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New Atheism in political context.


theObserver@hotmail.com

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
2,424
Post WW2 Europe witnessed an unprecedented population increase fueled by stable employment, improving medical care, material conditions, optimism, stability, government cash incentives, returning prisoners of war and immigration from former colonies. By 1950 the unemployment rate in western Europe was just 3% everywhere except in Italy; in 1960 it was just 1.5%. Europe had rebuilt itself from the destruction of WW2 and was once again thriving and above all, it was young - in France, for example, one person in three was under thirty. To paraphrase Harold Macmillan, Europe never had it so good.

The extraordinary high birth rate and the determination of parents who suffered during WW2 to create a better life for their children, led to an extraordinary increase in schools and universities and therefore an increase of the numbers of educated young people. Thanks to the economic stability and prosperity of the 1950's and 60's, parents could afford to allow their children to keep the money they earned in part-time jobs. The new media of television and radio become wide spread across Europe. The stage was now set for the famous youth fueled 1960s.

The 1960s is famous for sexual experimentation and political activism. However this is mostly exaggeration. The 60s did see the rise of the teenager and young adult consumer who for the first time had disposable income of their own to spend. And spend they did - on music, clothes, films and holidays. This generation was above all aware of it's youth and uniqueness. The clothes and music they bought reflected this. Clothes became age-specific, reflecting a youthful rebellion against the older generation those were bodies unsuited to revealing clothes only flattering to the young. The popular music of the time loved to outrage the older generation and guardians of morals. But contrary to myth, the 1960's marked the point when Europe turned away from politics:

The illusion that Communism was reformable, that Stalinism had been a wrong turning, a mistake that could still be corrected, that the core ideals of democratic pluralism might somehow still be compatible with the structures of Marxist collectivism: that illusion was crushed under the tanks on August 21st 1968 and it never recovered. Alexander Dubček and his Action Program were not a beginning but an end. Never again would radicals or reformers look to the ruling Party to carry their aspirations or adopt their projects. Communism in Eastern Europe staggered on, sustained by an unlikely alliance of foreign loans and Russian bayonets: the rotting carcass was finally carried away only in 1989. But the soul of Communism had died twenty years before: in Prague, in August 1968. - Postwar Europe, Tony Judt.

The disgrace of Communism during the 60's cannot be overstated: an entire generation of the youthful left grew up steeped in Marxist rhetoric; rhetoric which by 1968 was truly discredited. By 1970 the baby boomers were entering middle age in a post-prosperity Europe plunged once again into recession by two unexpected oil crisises and the US abandonment of fixed currency exchange. Young adults who once talked of "alienation" and "liberation of the proletariat" developed into middle aged men and women more concerned with supporting their families and their future pension plans in social welfare states now living beyond their means. Worse, the rise of constructivism during the 60's - which claimed all behavior, opinion and knowledge was socially derived and therefore politically instrumental and should be regarded with suspicion - had by the 1970's hardened into a widespread cynicism where an aging population was forced by circumstances to give precedence to their own individual well being. The politics of the Left and Right were closer than ever before, distinguished only by social issues like marriage and reproduction. What then emerged was "single issue politics" - movements whose members are united only by a single cause and with a reluctance to formally support any existing political party. Three such movements would have lasting impact: feminism, environmentalism, peace activism.


It is in this context I believe New Atheism should be placed and understood. New Atheism is a single issue movement united by a single cause which like feminism and peace activism (but not environmentalism) has been incorporated with various degrees of success into mainstream politics but is without a political party of it's own. It was no surprise then when the Atheist+ movement was stillborn over it's adaption of feminism; I would expect similar splits to occur should Atheist+ attempt to adapt peace activism or environmentalism due to the absence of any common denominator or unifying belief. This is not to say the Left, as it commonly claimed, is out of ideas. Rather the Left is out of grand ideas.

What will the future hold for New Atheism? Those who attempt to dismiss the movement as a fashionable fad are wrong. It is no more a fad than feminism and it will exist so long as religious organizations demand political power.

But the glory days of consistent best selling books and media headlines are over. Richard Dawkins best selling God Delusion spawned a near countless number of published rebuttals from outraged believers of every religion and earned Dawkins a headline media profile. He has done more to promote religious debate in Ireland than any member of the Roman Church. But his star like the Roman church itself has faded. The public appetite for such debate is sated and so the attack dogs of the New Atheists and the righteous defenders of God are destined to grapple together in the virtual and published worlds while the West at large ignores them both.

In short, the fate of New Atheism is linked with the faith of political religion; both will rise and fall in response to public apathy. The next battlegrounds are opening in Africa and Asia where religion has seen huge gains but so to have religious motivated identity politics and violence. New Atheism is destined to remain a single issue movement whose success will lie in its ability to lobby well established political parties. It will remain part of the ebb and flow of the political tide for some time to come.
 

finbin o toole

Active member
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
136
Post WW2 Europe witnessed an unprecedented population increase fueled by stable employment, improving medical care, material conditions, optimism, stability, government cash incentives, returning prisoners of war and immigration from former colonies. By 1950 the unemployment rate in western Europe was just 3% everywhere except in Italy; in 1960 it was just 1.5%. Europe had rebuilt itself from the destruction of WW2 and was once again thriving and above all, it was young - in France, for example, one person in three was under thirty. To paraphrase Harold Macmillan, Europe never had it so good.

The extraordinary high birth rate and the determination of parents who suffered during WW2 to create a better life for their children, led to an extraordinary increase in schools and universities and therefore an increase of the numbers of educated young people. Thanks to the economic stability and prosperity of the 1950's and 60's, parents could afford to allow their children to keep the money they earned in part-time jobs. The new media of television and radio become wide spread across Europe. The stage was now set for the famous youth fueled 1960s.

The 1960s is famous for sexual experimentation and political activism. However this is mostly exaggeration. The 60s did see the rise of the teenager and young adult consumer who for the first time had disposable income of their own to spend. And spend they did - on music, clothes, films and holidays. This generation was above all aware of it's youth and uniqueness. The clothes and music they bought reflected this. Clothes became age-specific, reflecting a youthful rebellion against the older generation those were bodies unsuited to revealing clothes only flattering to the young. The popular music of the time loved to outrage the older generation and guardians of morals. But contrary to myth, the 1960's marked the point when Europe turned away from politics:




The disgrace of Communism during the 60's cannot be overstated: an entire generation of the youthful left grew up steeped in Marxist rhetoric; rhetoric which by 1968 was truly discredited. By 1970 the baby boomers were entering middle age in a post-prosperity Europe plunged once again into recession by two unexpected oil crisises and the US abandonment of fixed currency exchange. Young adults who once talked of "alienation" and "liberation of the proletariat" developed into middle aged men and women more concerned with supporting their families and their future pension plans in social welfare states now living beyond their means. Worse, the rise of constructivism during the 60's - which claimed all behavior, opinion and knowledge was socially derived and therefore politically instrumental and should be regarded with suspicion - had by the 1970's hardened into a widespread cynicism where an aging population was forced by circumstances to give precedence to their own individual well being. The politics of the Left and Right were closer than ever before, distinguished only by social issues like marriage and reproduction. What then emerged was "single issue politics" - movements whose members are united only by a single cause and with a reluctance to formally support any existing political party. Three such movements would have lasting impact: feminism, environmentalism, peace activism.


It is in this context I believe New Atheism should be placed and understood. New Atheism is a single issue movement united by a single cause which like feminism and peace activism (but not environmentalism) has been incorporated with various degrees of success into mainstream politics but is without a political party of it's own. It was no surprise then when the Atheist+ movement was stillborn over it's adaption of feminism; I would expect similar splits to occur should Atheist+ attempt to adapt peace activism or environmentalism due to the absence of any common denominator or unifying belief. This is not to say the Left, as it commonly claimed, is out of ideas. Rather the Left is out of grand ideas.

What will the future hold for New Atheism? Those who attempt to dismiss the movement as a fashionable fad are wrong. It is no more a fad than feminism and it will exist so long as religious organizations demand political power.

But the glory days of consistent best selling books and media headlines are over. Richard Dawkins best selling God Delusion spawned a near countless number of published rebuttals from outraged believers of every religion and earned Dawkins a headline media profile. He has done more to promote religious debate in Ireland than any member of the Roman Church. But his star like the Roman church itself has faded. The public appetite for such debate is sated and so the attack dogs of the New Atheists and the righteous defenders of God are destined to grapple together in the virtual and published worlds while the West at large ignores them both.

In short, the fate of New Atheism is linked with the faith of political religion; both will rise and fall in response to public apathy. The next battlegrounds are opening in Africa and Asia where religion has seen huge gains but so to have religious motivated identity politics and violence. New Atheism is destined to remain a single issue movement whose success will lie in its ability to lobby well established political parties. It will remain part of the ebb and flow of the political tide for some time to come.
Why do all lefties delude themselves.They have never ever succeeded in government anywhere.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
The disgrace of Communism during the 60's cannot be overstated: an entire generation of the youthful left grew up steeped in Marxist rhetoric; rhetoric which by 1968 was truly discredited.
Marxist rhetoric wasn't discredited.
 

Hand of Abbadon

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
373
Post WW2 Europe witnessed an unprecedented population increase fueled by stable employment, improving medical care, material conditions, optimism, stability, government cash incentives, returning prisoners of war and immigration from former colonies. By 1950 the unemployment rate in western Europe was just 3% everywhere except in Italy; in 1960 it was just 1.5%. Europe had rebuilt itself from the destruction of WW2 and was once again thriving and above all, it was young - in France, for example, one person in three was under thirty. To paraphrase Harold Macmillan, Europe never had it so good.

The extraordinary high birth rate and the determination of parents who suffered during WW2 to create a better life for their children, led to an extraordinary increase in schools and universities and therefore an increase of the numbers of educated young people. Thanks to the economic stability and prosperity of the 1950's and 60's, parents could afford to allow their children to keep the money they earned in part-time jobs. The new media of television and radio become wide spread across Europe. The stage was now set for the famous youth fueled 1960s.

The 1960s is famous for sexual experimentation and political activism. However this is mostly exaggeration. The 60s did see the rise of the teenager and young adult consumer who for the first time had disposable income of their own to spend. And spend they did - on music, clothes, films and holidays. This generation was above all aware of it's youth and uniqueness. The clothes and music they bought reflected this. Clothes became age-specific, reflecting a youthful rebellion against the older generation those were bodies unsuited to revealing clothes only flattering to the young. The popular music of the time loved to outrage the older generation and guardians of morals. But contrary to myth, the 1960's marked the point when Europe turned away from politics:




The disgrace of Communism during the 60's cannot be overstated: an entire generation of the youthful left grew up steeped in Marxist rhetoric; rhetoric which by 1968 was truly discredited. By 1970 the baby boomers were entering middle age in a post-prosperity Europe plunged once again into recession by two unexpected oil crisises and the US abandonment of fixed currency exchange. Young adults who once talked of "alienation" and "liberation of the proletariat" developed into middle aged men and women more concerned with supporting their families and their future pension plans in social welfare states now living beyond their means. Worse, the rise of constructivism during the 60's - which claimed all behavior, opinion and knowledge was socially derived and therefore politically instrumental and should be regarded with suspicion - had by the 1970's hardened into a widespread cynicism where an aging population was forced by circumstances to give precedence to their own individual well being. The politics of the Left and Right were closer than ever before, distinguished only by social issues like marriage and reproduction. What then emerged was "single issue politics" - movements whose members are united only by a single cause and with a reluctance to formally support any existing political party. Three such movements would have lasting impact: feminism, environmentalism, peace activism.


It is in this context I believe New Atheism should be placed and understood. New Atheism is a single issue movement united by a single cause which like feminism and peace activism (but not environmentalism) has been incorporated with various degrees of success into mainstream politics but is without a political party of it's own. It was no surprise then when the Atheist+ movement was stillborn over it's adaption of feminism; I would expect similar splits to occur should Atheist+ attempt to adapt peace activism or environmentalism due to the absence of any common denominator or unifying belief. This is not to say the Left, as it commonly claimed, is out of ideas. Rather the Left is out of grand ideas.

What will the future hold for New Atheism? Those who attempt to dismiss the movement as a fashionable fad are wrong. It is no more a fad than feminism and it will exist so long as religious organizations demand political power.

But the glory days of consistent best selling books and media headlines are over. Richard Dawkins best selling God Delusion spawned a near countless number of published rebuttals from outraged believers of every religion and earned Dawkins a headline media profile. He has done more to promote religious debate in Ireland than any member of the Roman Church. But his star like the Roman church itself has faded. The public appetite for such debate is sated and so the attack dogs of the New Atheists and the righteous defenders of God are destined to grapple together in the virtual and published worlds while the West at large ignores them both.

In short, the fate of New Atheism is linked with the faith of political religion; both will rise and fall in response to public apathy. The next battlegrounds are opening in Africa and Asia where religion has seen huge gains but so to have religious motivated identity politics and violence. New Atheism is destined to remain a single issue movement whose success will lie in its ability to lobby well established political parties. It will remain part of the ebb and flow of the political tide for some time to come.
So what happens to Old Atheists? Is there an atheist limbo? Is there a New God now that Old Atheists did not knoww about? Can all atheists ,new and Old, have the pleasure of not believing in both of these gods?
 

Hand of Abbadon

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
373
Marxist rhetoric wasn't discredited.[/QUOTE]

This is true. It was never credited to begin with, except by gullible youths and begrudgers who knew no better.
 

storybud1

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Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
6,741
Who the fook would follow or listen to an Atheist ? what have they got to offer ?
Apart from spending all their time like Ricky Gervais dissing old testament rubbish (Duh!)
there is not a lot to pass on ?

Funny how all the great Atheists/socialists like Hitler/Stalin/Mao etc have murdered countless millions and it is never mentioned by the left?

Lefties are very dangerous, they just don't know the conclusion of their ideals.
 
R

Ramps

Who the fook would follow or listen to an Atheist ? what have they got to offer ?
Apart from spending all their time like Ricky Gervais dissing old testament rubbish (Duh!)
there is not a lot to pass on ?

Funny how all the great Atheists/socialists like Hitler/Stalin/Mao etc have murdered countless millions and it is never mentioned by the left?

Lefties are very dangerous, they just don't know the conclusion of their ideals.
It's probably not mentioned too much because there is no path from disbelief to mass murder.

Despots, religious or not, killed for a variety of reasons.
 

Kai123

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2010
Messages
1,052
Who the fook would follow or listen to an Atheist ? what have they got to offer ?
Apart from spending all their time like Ricky Gervais dissing old testament rubbish (Duh!)
there is not a lot to pass on ?

Funny how all the great Atheists/socialists like Hitler/Stalin/Mao etc have murdered countless millions and it is never mentioned by the left?

Lefties are very dangerous, they just don't know the conclusion of their ideals.
Not all atheists are lefties.
 

Quebecoise

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Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
375
For me New Atheism comes from the collapse of Communism and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. From the time of the French Revolution right up until the fall of the Berlin wall, 'old atheism' if we want to call it that was always associated with the radical Left. Challenging the religious structures of society went hand in hand with challenging the very structures of society itself. Old atheists were likely to be first republicans, then socialists, libertarians, anarchists, communists and so on.

During the Cold War, the great enemy of the West was the godless communism of the Soviet Empire. For that reason freedom of religious practice was thought to be one of the great virtues of the West in comparison with its enemies. But since 9/11 the great enemy of the West has been Islamic fundamentalism and I think for that reason secularism has now become the defining virtue of Western civilization.

While freedom of religious practice and secularism are mainly compatible, I think there has been a change in the West from one to the other in defining what our civilization stands for. New atheists are I believe a product of this change, and the main difference between old and new atheists is in their politics. Old atheists were nearly always radical leftists, their atheism was wrapped up with a radical desire to undermine the traditional political, economic nature and culture of society.

New atheists are quite mainstream in their politics. You even have atheists in the U.K. who support the royal family. An old atheist would find this very hard to fathom: "You don't believe in the kingdom of heaven, but you believe in kingdoms on earth? Huh?"
 

Quebecoise

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
375
Not all atheists are lefties.
This for me is the great difference between 'Old' and 'New' atheists. The Right have come to accept that a falling off of religious adherence does not mean the collapse of society. In fact you could say that consumerism has been the new religion of the Right since the 1980's and that they have played their own 'invisible hand' in bringing about the decline in religious practice.

Just take a look what's happened to Christmas over the last few decades.
 

MauriceColgan

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Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
7,674
Website
www.politicalworld.org
Far more intelligent people admit to being Atheists, not all by any means, but new scientific findings are encouraging an increase in those, 'coming out'.

We have great communications these days and the subject will be debated on forums all over the world.

Looking forward to hearing, Atheist, J P Donleavy replying to Gay Burnished on RTE.
 

SideysGhost

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Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
17,716
These threads by the bug-eyed bead-rattling loons are hilarious.

There's no such thing as "New Atheism". It's not a religion, it's not a movement, it isn't a shadowy conspiracy controlled by Pope Dawkins.

"New Atheism" - like your gods - exists entirely insisde your demented little heads.

All that has really happened in recent decades is that the huge scientific and technological leaps, especially since the 1970s, the ever-accelerating pace of scientific discovery, the fact we're now delving into the very fundamentals of the universe, that every week we discover more, uncover how stuff actually works, explain more and more phenomenon.....and in not a single case do we ever discover invisible elves, invisible skymen with beards, invisible demons as being the actual explanation for How Stuff Works. There is no evidence whatsoever, on any level, from the scale of galactic superclusters to subatomic quarks and bosons, at any point in the last 14 billion years of the observable universe, that any supernatural entity whatsoever ever had any hand in influencing anything at all.

Religion and all it's kooky primitive gibberish is just laughable in this day and age to anyone with any sort of scientific and technological education. It's exclusively now the preserve of the ignorant, un-educated, and just plain mental - or older people who've been brainwashed all their lives and just can't shake the habit.
 
D

Dylan2010

It is in this context I believe New Atheism should be placed and understood. New Atheism is a single issue movement united by a single cause which like feminism and peace activism (but not environmentalism) has been incorporated with various degrees of success into mainstream politics but is without a political party of it's own. It was no surprise then when the Atheist+ movement was stillborn over it's adaption of feminism; I would expect similar splits to occur should Atheist+ attempt to adapt peace activism or environmentalism due to the absence of any common denominator or unifying belief. This is not to say the Left, as it commonly claimed, is out of ideas. Rather the Left is out of grand ideas.
Why does it need to be wrapped up in a bow? nobody has a monopoly on telling a dictator or in this case a priest to go and F*** off! , in most case its just people "voting" with their feet. One does not need to be a "card carrying" atheist when all one is doing is choosing not to believe in something. The idiological "Baciks" of the world are might see it as a power stuggle as they want the power transferred form the church to themselves but its not an view that parents for exmaple would be interested in.
 

SideysGhost

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Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
17,716
Why does it need to be wrapped up in a bow?
It doesn't and it isn't, but the religious mind is incapable of comprehending individual humans just doing their own thing. Everything has to be done as part of an organised hierarchical system of control, and there has to be some ultimate source of Authority. It's just how they think, how they view the world, and so they just can't get their heads around atheism....or, for that matter, the open source software movement, non-hierarchical self-organising networks, the unfettered internet, or any of the rest of the non-hierarchical non-Gatekeeper models of organisation, business and society that are increasingly dismantling their rigid fossilised old institutions.
 

theObserver@hotmail.com

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Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
2,424
Why does it need to be wrapped up in a bow? nobody has a monopoly on telling a dictator or in this case a priest to go and F*** off! , in most case its just people "voting" with their feet. One does not need to be a "card carrying" atheist when all one is doing is choosing not to believe in something. The idiological "Baciks" of the world are might see it as a power stuggle as they want the power transferred form the church to themselves but its not an view that parents for exmaple would be interested in.
This is a political site and I was writing about New Atheism as a political movement. It is of course possible to be an atheist and not a supporter of New Atheism, just like it is possible to support womens rights without identifying as a feminist.
 

theObserver@hotmail.com

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Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
2,424
These threads by the bug-eyed bead-rattling loons are hilarious.

There's no such thing as "New Atheism". It's not a religion, it's not a movement, it isn't a shadowy conspiracy controlled by Pope Dawkins.
Of course there is. Two years ago they held their annual conference here in Dublin to create an umbrella group uniting all atheist organizations world wide. The conference itself only resulted in a subsequent split in the movement and the rise of the Atheist+, another self styled atheist movement incorporating feminism.

Rift brewing in New Atheist movement over Dublin elevator incident. ~ Through A Blog Darkly
 

SideysGhost

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Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
17,716
Of course there is. Two years ago they held their annual conference here in Dublin to create an umbrella group uniting all atheist organizations world wide. The conference itself only resulted in a subsequent split in the movement and the rise of the Atheist+, another self styled atheist movement incorporating feminism.

Rift brewing in New Atheist movement over Dublin elevator incident. ~ Through A Blog Darkly
Some tiny group nobody has ever heard of calling itself New Atheism does not mean there's some shadowy global conspiracy controlled by Richard Dawkins.

Yer a loony.
 
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