Does New Atheism Come from a Pessimistic Worldview of our Life?

Published on Thursday, 2 November 2023

I attended a seminar at our university recently; and there was one speaker came for presentation arguing about how atheism is purely emotional. He brought some examples like one Malaysian best student who became atheist and the reason was mostly due to emotional issue. I had similar view in the past and emotion does matter when I was continuously refused for scholarship that I applied. I can associate this atheism with Marxism. Karl Marx sent a letter to Darwin thinking maybe Karl Marx would get support from Darwin. There is indeed very thread line when it comes to atheism that Richard Dawkins was trying to convince. I remember I sent an essay in Muktomna when BUET student committed suicide and Police Chef in detective branch Harun made a press conference saying Fardin used to read Nietzsche and Camus's works. My essay was declined by Muktomona. Last week when I joined the conference and the speaker was trying to claim that atheism is related to emotional state of us and nothing to do with facts and the speaker claimed how come something came from nothing? That is absurd. My mind was saying that the speaker must be bullshiting or he did not read Lawrence Krauss "A Universe from Nothing”. I thought about Dawkin's "The Blind Watchmaker”. Avijit wrote on this also as I read in Bengali last time.

I clearly realized that atheism that new atheism is talking about is not coming from philosophical pessimism rather there is sufficient reasons for not believing any divine entity. Richard Dawkin's The ‘The God Delusion' obviously a good book to read on this. Each time I think about Cosmic Calendar and I relate with Avijit's claim that God could not waste such enormous matters and energy just to create this tiny planet. Trillion of galaxies are out there and they are abandoned empty and all are created for these humans? Such an especial creature we are? Really? Are you kidding me? I reflect with myself.

Recently Yuval Noah Harari was supporting Israel and I read his book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. He knows that God does not exists and his clan is based on imaginative mind as he described, he still supports Israel. You need to understand what is Arab tribalism looked like in the past. Even if my tribe is wrong, I will still support and die for my clan. This intense emotion is like Charles Dicken's famous novel "Great Expectation” in which Pip, the protagonist uttered, "I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.” That means this support got nothing to do with the atheism that Richard Dawkins was trying to tell to his readers. Richard Dawkin always tries to say that he loves literature and it makes him cry whenever he reads it; but it got nothing to the literature that universe has presented to us with the clear evidences that can be tested empirically.

To cite an example, Let's say Aroj Ali Mutabbar faced difficulties and therefore he became an atheist. Well, maybe that is true to some extent since he saw blind traditions of religion and injustices but when it comes to science, it got nothing to do with emotion rather science provides pure empirical data on the hand that scientists can see in front of their eyes and they can test in time and again till they get confirmed. That's why Darwin and Karl Marx can never go hand in hand and this is the main reason perhaps why Darwin never replied to Karl Marx. Karl Marx promoted ideology based on his subjective experience that society created upon working class whereas Darwin never promoted any ideology rather Darwin just presented his data that he collected over the years; and he was open to confess if he made any mistakes in the research.

Hence, the new atheism that Richard Dawkins promotes is purely based on science and reason and nothing to do with emotion that the speaker was trying to promote and emphasize in the last seminar.

The Psyché

MAKER : Alfred Stevens (Source : The Psyché (My Studio) (2012-76) ( )

~ Guest Writer: Md Maruf Hasan
PhD candidate, Department of Usul al-Din and Comparative Religion, International Islamic University Malaysia
Master, Department of Usul al-Din and Comparative Religion, International Islamic University Malaysia
Degree in English Language and Literature, International Islamic University Malaysia

E-mail: marufenglish021 at gmail dot com