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En ny ateism eller ateism i en ny tid?: En idéanalys av de nya ateisterna och deras kritiker
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
New atheism or atheism in a new era? : An idea analysis of the new atheists and their critics (English)
Abstract [en]

This essay intends to examine the atheists Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray's arguments against religion, based on the themes of religion, atheism and the perception.of their present worldview. In addition, the research aims to find out whether it is suitable to talk about a new atheism. And, if so, whether such newatheism correspond with the definition represented by the Christian critics. The essay intends to contribute to a very limited research on the so-called new atheism without applying pro-religious arguments.

Previous research and theory highlight the problem of defining the terms atheism, religion and secularism a concern that is reflected by the five critics troughout their arguments. What really united the critics were the idea about religion taking too much place in society, and the opinion that atheistic morality is at least as good as religious morality. In addition, the authors agree that religion is not needed to maintain good morale, on the contrary, religion affect the morale negatively. They also assumed that religion restricts people and and that moderate religion more or less leads to, or is responsible for, fundamentalism. Also, the value of truth and contempt against relativism brought the authors together, although they were sometimes justified by very different arguments. Crucially, however, are the differences in their definitions of religion, both concerning their focus on substantive and functional definitions, the relationship between absolute, relative-, and private religion and their political focus. To regard these authors' arguments as a new atheism is thus hard to justify.

The results conclude that both the Christian critics and the five critics of religion generalize their opponents view of atheism or religion, and also fail to define themselves in order to be able to unite as a group against the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 74 p.
Keyword [en]
new atheism, atheism, criticism of religion, religion, secularism, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Michel Onfray
Keyword [sv]
nyateism, ateism, religionskritik, religion, sekularisering, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Michel Onfray
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40130OAI: diva2:788305
Subject / course
Religious Studies
Available from: 2015-02-23 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2015-02-23Bibliographically approved

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