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A Defense of New Atheism: A Reply to Massimo Pigliucci

Science, Religion and Culture

A Defense of New Atheism: A Reply to Massimo Pigliucci

Victor J. Stenger

Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA

ABSTRACT

Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci has written an article highly critical of the new atheists and accusing them of scientism. He implies that only professional philosophers like himself are qualified to discuss the subject. However, the books Pigliucci criticizes were not intended to be philosophical treatises. They are popular books addressed to a public that is becoming increasingly disenchanted with organized religion and its negative influence on society. The new approach takes a harder line in criticizing religion than was previously the case amongst secularists. The new atheists question whether faith, which is belief despite the absence of evidence or even in the presence of contrary evidence, has any moral or intellectual authority. New Atheism recognizes religion for what it is—a set of unfounded superstitions that have been the greatest hindrance to human progress that ever existed on this planet.

 

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Science, Religion and Culture

June

Vol. 5, Sp. Iss. 1 Pages 1-82

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