|'You don't say!' (source)|
Richard Dawkins: Just 25 per cent of atheists, agnostics ‘approve’ of him
Now, hold the presses! I thought New Atheists were all soulless automata devotees to Dawkins. I thought they accepted his prognostications from on high like some sort of Holy Prophet, God-Appointed Regent, Holy Emperor or, yes, Pope or Dalai Lama. I suppose I must have been misled by all those articles by religious folk in the National Post or Salon. You know, the ones. They tell us New Atheists who we blindly follow. It was an easy mistake.
I cannot help but think that many media critics of the New Atheism - a label made up entirely by the media themselves to describe pesky non-believers who dare to open their mouths - have so thoroughly bought into their own false narrative that this news may come as some sort of revelation to them. I'm not sure if Todd is one of those or not, but his article wouldn't be newsworthy if it didn't come as a surprise to some significant amount of his readers.
Anyway, the shocking results seem to say that atheists aren't mono-dimensional intellectual peons subject to the whims of Richard Dawkins and that they have varied ideas about the supernatural. Douglas describes the poll he's referring to in a related article.
Still, the exclusive poll for The Vancouver Sun suggests the majority of B.C. atheists, agnostics and unaffiliated either don’t have an opinion on, or don’t know, Richard Dawkins, the high-profile British biologist who has become synonymous for many with the so-called New Atheism.Shame on them, right? What kind of New Atheists are they anyway? I mean, reading this article and the previous one about the poll itself, it seems like the only thing they have in common is their total lack of belief in a god! How surprising!
For the sake of brevity, let me sum up the article in a few points.
- Many atheists are apparently more fond of the Buddha or the Dalai Lama than Dawkins, but they don't believe in a god.
- Many atheists are fond of the Dalai Lama, but they don't believe in a god.
- Many atheists are OK with Jesus - who they may or may not believe actually existed. Still, no god.
- Many atheists, myself included, approve more of this Pope than the last one. Yet, they don't do the god thing.
- Quite a few atheists, myself not included, have fallen for supernatural concepts like reincarnation or karma, which, incidentally, do not require any belief in god.
- Many atheists will attend religious events, which they may find completely ridiculous and even offensive - mostly likely for the benefit of friends or family. All the while, during these events they are abstaining from any belief in god, mind you.
Yes, that's right. A-theism means no belief in god. I hope this poll may increase awareness out there but I shan't hold my breath.
As for woo. It's a problem that only education, proper critical thought and skepticism can combat; atheism is just a single vector, which often comes out of these, but is not the solution.
Douglas continues to point out that atheists, other than their lack of god-belief, appear to be pretty normal people.
The atheists, agnostics and unaffiliated were not particularly unconventional. They basically follow provincewide norms when asked to rank the importance of country (87 per cent say important); family (95 per cent); friends (94 per cent); career (68 per cent) and affluence (52 per cent).Imagine that.
And while atheist, agnostic and unaffiliated respondents were more liberal than other British Columbians on doctor-assisted suicide (89 per cent support it compared with 72 per cent of all respondents), 56 per cent favour the death penalty, the same as the provincial average.