Thursday, September 23, 2010

Return of the Old Atheists

Caspar Melville is "bored by New Atheism" and says, "It's time we move on and leave the years of irascible, impatient, blunt, godless discourse behind" — Beyond New Atheism? This self-described "professional godless editor" says that "it is surely false, as well as politically unwise and, well, pretty impolite, to say that 'all theology' is irrelevant (some of it is moral reasoning, isn't it?), still worse to say that 'religion poisons everything', or that without religion there would be no war, or that bringing a child up within a faith is tantamount to child abuse, or that moderate religious believers are worse than fundamentalists because they prepare the ground for extremism, or that 'all' religion is this, or that, or 'all' faith is misguided, or to suggest that those who believe in God are basically stupid, or that science, and only science, can answer our questions."

"The picture of religion that emerges from New Atheism is a caricature and both misrepresents and underestimates its real character," Mr. Melville writes, arguing for "a mode of inquiry into religion, faith, belief and non-belief, more consistent with William than with Jesse James."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.