Author Topic: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"  (Read 191 times)

Sandra Craft

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"Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« on: October 22, 2018, 11:24:37 PM »
A longish article (actually, a review of two books) but an interesting one.  It not only reviews the history of atheism in America, but modern perceptions and misperceptions of atheism.  It's interesting that the books being reviewed, both by and about atheists, are in conflict with each other when atheism is viewed as monolithic by so many. 

Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?

I was also reminded of some discussions we've had here:
Quote
This kind of apophatic theology has a lot in common with godless mysticism, Gray argues, because saying that God does not exist is not so different from saying that we cannot comprehend God’s existence. In both cases, the material world may be characterized by limited understanding and limitless wonder.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 03:44:50 AM »
John Gray has been peddling his atheism spiel for well over a decade (dining out on his sneering depiction of the so-called New Atheists, comparing them unfavorably to other atheists, quasi atheists or religious people that he prefers) and the description of his new book makes it sound like he's still covering basically the same ground. The book by Moore and Kramnick sounds more interesting.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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Sandra Craft

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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 04:32:48 AM »
John Gray has been peddling his atheism spiel for well over a decade (dining out on his sneering depiction of the so-called New Atheists, comparing them unfavorably to other atheists, quasi atheists or religious people that he prefers) and the description of his new book makes it sound like he's still covering basically the same ground. The book by Moore and Kramnick sounds more interesting.

Never heard of Gray before, and I'll admit when I saw the name I first thought of that men/Mars, women/Venus guy.  I have to assume this is not him.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 07:00:09 PM »
Years ago I did a transcript of his "New Atheism" lecture--it can be seen here. I'm not sure whether you have to be a member of the site to view it. If so, there's a different transcript from a version of the same lecture from five years earlier: Transcript, John Gray: Theos/LICC lecture on "The New Atheism", 2008. Note that I'm not recommending anybody put the time into reading either one, but if you're really curious. . .

I've posted about Gray's hobby-horse here before but it seems like those posts were lost in the database problems when we transferred to new forum software.
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Sandra Craft

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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 11:10:24 PM »
Note that I'm not recommending anybody put the time into reading either one, but if you're really curious. . .


I am.  Should be an interesting addition to the thread.

Edited to add: I notice the one commenter described himself as a "religious atheist".  Would have liked to hear more about that idea, too.
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"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 03:41:52 PM »
Sandra Craft:
I notice the one commenter described himself as a "religious atheist"

This chap is clearly confused.

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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 04:00:15 PM »
Sandra Craft:
I notice the one commenter described himself as a "religious atheist"

This chap is clearly confused.

'Religious atheist'. How truly oxymoronic!
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