after all, about the God of the OT – was a fair one. I note this blogger claims the quote ‘lacks the truth of scripture’ but the blogged linked to shows this claim to be false and Dawkins’ quote to be correct.

  3. December 10, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Science and Religion

    Science is different from religion. It does not pretend that it knows everything. There are even now deep questions about the origins of the universe that we don’t have answers to now though it is possible we may be able to answer some of them in the future.

    But the inability of science to provide answers to these questions does not prove that religious faith, tradition, or an ancient holy text has the ability to answer them. Science cannot prove that God does not exist, but this in no way establishes that God exists. There are millions of things whose lack of existence cannot be established.

    The philosopher Bertrand Russel had an analogy. Imagine that there is a teapot in orbit around the sun. It is impossible to prove that the teapot does not exist because it is too small to be detected by our telescopes. Nobody but a crazy person would say “Well, I’m prepared to believe in the teapot because I cannot establish that it doesn’t exist.” This means that maybe we have to be technically agnostics, but really we are all atheists about teapots with orbits around the sun.

    But now let us suppose that everybody in our society including our teachers and the sages of our tribes all had faith in a teapot that orbits the sun. Let us also suppose that stories of the teapot have come down to us for many generations as one of the traditions of our own society and there are ancient holy texts about the teapot. In this case people would say that a person who did not believe in the teapot is eccentric or mad.

    There are infinite numbers of things like celestial teapots whose lack of existence we are unable to establish. There are fairies, for example, and there are unicorns and goblins. We cannot prove that any of these creatures of the imagination do not exist in reality. But we don’t believe they exist, just as we don’t believe that the gods of the Scandinavians, for example, have any true existence.

    We are all atheists about almost all of the gods created by societies in the past. Some of us, however, take the ultimate step of believing that the god of the Jews and the Christians, like the gods of the Greeks and the Egyptians, also does not exist.

    Now here’s a version of this text in Interlingua. (For more information about Interlingua, use a search enging to search on the title “Interlingua in interlingua” or go to http://www.interlingua.com.

    Le scientia es differente del religion. Illo non pretende que illo sape toto. Il ha etiam nunc questiones profunde sur le origines del universe al quales nos nunc non ha responsas ben que il es possible que nos potera responder a alicunes de illos in le futuro.

    Ma le incapacitate del scientia de provider responsas a iste questiones non proba que le fide religiose, le tradition, o un texto sancte e ancian pote responder a illos. Le scientia non pote probar que Deo non existe, ma isto non establi de ulle maniera que Deo existe. Il ha milliones de cosas cuje existentia non pote esser establite.

    Le philosopho Bertrand Russell habeva un analogia. Imagina que il ha un theiera in orbita circum le sol. Il es impossibile probar que le theiera non existe proque illo es troppo parve pro esser detegite per nostre telescopios. Nemo excepte un folle dicerea, “Multo ben, io es preparate a creder in le theiera proque io non pote establir que illo non existe.” Isto significa que forsan nos debe esser technicamente agnosticos, ma vermente nos es omnes atheistas sur theieras con orbitas circum le sol.

    Ma que nos nunc suppone que omnes in nostre societate includente nostre professores e le sagios de nostre tribos habeva fide in un theiera que orbita le sol. Que nos anque suppone que historias del theiera ha venite usque nos trans multe generationes como un del traditiones de nostre proprie societate e que il ha textos sancte ancian sur le theiera. In iste caso le gente dicerea que un persona qui non credeva in le theiera es eccentric o folle.

    Il ha numeros infinite de cosas como theieras celestial cuje manco de existentia nos non pote establir. Il ha fees, pro exemplo, e il ha unicornios e gnomos. Nos non pote probar que iste creaturas del imagination non existe in le realitate. Ma nos non crede que illos existe exactamente como nos non crede que le deos del Scandinavos, pro exemplo, ha ulle existential ver.

    Nos es omnes atheistas sur quasi omne le deos create per societates in le passato. Alicunes de nos tamen prende le ultime passo de creder que le deo del judaeos e del christianos, como le deos del grecos e le egyptianos, anque non existe.

  4. December 10, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Thank you so much for your comment and I do very much appreciate it. However, I really want to take issue with a couple of your remarks. You say that science is different from religion and that science does not pretend to know everything. Well, could I encourage you that if there is a God that science will not be hostile to a belief in God either. It only seems logical that science would back up the existance of God if God is real. Now, I am not a scientist by any means, but I do know that there are things, just as you have said, that science cannot answer, but those things that science can answer seem to fitting for the existance of some kind of supernatural being. This is especially telling in the world of Astro-Physics where the universe seems to be very intracatley designed for life. This is known as the teleological argument, the argument from design.
    You also go on to say that science cannot prove that God does not exist, but that this in no way proves that He does. Well, just for the sake of argument, I will take this one step farther and say that it still doesnt mean that God doesnt exist. We are square one again, and the issue needs to be looked at in deeper detail.
    As for this issue with the teapot, that in no way sums of Christian faith. The fact of the matter is that the teapot analogy doesnt really work and I will tell you why. The analogy cannot be comapred to religious belief, especially that of Christianity, because Christianity is built on more than just tradition, but on historical evidence as well. For example, the number of Biblical texts far exceed any other historical document in number that we have and most of these documents are not so long after the actual events occured. We have 5,000+ documents of the Old and New Testaments together that are all from different geographical locations and times that all agree on the content. The evidences for Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection provide us with a very historical apologetic for Christianity. Not only that, but we have non-Chritian testamony abut the life of Jesus corroborating the New Testament texts. There is much more and not enough time here to go into detail, but I think this will do. All of this to say is that a teapot analogy will not work, because theories like that lack any evidence what so ever, so it is no wonder why no one would believe in something like that.
    The bottom line to all of this is that Christianity indeed has much to offer. It is a system of faith, but not blind faith. I am encouraged that you would comment on my blogsite and I pray that this makes sense. Thank you so much and I would encourage you to look into these things.


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