Samhällelig sekulär maximalism : En analys av nyateistisk ideologi
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this essay is to analyze the ideology of the cultural phenomenon, that is as political as it is controversial, the new atheism. By studying the ideas and values of four prominent new atheists, commonly referred to as the ‘four horsemen of the new atheism’, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett, this study aims to, in some ways challenge, and in others, nuance, the categorization of the movement. Its adherents have often been labeled as, for example: ‘secular fundamentalists’, ‘evangelical’ and ‘radical secularists’. None of these designations are inherently wrong. But I think there is a more fitting term available: ‘societal secular maximalist’. This term is a modified version of ‘religious maximalism’, coined by the historian of religion at the University of Chicago, Bruce Lincoln. I argue that the new atheist ideology is not fundamentalistic because it admits fallibility if another theory where to disprove it within its own scientific discourse. Considering this fact, it does not hold is central ideological feature, most commonly a Darwinist theory of evolution, as absolute. Due to this, and some other factors, I argue that the societal secular maximalist categorization is more fitting because the scientific and humanistic views of the ‘four horsemen’ lay claim to all aspects of human existence, private and public, emotional, and factual along with the morals, ethics and aesthetics of our societies.
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