As a human being who often struggles with relatively trivial difficulties in life, I have long felt admiration for Stephen Hawking’s courage and determination to continue working in spite of a highly-debilitating disease. As a physics enthusiast, I have the greatest respect for his accomplishments. But now, as a result of an article published in The Guardian two weeks ago, I also feel embarrassment for, and disappointment in, Hawking. The article reported his views on religion and metaphysics — they were unoriginal, ill-informed, biased, insensitive, and even arrogant.
Many people are mistaken about the etymology of the word “atheism.” They think it comes from an alpha-privative negation a- joined with theism, that is, they think
atheism = a- theism
atheism = the negation of theism
That is not where atheism comes from, however. ‘Atheism’ is in fact an older word than ‘theism.’ It comes originally from the Greek ἄθεος meaning ‘godless’ or ‘without god’. The -ισμός is a later addition, which means “doctrine of” or “teaching of.”
We’ve been granted permission to publish Professor Borden Painter, Jr’s Curriculum Vitae (CV). For those unfamiliar with CVs, they’re equivalent to academic resumes. As can be seen below, Professor Painter has had an outstanding career.
Please consider buying and reading his book the New Atheist Denial of History. The cover is awful & the author himself is not pleased with the price (set by the publisher), but it’s well worth the time and cost.
Conversation continues backward in time with the section covering the Medieval/middle ages and Renaissance Period. Professor Painter mentions “Dark Ages” as Victorian term to describe the era as incorrect description. Professor Painter then discusses advances during the medieval era and the dated and distorted model of middle ages as nothing but unthinking superstition.
Professor Borden Painter continues his discussion with Max Kolbe regarding atheist mis-representations of history from his book New Atheist Denial of History. The first topic in this part is Hitler’s views and trying to make him Catholic, rather than his obvious hostility to Christianity.Max discusses The League of Militant Atheist and it’s propaganda showing up in the new atheist movement.
Max Kolbe interviews Professor Borden Painter, Jr., a distinguished historian who has written The New Atheist Denial of History. Professor Painter begins by offering up his background and interest in new atheists and their version of history. He had read Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins and found their history wanting.
Something that doesn’t get a lot of attention today are actual atheistic arguments, arguments for the position “God does not exist.” This is the result of an odd situation that occurred in the mid-20th century in which atheists essentially did two things:
(1) they admitted their position could not be defended and gave up trying to do so, and
(2) they still did not abandon their indefensible position, but instead shifted their position to a much more defensible one, agnosticism—except they did not do this honestly and openly, but redefined ‘agnosticism’ and ‘atheism’ so that they two words are now supposed to mean essentially the same thing (despite the fact that ‘agnosticism’ had been coined in explicit contradistinction to atheism, and also despite the fact that the loud atheist minority did not bother to ask permission of the agnostics before forcibly co-opting their identity).
What are the arguments that God does not exist? How strong are they? There are only four, to my knowledge, and if you suspect they are not very strong, given that atheists themselves recognized their complete failure, you would be correct.