It has often been argued that New Atheism is as fundamentalist as religion may be but I would narrow that I term the likes of Richard Dawkins to be a Calvinist. It is not merely that they have the passion of fundamentalists but also the logic of them. First off, their dismissal of all metaphorical takes on scripture as bullshit attempts to rationalize the irrational is not mature. It is to have that almost all world literature has subtext except holy books which must be taken literally. Luckily for them, most Christians suck at apologetics so when they say something like “God is a sociopath for burning Sodom.”, the typical Christian won’t say “Matthew 19:24 and Matthew 7:13-14” which the story of Lot escaping Sodom illustrates.
Many moral systems would have that one must choose the right over the popular or easy and that this requires one not be attached to one’s posessions. In order to get to one’s promised land, one must leave the corrupted behind. The allegory of Sodom and Gomorra works in politics or in drug rehab. Burning the sins of one’s old life to build a better one devoid of the toxic baggage left behind. Lot, in the metaphor, is the ego or the soul which survives the fire to rebuild. The point is that the subtext is not far from the surface and it is stupid to not treat it as existing.
As an asterisk to burning the toxic and a needed tangent, that does not refer to “toxic” people as outside of abusive situations, generally, it is not appropriate to cut people off, ghost them, or block them. It is sinful pursuant to 1 Corinthians 6:6 which says one should hash out and work through problems. While it does not prohibit blocking and ghosting directly, it indirectly does by requiring interpersonal issues be worked through actively. Furthermore, the ninth commandment’s probitiion on lying would imply that the implied promises in a friendship constitute a contract, the breaking of which would be a lie that, without the caveat of abuse or other justification, is a sin.
Calvinists’ interpretation of scripture tends to be fairly literalist and they disdain anything extraneous. Even in earlier eras, vegetarianism was a popular form of asceticism among, especially, Catholics. As, while, Jesus ate meat, the spirit of his example was meekness and gentleness which vegetarianism represents. The Calvinists took the extreme reductionist view that if it was not explicitly laid out in the Bible that it was not kosher. Christ was, in the Calvinist view, less an exemplar in lifestyle and in virtues of personality but he was much more a statutory lawgiver. Rather than interpreting Christ with regards to the geist and virtues that he exhibited, they read much more what he said was a do or no-do.
That’s not how sin and virtue work. It less what you do and more who you are. To put it another way, it is less the property stolen than it is the greed that led to the larceny. Atoning for the act is small compared to curing the character flaw. Yet, the New Atheists, with their exceedingly feeble humanism, sink into the simplest of deontologies that can barely be counted as humanism. The character of their worldview is literalism and not merely with regards to religion but also there is no use to seemingly extraneous culture. Their arguments that religion is and has been evil all the time forever is, in my view, burning a metaphorical Library of Alexandria as I have expressed on this blog, before. Everyone’s worldview must discard emotion, ritual, or anything not rational in their view.
In their perception, that of the New Atheists, truth does not exist, only facts exist. That is the spirit of hardcore Calvinsism. They look to the Bible for facts and not truth and finding few facts, they think that’s proof it isn’t true. Which is not to say the New Atheists are against the arts because they say they’re for them. It’s just that they don’t have the mindset to see them as having depth and meaning and just see them as something to virtue signal against the cultural right-wing in a culture war. Given what they think about the Bible and how little they understand the subtext there, they largely are incapable of seeing subtext in anything. Their use for the arts is a rhetorical handful of mud to sling in a culture war. Yes, they’ll shout “We believe in the arts because we are worldly and cultured you moronic hicks!” But they are at a loss for words when asked what any of the art means and they don’t care to find out.
This is important because when one has lots of STEM and little in deep truth, you’ll say something like Neil Degrasse Tyson did on Bill Maher’s show when, after embarassing himself by explaining how he didn’t know fusion bombs had a fission stage by claiming H-bombs don’t produce radiation (they do, tell that to those Japanese Fishermen on Lucky Dragon #5), he went on to explain that nuclear bombs aren’t a big deal. His reasoning for why nukes are not that bad is other weapons kill more people. He accurately noted that the fire-bombing of Tokyo killed more people than Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Look, the only time when a figure of 100,000 makes a figure 80,000 not a big deal is in video game scores. In the hyper-STEM worldview devoid of truth, there is little humanity. New Atheism is, arguably, Calvinism in a very bad form.