Atheism 3.0

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Atheism 3.0 is a movement within atheism that opines the rejection of the existence of God while maintaining that "faith provides meaning and purpose for millions of believers, inspires people to tend to each other and build communities, gives them a sense of union with a transcendent force, and provides numerous health benefits."[1][2][3][4]

Austin Dacey, a United Nations representative for Center for Inquiry and figure in the Atheism 3.0 movement has criticized the New Atheism movement for insisting on the removal of religion from the public square on grounds that doing so would shield religion from criticism and circumvent debate on morality.[5][6] In antiquity, Plato renounced belief in the Greek pantheon, yet encouraged others to believe for the good of society.[7][8]

The Atheism 3.0 movement has produced notable pieces of literature, including Good without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg M. Epstein, The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life by Austin Dacey, and An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity is Better Off With Religion than Without It by Bruce Sheiman.[9][4]

According to a research study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, many atheists attend church services because of the "moral training they felt religion could provide in their children’s early lives," as well as because the desired a place in which "children could have a spiritual community."[10][11][12][13][14] According to this study, "seventeen percent of atheists with children had attended a religious service more than once in the past year, compared to 10 percent of nonparent atheists, results that are statistically significant at conventional levels."[15] In addition, according to the study, some atheists chose to raise their children in a church or synagogue in order to expose them to diverse religious ideas in order to avoid "inadvertently indoctrinate them with atheism, so that children might have the opportunity to make their own decisions about to which, if any, religious traditions to belong."[16]

See also

References

  1. Ledewitz, Bruce (2011). Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism. Indiana University Press. Retrieved on 23 July 2011. “Lately, the recognition of a newer kind of atheism that is closer to religion that was the earlier New atheism seems to have gained more currency. In an October 2009 article for the Religion News AService, Daniel Burke called it Atheism 3.0 , in addition to referring to the "new 'New Atheists.'" Burke contrasted this newer group with older atheist orientations: "The old atheists said there was no God. The so-called 'New Atheists' said there was no God, and they were vocally vicious about it. Now, the new 'New Atheists'-call it Atheism 3.0-say there's still no God, but maybe religion isn't all that bad."”
  2. Burke, Daniel. "Atheism 3.0 finds a little more room for religion", USA Today, 19 October 2009. “Faith provides meaning and purpose for millions of believers, inspires people to tend to each other and build communities, gives them a sense of union with a transcendent force, and provides numerous health benefits, Sheiman says. Moreover, the galvanizing force behind many achievements in Western civilization has been faith, Sheiman argues, while conceding that he limits his analysis, for the most part, to modern Western religion.” 
  3. Dacey, Austin. "The secularist case against "Atheism 3.0"", The Washington Post, 19 October 2009. “A new, milder "Atheism 3.0" is on the market, teaching a more forgiving attitude towards faith. Bruce Sheiman, author of An Atheist Defends Religion, maintains that humanity is better off with it than without it.” 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Atheism 3.0. Religion News Service. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “The "new" new atheists -- call it Atheism 3.0 -- say there's still no God, but maybe belief isn't all that bad.”
  5. Ledewitz, Bruce (2011). Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism. Indiana University Press. Retrieved on 23 July 2011. “And Burke also refers to Austin Dacey, who wants religion to be free to remain in the public square, in part at least, "to criticize it."”
  6. Burke, Daniel. "Atheism 3.0 finds a little more room for religion", USA Today, 19 October 2009. “Atheists who insist that religion be removed from the public square are doing themselves a disservice, argues Austin Dacey, a former United Nations representative for the staunchly secularist Center for Inquiry and author of The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. A godless public square not only shields religion from public criticism, it also circumvents a broader debate on morality, he argues.” 
  7. Colin E. Gunton. The One, the Three and the Many. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “The personal deities of the Greek pantheon were rejected as immoral and irrational, as in a sense they were.”
  8. William A. Dembski. Unapologetic Apologetics: Meeting the Challenges of Theological Studies. InterVarsity Press. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “Even Plato rejected the pantheon of Greek gods on this basis.”
  9. Ledewitz, Bruce (2011). Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism. Indiana University Press. Retrieved on 23 July 2011. “One of the new New Atheists whom Burke describes is Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University. Epstein's emphasis is on what nonbelievers believe, as in his new book Good Without God. Epstein says that nonbelievers should learn from people like Rick Warren, whose bestseller The Purpose Driven Life argues that "you have to have a purpose in life bigger than yourself, and that not everything is about you. . . . And he's absolutely right about that."”
  10. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Kristen Schultz Lee (1 December 2011). Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved on 30 December 2011. “Other parents similarly described their search for a religious community where they would feel comfortable as atheists or agnostics and where their children could have a spiritual community.”
  11. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Kristen Schultz Lee (1 December 2011). Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved on 30 December 2011. “Scholars have suggested several reasons why the transition to parenthood may be associated with a return to a religious faith—or even the adoption of religion for the first time—including a desire to transmit specific beliefs and morals to children (Ingersoll-Dayton, Krause, and Morgan 2002), a desire to have one’s children participate in religious rituals targeted to children (e.g. baptisms, first communion, bar/bat mitzvah), and a search for social support and moral community (Alwin 1986; Ellison, Bartkowski, and Segal 1996).”
  12. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Kristen Schultz Lee (1 December 2011). Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved on 30 December 2011. “Scientists even went in and out of religious communities, specifically to expose their children to the moral training they felt religion could provide in their children’s early lives.”
  13. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Kristen Schultz Lee (1 December 2011). Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved on 30 December 2011. “In the broadest theoretical sense, our data reveal the ability of religious communities to provide resources that atheist and agnostic scientists find useful in raising children and in shaping their own religious identities.”
  14. Lee Dye. Atheists Who Go to Church: Doing It for the Children. Yahoo!. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “A new study out of 4Rice University has found that 17 percent -- about one out of five scientists who describe themselves as either atheists or agnostics -- actually go to church, although not too often, and not because they feel a spiritual yearning to join the faithful. More likely, it's because of the kids.”
  15. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Kristen Schultz Lee (1 December 2011). Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved on 30 December 2011. “For example, Sherkat (2008) found in an analysis of General Social Survey data that atheists attend church at a somewhat higher rate than agnostics. In results from our survey, however, a smaller proportion of atheist scientists with children, when compared to agnostics, attend religious services more than once a year. A surprising difference exists between atheists with children and those without children, in comparison to agnostics with and without children, however. We find no substantive difference in the attendance rates of agnostics with and without children. There is, however, a considerable difference in attendance rates between atheists who are parents and those who are not. Seventeen percent of atheists with children had attended a religious service more than once in the past year, compared to 10 percent of nonparent atheists, results that are statistically significant at conventional levels. It is surprising—given what we know about religion and family in the general population—that some scientists without religious beliefs decide to become involved again or involve their children in religious communities when they begin their own families.”
  16. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Kristen Schultz Lee (1 December 2011). Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved on 30 December 2011. “Atheist and agnostic scientists stressed involving their children in religious communities as a way to expose them to diverse religious ideas so that they do not inadvertently indoctrinate them with atheism, so that children might have the opportunity to make their own decisions about to which, if any, religious traditions to belong.”

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