sábado, dezembro 22, 2007

NOVO E VELHO ATEÍSMO

De The New Republic:

"In the penultimate chapter of his best-selling book The God Delusion, biologist and world-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins presents his view of religious education, which he explains by way of an anecdote. Following a lecture in Dublin, he recalls, "I was asked what I thought about the widely publicized cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland. I replied that, horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place." Lest his readers misunderstand him, or dismiss this rather shocking statement as mere off-the-cuff hyperbole, Dawkins goes on to clarify his position. "I am persuaded," he explains, "that the phrase 'child abuse' is no exaggeration when used to describe what teachers and priests are doing to children whom they encourage to believe in something like the punishment of unshriven mortal sins in an eternal hell."

Why Dawkins refuses to take this idea to its logical conclusion--to say that raising a child in a religious tradition, like other forms of child abuse, should be considered a crime punishable by the state--is a mystery, for it follows directly from the character of his atheism. And not just his. Over the past four years, several prominent atheists have made similarly inflammatory claims in a series of best-selling books. Philosopher Daniel Dennett shares Dawkins's hostility to religious education, warning ominously in Breaking the Spell that "under the protective umbrellas of personal privacy and religious freedom there are widespread practices in which parents" harm their children by teaching them ignoble lies. In The End of Faith, writer Sam Harris argues that "the very ideal of religious tolerance--born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God--is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss." And then there is polemicist Christopher Hitchens, whose manifesto God is Not Great culminates in a call for humanity to "escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back to the catacombs and the reeking altars and the guilty pleasures of subjection and abjection ... to know the enemy, and to prepare to fight it."

Journalists have dubbed this combative style of challenging religious belief "the new atheism." To the extent that the appellation is meant to highlight the novelty of virulently anti-religious ideas finding a mass audience in the United States, it is certainly fitting. But, as a description of the style of unbelief itself, it demonstrates a striking lack of historical awareness. That's because "the new atheism" is not particularly new. It belongs to an intellectual genealogy stretching back hundreds of years, to a moment when atheist thought split into two traditions: one primarily concerned with the dispassionate pursuit of truth, the other driven by a visceral contempt for the personal faith of others."

2 Comentários:

Blogger Diogo disse...

Para os mais distraídos, não parece, mas por acaso o que se celebra é o nascimento de Cristo.

Bom Natal

sábado, dezembro 22, 2007 1:44:00 da tarde  
Blogger TT disse...

Boa noite, tenho um pequeno artigo sobre Franco Nogueira e gostaria que alguém me dissesse o nome duma revista para onde o pudesse enviar a fim de ser publicado. Os tipos da Nação e Defesa disseram-me que era pequeno (6.000 palavras...).

Bem já que aqui estou, sempre posso dizer que já li "A desilusão de Deus". Achei um livro bastante pertinente, que não me deu respostas mas que me levantou inúmeras perguntas!

vvvulturus@sapo.pt

sábado, dezembro 22, 2007 11:02:00 da tarde  

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