New Atheism - or New Audience?
In this provocative presentation, CFI President & CEO Ronald A. Lindsay will challenge the conventional wisdom that the so-called “new atheism” represents a radical departure from “old atheism”—or from secular humanism. Lindsay argues that the new atheists received more attention than the old atheists principally because people in the West today are more receptive to criticism of religion, which is a development we should welcome. Moreover, the message of the new atheists is not opposed to secular humanism. The new atheists simply do not address at length issues which many humanists regard as important. However, in this regard, it should be noted that humanists themselves have not succeeded in delivering what they have promised, including a well-grounded secular ethics. Less attention should be paid to alleged differences between new atheists and humanists and more attention should be devoted to the positive goals humanist have set for themselves.
Dr. Ronald A. Lindsay (J.D., University of Virginia, Ph.D., Georgetown University) was in private practice with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP before joining the Center for Inquiry in 2006. While a lawyer, he was still able to pursue his philosophical interests: He has taught at Georgetown University and American University; he has written for Free Inquiry since 1984; and he has authored a dozen articles that have appeared in refereed academic journals. His book, Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas, was published by Prometheus in 2008.
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