710 KIRO Newsradio reports that among America’s atheists there’s a split between people such as Greg Epstein (pictured), who holds the partially endowed post of humanist chaplain at Harvard University, and so-called “New Atheists” (such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris).Epstein and other humanists feel their movement is on the verge of explosive growth, but are concerned it will be dragged down by what they see as the militancy of New Atheism….He sees them as rigid in their dogma, and as intolerant as some of the faith leaders with whom atheists share the most obvious differences.
Next month, as Harvard celebrates the 30th anniversary of its humanist chaplaincy – part of the school’s chaplaincy corps – Epstein will use the occasion to provide a counterpoint to the New Atheists….The celebration of a “New Humanism” will emphasize inclusion and diversity within the movement, and will include Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist E.O. Wilson, a humanist who has made well-chronicled efforts to team with evangelical Christians to fight global warming.
Howevere Sam Harris thinks there’s room for multiple arguments in the debate between scientific rationalism and religious dogmatism. “I don’t think everyone needs to take as uncompromising a stance as I have against faith” and some of the participants in Harvard’s celebration of its humanist chaplaincy have no problem with the New Atheists’ tone.