Monday, November 2, 2009

Sam Harris and the New Atheists

The "new atheists" differ in their outlook from the old atheist because of their fervent passion to see all religions, not simply be quiet in their religious claims, but that all religions are extinguished. Sam Harris is leading the charge. He is quoted as saying that, "If anyone has written a book more critical of religious faith than I have, I'm not aware of it."1

There are seven tenants of the "new atheists." Some of the tenants seem to overlap one another. The seven tenants are as follows:
1. Nature is all there is. There is no God, soul, or life beyond death.
2. Nature organized itself, it is not the product of a Supernatural Being.
3. The universe has no purpose or meaning.
4. All explanations must be understood from the position of scientific naturalism.
5. All living things are the result of Darwinian evolution.
6. Faith in God has resulted in untold evil and should be rejected on moral grounds.
7. Morality does not require belief in God. People behave better without faith than with it.2

It is the belief of Harris that only "the end of faith" holds any promise for saving the world.3 In the coming blogs I would like to examine the 7 tenants of the "new atheists" in John Haught's book, God and the New Atheism. I will also examine some of the other major players within the movement.

1 Sam Harris - An article titled "Radical Mysticism" which can be accessed on-line at:
2 John Haught, God and the New Atheism, Introduction pages xiii-xiv
3 John Haught, God and the New Atheism, p. 8

* for a good review of Sam Harris and others in the new athiest movement:

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