Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens each construct a case for the claim that no alleged written divine revelation could have a divine origin. The New Atheists counter the claim that religion makes people good by listing numerous examples of the preceding sort in which religion allegedly makes people bad. The romantics, attracted by his identification of God with Nature, rescued him from oblivion. A defense of the God and ethics of the Old Testament against the New Atheists’ criticisms of them. He adopted her two children and the couple had two more. 1929] is a theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He explored this theme in his book, Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion and the Nature of Society. John Rogers Searle [b. His mother was an intellectual noted for translating Ibsen’s A Doll’s House into the Tamil language. Jacques Lucien Monod [1910-1976] was a French biologist who contributed greatly to the understanding of the Lac operon as a regulator of gene transcription in cells, suggested the existence of mRNA molecules in the process of protein synthesis, and further contributed to the field of enzymology. Some of his other interests were painting, biology, Mayan hieroglyphics and lock-picking. Harris equates a genuinely rational approach to spiritual and ethical questions with a scientific approach to these sorts of questions. Buffett is further noted for his philanthropy, a passion he shares with fellow billionaire Bill Gates, along with a weekly bridge play date. In doing so, he employs the concept of a “culturally based replicator,” which Dawkins had previously labeled a “meme” (on analogy with “gene,” which refers to biologically based replicators). Atheist philosophers. Hawking sometimes comes across quite like a deist in his popular writings, particularly in the book, A Brief History of Time, in which most of the questions posed of the universe also echo questions traditionally asked of God. “Is Yahweh a Moral Monster? He is Felix Bloch professor of theoretical physics at Stanford. He had been raised Lutheran and later joined the Unitarian Universalist Church, but publicly declared his personal atheism two years before his death of prostate cancer at the age of 93. Not bad for a fabulously wealthy, world famous economics school dropout. He is a notable promoter of public understanding of science, and his entire course on quantum physics can be downloaded on the iTunes platform from Stanford. In reply to Dawkins, Craig argues that though the contents of God’s mind may be complex, God’s mind itself is simple. Finally, the challenges to religion posed by the New Atheists have also prompted a number of seminars and conferences. Even so, it is always interesting to know about the top 10 Ancient atheist philosophers and their quotes. The primary issue Searle identifies is a philosophical false dichotomy between strong materialism and subjective, first-person experience of the world. In a review of the book, The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design, Michael Duff wrote that Susskind is “a card-carrying atheist.”, Stephen Jay Gould [1941-2002] was a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science who became one of the most influential popularizers of evolutionary biology through his books and essays. The scientific investigation of religion of the sort Dennett recommends has prompted a larger interdisciplinary conversation that includes both theists and non-theists with academic specialties in science, philosophy, and theology (see Schloss and Murray 2009 for an important example of this sort of collaboration). McGrath, Alister and Joanna Collicutt McGrath. Andrew Carnegie [1835-1919] was a noted American industrialist, businessman and philanthropist. His primary interests encompassed two fundamental problems in biology. Pavlov died in Leningrad, his laboratory in St. Petersburg was carefully preserved by the Soviet government as a museum. As a note of clarification: we’ve ordered this list chronologically and we use the term “brilliant” to mean “brilliant at their craft” – not just pure brainiacs;-). And now more than ever, atheists have been able to network together and join forces because of the Internet. Critics allege that Dawkins’ assumption that God would need an external cause flies in the face of the longstanding theological assumption that God is a perfect and so necessary being who is consequently self-existent and ontologically independent. Drawing upon his theory of intentionality, Searle argued in his 1992 book The Rediscovery of the Mind that much of modern philosophy has attempted to deny the existence of consciousness, with little success among conscious people. Professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, and is considered a father of modern linguistics. Other works include both positive and negative evaluations of the New Atheism. An even bigger fortune was made later by Shannon and colleague Ed Thorp when they applied the same theory (later known as the Kelly criterion) to the stock market. His increasing popularity as a proponent of atheism have made him a popular speaker at freethought, atheist and humanist events. She began her career as a child star who later made the transition to adult stardom and expanded from there to produce some of the most popular and thought-provoking films of the last decades. Is Religion Dangerous? If,however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism andtheism is the proposi… They draw on science for recommended alternatives to religion. The New Atheists and Old Testament Ethics,” Philosophia Christi 10:1, 2008, pp. Daniel Clement Dennett [b. George Denis Patrick Carlin [1937-2008] was one of the most popular and controversial comedians during his lifetime, having won five Grammy awards for his comedy albums. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov [1849-1936] was a Russian physiologist, psychologist and physician. Criticisms have been raised about a number of the New Atheists claims mentioned above. At the age of 16 he encountered Einstein’s work and extrapolated it to question Newton’s laws of motion from a text in which this challenge was not made explicit. He produced the opera Friedenstag in 1938, a thinly veiled criticism of the Third Reich. 1928] is one of the most notable American philosophers of any age. Bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was influenced by Lee, described his physique as defined, with very little body fat. Jawaharlal Nehru [1889-1964] was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru rose to leadership of the Indian National Congress at a young age in part due to his charisma and advocacy of complete Indian independence from the British Empire. Some of these works are supportive of them and some of them are critical. In that book Hawking expounded upon his “no boundary” model by stating, “If the no boundary proposal is correct, He [God] had no freedom at all to choose initial conditions.”. Moreover, given the New Atheist epistemological assumptions (and their consequences for religious epistemology), some criticism of their views has included questions about whether their reliance on empirical science is scientifically justified and whether there is adequate evidence to support their thesis of evidentialism. His philosophical writings established his strong advocacy for an atheistic world view, and he was eulogized as “the atheist’s touchstone” for the 20th century. Her autobiographical and anti-Soviet novel We the Living, was published in 1936. Arguments for and against God’s Existence. He and friends Keith Richards and Brian Jones formed a band called the Rolling Stones, and the rest is history. He was a capable student and went to the London School of Economics on scholarship. What science will show about religious belief, they claim, is that this belief can be explained as a product of biological evolution. He is an energetic promoter of science generally and evolution in particular. 1942] is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton. Some may date this as early as the 1500s or later (1700s). Cicero wrote that one of Diagoras’ friends tried to convince him that the gods did exist by citing the many people saved from storms by their pleas to their favorite gods, to which Diagoras was purported to reply, “there are nowhere any pictures of those who have been shipwrecked and drowned at sea.”. He had an elaborate system for interpretation of dreams as indicators of unconscious desires, and did early neurological research on cerebral palsy. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Penguin, 2006). He was dubbed the “Great Explainer” for two masterful lecture series on physics at Cal Tech (which were later turned into the books Six Easy Pieces and Six Not So Easy Pieces. He came in second on the Comedy Central network’s list of 100 Greatest Comedians of all time. When he turned to development of his martial arts form in the 1960s, he also became notable for his views and practices of promoting peak physical fitness with proper training, diet and vitamin supplements. Mackie, Anthony Flew, etc. He further wrote for and appeared in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and counted Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour among his closest friends. He contributed to many of the robotic missions that explored the solar system and arranged experiments to be conducted during manned moon missions. The epistemological component is their common claim that religious belief is irrational. 421-26. An engaging and energetic speaker, Dawkins promotes atheism as senior editor and columnist for the Council for Secular Humanism’s Free Inquiry magazine, and as a member of the editorial board of Skeptic magazine since it was founded. Regarding the metaphysical component, the New Atheist authors share the central belief that there is no supernatural or divine reality of any kind. The New Atheists seem to be generally agreed that theistic belief has generally worse attitudinal and behavioral moral consequences than atheistic belief. These authors include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. Some critics, like William Lane Craig, reply that, at best, Dawkins’ argument could show only that the God hypothesis does not explain the appearance of design in the universe but could not demonstrate that God probably doesn’t exist. Here’s a look at 50 of the most prominent atheists of all time who also happen to be recognized as some of the most brilliant members of our species. poet and sophist from Melos known as Diagoras the Atheist. His approach became known as “behaviorism,” and after his death his work was extended by William Sargant and others in an attempt to develop a systematic method for brainwashing and implantation of false memories. The first and most ancient of recognized atheists must include a 5th century b.c.e. Dennett’s retrospective about the impact made by the four original New Atheists following the initial publication of their books. Foster is an atheist who celebrates both Christmas and Hannukah with her two sons, and claims great respect for all religions. A case for the irrationality and immoral consequences of religious belief that draws primarily on evolutionary biology. Noted as a skeptic who advocated for humanist ideals, the public considered him an atheist. The “New Atheist” label for these critics of religion and religious belief emerged out of journalistic commentary on the contents and impacts of their books. Her first play, Night of January 16th, was produced in Hollywood and then on Broadway. Those views continued to play a role in his work when he transitioned from molecular biology into theoretical neuroscience. It is difficult to identify anything philosophically unprecedented in their positions and arguments, but the New Atheists have provoked considerable controversy with their body of work. Born Sigismund Schlomo Freud [1856-1939], Freud was an Austrian psychiatrist founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. He had one of his students attend him on his deathbed to record the circumstances of his dying, as if it were just another psychological experiment. Suffice it to say that as science grew so did an atheistic outlook from philosophers. Born into the Jewish community in Montreal, he became an atheist at the age of 13 but remains a “cultural Jew.”. It was picked up by Seed Magazine that year and anchors their large stable of popular, multidisciplinary science blogs. The New Atheists are authors of early twenty-first century books promoting atheism. God is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible (Grand Rapids: InterVarsity Press, 2009). Pinker argues that many other human mental faculties are adaptive in an evolutionary sense and can be understood best from that angle. But there are atheists in all walks of life and throughout history as well. In this way, the New Atheists link their epistemological critique of religious belief with their moral criticism of religion. Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac [1902-1984] was a British theoretical physicist who contributed to the early development of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics [QED]. Dennett goes on to engage in a relatively extensive speculation about how religion and religious belief evolved from these purely natural beginnings. Claude Elwood Shannon [1916-2001] was an electronic engineer and mathematician known as “the father of information theory.” While at the University of Michigan he was introduced to the works of George Boole, and once in grad school at MIT working with the ‘differential analyzer’, an early analog computer, he saw that Boole’s concepts could be used used to simplify the complicated circuitry of the analyzer and wrote his master’s thesis on what became known as Boolean logic. Hitchens hints at his own source of secular satisfaction by claiming that the natural is wondrous enough for anyone. He generated some controversy with A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, taking issue with the gradualism and reductionism of orthodox neodarwinists. Carl Edward Sagan [1934-1996] was an American astronomer, astrochemist, and successful popularizer of science.Sagan was connected to the American space program from the beginning, working as an advisor to NASA from the 1950s. How Science Shows that God does not Exist (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2008). Active 2 months ago. This collective case against the authenticity of any alleged written divine revelation raises interesting questions in philosophical theology about what kind of book could qualify as “God’s Word.” For instance, Harris considers it astonishing that a book as “ordinary” as the Bible is nonetheless thought to be a product of omniscience. Today about 2.3 percent of the world’s population identifies themselves as atheist, and nearly 12 percent more (a number that is quickly growing) describe themselves as nontheist – non-believers in any deity. One of only 4 individuals ever to have won solo Nobel Prizes in separate and unrelated fields – for chemistry in 1954, and the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless campaign against atmospheric nuclear bomb testing in 1962. If there is no divine being, then there are no divine revelations. He has been called “Darwin’s Rottweiler” in the press for his strong support of evolution by natural selection. Dennett hints at a different objection to the Bible by remarking that anybody can quote the Bible to prove anything. Among his colleagues he was perhaps better known as a beatnik and clown, always thinking up clever pranks or juggling or sitting in with any impromptu band playing bongos. It was from this association with the leaders of the “Phage Group” of molecular biologists that he became involved in the search for the nature of genes. Atheist philosophers of religion (during their main careers) would include people like J.L. He limited himself to an income of $50,000 per year, everything else went into good works. Given the assumption that ethical relativism is false, the question arises concerning what the objective natural ground is that makes it the case that some people are virtuous and some are not and that some behaviors are morally right and some are not. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (New York: Twelve, 2007). According to Harris, faith is the permission religious people give one another to believe things strongly without evidence. Dawkins endorses the general hypothesis that religion and religious belief are byproducts (what some evolutionary biologists call “spandrels”) of something else that has survival value. In Western classical Antiquity, theism was the fundamental belief that supported the legitimacy of the state (the polis, later the Roman Empire). Sir Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger [b. Not a supporter of Richard Dawkins’ public efforts to organize atheists, Wilson described atheism as a “Stealth Religion” on the political blog Huffington Post in 2007. The examples they provide of such objectionable behaviors range from the uncontroversial (suicide bombings, the Inquisition, “religious” wars, witch hunts, homophobia, etc.) While he once said that “God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world,” his personal views on religion were far less expansive. Watson began his Ph.D. research with Salvador Luria, who later earned his own Nobel for work with Max Delbruck on phages. He was the first and longest serving Prime Minister of an Independent India from 1947 to 1964. Similarly, Harris follows Dawkins’ in arguing that the notion of a creator God leads to an infinite regress because such a being would have to have been created. Warren Edward Buffett [b. His storied career has been set with his accomplishments as a conservationist, a promoter of civil rights and a supporter of the Kenyan Safina Party. The Selfish Gene, 2nd ed. Russell was not fond of organized religion, but expressed some difficulty in defining himself as an agnostic or an atheist. She married socialite businessman Ludlow Ogden Smith in 1928, but divorced six years later. Ruse, Michael. A number of essays and books have been written in response to the New Atheists (see the “Works about the New Atheism” sub-section of the “References and Further Reading” section below for some titles). Harris calls the source of this basic moral knowledge “moral intuition.” Since the other New Atheists don’t argue for the moral principles to which they appeal, it seems reasonable to conclude that they would agree with Harris. He does sketch a brief version of the cosmological argument for God’s existence but asserts that the final conclusion does not follow because the argument does not rule out alternative possibilities for the universe’s existence. U. S. A. As a producer he contributed to recordings by Genesis, David Bowie, Zvuki Mu and Robert Calvert. His 2008 book Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale is a collection of autobiographical emails between Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook that has been described as “…a funny, revealing insight into the workings of the genius” behind the beloved Doctor Who. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure – that is all that agnosticism means.” Yet he wrote essays with titles like “Absurdities of the Bible” and “The Myth of the Soul,” suggesting that his agnosticism was strong enough to be considered atheism. In spite of their different approaches and occupations (only Dennett is a professional philosopher), the New Atheists tend to share a general set of assumptions and viewpoints. Since leaving Apple he founded other ventures to produce things like the first universal remote and wireless GPS. 1936] is a Canadian zoologist, geneticist, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Hitchens adds his own similar criticisms of both testaments in two chapters: “The Nightmare of the ‘Old’ Testament” and “The ‘New’ Testament Exceeds the Evil of the ‘Old’ One.” He also devotes a chapter to the Qur’an (as does Harris) and a section to the Book of Mormon. He also managed to get himself banished from Athens which caused him to go into the service of Ptolemy in Alexandria. Given this, Dennett questions whether any of the people who claim to believe in God actually do believe God exists. Share Tweet Email. Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature (298) Fellows of the Royal Society (217) 20th-century English novelists (206) Keller, Timothy. He considered pleasure and pain the measures of that which is good or evil. Not content to simply speak against the popular pantheon of Greek gods, he also criticized the Eleusinian Mysteries. A Christian minister’s reply to objections against Christianity of the sort raised by the New Atheists together with his positive case for Christianity. These debates are accessible in a number of places on the Internet. This Western Philosophical tradition can be said to begin with Augustine and to include a number of prominent Western philosophers up to the present (including Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Pascal, and more recently, Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne). There are varying accounts of his age at death, ranging from a ripe 90 all the way to 109 years. November 16, 2013 in Meaning, Memes, Philosophy, Religion. Contending with Christianity’s Critics (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman and Holman, 2009). Prominent atheists are getting the word out about their views in increasing numbers and generating lots of public debate on the proper place of religion in governments and share societies in the modern world. For an introduction to the sorts of issues this conference addresses, see Copan 2008. He espoused the natural rights of man, namely the right to life, liberty and property, and he articulated that every government’s purpose is to secure these rights for its nationals. A few decades after the death of Hadrian, a philosopher named Sextus listed the most prominent atheists in history, but the only one whose influence was destined to endure into the Enlightenment was Epicurus. Starting with the art rock band Roxy Music in 1971, he became bored with the rock and roll lifestyle quickly. As might be expected, attention has been focused on their epistemological views, their metaphysical assumptions, and their axiological positions. The volume has an excellent and extensive bibliography and fine end notes. In fact, don’t get me going. He was locked in a hotel suite by his editor for three weeks to force him to complete his book So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, he was a bit notorious for his deadline difficulties. Hume: A Very Short Introduction Jean-Jacques Rousseau Genevan (1712-1778) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an important figure in the Romantic movement and made key contriutions to educational and political theory. In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins states that faith is blind trust without evidence and even against the evidence. Richard Georg Strauss [1864-1949] was a brilliant German composer who began writing music at the age of six and continued almost until his death. They agree that these sociological and psychological phenomena are rooted in biology. “Atheism” is typically defined in terms of“theism”. He was an important figure in the early development of the scientific methodology, insisting that nothing which cannot be tested through direct observation and defended through logical deduction should be believed. 1930] is an American businessman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway rated by Forbes as the richest person in the world (in the first half of 2008, before the Wall Street meltdown). Harris, who thinks that atheism is obviously true, does not dedicate much space to a discussion of arguments for or against theism. For his part, Dennett implies that belief in God cannot be reasonable because the concept of God is too radically indeterminate for the sentence “God exists” to express a genuine proposition. Atheism is generating quite a lot of attention these days. His appreciation for parliamentary democracy and concern for the poor allowed him to formulate policies derided by some for their socialist leanings. Pauling’s wife Ava Hellen, whom he married in 1917, was a pacifist and peace activist who got him involved in the crusade against nuclear weapons and atmospheric bomb testing. Atheism is generating quite a lot of attention these days. If his predicted Higgs particle the field boson imparting mass to matter – is discovered as expected by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and he is still alive, Higgs is expected to receive the Nobel Prize in physics within the year. It was the death of Turing’s first love in their last year at Sherborne from complications of bovine tuberculosis (contracted from drinking infected milk as a boy) that shattered Turing’s religious faith. Despite some controversy over the platform and a lawsuit over the ConnectU application which was later dismissed, Zuckerman sold a 1.6% stake in Facebook to Microsoft, which had a $15 billion market value at the time according to Forbes. Linus Carl Pauling [1901-1994] was one of the most influential chemists in history as well as one of the most important scientists of the 20th century – or, according to Gautam Desiraju who wrote the Millennium Essay in the journal Nature, one of the greatest thinkers and visionaries of the last thousand years. It was in this service that he was sent as an ambassador to Lysimachus, who became offended by Theodorus’ free speech as a lack of respect and decorum. Using his theories of the unconscious mind and defense mechanisms of repression, his psychoanalysis sought to cure sufferers of psychopathology through a dialogue between the patient and his psychoanalyst. They believe empirical science is the only (or at least the best) basis for genuine knowledge of the world, and they insist that a belief can be epistemically justified only if it is based on adequate evidence. A defense of religion against the New Atheists’ arguments by a philosopher-theologian. A scientific case against the existence of God by a physicist who also taught philosophy and who is often classified as a New Atheist. Dawkins is less committed to this specific hypothesis than he is to the general hypothesis, and he is open to other specific hypotheses of the same kind. Another example of an ‘unorthodox’ philosopher, Chalmers too belongs to the New York University crew of star philosophers, but also teaches at the Australian National University. I am still relatively new to philosophy and was curious to realize that most modern philosophers seem to announce that they are a physicalist or an atheist. He thinks it more likely that they merely profess belief in God or “believe in belief” in God (they believe belief in God is or would be a good thing). Wilson, who describes himself as a “nice atheist,” views religions as a sort of mega-trait that evolved because it conferred advantages on believers. Wolfgang Pauli once described Dirac’s first commandment concerning religion as, “God does not exist and Paul Dirac is his prophet.”. Harris also hints at reasons to deny God’s existence by pointing to unexplained evil and “unintelligent design” in the world. A typical case for this claim appeals to the atrocities perpetrated by people like Hitler and Stalin. He is also known for his controversial positions on issues like eugenics and euthanasia. He earned that Ph.D. in zoology from Indiana University at the age of 22. When asked why … Finally, as regards ethics, critics argue that a problem with the New Atheists biological answer to the philosophical question concerning the ontological ground of the universal moral standard is that it could only explain what causes moral behavior; it can’t also account for what makes moral principles true. Dawkins does devote a chapter apiece to each of these tasks in the process of making a case for his claim that there almost certainly is no God. Douglas Noel Adams [1952-2001] was an English writer, dramatist and musician, best known for his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. A response to the New Atheists by a secular Jew that defends traditional religious thought. Leonard Susskind [b. And though Dennett’s focus is on the evolution of religion, he is likely to have a similar story about the evolution of morality. Laertius complained that Theodorus “did away with all opinions respecting the Gods,” but he may have just rejected the notions of deity popular in his time. Soon he and his business partner Kimoya Kameu discovered Australopithecus boisei. It was his investigation of the saliva of dogs that first led him to notice that the animals salivated more when they expected food, a phenomenon he termed “psychic secretion.” He was particularly interested in studying conditioned behaviors as an experimental model of the induction of neuroses. A notable environmental activist and self-described “radical atheist,” Adams loved fast cars, cool cameras, Apple computers and any tech gizmo he could get his hands on. For political reasons, Socrates in Athens (399 BCE) was accused of being atheos ("refusing to acknowledge the gods recognized by the state"). The ranks of scientists boast probably the largest concentration of atheists, and many of those have been recognized as among the most brilliant of human beings for their work. I’m almost as bad as Richard Dawkins on this issue.”, David Jon Gilmour [b. The moral component is the assumption that there is a universal and objective secular moral standard. 1928] received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1962 as co-discoverer along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins of the molecular structure of DNA. During the trial Darrow self-identified as an agnostic by saying, “I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I wanted to understand.”. He was noted for his “tone poems” and operas such as Salome and Elektra, which made use of dissonance and generated much public outcry. He has been vice president of the American Society of Naturalists and serves on the editorial board of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. It isoften defined as “the belief that God exists”, but here“belief” means “something believed”. The Reason for God: Belief in God in an Age of Skepticism (New York: Dutton, 2007). None of Diagoras’ own writings survive, but in the 1st century b.c.e. He says that any subsequent more moderate Christian migration away from these biblical legal requirements is a result of taking scripture less and less seriously. 1942] is an American philosopher specializing in the philosophies of mind, science and biology. One of these is a conference presented by the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame, entitled, “My Ways are not Your Ways: The Character of the God of the Hebrew Bible” (held September 10-12, 2009). His most famous case was the defense of Tennessee teacher John Scopes in the “Monkey Trial” against the state law that barred the teaching of evolution. Stephen Russell Davies [b. 119-120). At the age of 14 she starred in the movie Taxi Driver, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York: Norton, 2004). Which modern philosophers profess an atheist personalism? They formed the company on April 1, 1976 and priced their Apple I personal computer at $666.66 – Woz later claimed he had no idea about the correlation with the mark of the beast). he has almost no neuromuscular control and must communicate via a speech synthesizer. Search by Category. The God Delusion (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (New York: Crown Forum, 2008). Using atheist quotes and sayings from a variety of sources, the Atheist Republic designers create visually rich expressions of atheist thought from around the globe. He shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in physics with Erwin Schrodinger, formulated what became known as the Dirac equation, and held the Cambridge Lucasian Chair in mathematics established by Sir Isaac Newton and currently held by Stephen Hawking. Dennett’s father was a spy for the OSS, disguised as a cultural attache in Beirut during WW-2. A Scottish-born immigrant, he established the Carnegie Steel Company in Pittsburgh and later merged it with the Federal Steel Company to become U.S. Steel. Theodorus taught that the aim of human life was to obtain joy and avoid grief, and that joy comes through prudence while grief arises from folly. The Dawkins Delusion? Padma Vibhushan Subrahmanyan Chandresekhar [1910-1995] better known by his nickname “Chandra” – has a space-based X-ray observatory named after him, launched by the space shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999. You might also try The Moral Landscape by Harris, very popular, pretty controversial. A collection of essays by philosophers and theologians defending the rationality of theistic belief from the attacks of the New Atheists and others. While he does not publicly profess atheism, Hawking does profess agnosticism. It was as a visiting professor at MIT in 1967 that he first proposed his electroweak unification theory, which predicted the existence of the Z boson and the existence of a mechanism of mass later known as the Higgs boson. “I am an atheist and that’s it. 48 Dan Barker (b. A critical reply to Dawkins and Hitchens (“Ditchkins”) by a Marxist literary critic. His popular science books and articles combine explaining science in the added context of history, philosophy of science, and atheism. “Afterword” in Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 10th anniversary edition (London: Penguin Random House, 2016), pp. Strauss was dubious of all religion, except perhaps the religion of reason. Peter Ware Higgs [b. The same could probably be said of the modern times. Carroll is perhaps better known for his strong advocacy of atheism, once going so far as to turn down an invitation to speak at a conference sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation because he didn’t want to be seen as advocating a reconciliation between science and religion. For the rest of her life Rand lectured and wrote about objectivism, which she termed “a philosophy for living on earth.” All of the books Rand published during her lifetime are still in print, and her philosophy is still taught at many major universities as one of the most important philosophical movements in the modern world. Pharyngula received the Koufax Award in 2005 for ‘Best Expert Blog’, and Nature named it the top ranking blog written by a scientist. Richard Erskine Frere Leakey [b. He describes himself as religiously agnostic. Historically, any person who did not believe in any deity supported by the state was fair game to accusations of atheism, a capital crime. At first Spinoza was reviled as an atheist - and certainly, his God is not the conventional Judo-Christian God. At the foundation of Dennett’s “proto-theory” about the origin of religion and religious belief is his appeal to the evolution in humans (and other animals) of a “hyperactive agent detection device” (HADD), which is the disposition to attribute agency—beliefs and desires and other mental states—to anything complicated that moves. 1949] is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University in New York, a prolific popular science writer, and a promoter of evolution by group and multi-level selection. The “New Atheist” label for these critics of religion and religious belief emerged out of journalistic commentary on the contents and impacts of their books. When not being a prolific and brilliant artist, Eno is politically active, a humanist with strong anti-war and futurist views. On his 60th birthday he released his third solo album, On An Island, which debuted #1 on the UK charts. In Roger Lowenstein’s 1995 biography Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, he is described and non-religious. If there are no divine revelations, then every sacred book is a merely human book. The New Atheists appeal to the deliverances of the empirical sciences as their criterion for rational religious belief. “Why I think the New Atheists are a Bloody Disaster,” https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/why-i-think-the-new-atheists-are-a-bloody-disaster, posted August 14th, 2009. Each of the New Atheists recommends or at least alludes to a non-religious means of personal fulfillment and even collective well-being. Absolutely not… The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don’t have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. 1966] is a theoretical cosmologist specializing in general relativity and dark energy. James E. Taylor Yet among philosophers, a supposedly rational group, 62% are atheists (compared to about half that among all academics and 2% in the general population). Gilmour has a penchant for philanthropy, support which includes housing funds for the homeless, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the Lung Foundation and others. Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009). Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno [b. He contributed “Punctuated Equilibrium” to the evolutionary lexicon to explain the fossil evidence of abrupt changes in organismic form interspersed with long periods of stability. “Science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience,” he wrote in Rock of Ages. In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked Hepburn as cinema history’s greatest female star. How non-living molecules become living organisms, and how the human brain creates a conscious mind. He was banished from Cyrene in his early years, and moved to Athens to become a follower of the younger Aristippus. What’s So Great About Christianity (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007). D’Souza, Dinesh. Conversations about the New Atheists’ stances and rationales have also taken place in the form of debates between Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennett and defenders of religious belief and religion such as Dinesh D’Souza, who has published his own defense of Christianity in response to the New Atheists’ arguments. By 1962 he’d earned a private pilot’s license and began offering aerial tours of Olduvai. He says that religious faith is unjustified belief in matters of ultimate concern. The close association between atheism and materialism is evident in Christopher Hitchens’ edited volume The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever which includes as its first entry a collection of excerpts from the great Roman philosopher Lucretius’ magisterial two thousand-year-old poetic work De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). Yet among philosophers, a supposedly rational group, 62% are atheists (compared to about half that among all academics and 2% in the general population). Francis Harry Compton Crick [1916-2004] is best known as the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Related topics. He describes the human mind as a sort of Swiss Army knife that comes with specialized tools designed to deal with problems our Pleistocene ancestors encountered. First, what is the content of morality? He first coined the term “central dogma” to describe the flow of genetic information in cells as a oneway street – DNA to RNA to protein. Harris and Dawkins are quite explicit about this. It is not recommended for a reader who has not had experience reading post modern philosophy and/or atheist philosophy. His interest in music, writing and a life on the road led him into musical and busking adventures during the early 1960s, and finally to Pink Floyd in 1967, which went on to become one of the top grossing rock bands in history. A case for studying the history and practice of religion by means of the natural sciences. Harris is explicit about placing the blame for these evils on faith, defined as unfounded belief. 1932] is an American philosopher whose contributions to the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and social philosophy made him an influential member and spokesperson for the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley during the late 1960s and early ’70s. During the Nazi period he was appointed president of the German State Music Bureau and composed the theme song for the infamous 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Moreover, they think that it is possible to live a satisfying non-religious life on the basis of secular morals and scientific discoveries. Hitchens includes chapters entitled “The Metaphysical Claims of Religion are False” and “Arguments from Design,” but his more journalistic treatment of the cases for and against God’s existence amounts primarily to the claim that the God hypothesis is unnecessary, since science can now explain what theism was formerly thought to be required to explain, including phenomena such as the appearance of design in the universe. Just four days before his death the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that he would receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.”. 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