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The ‘New Atheism’: A New Evil

17-Mar-08 10:03 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments
Chris Hedges’ latest book takes aim at the reasoning espoused by detractors of religion whose views seem to have become popular reading in recent months.  Read more @ Amazon.ca…

Finally!  An academic from view opposite of that held by Richard Dawkins is penetrating whatever clique it is that governs the talk show circuit and best sellers lists which ultimately seem pivotal in the process of determining what book(s) the average Joe hears about.  Chris Hedges, author of a new book called "I Don’t Believe in Atheists", goes after Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins, Sam Harris et al on their "chauvinism" and "arrogance" about religion which makes their reasoning on the subject indistinguishable from that used to justify religious fundamentalism – the very ‘evil’ they mean to expose.

Now while I welcome Hedges work, I haven’t yet read his just-published book on this subject.  I’ve only seen a couple of video segments in a talk-show/interview setting.  Eventually, I’ll likely have that opportunity – but I worry that his work may also be lacking the subjective depth this debate really deserves.  Last year, I write a critique of Dawkins views (citing references in his published works) wherein I was critical of the immaturity of many of the arguments.  So far, I haven’t heard anything to justify taking this view of Hedges work although unlike Hedges, I didn’t explicitly argue that Atheism in a radical form, in part, because the whole idea of taking Dawkins reasoning and applying it toward atheism would, to me, only be something of a validation of his reasoning.

At this point, I can only hope Hedges won’t take the argument in this direction.  Arguing that having a view characterized as "fundamentalist" is always wrong is just as dogmatic as any other ideologically-based argument.  My preference, and I think the preference of the true student of philosophy, needs to be arguing ideas on their own merit.  Characterizations are only a means to summarize, after all.


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Terry Glavin

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