I only got round to posting about this conference just now, and do not know if anyone else did before, but note this:
Atheists have disabled the web page for the ID conference in Castle Rock this weekend. They are also calling the 800 number and trying to tie up the lines so others cannot get through. This is really ugly. I am re-posting the information on this event info below. They will take people at the door, but get there early. Despite the opposition, several hundred have already signed up. If so inclined, pray for the vicious souls doing this and for the success of the event itself. (October 29, 2009)
Two comments come immediately to mind:
1. The “new atheists” are not your granddad’s atheists, who were usually just profs who didn’t believe in God, for whatever reason. Those profs did believed in a free society, and were willing to concede that they could be wrong.
The “new atheists”are, in my experience, into power and definitely would act as described above. They are a whole different crowd, for whom the free society is a problem. Go here for more on that.
2. New atheists are quite clear about not believing in free will or the reality of the mind. This newsletter gives some sense of it. I would imagine that there are key people in the government of any country to whom the new atheists’ view of citizens (99% chimpanzee?) would be highly welcome – even if those key people sit in religious centres at times, and blather about traditional religion on occasion, and assure us all that we have nothing to worry about.
Frankly, all that stuff is: used to was and done to death and it will wash no more.
The rest of us think free will exists, and think freedom is important.