Sunday, November 8, 2009

New atheism and naturalism

The first tenant of the "new atheist" is: "Nature is all there is. There is no God, soul or life beyond death."1 Naturalism entails that the natural world is all that exists. Knowledge, therefore is limited to the natural world. This also ties into a view called "Scientism." The strong form of "Scientism" sees science as the bearer of all knowledge. Science is the only true way by which knowledge can be obtained. Weak "Scientism" will allow other forms of knowledge, but science itself is superior to all the other forms of knowledge.

The naturalist, Wilfred Sellers, announced back in the 60's that, "Science is the measure of all things."2 On this view, the supernatural is inconceivable. As the late Carl Sagan so stated, "The universe is all there is, or was, or ever will be." Christopher Hitchens believes, "Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and microscope, it no longer offers any explanation of anything important."3 Any view of the supernatural is therefore ridiculous according to the "new atheists." In the end, any religious believer is laughed off the stage by the "new atheist" as anti-intellectual and ignorant.

1 John Haught, God and the New Atheism, introduction pages xiii - xiv
2 Sellers as quoted in J.P. Moreland's, Kingdom Triange, p.41
3 Hitchens as quoted in John Haught's, God and the New Atheism, p. 53
* Various debates and discussions with Christopher Hitchens:

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