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A quick response

Posted by CommunitarianKevin , in Senior Project (New Atheism) 30 April 2012 · 456 views

Wow that was not what I expected. Dr. Prothero already responded to my email and gave me some advice.

Stephen Prothero prothero@bu.edu
6:47 AM (4 hours ago)

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Hi Kevin,

Sounds like a great project.

I have a few quick suggestions.

First, since this is a history project, there is a long history of atheists/freethinkers/agnostics/humanists in American life.  Books by Hecht (Doubt: A History) and Susan Jacoby might help here.  Same with Martin Marty's old book on atheism in American history.  I forget the title, but you can find it.  One interesting question here is HOW is the "new" atheism "new."  What is old and what is new about it?

I would also look carefully of course at the key figures, perhaps restricting yourself to 3-4 major figures. (Note they are mostly men.  Is there something "masculine" about all this?  Here you might look at a great book called "American Manhood"--it's a history.)

Finally, if you are interested in calling some of these new atheists "religious" you have a burden of defining what "religious" means and then showing you have evidence to pin this on them.  I think that may be the key part of the paper.  Note that new atheists do NOT have (for the most part) a robust DEFINITION of religion.  In other words, they haven't really thought about it, problematized it, because they know what religion is already.

Hope that helps.

Good luck!

i never understood the athiest point of view..?

..it's like saying, "we don't exist"

i'm not keen on jesus or anything.. but if there was no purpose or point to it all, i don't see how or why we'd even be here in the first place?
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May 03 2012 02:48 AM
The thing is that atheist need to be specific. Most people are atheistic towards most gods. Atheists typically reject the "mainstream" gods. The key is understanding what they are talking about. For example my religious beliefs are agnostic but this does not mean I am agnostic towards everything in life. I do not wonder if there are faires in my garden.

In response to your second part...science has some answers to that...
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with all due respect, science is not my god? :)

hmm.. i'd have to educate myself more on atheism and being agnostic (as it is, i kinda lump them together)

hehe, in the same way you prompt me to look into science, i could prompt you to look into spirituality?

not sure what to say.. where to go? - as i'm here using technology (science?) to type this to you? to me; that offers a small insight into our dilemma, where the technology will facilitate our little interchange.. but it falls short.. this conversation would be so much different were we in a nice park or something .. know what i mean?

thanks for being here..
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May 07 2012 06:17 AM
Were you saying you lump atheism and agnosticism together or just the types of atheism?

My only point about looking into science is that it shows why we are here. Evolution does a good job of explaining this. However, it does not answer the question of how life started, but there is speculation in science about that also.

You could prompt me to look into spirituality but it would be rather pointless…Because I have looked into, in great depth.

I agree this conversation could be better. I guess we are both being kind of vague. I will try to explain things better in the future.
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