Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Militant Atheism

Apologies, this article has now moved to the new site. Click here to read.


Thorn said...

That is amazingly insane, you've somehow leapt upon that one quote by Sam Harris and somehow extrapolated from that the "new atheists" all wish that you be violently stripped of your religiosity! Even the most casual examination of the context will reveal that he's endorsing violence against the kind of backward 14th century style muslim that are frothing at the mouth over the fact that his particular brand of Islam is not dominating the world. I find it incredible that you seem to think that any opposition to their views is somehow a threat against you, unless you share their views in which case you have just managed the most extreme projectionism I have ever seen on the internet. Do you have any convincing evidence of the militancy the the "new atheists?"

Dean said...

Seriously? This is clearly an emotional plea to create a stigma on atheism as the author wished it to be verses the way it actually is. Thorn summed it up well and I guess I only have clarification beyond what he said to add. Atheists are just like you in the sense that you don't believe in fairy's, leprechauns, or Greek gods (my assumption could be wrong of course). If large groups were to support these fictional characters, claim them as the truth and the way (damn you to eternal hell fire for not subscribing) , impose the dogmatic ideas into public schools and politics, my guess is that your views would be different. You may be vocal about those beleifs, hence "militant", because really that is the only aspect of "militant atheism" that rings true. The term really is larger than the action when using the term militant. It conotates physical violence most likely performed by an organized group...when the only way the phrase even slightly applies is when an atheist speaks publicly while criticizing theism.

Your personal beliefs are not on trial until you make them public and enter them into the arena of intellectual honesty. When that time comes...fair game on the criticism. Both Islam and Christianity have entered that forum in different ways...the intellectual battle is the field, never physical violence. If you have an example of an atheist taking a violent action in the name of a moral position I would like to see you post it as I am unaware of any (such as an atheist blowing up an abortion clinic or killing a doctor who performs abortions). The point of the article is clear but the straw-man falls down before it is even fully standing.

Anonymous said...

That's interesting. The previous posters, while trying to launch a rebuttal, have fallen in the trap of "meeting the definition" as it were. Of course you are entitled to your respective opinions but there is something uncanny about your presumption that atheism is never militant. Deen, from the context, was obviously not using the word in a physical sense (indeed atheists probably never will be physical in their attacks) - he was using it in the bitter, non-accepting, iconoclastic sense. "Radical", I think, might be a better word.

The rise of this "new" atheism is clearly visible from just looking at the content of mainstream culture. There are many academics (almost all professors of philosophy) who also share a similar view - that this new atheism retains the dogmatism of faith but without the conceptual anchor of a God. Which leaves us with the question - "aren't you fighting yourself?"