Scientism, Humanism, and Religion: The New Atheism and the Rise of the Secular Movement
LeDrew, Stephen Harry
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This dissertation examines the New Atheism as a secular fundamentalism that is both a utopian ideology and a social movement. It situates New Atheist thought within the context of the historical development of atheist thought and outlines the features of the ideology it promotes. It also examines the New Atheism’s role in the secular movement through research on major movement actions, campaigns, and debates on goals and strategies. It argues that the New Atheism comes into conflict with two other movement discourses: secular humanism and libertarian rationalism. These ideological conflicts are propelling the movement away from the New Atheism’s aggressive critique of religion toward more a more accommodating and inclusive approach that emphasizes basic humanistic values.