Sunday, August 23, 2009



Andrea said...

I haven't even read any of these so-called "New Atheists" that everyone hates so much. Have you read any Hitchens, Star?

dbackdad said...

Great cartoon.

I don't see how a thoughtful person could "hate" these "new atheists". People like Dawkins, Hitchens and Sam Harris are among the most thoughtful and even-handed atheists that I've read in awhile. I'd recommend them all. Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation is very good. As is Dawkins' The God Delusion. I'm currently in the process of reading Hitchens' God is Not Great.

Stardust said...

Andrea, I am reading "God is Not Great" right now. I started reading it awhile ago but just checked it out of the library again to finish it and to use it for future posts.

dbackdad, I agree with what you are saying about Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. Xians are painting an untruthful picture of these men when in fact, they are well spoken, soft spoken, yet firm as they offer their counter-arguments against religion. When anyone presents a good argument agaist theism, and is prepared in their supporting evidence, the god believers then label them as "angry" or say that these atheists are trying to take their Jeebus away or whatever.

The Romantic Mystic said...

I haven't read alot of Dawkins or Hitchens. But I have read Dawkins argument against God and I think I would have to agree with William Lane Craig:

Several years ago my atheist colleague Quentin Smith unceremoniously crowned Stephen Hawkings argument against God in "A Brief History Of Time" as "the worst atheistic argument in the history of Western thought."
With the advent of the God delusion the time has come to relieve Hawking of this weighty crown and to recognize Richard Dawkins's accession to the trhown.

This isn't to say there are no good arguments for atheism. I think there are quite a number of good arguments such as:

The anti-creation argument

The Transcendent-Personal Argument

The argument from the mind’s dependence on the brain

The argument from evil and suffering

The argument from nonbelief

The arguments from incoherence

The argument from confusion

The argument from divine hiddeness

dbackdad said...

Romantic Mystic -- You attack the messenger but you don't really say what argument of Dawkins that you take exception with.

Andrea said...

I don't even get why they're called "New Atheists." It's stupid. But they are indeed hated. (Not by me, of course. I arrived at my nonbelief just from studying religion, science, and history.)
I did watch that "Four Horsemen"'s sad that four guys peacefully chatting about something entirely reasonable (that there is no evidence for anybody's gods) should be controversial.

I'll admit to being fairly indifferent to Dawkins and the other big names, but I do like Harris, from what I know of him. I've enjoyed his articles. I just haven't read any of the big titles from the 'atheist crew.'

The Romantic Mystic said...


I was refering to Dawkins central argument in his book. I never attacked him personally.

It goes as follows:

1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the coplex, improbable appearence of design in the universe arises.

2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself.

3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer.

4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

5. We don't have an equivalent explanation for physics.

6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.

7. Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.

This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion that "therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" seems to come suddenly out of left field. You don't need to be a philosopher to realize that the conclusion doesn't follow from the six previous statements.

Indeed, if we take the six statements as premises of an argument intended logically to imply the conclusion "therefore, God almost certainly does not exist," then the argument is invalid. No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises.

Even if we take the six statements not as premises but as summary statements of six steps in Dawkin's cumulative argument for his conclusion that God does not exist the conclusion simply doesn't follow from these six steps.

At most all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearence of design in the universe.

There are other reasons why I reject it but this is one of the main ones.

dbackdad said...

Romantic -- Thanks for the clarification. It was not my intent to slight you in any way.

It's been a year or so since I read The God Delusion. I'll have to revisit it to digest your analysis.

truthspew said...

I have read the holy trinity of atheism, Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris.

As an out loud and proud atheist it makes my heart sing!

truthspew said...

I have read the holy trinity of atheism, Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris.

As an out loud and proud atheist it makes my heart sing!

tina FCD said...

Love the cartoon. :)

CyberKitten said...

I have to say that I was less than impressed with The God Delusion. I did like The End of Faith by Sam Harris though. I have the Hitchins book - not read it yet.