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God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens

3.06  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In God and the New Atheism, a world expert on science and theology gives clear, concise, and compelling answers to the charges against religion laid out in recent best-selling books by Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Sam Harris (The End of Faith), and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great). For some, these "new atheists" appear to say extremely well what they believe ...more
Paperback, 124 pages
Published February 15th 2008 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published December 31st 2007)
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William
Nov 03, 2013 William rated it did not like it
I read this book because in The Case For God, Karen Armstrong mentions with a sigh that the atheist arguments raised in recent books by Richard Dawkins and others have already been dealt with by theologians such as John F Haught, but she does not say how.

Atheism consists of the rejection of a class of traditional supernatural claims about the universe, specifically that there is a real - not symbolic - invisible being capable of influencing events arbitrarily through will alone. It is not primar
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BHodges
Sep 03, 2014 BHodges rated it liked it
Haught tackles the "new atheist" question from the approach of theological studies. He feels writers like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris have slighted a great deal of theology by focusing their attack solely on fundamentalist or strawman descriptions of religion. He does a fine job outlining new atheist assumptions and discussing why theology should be brought to bear on them. The book is brief (barely over a hundred pages) and doesn't delve into many specifics from the books it critiques. ...more
Eric
Feb 18, 2009 Eric rated it liked it
This book was disappointing.

I found that the author nibbled around the edges without actually addressing why the "new atheism" is wrong. He addresses the "new" atheism, and at the same time claims that it is not really "new" at all (which, of course, it is not). Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens have repackaged, in a form more apt to be consumed by the modern reader, arguments that have been made since the Epicureans.

He never addresses whether there actually is a god, which is the crux of atheism (ne
...more
SiSApis
Aug 04, 2016 SiSApis rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in a glimpse of the scholarly theologian's perspective on "New Atheism."
A brief glimpse of the perspective of a scholarly theologian, whose field is Science and Religion, on the writings and (frankly) rantings of the so-called "New Atheists."

For me, it was chiefly valuable as a peek inside the workings of a mind that has been trained and experienced in grappling with these issues. It is not extensive and point-by-point, affording specific refutations for popular apologetics (for that, Trent Horn's _Answering Atheism_ is more apt). But to see a trained scholar lookin
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Sven
Mar 05, 2011 Sven rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I liked this book. The author, a theologian, analyzes the "new atheists" and their writings from the point of view of an unabashed theists. He is not anti-science, or even anti-evolution, but views the world and reality in a larger perspective than the Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett, the main intellectuals of the new atheism.

Dr. Haught argues that the "new atheism" is not new, not really atheistic, and rather shallow, avoiding any interaction with or analys
...more
Adam
May 15, 2013 Adam rated it liked it
Better in concept than execution I think. Well laid out, if a bit repetitive. Does a good job of pointing out some logical fallacies of the "new atheist" stance, but doesn't go far enough in replacing them with his own reason. Indeed, at times he seems to make the same errors of incomplete logic he just finished critiquing.

Made me approach Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens' (et al) writing with a slightly more critical eye, but did not win me over to the other side in the least.
Natasha
Aug 19, 2013 Natasha rated it did not like it
If you are looking for a decisive, critical, and convincing response to atheism (particularly the atheism advocated by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens), then this is NOT the book to read. I was looking forward to what Haught would have to say in response to these three main proponents of atheism. I had recently finished Dawkins' The God Delusion and Hitchens' God is Not Great:How Religion Poisons Everything and came across this book in my library. I was excited to see what ...more
Katja
Sep 01, 2015 Katja rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, en, z-lib
Not being familiar with (modern) theology, I am very glad I read this book. The depiction of (Christian) religion that has become immensely widespread in the recent decades, thanks not least to the many entertaining and well-written popular science books, is so grotesque that I personally found it harder and harder to believe that it has much to do with what it really means. For example, I loved Dawkins's books like "The Selfish Gene" and "The Extended Phenotype". For me they are excellent ...more
Tony61
May 09, 2011 Tony61 rated it it was ok
I understood Haught's arguments for God's existence, but they just aren't that convincing. Equating the "New" (not their word) Atheists as treating atheism like a religion is just rhetoric. How can the unbelief in an entity lead to religious fervor?

Haught is passionate and his book is well-written and jargon-free, which earn him kudos. He makes some good points, such as the apparent selection advantage of god-belief, otherwise why else are there so many theists in our biosphere? But is this real
...more
Richard Behrens
Mar 01, 2016 Richard Behrens rated it it was amazing
For years I have felt about Hitchens/Harris/Dawkins/Dennett the same way I felt about Donald Trump. They are opportunists exploiting mass dissatisfaction with religion for their own ends. Note that each of these men have become millionaires off of best-selling books. It's not that I think they are wrong about everything they talk about, but none of them really has the experience, the knowledge, or the wisdom to sift through religion and sort out the wheat from the chaff. From their perspectives, ...more
David
Mar 18, 2010 David rated it really liked it
This books presents a fairly competent response to the recent works by Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens. Haught argues that while each of these authors makes valid points and has some reasonable criticisms of religion, ancient and modern, nonetheless the principal target of these authors is a fairly fundamentalist Christian belief, one that most "thinking" Christians have generally shed. This excerpt (from page xv-xvi) sums up his message:

"However, even though the new atheists reject the God of crea
...more
Jesse Rine
Jun 07, 2013 Jesse Rine rated it it was amazing
Excellent response to three of the four horsemen of the New Atheism, especially considering it's only about 100 pages long! Haught critiques several central claims of the New Atheists, and effectively demolishes their point of view as a livable philosophy. Anyone who wants to carry the tenets of scientific naturalism (a fundamentally religious atheism) to their natural conclusion will find it difficult to live them out. This likely explains why the New Atheists never try to follow their own ...more
David
Sep 13, 2009 David rated it liked it
Stumbled across this book at Borders. Haught is Senior Fellow in Science and Religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. One of the helpful parts of this book is Haught’s historical awareness of the tradition of atheism. He argues – persuasively, in my opinion – that Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens lack both the intellect and the “guts” of former atheists like Nietzsche, Camus, and Satre: they aren’t willing to follow their epistemological skepticism to its logical ...more
Matt Hill
Apr 01, 2011 Matt Hill rated it liked it
a good simple reminder of how atheism is a faith just as much as any other . . he leaned on some examples i recognized from another of his books, but they're good illustrations, so i guess i don't fault that . . another similarity to his other book, however, is more of an issue to me: haught does a nice job of defending christianity/theism/evolutionary creationism/whatever--despite this book's last chapter's well put admonition to *not* defend the faith--but i'm not sure that he ever argues for ...more
Conrad
Sep 20, 2012 Conrad rated it really liked it
The author is a theology professor, so there is some academic aspects to the writing that I tended to skip over. I also skipped over brief parts where he makes a case for his own theology. His criticism of Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris is much stronger than his positive expository about his own theology. Perhaps that is inevitable because from what I have read of the three "new atheists" their atheism is very smug and intellectually dishonest. I found his critiques to be accurate and written in ...more
Leroy Seat
Apr 02, 2013 Leroy Seat rated it it was amazing
Recently I finished reading and posting a brief critique of John Haught's newest book, "Science and Faith" (2012). I gave it five stars, saying that I rarely give the maximum number of stars. But now I have done it again.

It is hard to imagine how a better book could be written on the subject of this work. As a Christian believer trained in Christian theology and philosophy, I found this book excellent in every way.
Eric
Jun 15, 2009 Eric added it
Having not read any of the new atheists, I didn't get as much out of this as I could have. To me the wildest thing about the discussion is that the new atheists have a large enough readership to warrant multiple rebuttals by Christian authors.
Joel Anthony
Apr 30, 2016 Joel Anthony rated it liked it
The problem with trying to marry evolutionary theory with Christianity is glaring but he does a great job breaking down the moral ambiguity of new atheism.
Danny
Oct 08, 2010 Danny rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully reasoned and methodic response to the 'new atheism' which leaves behind the culture war, cliche's, and "straw men". I couldn't recommend it more highly.
Allyne
Nov 13, 2008 Allyne rated it it was amazing
Haught, a theologian at Georgetown who specializes in the relationship between theology and science, has provided a brief, clearly argued case against the New Atheism.
Cappy
Aug 21, 2010 Cappy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kate Buckley
Shelves: theology
This book is a little too much "inside baseball" to be an accessible response to "the new atheists," but for those who have the patience it is a devastating critique.
Jonathan Duran
Jonathan Duran rated it it was ok
Oct 17, 2009
Aaron Bonham
Aaron Bonham rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2010
Sara
Sara rated it it was ok
Nov 02, 2012
Larry
Larry rated it did not like it
Mar 11, 2012
Loyd T
Loyd T rated it it was ok
Dec 02, 2012
Tim Walinga
Tim Walinga rated it did not like it
Feb 16, 2012
Reg
Reg rated it did not like it
Oct 26, 2010
Tennyson
Tennyson rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2011
Robert Gerard
Robert Gerard rated it it was ok
Mar 30, 2013
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John F. Haught is a Roman Catholic theologian, specializing with systematic theology. He has special interests in science, cosmology, ecology, and reconciling evolution and religion.

Haught graduated from St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore,, and he received a PhD in Theology from The Catholic University of America in 1970.

Haught received the 2002 Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Reli
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More about John F. Haught...

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