My problem with “New Atheism”

The Four Horsemen of New Atheism, apparently. Not nearly as badass as the other Four Horsemen.

Atheism simply means not believing in the existence of a god. That’s all there is to it. Unfortunatelty, not everyone understands it that way. In fact, very often, atheism gets lumped in with secularism, maltheism, naturalism, antireligion, the value of science and logic, and materialism. There’s even a bullshit belief that not believing in god makes you smarter, and that believing in god makes you stupid. This is the fault of what is only generously called “new atheism”.

These guys are responsible for the current of image of atheists, and they are complete posers. I don’t mind that they criticize morality of god, but it seems like they forgot they they’re supposed to be atheists, because for a brief moment it appears that they actually believe in the Christian God, just that they hate him. This is especially true of Christopher Hitchens (in fact, that’s what he’s most famous for). The difference between “new atheism” and actual atheism is that real atheism just says there’s no god and nothing else, while new atheists believe that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises”. That does not describe atheism. It describes antireligion.

To be fair on them, though, they may be both atheist and antireligious, but I have never seen their criticism of religion being treated as antireligious, which it actually is. All their antireligion and secular advocacy has been misguidedly lumped in with atheism. Why? Maybe because “new atheism” gets the most media attention, but that only comes from the fact that, most of the time, all they do is promote themselves and proselytize their views. Their books sell for millions of dollars and are considered best-sellers, and some of them make documentaries solely for the purpose of espousing their viewpoints, far from exposing the truth as they’d like you to think. Probably the king of new atheist promotion is Richard Dawkins, who, though good at criticizing Christianity, tends to be incredibly condescending towards religion in general and anyone who believes in anything that isn’t scientifically proven. His fame probably comes less from his outspoken advocacy of atheism and criticism of religion and superstition, and more from the fact that he’s had nine TV documentaries and several publications all promoting said views.

Pictured: a constantly self-promoting poser

I swear they’re no different to fundamentalist Christians or evangelists, in fact one could call them atheist evangelists. Why? Because they treat their own opinions, and science itself, as a gospel of truth. Now I’m opinionated and somewhat judgemental myself, but at least I’m not going around creating a secular religion for all to follow and making idiots of those who don’t. Even then, all that matters to me as that, in my eyes, they’re all posers.

What I also dislike is that, much like the dogmatic fundamentalist Christians, they miss the bigger picture. Life isn’t all about science and logic. In fact, there’s a lot about life science can never prove, and religion can’t prove either. Lots of times, life is about your own judgements. But for new atheist thinkers, science is a gospel and a secular religion, though they’ll never say that. The problem is when religious scientism and militant materialistic atheism become the atheism of the modern time, or, in other words, the “new atheism”.

Ching Hai – Just another snake oil dealer

What the? Is that what she looks like? But she looks really different in other images taken of her. What’s going on here?

Have you heard of this lady called Ching Hai? She claims herself to be a spiritual teacher for something called the “Quan Yin Method”, which I swear she made up, even though she claims she didn’t, but rather “knows it”. This is what she actually claims about her teachings.

This method has existed since the beginning of time, when the universe was first formed. And it will always exist. It is not a method; it is like the way of the universe, a universal law that we must follow if we want to get back to the Origin, back to our true Self, back to the Kingdom of God or our Buddha nature.

She also claims that her teachings are found in the Bible, along with various other religions under different names, and all the world’s spiritual/religious literature. Am I the only one who feels suspicious about that, like any religious/cult leader can claim that?

She even claims she attained enlightenment in the Himalayas. I keep seeing posters for her organization’s media campaign, “Be Green, Go Veg, Save the Planet”, in Carmarthen, Wales. What’s going on there? For a spiritual teacher, she sure has a lot of organizations designed to spread her teachings, and a lot of clothing and jewellry designed by her. Oh, and she supports many vegan restaurants.

Yep, I never trusted her. Why? She’s a snake-oil dealer, con artist, and a poser who does nothing promote herself and grab as much money from ignorant fools as possible. For starters, she calls herself “Supreme Master”; that alone gives off a suspicious signal. That’s not all, though. She tries to declare various days “Supreme Master Ching Hai Day”, she has her own propaganda TV channel, she has her own corporate entity engaging in various media and publicity campagins, such the previously mentioned “Be Green, Go Veg, Save the Planet”, and her religious organization seems to be nothing more than a business enterprise, like the Qigong organisations in China in the ’80’s and ’90’s. Also, she seems like an egomaniac. I mean, why else would anyone create two organizations just to create awards for her, and even manipulate a United States official into posing as the president of one of said organizations.

I think I’ve said enough, other than why would anyone buy into this?