This essay encapsulates all the problems that have muddled both sides in the religion/new-atheism debates. First we have the antithesis in general of Xtianity vs…whatever (science?) and second we have the world view proposed in the place of theism that turns out to be so flawed the religionists circle in cavil, yet unable to see the limits of their own perspective…
First is the understanding, emergent from evolutionary theory, that neither the universe as a whole, nor we humans within it, have evolved according to some plan of design. Cosmic evolution and human evolution unfold with no guiding hand or specific goals. Most atheists do accept this, I think.
Second is to embrace as a logical next step the idea that our own individual lives have no purpose or meaning. Do you know of any atheists who believe this? I don’t.
It is small wonder religionists counter secular atheists. Their views, based on scientism are so extreme that even an atheist could end scratching his head.
The key here is to see that darwinism is a failed theory. It seems that, issues of ‘god’ and Xtianity apart, the universe has meaning, evolution is a directed or teleological process. How on earth did we get to the thesis that our lives have no meaning or purpose?
It is completely erroneous to say this and try to make it the substitute for Xtianity.
First, we need to consider that Xtianity is passing away for its own good reasons in a progression of epochs. Its passing is not grounds for either theism or atheism. The attempt to substitute scientism, however, will itself fail, and we need to see that the logic of secular modernity has not created a reasonable successor for religion.
It is important to study modernity in its complexity and depth and not let retarted science fundamentalists rewrite modernity as darwinism, capitalism, and newtonian reductionism. The strange fact is that secular humanism is as much a failure as religion.
I think that Xtians have also confused the issue in their often unreasonable displacement of the argument toward what are now theological red herrings.