Friday, December 05, 2008

How to talk to the 'New Atheist'?

First by understanding the struggles that they face, and their aspiration as atheists.

Richard Dawkins Foundation has graciously uploaded a 2-hour recording of table-talk among the "Four Horsemen", namely Dawkins himself, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.

The talk is interesting. They discuss about Alister McGrath, Francis Collin etc. There is a part where Dawkins and Dennett grilled Hitchens over his wish that he still want people to go to church even if he is against their belief. Then there is also mentioned that Dawkins still say grace over meal sometimes.

I agree with one of the point they make regarding the theologians. They said that theologians always raised objection against them that their argument is only targeted towards the fundamentalist camp of religion, not the 'real' religion with all its deep theology.

These 4 horsemen are frustrated that these theologians know the fundamentalist-mentality among congregants yet they still continue encouraging the church goers by their teaching. For eg. theologians deem Genesis 1-3 as literature rather than historical account of what really happened, yet they still preach Gen 1-3 as if it is narrating historical event to the church.

Hour 1: Google Video | Quicktime (78.7 MB) | Torrent | Audio Only (mp3, 26.6 MB)
Hour 2: Google Video | Quicktime (73.6 MB) | Torrent | Audio Only (mp3, 27.1 MB)

Read the transcript here

Source: http://richarddawkinsfoundation.org

It's one thing to read them and engage with their works, it is altogether a different experience to hear them talk about their struggles and challenges they met and still meeting, the aspiration and vision they have for the society.

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