Thursday, January 28, 2021

The goal of New Atheism was always political.

New Atheism never really cared all that much about theism or even Christianity, but politics. That much was obvious years ago.

One reason it died off was because of its political failures and risks, and the realization that the political goals they desired could be achieved without advocating for atheism explicitly.

New Atheism isn't really necessary against a Catholic Church where James Martin is celebrated. Or, for that matter, Barron.

Of course you still have some dedicated atheists who thought that New Atheism was really all about atheism. But who's surprised that a belief system legendary for members who can't read social cues wouldn't figure that out?

4 comments:

GoldRush Apple said...

Can you explain the issues with Barron? He's a fine of example of "being approachable" while turning into Church of Nice. If I weren't a Catholic or was fallen away and met Barron I don't think he'd convince me on being Catholic or to take my faith seriously. In my eyes he plays it safe. I think he's more effective with kids who go to Sunday school or CCD from 1st to 5th - maybe 5th, as a guest speaker. Any grade level higher he'd get eye rolls.

Crude said...

There's not much to explain, since you seem to get it. And I've had trouble with this because I've run into a lot of good people who credit Barron with getting them interested in the faith again. Though the best of them always went on to treat him as a stepping stone, at best.

Regardless.

Barron doesn't seem to even try to get people to take the faith seriously. He aims lower: trying to get people to simply like the Church. Specifically, the Church according to Barron, which is uncontroversial except with people culturally unpopular anyway (like, you say - Catholics with any amount of traditional belief.)

The sort of faith Barron talks about isn't a faith most atheists will care to attack, unless they're bored. It's not a faith which will offend anyone powerful. And it's definitely not a faith anyone would bother dying for (and Barron himself would probably say that while dying for your faith is -commendable-, it's certainly not obligatory, and indeed completely selling it out to live is an affirmation of life, which is God's greatest gift, or some other fast talk.)

He's just a straighter-seeming version of Martin.

Narciso said...

New Atheism died off precisely because its main defenders were cancelled, they were too autistic (or maybe...too honest?) to make the absurd commitments one needs in order to defend progressive ideology.
Its main horde has moved on to follow Slavoj Zizek and other critical theorists, now they "argue" via post modern rambling and instead of claiming that God doesn't exist they'll say something about semiotics and how there's no set of ideas that actually fits what is perceived as the real. Instead of atheists they're more like materialist, Hegelian gnostics.

Crude said...

>New Atheism died off precisely because its main defenders were cancelled, they were too autistic (or maybe...too honest?) to make the absurd commitments one needs in order to defend progressive ideology.

I remember the Atheism/Atheism+ split, which was really a defining moment. That was when the mask came off and the once-subversive atheists said "This is really all about politics."

The idiots who thought that Atheism was all about religious belief didn't fare well. Nor did the ones who were socially clueless but still wanted to be political, ie, Carrier and probably ol' Cowboy Hat.