Sam Harris weighs in on “Is New Atheism dead?”

Sam’s been busy, as I thought, but he did take the time to answer the question that I asked this morning: “Is New Atheism dead?”  His answer is below, and so we have three of the four living Horsepersons all answering “no”—along with Steve Pinker.

Here’s Sam’s take, which I’ll also add to this morning’s post so they will all be in once place. I’m putting this up separately because, without a separate email announcing it, nobody will see it as an addendum.

I’ve always been skeptical about the utility of identifying as an “atheist,” because it rarely seems helpful to heap the false assumptions that surround this term upon one’s own head. For this reason, I’ve never been eager to wear the label “new atheist” either.

However, there was something genuinely new about the “new atheism.” The publication of our four books in quick succession moved the conversation about faith and reason out of rented banquet halls filled with septuagenarians and brought it to a mainstream (and much younger) audience. The new atheists also made distinctions that prior atheists tended to ignore: For instance, not all religions teach the same thing, and some are especially culpable for specific forms of human misery. We also put religious moderates on notice in a new way: These otherwise secular people who imagine themselves to be on such good terms with reason are actually abetting the forces of theocracy—because they insist that everyone’s faith in revelation must be respected, whatever the cost.

The new atheism has not disappeared. It has merely diffused into a wider conversation about facts and values. In the end, the new atheism was nothing more than the acknowledgement that there is single magisterium: the ever-expanding space illuminated by intellectual honesty.

 

86 Comments

  1. Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    But should we comment here or there?!

    /@

    • Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      PS. I’m kind of with Sam here. I am an atheist and will say so, but it’s not what I lead with. It’s not in my Twitter profile, for example:

      #99%bonobo #naturalism #humanism #secularism #cheerfulnihilism #heforshe #lgbtally #basicincome #physics #music #sf #dinos #lego *610121♂🇬🇧🇪🇺

      /@

      • Mark R.
        Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        I don’t Twitter, but I wouldn’t put that in my profile either. I like #cheerfulnihilism.

        • Posted February 18, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          I do twitter…
          I csll myself a cheerful pessimist!

  2. Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Sam once again puts it all so clearly, so logically and so perfectly concisely.

    • Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      He does indeed. Sam is a clear thinker and a careful and precise writer.

  3. Jordan R Barry
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I defined myself as an atheist for a considerable length of time after I “converted” during the height of the New Atheism movement, but after awhile, I realized there was something vacuous about it–atheists are fond of pointing out that the dogmas of the world’s faith traditions have the same “truth value” as, say, Star Wars. But if the analogy holds, then being proud to be an “atheist” is the same as being proud to be an “aVaderist.” There’s something perverse about it–you denigrate literalist religious traditions for the soup of superstition, bad science, and bullshit that they are, but then you base your entire identity around it?

    Now, I think being “a militant atheist” is entirely appropriate when religious dogmatists attempt to influence politics using “rationale” from their particular faith tradition, so there’s definitely still a time and a place for the label. But as a commenter above me said, I would never label myself an “atheist” on my Twitter bio, or perhaps more importantly, a dating website profile.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Well said as per usual for Harris.

  5. whataspecies
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Sam nails it once again. It is no mystery why his voice on many topics (especially religion)resonates with so many of us. Call me a groupie or sycophant but i unabashedly do love everything Sam Harris.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    In the end, the new atheism was nothing more than the acknowledgement that there is single magisterium: the ever-expanding space illuminated by intellectual honesty.

    That pretty much sums it up perfectly…with a cherry on top.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Exactly, could not have been formulated better.

    • Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      …i loved that last para too…

  7. Ken
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Great article. -1 for “Horsepersons” though. PC < Linguistics in this case.

  8. Richard Corr
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Reading this reminds me of how much I miss Sam’s writing. Love his ‘Making Sense’ podcast, but unfortunately his podcast means he has less time for writing.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t Sam write anymore? I know the Hitch doesn’t, but isn’t Sam alive and kicking?
      OK, I guess I consider his podcasts a kind of writing too.

      • Richard Corr
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        In one of his recent podcasts (forget which one), he mentioned plans to write further books and even discussed the subject matter. However, he also said his podcast activities leave him with little time for writing.

  9. Jimbo
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    You goddamn right!!
    (and yes, I know it should be “you’re”

  10. Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    The new atheists aren’t dead. Just tired of responding to the same old theological bullshit.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    My approach to the issue of the use of ‘new atheism’ is that we don’t have to use it, or even old atheism, in our arguments about what we think is true. As a mythologist, I say that believers confuse the denotation, which is, according to Joseph Campbell, “The possibilities of human experience and fulfillment in a given society at a give time.” Believers confuse this with their idea of a god. Then, they doubly confuse themselves by thinking that their connotation is the denotation. Very confusing. Anyway, I like to go with the idea that I could never be an atheist because, like, who else could I talk to during an orgasm?

  12. Tom Besson
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    My approach to the issue of the use of ‘new atheism’ is that we don’t have to use it, or even old atheism, in our arguments about what we think is true. As a mythologist, I say that believers confuse the denotation, which is, according to Joseph Campbell, “The possibilities of human experience and fulfillment in a given society at a give time.” Believers confuse this with their idea of a god. Then, they doubly confuse themselves by thinking that their connotation is the denotation. Very confusing. Anyway, I like to go with the idea that I could never be an atheist because, like, who else could I talk to during an orgasm?

  13. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Atheists should stand up for what is right and what is just as everyone should. You don’t have to wear a shirt pronouncing you are an atheist but you should speak out whenever religion crowds out reason or hides behind religion as a shield to do bad things. Organizations like FFRF are fighting everyday to keep religion out of our business and out of our government and where would we be without them. We would be much worst off and we should all support them.

  14. sang1ee
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    New Atheism in the Middle East seems to be uniquely New, in its literal unencumbered sense of the word, and spreading fast in this New world of hyperconnectedness and globalization.

    • Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I hope so!

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Does it?

      • sang1ee
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Yup. Ever since the turn of the millennium, deracinated people from the West are organizing and getting together like never before and together with the homegrown activities, there seems to be a major shift in the landscape for Ex-Muslims. That’s what I see as an outsider interested in this community so I could be off.

  15. Ken Pidcock
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    It was Mr. Harris as much as anyone who led me to abandon a mendacious religiosity by emphasizing that religious moderates aren’t countering religious fundamentalists so much as abetting them. Good to see that he still appreciates the value of that message.

  16. Vaal
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Sam hits it with a bulls-eye, as usual.

    The proposition that New Atheism was a bust, and nothing more than old atheism, is a trope trotted out by bitter Theists, and mushy-minded secular people who self-congratulate themselves for being in the “sensible, moderate middle, not the ‘extreme.’ (As the famous XKCD cartoon nailed).

    The New Atheists had a profound impact. For most of my life (I’m 55) I didn’t have a conversation about religion, or atheism, with anyone. Friends included. But once Dawkins et al pushed the conversation in to the mainstream, it became an amazingly frequent conversation point. Many friends and acquaintances were now explicitly declaring their atheism. The New Atheists got people thinking about the subject, often to the point of putting their thoughts in order to take a stance they never elucidated before.

    And I think Sam is right about how this phenomenon diffused in to wider conversations. I’m just amazed how many of my friends and work acquaintances follow Sam, loved Hitchens, are thinking about and engaged in the wider intellectual ideas that are the subject of many talks and debates.
    I was at a work dinner recently and one of the assistants I work with (post production film) told me he’d gone back to take philosophy courses and, being a fan of Sam, was doing a dissertation on Why We Can’t Have Free Will. You can imagine from my previous posts the loooong, wine-fueled debate that ensued from that point on.;-)

    In any case, I continue to be happily surprised by the reach Sam and his cohorts have had on society.

    • Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Backs up my theory that Incompatibilists don’t drink enough wine to properly recognise the fact that they really do have free will

  17. Posted February 15, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    You can always count on Sam Harris to provide an unexpected, illuminating, & thought-provoking perspective to a question.

    • rustybrown
      Posted February 15, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Except to the matter that President Trump is compromised by his collusion with Russia! I love Sam, but he has a severe case of TDS.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        The circumstantial evidence of Mr Trump being a Russian shill is overwhelming. I won’t spell it out here, since that would seriously impinge “da Roolz” (changing subject, excessively long post, etc.) Of course circumstantial evidence is not enough in a court of law, but I think Sam is spot on there (as usual).

        • rustybrown
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          What’s the single best piece of evidence that Trump is in collusion with the Russians?

          • GBJames
            Posted February 16, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            What’s the most important water molecule in the ocean?

            • rustybrown
              Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

              That’s a facile non sequitur. If the evidence is “overwhelming” it shouldn’t be difficult to pick out one or two of the most incriminating examples.

              • Nicolaas Stempels
                Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:57 am | Permalink

                Well at the risk of impinging the rules: (Jerry I hope you will pardon me, but this is a ‘Challenge’) I made an incomplete list of 40 facts, I threw out 16 to make the list-already incomplete, shorter:
                What are the facts?

                3- Although he never succeeded in getting a real estate deal done in Russia itself, Russians have been investing heavily into Mr Trump’s real estate business (and other ventures).
                4- Following his bankruptcies in the 90’s no US bank wanted to lend Mr Trump money anymore.
                5- He subsequently went to Russia and its vassals for his loans.
                6- The Russian real estate business, among many other businesses, is dominated by oligarchs, basically a criminal mafia.

                8- In 2008 Mr Trump Jr stated: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets” and: “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia”

                11- Russians are known that they try to compromise foreigners (and each other), the “kompromat”, fitting the subject into the “sistema”,
                12- The ‘sistema’ is much more than just blackmail, it includes friendship, quid pro quo’s, flattery, ‘guidance’ & advice, etc.

                14- As a KGB officer [Mr Putin] was specialized in ‘monitoring’ foreigners, and ‘recruitment’, even of East German Stasi agents (allies of the USSR) to work for the KGB.

                18- Mr Putin wants, according to his own words, restore Russia to its due glory. (that would mean expansion to at least the former USSR?).
                19- He fought wars in Chechnya, annexed Crimea, and installed a puppet, Mr Yanukovych, in Ukraine.
                20- A Russian/Putin supported insurrection/civil war is ongoing in the Ukraine, after Mr Yanukovych was ousted.
                21- Mr Manafort, (Mr Trump’s former campaign manager) worked and lobbied for years for Mr Yanukovych.

                25- Mr Trump’s policies closely resemble Mr Putin’s (not a fact, but a question, how much was Mr Trump ‘groomed’ by Mr Putin? ‘Grooming’ was, after all, the latter’s specialty, a fact).
                26- There is the infamous 2015 Sater email (to Mr Cohen, Mr Trump’s personal lawywer): “I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this,”
                27- Russian troll farms mounted a 24/7 smear campaign against Mr Trump’s opponent on social media
                28- Russians did hack voter rolls, allowing for ‘micro-targeting’ of voters.
                29- Mr Putin admitted he would like Mr Trump to become president of the US.
                30- When Mr Trump became president, he tried to lift sanctions against Russia.
                31- He tried to get Russia back into the G7 (G8)
                32- He shared classified information with Russian operators, in the WH.
                33- He stated the Crimea was and should be Russian (possibly true, btw).

                35- He created doubt about the US commitment to NATO, the Western Alliance. And even contempleted the idea of the US leaving NATO.

                38- He withdrew the US from several agreements: Paris, the Iran deal and several trade agreements, not to mention walking out of the G7.
                39- He threatened and started trade wars with US allies.

                From 30 onwards it is precisely what a Russian shill would do.
                Admittedly incomplete, no mention of the Trump tower meeting or Helsinki and much more, but a plethora of circumstantial evidence.

              • GBJames
                Posted February 17, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

                Hardly facile. “What’s the most…” is a cheap rhetorical trick. When there’s a flood of evidence it is the flood which is important, not this or that particular drop of water.

                Nicolaas has provided you a list. You can pick “the most…” for yourself. Or go read the newspapers from the past couple of years and find some other examples.

                It takes a particularly strong form of bias to deny the flood.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

                The Laundry List strikes again! I asked you to provide a concise argument and you dumped the Laundry List. It’s literally impossible for me to answer your tome on this format, but of course you know that. Providing a response in a way that is virtually impossible to answer is very weak tea indeed and, as I’ve pointed out before, a tell tale sign of a conspiracy theory. “Ya gotta look at the big picture man!”

                Your list of “evidence” is ludicrous. Nothing but vague, half-baked innuendo. There’s not a single thing there that doesn’t have a more (or several more) prosaic explanation than “Trump’s colluding with Russia”. I can see why you refuse to put forth any one or two as strong evidence. There aren’t any, how would you choose?

                I’m sure you’re aware that the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee has just stated they’ve found no direct evidence of a Trump/Russia conspiracy after 200 interviews and two years of digging. What do you think you know that the Senate Intelligence Committee does not? Don’t you think they’ve considered and investigated every item on your list? Of course they have. Are THEY a part of the conspiracy?

                @GBJames, I strongly disagree that asking for a concise argument and best evidence is a “cheap rhetorical trick”, in fact I find it odd that anyone would think that, particularly in this format. If I asked you to provide your best piece of evidence that the earth was round, would you struggle with that challenge or think the question in bad faith?

                In my opinion, the only cheap rhetorical trick being utilized here is giving 50 innuendos when asked for one solid piece of evidence and then pronouncing, “So there!”

              • GBJames
                Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

                Rusty, you seeem to have trouble with the concept of patterns. Asking for the “one most important fact” is a bogus quest. Taken singly, every pint of water in a flood is arguably insignificant. Asking which particular pint is the most important in a drowning is pointless.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

                Dude, I see the pattern you’re laying out. I just find it terribly unconvincing, unoriginal, and a country mile away from “overwhelming evidence”.

              • Nicolaas Stempels
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

                Overwhelming circumstantial evidence.
                That is not the same as overwhelming evidence.
                However, the default setting -due to the plethora of circumstantial evidence- is that Mr Trump is probably guilty.
                Mr Mueller’s investigation can absolve him, why is he so opposed to it? Another piece of circumstantial evidence, btw.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

                So far that plethora of circumstantial evidence has been thoroughly examined by a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee and has come up wanting. How does that equate to Trump’s “probable” guilt?

                One should adjust ones default setting based on new information.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

                By the way, I shouldn’t need to point this out but just about every conspiracy theory has a plethora of circumstantial evidence. That’s one of the defining characteristics. What makes the conspiracy bullshit is that the circumstantial evidence never adds up to anything and none of the separate pieces hold up very well to individual scrutiny, much as we see in the case of Trump/Russia.

      • Posted February 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Then so do I. trump has been laundering money for the russians for ages.

      • drorharari
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Spot on. There goes the intellectual honesty too.

      • rustybrown
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        What’s the single best piece of evidence that Trump is in collusion with the Russians?

        • rickflick
          Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          The evidence thus far is a web of incrimination involving, Cohen, Manafort, Stone, and the GRU.

          • rustybrown
            Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            That’s not one thing. And the people you mention are charged with process crimes which have nothing to do with Trump.

            Web of incrimination? You couldn’t be more vague if you wanted to.

            • rickflick
              Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

              I can tell you don’t follow the news.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

                I can tell you can’t back up your claims.

              • rickflick
                Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

                Wait just a minuta-tuta Mr. Brown. My claims are all backed up already by Rachel Maddow, Barney Frank and the Teletubbies. How dare you insinuate otherwise!

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

                It’s all so clear now.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted February 17, 2019 at 4:01 am | Permalink

          There is no single ‘best piece of evidence’. It is the enormous cumulative amount of small pieces of circumstantial evidence, several dozens of them.

          • rustybrown
            Posted February 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            No opinion on the bipartisan Senate Intelligence committee carefully reviewing all that circumstantial evidence and dismissing it?

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

              The Senate Committee appears to be more and more divided anyway. They are unanimous though that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
              Circumstantial evidence is like a jigsaw puzzle, not a single piece will give you the picture, but if you put them together a picture emerges: conspiracy with the arch-enemy, close to treason..

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

                ”The Senate Committee appears to be more and more divided anyway.”

                I’m not aware of that. Can you provide a link showing members dissenting? I read that there was no serious dissent coming from the Committee.

                Russia interfered with the 2016 election? I’ve got news for you, Russia interferes with every US election, as does just about every other country with the means to do so. It’s nothing new; it’s been going on a long, long time.

                Likewise, America also interferes with the elections of Russia and the rest of the world. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we were the #1 election meddlers in the entire world, in fact I’d be surprised if we weren’t. So the interference you’re describing, without making a value judgement on it, is the most natural, expected occurrence in the world of international politics one could imagine.

                So what you characterize as an incriminating piece of the puzzle is in fact a quite ordinary and expected occurrence.

              • GBJames
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

                Just read the news stories, Rusty.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

                Sorry, I’m still not seeing any Democrats on the Committee disputing Burr’s statement of no evidence of collusion. I see partisan grumbling, the pointing to a lot of Russian “ties” within the campaign, but no one saying “Burr misspoke, we have definitely uncovered evidence of collusion”.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

                ”Arch enemy. Close to treason”

                I wonder if you ever reflect upon how close that rhetoric is to McCarthyism, how damaging that was, and what the fuck the consequences are for throwing it around now.

            • GBJames
              Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

              The Senate committee did not dismiss it. The chair of the committee (Sen. Barr, a Republican) said they found “no direct evidence”. The Democratic co-chair did not agree with Barr’s characterization.

              The Orange Menace found this all tweet-worthy evidence of definitive innocence. His acolytes will, of course, follow his lead.

  18. JB
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I became an atheist around age 6: while sitting in church praying, I decided that no one could reasonably be listening to me.

    From that time forward, I got all the usual challenges: “can you PROVE there is no god?”, “how can we have morality without a god?” etc.

    I’m grateful to Hitch and Harris and Dawkins for so eloquently supplying answers to these tired questions that I have quietly appropriated to respond to my religious friends when they ask these same questions.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    New atheists are not dead … just evolving.

  20. GBJames
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    It all comes down to intellectual honesty. Period.

  21. rickflick
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Meditation puts me to sleep. Other than that, I agree with Sam on everything.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      It puts me to sleep, too. I’ve been trying to meditate for years without success. I think there are some of us who simply cannot meditate. It’s not for everyone, IMHO.

      • rickflick
        Posted February 16, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        It’s kind of depressing, isn’t it, that we may be stuck at this rung on the ladder of consciousness forever.

  22. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Holy shit. Before reading this, I couldn’t even spell septuagenarian, now I discover I am one! 😦 As usual, Sam nails it!

    • Laurance
      Posted February 16, 2019 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      I are one, too! And in two and a half years I’ll be an octogenarian.

      Whether I eventually become a nonagenarian remains to be seen.

      A centenarian? If I could be like Grandma Moses I’d like it. But age-ravaged and demented, well, that’s another matter.

      And I’m a Sam Fan.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    My atheism comes with the scientific outlook, where is your evidence? Supernatural beings of all kinds thus failing to appear. I am as much an atheist as I am an a-fairyist or a-unicornist etc.

    • Posted February 16, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      I actually have more occasions to state “I don’t believe in fortune-tellers and psychics” than “I don’t believe in God”.

  24. Nell Whiteside
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    A comment on this matter:

    Youtube Atheism is (NOT) dead:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z2QbphK6Vg&feature=youtu.be

  25. Posted February 16, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    “The new atheism was nothing more than the acknowledgement that there is single magisterium: the ever-expanding space illuminated by intellectual honesty.”

    Bravo Sam Harris!

  26. drorharari
    Posted February 16, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The fate of New Atheism will only be clear in historical perspective – let a generation pass and go back to this question, and compare it to what happened to other ideologies/religions.

    In this respect I favor Tal Keinan’s God Is in the Crowd approach.

  27. samoffat@28gmailcom
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I have already described my Word Press problems, no longer sending me WEIT in my E mail and being no help when asked. I also am now -directly on the web site – able to read WEIT but the videos with blue click-on arrow in middle of photo no longer open. I do not think kindly of WP. All was OK until it changed something. Nothing changed on my end. Unless this is the way corporate America makes one get a new computer. I have Sierra on an older iMac. Have not had other problems comparable to WP. Sigh.

    • Posted February 17, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry; I’ve asked them about readers who aren’t getting emails and they couldn’t help me. All I can suggest is that you look at the site once a day: after 3 pm Chicago time, after which I don’t usually post.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I had some similar problem and found I had to go into firefox controls and reset some permissions that had somehow gotten altered. Does Sierra have the same issue?

  28. Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    New atheism is not as necessary as it used to be. With ever increasing numbers, reduction of hegemony of the theists, atheism is approaching equal ranking with major denominations, and I suspect those hidden will number even higher. It will still be a while before a US President is openly atheist, though Thomas Jefferson may well have been the first.

  29. Posted February 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    New atheism is not as necessary as it used to be. With ever increasing numbers, reduction of hegemony of the theists, atheism is approaching equal ranking with major denominations, and I suspect those hidden will number even higher. It will still be a while before a US President is openly atheist, though Thomas Jefferson may well have been the first.

  30. Anothername
    Posted February 17, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Checking my being speech targeted versus site problems.

    • Anothername
      Posted February 17, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Yep

      • Anothername
        Posted February 17, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        I am a species of gecko

  31. Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    At the beginning of Sam’s response he mentions false assumptions being heaped on one’s own head. I was hoping someone could expand on that because I’m not sure I understand what those assumptions are. I consider myself to be atheist but I’m trying to learn more so that I can have better conversations about it. Thanks.


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