Category Archives: Humanist Talk

New Atheism, Accommodationism, and Humanism in a World Gone Mad – Part Three

Atheism, New Atheism, and accommodationism

In the last post, I discussed my impressions of the current political situation in the United States. In this post, I will cover a bit of my own history, and how I, along with the entire atheist movement was influenced by the writings of Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Stenger, who became the vanguard of the “New Atheists.” I’ll talk a bit about the schism that has developed within the atheist movement that threatens what could be the only way out of the situation I discussed in the last post.

To begin with, before atheists and Humanists can do anything about anything, we first have to stop squabbling among ourselves, decide who we really are, what we really want, and how, exactly to go about it. The currently overwhelming opposition we’re facing, both from the religionists and the corporatists is directed, coherent, purposed, and focused. We must be the same, and we are nowhere near being there.

Indeed, we are far better off than we would have been prior to 2004 (the publication of “End of Faith,”) in that we are much better aware of our numbers, and are far more organized, but we are also deeply divided as to how we should deal with the religious, and like the Tea Party, we are squabbling over the wrong enemy. The various Tea Party groups disagree over how to attack the government, when the government isn’t the problem, just as we are squabbling over how to deal with the religious when the religious aren’t the problem! The real problem is the Corporatocracy that’s responsible for creating the divisions between most Americans in the first place. Continue reading

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New Atheism, Accommodationism, and Humanism in a World Gone Mad – Part Two

Towards a Theocratic Idiocracy

As most of you know, we left this area a year ago, and moved to a quiet little village in Mexico, on the North shore of Mexico’s largest lake, just 40 minutes south of Guadalajara. We live very simply, even in comparison with our fellow expats, as, unlike most of them, we have no vehicle and no TV. We walk everywhere we go, and our entertainment consists mostly of movies, and, during the season, live baseball streamed on the internet. We occasionally watch streamed news broadcasts from the states, and I keep-up with events by monitoring a steadily decreasing number of web sites.

The number of sites I monitor is decreasing for a couple of reasons: One, I am becoming less and less interested in what’s going on up there, and two, as more and more sites are acquired by larger and larger organizations, the truth of what’s happening in the country is becoming increasingly more obscured, and it was pretty damn obscure to begin with. Remove yourself from day-to-day immersion in the culture of the United States for a year, and the big picture becomes much clearer, even to the casual observer. Continue reading

New Atheism, Accommodationism, and Humanism in a World Gone Mad – Part One

My Humanist group, “Humanists & Freethinkers of Cape Fear,” has invited me to be their speaker at the regular monthly meeting on Sunday afternoon, May 8th at 5 PM.  I was going to be in town anyway, and they could get me cheap, so they decided to take another chance and let me address them again. The last time I spoke there was two years ago, when I addressed the question of whether or not America was founded to be a Christian nation. With everything that’s happened in the last two years, it seems like a minor point, almost a moot question. Anyhow, as I have to write another paper for the group, I thought I might as well serialize it here on this blog as I haven’t used it for months. The first part, presented here, is the abstract for the talk. There will be more material here, over the weeks to come, then I will have time to present to the group in May.

If some modern “Rip Van Winkle” went to sleep two years ago, just after I made my last presentation to you on the “Christian Nation” question, what do you think would be their impression of the world we wake up to now? All that “hopey, changey” stuff is long gone, for most of us, replaced with fear, outrage, and uncertainty. Not only in the halls of Congress, but in State Houses all over the country, it seems that the bulwarks of democracy are being torn down, and with them, our First Amendment protections are being stripped by politicians eager to pander to their right-wing religious base.

Or are they? Who is it they are really pandering to? Is it the Religious Right, or is the Corporate Oligarchy who put them where they are, and does it make a difference as far as we’re concerned as Humanists? When you’re on the rack, does it matter who’s turning the screw and why? I would like to investigate the possibility that what’s going on in Congress and in the various States, is nothing but another diversion, as was the Astroturf, big business-funded “Tea Party,” designed to further divide us as Americans, and make us less likely to unite against those who would steal our remaining liberties. Continue reading