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I Don't Believe in Atheists

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I Don't Believe in Atheists Cover

ISBN13: 9781416567950
ISBN10: 141656795x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the new atheists who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle.

The new atheists, led by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, do not make moral arguments about religion. Rather, they have created a new form of fundamentalism that attempts to permeate society with ideas about our own moral superiority and the omnipotence of human reason.

I Don't Believe in Atheists critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice.

Hedges claims that those who have placed blind faith in the morally neutral disciplines of reason and science create idols in their own image — a sin for either side of the spectrum. He makes an impassioned, intelligent case against religious and secular fundamentalism, which seeks to divide the world into those worthy of moral and intellectual consideration and those who should be condemned, silenced and eradicated. Hedges shatters the new atheists' assault against religion in America, and in doing so, makes way for new, moderate voices to join the debate. This is a book that must be read to understand the state of the battle about faith.

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of The New Fascists speaks out against religious and secular fundamentalism as he explores the New Atheists: those who attack religion to advance their causes.

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the new atheists who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle.

The new atheists, led by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, do not make moral arguments about religion. Rather, they have created a new form of fundamentalism that attempts to permeate society with ideas about our own moral superiority and the omnipotence of human reason.

I Don't Believe in Atheists critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice.

Hedges claims that those who have placed blind faith in the morally neutral disciplines of reason and science create idols in their own image — a sin for either side of the spectrum. He makes an impassioned, intelligent case against religious and secular fundamentalism, which seeks to divide the world into those worthy of moral and intellectual consideration and those who should be condemned, silenced and eradicated. Hedges shatters the new atheists' assault against religion in America, and in doing so, makes way for new, moderate voices to join the debate. This is a book that must be read to understand the state of the battle about faith.

About the Author

Chris Hedges is the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times' coverage of global terrorism. Hedges graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School and is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute. He lives in New Jersey.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Prologue

1. The God Debate

2. Science and Religion

3. The New Fundamentalism

4. Self-Delusion

5. The Myth of Moral Progress

6. Humiliation and Revenge

7. The Illusive Self

Notes

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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gregory.heaton, August 8, 2008 (view all comments by gregory.heaton)
Hedges point is very clear, I think. "We are not saved by reason. We are not saved by religion."

Harris, Hitchens, Hawkins and Dennet, very clearly think that faith is a scourge to be wiped from the Earth. Once we free ourselves from this tyranny, we'll all live happily and peacefully without prejudice and hate.

I don't agree with his polarization--that somehow these folks are fundamentalists on one side of a faith line. His argument that the Enlightenment caused the Nazis and Gulags is foolish.

But his jeremiad is aimed at people who think they KNOW how this little world works.
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lakjaw, March 26, 2008 (view all comments by lakjaw)
Atheists claiming to be "utopians", "extremists" (with fundamentalists being on the other end of the "extreme"), not making arguments from a "moral" standpoint, and using "faith" to support their stance? Sounds like the whining of a person who cannot/will not take the time to understand the real meaning of atheism. It's very easy: a = without; theism = god beliefs. Or, a = without; theists = gods.

There is no "faith". Actually, it is a lack of faith, the definition of which is irrational belief, i.e., the belief in that which has no basis in fact. Thus, Hedges is not "courageous" in his stance. He is perpetrating an outright lie. I would also point out that it is not atheists who are perpetrating "holy wars" and "crusades" (per George Bush) against one another. Even the most cursory investigation into who is getting rich "in the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects" is easily revealed, and they are NOT atheists, but rather the chest-thumping, bible-whacking theists.

The vast majority of atheists do not depend upon the writings of bronze-age goat-herders for their ethics in life, nor do they rely on the "get-out-of-hell-free" ticket in order to live ethical lives. Atheists did not perpetrate the illegal war of aggression which is currently being waged in the Middle East, nor are they becoming obscenely wealthy on the backs of young, deluded and dishonored (by their government and CiC) soldiers.

But that aside, Hedges has shown himself to be without critical thinking skills right from the get-go, by entitling his book as he did. It is up to the theist to support their positive assertion (and they have not done so), not up to the atheist to support their neutral position. Furthermore, we are neither radical nor subversive. We are people who think that we should use the grey matter for more than stuffing to keep their ears separated. We are not "radical" because we do not believe in invisible "friends" or "fathers" or "holy ghosts" who (according to Abrahamic traditions) have perpetrated some of the world's worst atrocities long before human beings had the technology for WMDs.

Hedges, you need to shut up and THINK (for a change). Atheism is simply NOT a belief, nor is it in any way "radical". It's not even "new". Try studying the life (and death) of Socrates. Methinks the standards for obtaining a "divinity degree" at Harvard have slipped immeasurably.

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jimreed, March 22, 2008 (view all comments by jimreed)
I haven't read Chris Hedges' book as yet but I do hope to find time to do so. It's a subject that has always interested me. (Can one comment on a book one hasn't read?)

I have read his essay on Alternet and that's how I arrived here in this comment box.

Mr. Hedges is quite correct to say that a debate is going on and that it is between the extremes: Atheists on the one hand and Religious Fundamentalists of whatever stripe -Christian, Muslim, Jewish - etc. on the other. None of these big groups - by the way - has a great deal to be proud of.

Mr. Hitchens represents one extreme and the God-fearing fundamentalists, the other...but most of us are somewhere in between, on a kind of belief/faith spectrum.

I agree with the proposition that each of the extremes believes that humankind can reach, or at least strive for a moral pinnacle. That goal can be achieved only by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal saviour - if you're a religious fundamentalist;

For the Atheist, the pinnacle can be reached only by employing science and not by relying on the beneficence of God. Each group does seek a kind of human and/or spiritual "utopia".

In the middle is the vast and overwhelming number of human beings - billions of us, I suspect - who are neither completely faithless, nor fully faithful. We - whether we are regular or occasional churchgoers - or just good people who don't bother much with church, are the ones who watch this "debate" in awe.

We are in awe at the wasted words and the pointless arguments made by each side. We wish that both would calm down and get on with loving their fellow human beings.

Nevertheless, when the debate is rational, it's healthy. It makes us think. And for those of us in the majority, it helps us realize that Aristotle was right to advocate moderation in all things.





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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416567950
Author:
Hedges, Chris
Publisher:
Free Press
Author:
Hedges,
Author:
Chris
Subject:
Atheism
Subject:
Institutions & Organizations
Subject:
Good and evil
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Agnosticism
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20080304
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
index
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7 x 5 in 8.89 oz

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Related Subjects


Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Spirituality » Science and Religion
Religion » Western Religions » Theology
Religion » World Religions » Religion and Science

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Product details 224 pages Free Press - English 9781416567950 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of The New Fascists speaks out against religious and secular fundamentalism as he explores the New Atheists: those who attack religion to advance their causes.
"Synopsis" by , From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the new atheists who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle.

The new atheists, led by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, do not make moral arguments about religion. Rather, they have created a new form of fundamentalism that attempts to permeate society with ideas about our own moral superiority and the omnipotence of human reason.

I Don't Believe in Atheists critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice.

Hedges claims that those who have placed blind faith in the morally neutral disciplines of reason and science create idols in their own image — a sin for either side of the spectrum. He makes an impassioned, intelligent case against religious and secular fundamentalism, which seeks to divide the world into those worthy of moral and intellectual consideration and those who should be condemned, silenced and eradicated. Hedges shatters the new atheists' assault against religion in America, and in doing so, makes way for new, moderate voices to join the debate. This is a book that must be read to understand the state of the battle about faith.

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