New Atheism

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UnKnown's picture
New Atheism

Three questions:
1. What is New Atheism?
2. What is 'Old' Atheism?
2. How is it different to 'Old' Atheism?

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Cognostic's picture
1. There is nothing new

1. There is nothing new about Atheism. It has been around since the beginning of religion. What is happening today is that Atheists, via the internet and groups like this, are being given a voice. For the first time in history we are no longer isolated. Though we may be isolated geographically, we are connected with like minded individuals that give us the strength to speak out, even in our geographical locations, and be heard. This is the New Atheism.

2. As I said above there is no "Old Atheism." Christians were called "Atheists" by the Pagans in ancient Rome. Atheism simply means non-believer. The biggest difference in atheism today is that the modern atheists can not be tortured, burned at the stake or killed in most countries. There are still blasphemy laws in many countries and atheists can be put to death in at least 13 Middle Eastern countries. 1. Afghanistan 2. Iran 3. Malaysia 4. Maldives 5. Mauritania 6. Nigeria 7. Pakistan
8. Qatar 9. Saudi Arabia 10. Somalia 11. Sudan 12. United Arab Emirates
13. Yemen

WITH THAT SAID: There are a lot of NEW ATHEISTS who have come from religions and seem to treat Atheism as if it is a belief system. Some of these new atheists "Believe in Atheism." They are easy to spot as they say really dumb things like, "I converted to atheism." or "According to atheism."

Some religious people who stop believing in God, substitute religious belief for belief in Atheism. They quote Harris, Dawkins, Dillahunty, or some other atheist as if they are quoting the bible. They still operate in the world from a system of belief and not one of rational thought or skepticism. When I refer to new atheists, these are the ones I am referring to. They may be angry with mom or dad or the church. They may be involved in atheist thought as a form of rebellion but they have not actually thought things through.
They may call themselves atheist but they actually do not understand the position of simple non-belief.

UnKnown's picture
My sort-of commentary on that

My sort-of commentary on that is:
1. So no new 'beliefs' or lack thereof.
2. "For the first time in history we are no longer isolated." - I roughly believe that to be true.
3. "Atheism simply means non-believer." -Theism means believe in the supernatural. A-Theism implies the opposite. While non-believer, in religion I'm assuming, can be used to describe an atheist, it can also be used to describe agnostics as well. Atheism may mean non-believer, but a non-believer doesn't mean atheist.

Typhoon's picture
Atheism IS non-belief. Non

Atheism IS non-belief. Non-belief IS atheism. Atheism means "not theism". All the people who do not believe in a god belong to that group, no matter how they came to that conclusion. There is no difference between "new" and "old" atheism.

Some atheists may claim that there are no gods. Some atheists may claim to be "agnostic". It doesn't matter. They are atheists nonetheless.

Everyone who does not believe is an atheist. It's as simple as that.

Flamenca's picture
For me, the only difference

For me, the only difference is...


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Cronus's picture
Cognostic -- Atheism predates

Cognostic -- Atheism predates religion.

It just wasn't recognised for what it is - a lack of belief n a deity.

Some goofgball had to come along convincing others that his invisible friend who lives in the sky was real, for the atheist to be recognised - as the guy who cried " oohhhh bullshit!!".

Cognostic's picture
He he he .... Actually it

He he he .... Actually it doesn't. Think about it. There must be something to believe in before you can not believe in it. Someone has to call you an atheist before you can exist as an atheist.

Yes - I agree, there was non-belief and probably before there was belief. But atheism is a term coined by the religious as a slur towards the non-religious. So while non-belief was certainly around it only becomes Atheism when the religious begin condemning the non-religious.

As for the Goofball - we know exactly who that was. It was Ricky Gervais in "The Invention of Lying" If you have not watched this - do it now. You will love it.

Download a torrent or go to PutLocer and give it a watch.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog Re: "The Invention of

@Cog Re: "The Invention of Lying"

Never heard of it before, but just watched the preview. Definitely gonna have to find it and watch it. Looks hilarious. Thanks.

Sapporo's picture
As has already been said in

As has already been said in this thread, atheism merely means you have no belief in the existence of gods. A newborn baby is thus an atheist: it is completely nonsensical to say that you need to have a concept of "god" in order to not believe in "god".

Qu@si's picture
this is the old atheist? see

this is the old atheist? see the difference?


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ZeffD's picture
What has changed isn't the

What has changed isn't the actions or opinions of the non-believers. Globalisation, the Internet, improved education and communications, computers and all the things that make a modern, informed society relatively free from oppression and prejudice against the non-believer. That is what has changed. Also attitudes to minorities like LGBTQs. People have moved past battling slavery and poverty to less pressing wrongs like widespread superstition and indoctrination of the young into their parents' religion.

so there are no 'new atheists', only theists truly frightened that their "sacred beliefs" are nonsense.

Kataclismic's picture
In the old days when the

In the old days when the Witnesses or Mormons came to my door to preach, I would make up a story about how I'm anti-social and follow my god in my own way far from organized worship.(For fear of being persecuted in my local community for non-belief) Thank you, have a nice day.

That's old atheism.

Today when they come to my door I tell them that I have no interest in talking about invisible slave-drivers with people who have taken an early attempt at government and made a belief system out of it. Please don't come back.

That's new atheism.

Jax's picture
@Tin, the ricky gervais movie

@Tin, the ricky gervais movie is fun. Dogma is an old personal favorite of mine even though i despise linda Florentino. Chris rock, George Carlin, Alan Rickman. Good times! Oh yeah, and Alanis Morrisette as god!

Tin-Man's picture


Dogma! Oh, man, I had forgotten about that one. Been a really long time since I have seen it, and I was still a bit under the delusion of religion at the time. Gonna have to watch it again now that I can appreciate it more. Thanks for the reminder!

Sheldon's picture
1 Same as old atheism but

1 Same as old atheism but better informed, and less likely to be tortured and burned at the stake.
2. Same as new atheism but less well informed, and far more likely to be tortured and burned at the stake.
3 Knowledge and the likelihood of being burned at the stake.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Old Atheism was assertive:

New Atheism is passive: "Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. It makes no claim." -Ricky Gervais

Old Atheism was assertive: "God is dead, God remains dead, and we have killed him." -Nietzsche

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