Does God exist? Is religion merely a superstition? Does anyone even care in an era when scientific rationalism has become, for many, a sufficient explanation for just about everything under the sun?
These are some of the questions raised in our recent spring issue in an article entitled “Atheists with Attitude,” by WIE editors Carter Phipps and Joel Pitney. The article addresses a phenomenon that is coming to be known as the “new atheism”—a fierce and highly publicized critique of religious belief being led by such thinkers as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. The new atheists contend that scientific rationality has proven religion (and spirituality in general) not only to be obsolete but downright dangerous. And they have set off a firestorm of controversy pitting philosopher against philosopher and evolutionist against theologian in a high-stakes turf war at the intersection of contemporary science and spirituality.
Since “Atheists with Attitude” hit the newsstands, we’ve received a multitude of passionate responses from readers on both sides of the issue—so much so that we decided to invite our audience to explore their questions and opinions in a live conference call with the authors. In this fascinating discussion between Phipps, Pitney, and a worldwide audience of listeners, recorded live for WIE Unbound, the editors join host Jeff Carreira in an exploration of the core issues raised by the new atheists and their critics. Topics include everything from the evolution of atheism through history to the latest developments in neuroscience’s quest to explain religion and spiritual experiences.
Recorded on: 7/14/2008
General Evolutionary Spirituality
Future of Religious Traditions
Science and Spirituality