Chapter

Militant Modern Atheism

Kitcher Philip

in Preludes to Pragmatism

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199899555
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980154 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199899555.003.0013
Militant Modern Atheism

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This chapter considers blunt naturalism more directly, as it has emerged recently in the writings of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. It argues that the militant modern atheists are completely successful in their opposition to certain forms of religion—indeed, to forms that are widespread in the contemporary world. Despite this success, there are other models of the religious life that can be defended against their attacks. People whose primary religious stance is an orientation towards certain values, rather than acquiescence in particular doctrines, can be free of supernaturalistic commitments or, if mythologically entangled, committed only in a way that is excusable. The chapter's defense of these orientation models revives pragmatist themes: the importance of values in religious life and of projects undertaken in community with others for the realization of those values.

Keywords: blunt naturalism; Richard Dawkins; Christopher Hitchens; Sam Harris; Daniel Dennett; religion; pragmatism; religious life

Chapter.  7240 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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