When I started writing this column, I set out with the goal of lifting up frequently overlooked nontheist perspectives—the atheist voices that are generally ignored by those who are only interested in narratives of conflict and certainty.
From the popularity of 'Cosmos' on Fox-TV to the Roku launch of 'Atheist TV', from open atheist James Woods's inspiring congressional campaign to Richard Dawkins's less-than-inspiring tweets, atheists made headlines all year.
"This nefarious use of the term reveals the charge of 'atheist fundamentalism' for what it sometimes is: A weapon to marginalize critique of religion and the religious, and to maintain a status quo in which religious viewpoints, practices, and communities are privileged over nonreligious ones."
"Fundamentalism as an ideological category has historically been limited to religion. But as atheism grows and begins to double as a political identity for many, I propose expanding that category to include nonbelievers."
"We know animals can suffer, have no divine reason to suppose that only our suffering matters, and we're currently inflicting constant and severe suffering to a staggering number of conscious creatures."
Richard Dawkins and others have already demonstrated that they're not afraid to direct their skepticism toward religious ideas. But the freethinking spirit they strive to embody and promote can't be limited to this one area.
In part two of his conversation with RNS, 'Life After Faith' author Philip Kitcher explores how to disentangle ethics from religion, the connection between values and community, and why doubt is just the beginning of Humanism.
Atheist philosopher Philip Kitcher talks with RNS about his disagreements with “New Atheism,” how secular humanism is similar to religion and how it is different, and what Humanists can learn from religion.
I know not all atheists identify as secular humanists, but for those that do—for the nonbelieving individuals and groups who, like me, contend for secular rights and ethical reasoning conducive to the wellbeing of all humans—I need you.