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Chris Hedges - I Don’t Believe in Atheists (merged)
Posted: 23 August 2008 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 436 ]
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Did you grow up Muslim or Baha’i?

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Posted: 23 August 2008 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 437 ]
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OhioDoc - 23 August 2008 09:23 AM

Did you grow up Muslim or Baha’i?

Muslim, unfortunately….but in a very loose sense of the word, fortunately smile

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Posted: 23 August 2008 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 438 ]
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Can you expand a little more on your dislike of Hedges?

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Posted: 23 August 2008 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 439 ]
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He is wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to begin.  His criticisms of prominent atheists like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris et al. are misguided.  They are not ‘fundamentalists’ or even utopians.  They just want religion - all religion - to get out of our face.  Far from being bigoted firebrands, they are all experts in their own fields are very articulate and eloquent advocates for the end of medieval barbarism of religion that has somehow managed to survive into the 21st century.  (I find it absolutely astonishing that we’re having to re-invent the wheel, and still having discussions about whether or not not there is a god.  No there isn’t.  Get over it.)

On another level I find his empathy with the Muslims really patronising and misplaced.  His position is typical of the guilt-ridden Western liberals who have traditionally blamed every problem in the developing world on big, bad imperialists, whilst excusing every wrong doing of the hapless ‘victims’.

It’s the same rubbish today; Cheney, Bush and Big Oil have replaced the imperialists of yore, and the ‘third world’ has been replaced by Islamic countries.  I find the relentless apologia of the likes of Hedges, and Robert Fisk incredibly infuriating.  They are the Islamists’ Useful Idiots.

Finally I found his whole attitude in the interview really arrogant.  He came across as an obnoxious little sh*t.  Yet you listen to any number of interviews that Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins have given over the years, and you’ll find plenty of warmth, humanity and even self-deprecating humour in them.[/color]

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Posted: 23 August 2008 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 440 ]
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Mehran - 23 August 2008 10:11 AM

On another level I find his empathy with the Muslims really patronising and misplaced.  His position is typical of the guilt-ridden Western liberals who have traditionally blamed every problem in the developing world on big, bad imperialists, whilst excusing every wrong doing of the hapless ‘victims’.

It’s the same rubbish today; Cheney, Bush and Big Oil have replaced the imperialists of yore, and the ‘third world’ has been replaced by Islamic countries.  I find the relentless apologia of the likes of Hedges, and Robert Fisk incredibly infuriating.  They are the Islamists’ Useful Idiots.

Once, Islam saved the science developed by the Greeks and Romans from barbarism. But, frozen in time, they are now a dangerous anachronism, made powerful only by the lucky accident of oil. They deserve no special treatment for this.

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Posted: 05 September 2008 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 441 ]
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Some theists are ever so arrtogant in their denunciation of us like haughty John Haught: he has the temerity to suggest that we are so out of touch with theism that we only recognize the scientific approach at the expense of other venues of knowledge. but he begs the question in affirming them: he does not show them!
As PZ Myers notes @ Pharyngula notes, those theists are like the courtier who slams others for not perusing the erudite tomes on the emperor’s new attire. Dawkins demolishes forms of natural theology that most people would come across. Why would he bother with the more recondite that they would not fathom.
Also some critics bray that we only try to demolish natural theology when there are those more recondite conpepts, glossing over that other theists so further natural theology as does Richard Swinburne.
In the end, even the most fervent defender of natural theology bathes in faith, the we just say so of credulity. Faith begs the question of its subject in order to avoid gving evidence thereof. Science is acqquired knowledge as Sydney Hooks notes while faith begs the question of being knowledge.
  I find that end the end Hedges, Haught and Alister McGrath make no more sense than Pat Robertson - just a non-fundamentalist form of superstition!
  Skeptic Society will have a conference amongst new atheists and some of their critics. 
  Blessed are we with Paul Kurtz!

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 05 September 2008 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 442 ]
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Mehran: It’s the same rubbish today; Cheney, Bush and Big Oil have replaced the imperialists of yore, and the ‘third world’ has been replaced by Islamic countries.

Not quite sure what you’re trying to say here. Do you consider it false to claim that the U.S. is “imperialist” in an economic, political and military sense?

Should CFI hitch its cart to the various U.S. wars of conquest and occupation as a preferred tool of bringing ‘enlightenment values’ to the Islamic world and other neo-colonial regions of the planet?

I think Hedges and Fisk are correct at least in arguing that such a perspective will produce anything but the (ostensibly) desired result.

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Posted: 07 September 2008 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 443 ]
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I stand with Obama-Biden on this wrong war and most everything else.
    What do we do to overcome Hedge’s nonsense about us new atheists? How can we strengthen naturalism and humanism?
    Sarah Palin makes as much sense as Paul Tillich, Alister McGrath, Alvin Platinga and haughtyJohn Haught! Prof. Irwin Corey makes more sense!
    Hitchings knows the scam that is religion!
    Thankfully we have Paul Kurtz and Michael Sherman and James Randi and their groups!

[ Edited: 07 September 2008 12:24 PM by Carneades [ lord griggs1947] ]
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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 27 December 2008 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 444 ]
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Another anti-atheist blast from Chris Hedges!  I’ll have copies of this for forum members when it’s published.

The cost of the new atheism

Barney Zwartz
December 27, 2008
http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainment/books/book-reviews/the-cost-of-the-new-atheism/2008/12/24/1229998583768.html

[...]

This brilliant book highlights what is obvious to most reasonable observers: that these fundamentalist atheists, with their vapid, complacent self-righteousness and their facile and unjustifiable certainties, are the precise mirror image of the fundamentalist Christians, Muslims etc they so despise.

Hedges himself is not easy to typecast. He has been just as scathing about religious fundamentalism in American Fascists, his bestseller attacking the religious right. He presciently predicted two weeks after George Bush’s “mission accomplished” speech how damaging the Iraqi occupation would be. He spent decades as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and other publications, studied at Harvard Divinity School and now lectures at Princeton. His own religious position is obscure: he has little time for fundamentalists or liberals.

Like Christian radicals, the new atheists have built squalid little belief systems that serve themselves and their own power, that seek to scare people about what they do not understand, and to use this fear to justify cruelty and war. “They ask us to kneel before little idols that look and act like them, telling us that one day, if we trust enough in God or reason, we will have everything we desire.”

The battle is not between religion and science but religious and secular fundamentalism. And Hedges finds the agenda of the new atheists - Hitchens, Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and others - equally intolerant and dangerous.

It is intolerant because it is based on a closed worldview that dismisses all other views without even examining them. . . .

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Posted: 28 December 2008 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 445 ]
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Another one? Oh christ…I don’t think I can stand it.

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Posted: 27 March 2009 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 446 ]
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Anyone in the U.S. want a free copy of this book?  I’ve got a stack of ‘em.  PM me with your address.

i-dont-believe-in-atheists-chris-hedges-unabridged-compact-discs-highbridge-audio-books.jpg&usg=AFQjCNHgy7cTeT5Gngh2okQsAjGblJqKLg

[ Edited: 28 August 2009 04:36 AM by josh_karpf ]
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Posted: 27 August 2009 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 447 ]
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Mehran - 23 August 2008 08:42 AM

Hedges kept saying he lived in a Muslism country for seven number of years and he spoke Arabic fluently (and made repeated references to his years of reporting from the ‘war zones’ - no doubt from the safety of some 5-star hotel paid for by NYT).  Anyway, so what?

You pretty much pinpointed the most ridiculous thing possible to criticize Chris Hedges for.  Without any bias or preference, one can factually say that Hedges has seen more harsh combat than almost any reporter in the last 100 years.  He has come close to death multiple times, seen death, been tortured.  If he has authority to speak on anything, it is the brutality of war, and the reality of a decaying and fully collapsed society, as he saw it firsthand for 20 years, in over 50 countries.  He was the NY Times foreign correspondent until he resigned due to how the paper was handling the Iraq War in the run up to the invasion. 

You don’t have to be an expert on Hedges to have an opinion, but at least learn when it’s pointed out, like now.  The reason he keeps mentioning the dark impulses in the human heart is because he saw the murder, torture, and sadism first hand.  The reason he questions moral progress is because it can only really be claimed if you ignore huge atrocities that take place around the world every single day.  The structure of society is what keeps us from killing each other for resources.  Look at what happened to New Orleans as society disintegrated in a matter of weeks.  You had people that were courageous, moral, and rescuing, that kind of thing, but you also saw the worst of the worst.  A better example of the moral decay that challenges the idea of moral progress is the entirety of his new book, Empire of Illusions.  I strongly recommend it, and it has nothing to do with attacking a small group of prominent atheists.  It’s a brutal, and uncompromising sociological analysis of American society, and it will make you think.  The moral decay of society is equally relevant to atheists and people of religion, and this book will alter your opinion on morality.

As far as Harris, that is the definition of a man who is criticizing war torn regions from a 5 star hotel.  But the hotel isn’t even in the middle east, it’s in America.  Harris is great at pointing out the irrationality of superstitious belief.  He has a way of breaking it down into it’s simplest form, almost insultingly simple and condescending, but that is his style and it’s effective.  Hitchens is a great writer, and I will always be able to appreciate his attitude, and his nuanced debates on a wide range of topics, including atheism.  But Hedges hits them both hard on the issue of racism, endorsement for war and violence, and their general ignorance of the middle east (and Harris is infinitely worse than Hitchens in this area), and Hedges is dead right.  I can easily see that he’s right on this issue and still appreciate Harris and Hitchens.  After all, they aren’t infallible, they aren’t flawless, and if they are truly scientific and rational instead of dogmatic, they should not be resistant to change and the evolution of their ideas.  Frankly, they were hit on a few points, legitimately, and they should evolve their positions to reflect that, or else prove their dogmatism.

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Posted: 27 August 2009 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 448 ]
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A Voice of Sanity - 23 August 2008 11:10 AM

Once, Islam saved the science developed by the Greeks and Romans from barbarism. But, frozen in time, they are now a dangerous anachronism, made powerful only by the lucky accident of oil. They deserve no special treatment for this.

This is blatant racism.

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Posted: 27 August 2009 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 449 ]
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Mehran - 23 August 2008 10:11 AM

On another level I find his empathy with the Muslims really patronising and misplaced.  His position is typical of the guilt-ridden Western liberals who have traditionally blamed every problem in the developing world on big, bad imperialists, whilst excusing every wrong doing of the hapless ‘victims’.

It’s the same rubbish today; Cheney, Bush and Big Oil have replaced the imperialists of yore, and the ‘third world’ has been replaced by Islamic countries.  I find the relentless apologia of the likes of Hedges, and Robert Fisk incredibly infuriating.  They are the Islamists’ Useful Idiots.

It seems like you’re actually trying to deny the facts of history, just looking for some clarification here.  So do you think that being upset about being bombed is whining?  I’m seriously asking.  Do you think that overthrowing a democratically elected government, and then using military and economic aid to keep oppressive dictators in power that siphon wealth from the people and move it to the 1st world is problematic?  If not, do you think China should do that to us now?  How about foreign occupation, is this a good thing to you? 

Mehran - 23 August 2008 10:11 AM

Finally I found his whole attitude in the interview really arrogant.  He came across as an obnoxious little sh*t.  Yet you listen to any number of interviews that Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins have given over the years, and you’ll find plenty of warmth, humanity and even self-deprecating humour in them.[/color][/color]

Hitchens’ entire career is based on his attitude, arrogance and thinly veiled verbal attacks.  I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, it happens to be one of my favorite things about him.  Harris has blatantly said racist and extremely incendiary things about the Middle East, so that’s kind of difficult to categorize as warm and full of humanity.  Hedges was definitely confrontational in the interview, but if you condemned everyone who was confrontational, it would be impossible to be a fan of Hitchens.  Not to mention, your argument about manners is completely irrelevant.  It’s like saying religion is true because it makes me feel good.  The truth doesn’t always make you feel good, sometimes it’s difficult and challenging to hear, I would say it usually is.

[ Edited: 28 August 2009 12:05 AM by Shinta ]
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Posted: 28 August 2009 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 450 ]
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I agree, Shinta, but would put it more strongly.

When it comes to Hitchens and Harris, secularism and atheism are merely camouflage for their real agenda, which is promoting full-throated liberal support for U.S. imperialist goals in the Middle East.  They don’t criticize Western policies of conquest, plunder, occupation and the imposition of ‘friendly’ governtments on Middle Eastern countries, because they don’t see these as any kind of crime. On the contrary, the only ‘criminals’ and ‘terrorists’, by their lights, are those resisting U.S. policy.

In my opinion such ‘secularism’ is not only discredited by Hitchens’ disgusting Islamophobic diatribes (the thinnest camouflage for pure racism), or Harris’s blood-chilling appeals for the nuclear immolation of Iran, but above all by the fact that they are willing to make common cause with the most extreme right-wing Christian crusaders and ultra-zionists to advance their cause.

CFI’s openness toward these ‘cruise-missile secularists’ is the counterpart of the bristling hostility you find toward Hedges - not for his hand-wringing liberal moralism - but for his (unthinkable) hostility to the sacred imperial mission.

[ Edited: 28 August 2009 08:51 AM by Balak ]
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