So-called “New Atheists”: Neither New Nor Atheists

Scholar Reza Aslan calls Harris, Dawkins anti-theists, and as dogmatic, fundamentalist as true believers

[Like religious fundamentalism, New Atheism is primarily a reactionary phenomenon, one that responds to religion with the same venomous ire with which religious fundamentalists respond to atheism. What one finds in the writings of anti-theist ideologues like Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens is the same sense of utter certainty, the same claim to a monopoly on truth, the same close-mindedness that views one’s own position as unequivocally good and one’s opponent’s views as not just wrong but irrational and even stupid, the same intolerance for alternative explanations, the same rabid adherents (as anyone who has dared criticize Dawkins or Harris on social media can attest), and, most shockingly, the same proselytizing fervor that one sees in any fundamentalist community.

This is precisely what Albert Einstein meant when he warned about “fanatical atheists [who] are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who — in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium for the people’ — cannot bear the music of the spheres.”]

Read the full article | SALON

ATHEISM

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