Sam Harris’s End Of Faith, published August 2004. 10 years. A decade ago.
Just one short decade, a lousy 10 years, a mere 1/10 of a century… AND LOOK HOW FAR WE HAVE COME!
Sam’s 1st book, along with Dawkins and Hitchens and other influential secular author’s works following right after his marks for many the beginning of the New Enlightenment.
I’ve blogged on this before, “Come out, Come out, Wherever you are…” and Don’t Look Back.
Below is a short list of books and their authors that have come out in the last decade that take a completely different tack than the fantasies and negative perceptions of man’s sin and evil that religions dwell on.
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, 2006
Besides dealing with reality and critically examining religion and its claims, New Enlightenment authors look to and emphasize the “better angels” of our nature and the incredible progress we have accomplished as a species through science and tolerance, promoting our unlimited human potential. The perspectives of these authors is now part of our daily culture and conversation nearly as prevalent as religious thought. We’re working on achieving “equal time” and burying religious thought as soon as possible.
God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens, 2007
Such thinking has been mostly underground or in the background and not a part of our daily lives and discussion. Thanks to these New Enlightenment authors, critical examination of religion and an understanding of scientific advance and the promotion of human tolerance is not solely the province of academics and great thinkers or progressives on the periphery, but an integral part of our daily discourse, being rehashed and wrangled continually on TV, in the newspapers, in books, on social media, in blogs, videos… you name it, the conversation today is everywhere:
The New Enlightenment is in full swing!
Breaking the Spell, Dan Dennett, 2006.
SO along with the “Four Horseman of the New Enlightenment” and their books featured above, a whole slew of authors and their work in the same decade are featured below:
Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker.
Instead of proclaiming “Life is all about suffering” or dwelling on the supposed “innate depravity” of man or running around condemning one another to eternal torture in some omnipotent prick’s fiery imaginary afterlife, New Enlightenment thinkers are concentrating on what we have accomplished and can accomplish, especially by discarding the bleak outlooks on our nature, our fellow humans, our possibilities that religions promote: needless roadblocks to exercising our evolved intelligence and empathy in this life.
Da Vinci’s Ode to Man.
Thanks to this New Enlightenment the critical examination of religion is ongoing everywhere; in books published just in the last decade such as those listed above and the innumerable blogs, videos, columns, articles, debates, movies…across all media; books magazines, TV, newspapers, and the ubiquitous internet.
We can concentrate on the better angels of our nature and continue to make this life better for all, finishing the job of the first Enlightenment in throwing off the shackles of religious ideas. One needs only to look at the worst, most violent, backwards, undeveloped, least educated parts of the world and witness medieval levels of strife remaining where life is miserable for so many yet in the grip of religious thinking.
Religions divide us into artificial and unproductive factions of believers and non-believers, imaginary groups of “us and them” based in primitive, horribly outdated outlooks on the human condition and silly myths.
In stark contrast, The New Enlightenment perspective unites us all in our hard-earned shared body of knowledge; science, and our formidable, evolved and expanding capacities for empathy and tolerance.
One Species, One Tribe.
End Religion Now.