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The New Atheists: The Twilight of Reason and the War on Religion Audio Download – Unabridged

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 5 hours and 39 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Prospero Media
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Mar. 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ITGDAQ8

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tina Beattie believes that the conflict between science and religion promoted by secular intellectuals such as Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens is a smokescreen. Behind it is a far more important argument about global power and justice in a post-modern age that is becoming unavoidable.

The New Atheist is a series of short essays that can be read alone or together for a fuller appraisal of the counter argument to the `high priests of atheism'. Beattie sets out to place her contradiction in a series of associations and disassociations. She sees the main target of the New Atheists as the fundamentalist religions and puts together an amalgam of religious ethics that enable her to set her stall outside of any accusation of fundamentalism. This is done by disassociation from mainstream and liberal agendas, avoiding the post-modern condition and putting together a reasoned response to rationality.

At times I felt that I was reading about Richard Dawkins and his New Atheist Army instead of an intellectual anti-theist movement, however the blame for the militaristic approach does appear to lie with Richard Dawkins and his followers as Tina Beattie has done everything she can to pacify this martial agenda

This book is more than a lively provocative debate. Tina Beattie gives us well-argued details of the very real threat posed by fanaticism both religious and secular and in the fanaticism of its followers which have taken hold of the intellectual classes in Britain and America. The New Atheists calls for a more wide-ranging and creative dialogue across religious and cultural boundaries. All of the guns left firing belong to Beattie, she has taken the ground and firmly planted her standard in the enemies camp.
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Format: Paperback
In this well-informed and intelligent response to the current God debate, Tine Beattie does not so much take sides, but rather takes a step back in order to place both camps in their historical and cultural context. (It emerges of no small significance that almost all the major players are both white and male.)

The danger that we face turns out, according to Beattie, to be neither religion nor atheism, but the idea that we can have certain access to truths for which we can claim the necessary assent of others. The new atheism (Dawkins, Hitchens and co) is presented as not the opposition to, but acounterpart of, the wave of religious fundamentalism that endangers our current world. Beattie offers convincing arguments against both religious and atheistic fundamentalism, drawing on feminist and post-colonial theory to advocate a respect for diversity and a recognition of those whose voices are not normally heard. And these are but a few (central) strands of the book, which reaches a fascinating conclusion of significance for believer and atheist alike.

As an outsider to the current God debate, Beattie emerges as more thoughtful and well-informed than most of those within the debate itself. Her research is presented clearly, and her arguments avoid sinking into the inflated rhetoric and cheap insults that characterise some of the literature she discusses. Although the subject matter is heavy, little prior knowledge is assumed, and difficult concepts are presented with admirable ease, making this book accessible to all who are willing to take the time to stop and think.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a brilliant assessment of what is happening on the religious scene in the Anglo Saxon world. Tina Beattie has a breadth of scholarship and reading that takes the breath away, and has a deep understanding of what is happening. A wonderful read. My copy of the book book has the appearance of being thoroughly read and marked. Miss Beattie is also trying to reach beyond the conventional theology, based on philosophy, which has for so long been the albatross around Christianity's neck. From my own point of view all modern theology misses one thing, which is the basis of humanity as psychological beings. Most theologians who mention Freud, think of his philosophical ideas and theories, rather than his analysis of people, which is a living a breathing tradition with thousands of followers. If God is love, He must be psychological rather than philosophical. I found anyone interested in modern theology would do well to read Tina Beattie's book
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Format: Paperback
This book is a valuable new contribution to the current debate on society, science and religion. Although written by an academic, this book is very readable and will be accessible to anyone interested in the issues. Beattie is not concerned to show who has the `right' answers, but rather to illuminate the nature of the debate. Starting with the historical roots of the feud, especially the nineteenth century, when the modern idea of science emerged, she shows that the entrenched positions of today are nothing new. As a feminist she draws out the very aggressively mannish way in which the debate is being conducted. She also shows how much religious and atheist fundamentalists have in common in their failure to really listen, or to consider any evidence that conflicts with `how things must be'. She points out that "the new atheism ... has the same myth-making function as religious stories in seeking to offer an over-arching vision of the meaning and purpose of life". Beattie shows that a more thoughtful and considered debate is possible, and that away from the headlines just such a conversation is proceeding. It is hard however to be hopeful that the most high profile protagonists with their avowed intention to completely eradicate religion, and the modern media with its addiction to sound bites and controversy, will be part of that any time soon. And yet, just a few weeks ago (early 2008) I watched Martin Amis on national television defending the Archbishop of Canterbury. So perhaps miracles can still happen.
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