Monday, April 20, 2009

Review of Eric Reitan's Response to New Atheism

It's been a while since I've last posted. I'd like to start up. So let it begin with a link to a review I wrote of Eric Reitan's book, a response to many of the atheistic treatises that have sprung up over the years. You may read it here. Thanks.

6 Comments:

Blogger UmmFarouq said...

It's nice to see you.

4/20/2009 2:20 AM  
Blogger Abuljude said...

Yay! You're back!

4/20/2009 9:53 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Thank you, friends. Good to be back.

4/20/2009 2:13 PM  
OpenID rickshawdiaries said...

Salaams -

So happy you're back!

Warmly,
Baraka

4/21/2009 12:38 AM  
Blogger Samuel Skinner said...

"Is this all really new?"

No. There was a similar trend in the 60s and 70s when secularism seemed to be winning in the states.

" are essentially unoriginal. Reitan, for example, recalls Bertrand Russell’s “Why I Am Not a Christian” as a progenitor "

Which in turn borrows from "On the Nature of Things"

"hopelessly narrow epistemology"

Science doesn't count? Why not?

"When Reitan read the photocopy, he was immediately struck by the fact that the “writer of the passage got the arguments wrong.” "

Care to give examples for this and your other claims?

"How does it happen that serious people continue to believe in progress, in the face of massive evidence that might have been expected to refute the idea of progress once in for all?"

Such as what? LE is higher, GDP is higher, power capacity is higher... what do you want?

"take Stalinism, "

The Russian people still love him. Apparently industrializing the country which raised the LE and stopped the Nazis from exterminating them all has a large point value.

"for example, the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge"

Which was stopped... by Vietnam, another atheist communist country.

"devastation of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. "

You didn't use the Great Leap Foward? Do you know how many that killed? Anyways, if you can link atheism to the Cultural Revoluton, be my guest. I'd love to see how.

"The Soviet experiment fell, at least in part, because atheism at that grand scale cannot sustain a sizable nation, let alone a civilization. "

Uh, no. It fell apart because it spent 1/4 of its GDP on the military.

"(evinced by our darkening skies, melted glaciers, uncontainable greed, and shrinking fresh water supplies?). "

Compared to the 70s we have massivly progressed on the environment.

"Like art, the core of the checks and ethics that we live by (even in secular societies) and that make civilization possible is rooted in sacred tradition. This is a reliable observation. "

Uh, no. The oldest art is handcrafts that extra effort was put into. Ethics origionally were obey or else.

4/21/2009 1:26 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Thank you, Baraka. It's good to be back. Nearly everyday, I take a "rickshaw" trek.

And you too, Samuel. Thanks. Science does count, but it's not the only knowledge source in town. Science to sciencism. Stalin loved? That's an overstatement and somewhat irrelevant. As for examples of "my" claims, read Reitan. You can wait when it comes out in paperback. I'm glad that the Khmer Rouge were stopped. The environmental movement of the 70's (I was part of it) was nice, but it never got close to addressing the root issue, hence the darkening skies, meaning no real effect in the long term. As for art and ethics, they are rooted in the sacred. We just disagree and accept variant understandings.

In the end, I do appreciate your engagement with my article. It's good of you to share them. Thanks.

4/21/2009 1:57 AM  

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