Atheists look to what's next in the 'God debate'

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FROM THE GUARDIAN (UK). Where next for the debate about God? This was the question posed by the New Humanist, hosting a debate at the RSA. The magazine is not averse to a little New Atheism – which made it surprising that not a lot was said about where next, though a whole lot was said about what a mistake the New Atheism has been.

Marilynne Robinson was articulate on how the New Atheism erases the human by treating us as crudely material entities. She recalled William James's observation that facts should be regarded as gifts, because they afford us invaluable glimpses of a totality we cannot see. She had a great quip. The theist looks at phenomena like the fine tuning and thinks, amazing. The (old) atheist looks at phenomena like the fine tuning and thinks, amazing. The New Atheist looks at phenomena like the fine tuning and thinks, well that's that answered then.

Second to speak was Jonathan Rée, an atheist who doesn't much care for the description. Parascience, he said, using Robinson's coinage, is the stories the New Atheists tell themselves about the triumphant progress of science, and which are rather like the nationalistic stories rehearsed in nationalistic politics.

We're enlightened – you're not. He also noted that the first time the phrase "New Atheism" was used was back in the 17th century, in response to Spinoza's presumed atheism. Not much that's new then. READ THE FULL STORY.

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