Author Topic: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"  (Read 2595 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.
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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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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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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 02:42:11 AM »
Religious Theist term is a puzzlement.  Sounds like the individual is playing both sides of the fence just to be safe. .........Pascals wager or whatever.

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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2019, 01:40:39 PM »
Sandra Craft:
I notice the one commenter described himself as a "religious atheist"

This chap is clearly confused.

'Religious atheist'. How truly oxymoronic!

The problem is that most atheists are using an incorrect definition of religion.

Chances are you trust the definition that religion is "the belief and worship of god(s)." The problem is that such a definition is a redundant category error that. There is not enough difference between the definitions of "belief," and "worship," to justify the conjunction to distinguish religion from theism. Belief is a form of worship. If a person believes in god, but does nothing else to suggest to the observant atheists that he is worshiping the god, the atheists are still going to describe him as religious - you will never come across atheists suggesting that someone is a theist, but not religious. It gets really silly when we begin to assign relative degrees of religious, and . . . atheism.

I have never run into people uncomfortable with atheism, except atheists.

Atheists have the same problem that all extremist demographic groupings have - they like to claim to be the victims of oppression, and devise all sorts of derivative arguments to support their claim, rather than actually proving their value to progressing better community and society.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2019, 04:06:22 AM »
SC, If you have never run into people uncomfortable with atheism except atheists, you must surely have been living in a cave in outer Mongolia. 

Atheists are the most reviled of all humanity as far as the very religious ones are concerned..Certain of the religious faiths are obligated to kill us because we are infidels to them. 

As a matter of fact I am not acquainted with any atheist who is uncomfortable with his/her atheism except for the threats of destruction of we unbelievers by the religious zealots. ......

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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2019, 03:28:11 PM »
SC, If you have never run into people uncomfortable with atheism except atheists, you must surely have been living in a cave in outer Mongolia.
Yeah, that's what it is.

Atheists are the most reviled of all humanity as far as the very religious ones are concerned..
Well, I will bet that there are many black people that would make that claim. Your inability to recognize that possibility indicates a lack of sensitivity to the plight of black people, and that leads me to suspect that you are a racist - white supremacist.

Certain of the religious faiths are obligated to kill us because we are infidels to them.
As a matter of fact I am not acquainted with any atheist who is uncomfortable with his/her atheism except for the threats of destruction of we unbelievers by the religious zealots. ......
Yeah, they are not inclined to admit their irrational fears when in the company of their peers who expect them to be strong and independent critical thinkers leading the charge to make the world a better place by eradicating theism.

Atheists are constantly purging themselves of their discomfort on these atheist forums - you just don't understand it that way.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2019, 03:37:01 PM »
Atheists are the most reviled of all humanity as far as the very religious ones are concerned..
Well, I will bet that there are many black people that would make that claim. Your inability to recognize that possibility indicates a lack of sensitivity to the plight of black people, and that leads me to suspect that you are a racist - white supremacist.

:picard facepalm:

For someone who claims to be smart, you have a very narrow assessment of Icarus based on his words.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2019, 07:43:25 PM »
For someone who claims to be smart, you have a very narrow assessment of Icarus based on his words.
He is wrong. He, like most all atheists, are claiming to be persecuted, because they cannot prove that atheism is the better approach to peaceful community and society. Instead of pursuing building a reliable system for the review of reason, atheists, are mirroring the erroneous actions of their perceived oppressors - atheists huddle in their communities (safe places) and bash the theists, and claim to be persecuted and oppressed.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2019, 08:13:03 PM »
For someone who claims to be smart, you have a very narrow assessment of Icarus based on his words.
He is wrong. He, like most all atheists, are claiming to be persecuted, because they cannot prove that atheism is the better approach to peaceful community and society. Instead of pursuing building a reliable system for the review of reason, atheists, are mirroring the erroneous actions of their perceived oppressors - atheists huddle in their communities (safe places) and bash the theists, and claim to be persecuted and oppressed.

Never met an atheist who claimed to be persecuted. Not once. Ever.
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Re: "Why are Americans still uncomfortable with atheism?"
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2019, 11:21:03 AM »
For someone who claims to be smart, you have a very narrow assessment of Icarus based on his words.
He is wrong. He, like most all atheists, are claiming to be persecuted, because they cannot prove that atheism is the better approach to peaceful community and society. Instead of pursuing building a reliable system for the review of reason, atheists, are mirroring the erroneous actions of their perceived oppressors - atheists huddle in their communities (safe places) and bash the theists, and claim to be persecuted and oppressed.

Never met an atheist who claimed to be persecuted. Not once. Ever.

Me neither.  Nor have I met any atheists who huddle in their communities bashing theists.  In fact atheists like myself don't think about theists at all until and unless the theists attempt to push their belief onto us.  I'm not sure what exactly SC is trying to get at, but I am not sure I appreciate his arrogantly sneering characterisations of what atheists are and what they do.  SC, you do not speak for all atheists and you are a fool to think that it is even possible to describe them as a group apart from their disbelief in the supernatural.
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