Thursday, October 1, 2015

What is New Atheism?

New Atheists:

1. ...are proud of non-God belief. NGB is an important part of their identity.

2. ...consider God-belief a significant cause of violence (and other ills). Think a world without God-belief would be more peaceful. Think this is obvious.

3. ...consider atheism categorically incapable of causing violence because no one ever says "I kill you in the name of the no-God." By implication, metacognitive reports in regards to one's own motivations are seen as both important and reliable. If you say "I did the bad thing because FDR told me to," that's the reason. To phrase it less generously, self-ascribed motivations are taken at face value and assumed to be causal. ("I killed her because I loved her"-- "cause of death: love")

4. ...think or assume western state violence (WSV) is either generally well-intended and therefore not actually violence so much as, say democracy and freedom (good violence = 0 violence) or, far less often, that it is actual violence but simply not religious because it's rarely (NAs seem to assume never) accompanied by God-words. So WSV is either non-religious nonviolence or non-religious violence. Either way, WSV is entirely distinct from religious violence.

5. While atheism is responsible for 0 violence, religions, whose adherents sometimes proclaim their God belief as the reason for their violence (and when they don't, c'mon you know they're thinking about it), are not all equal. Rather, violence varies by religion, depending on geopolitics how, um, bad they seem to be if you use your western ideals and kinda think about it. So Christianity and Judaism are bad but Islam is considered, in the words of prominent New Atheist Sam Harris "the motherlode of bad ideas." No evidence has been given by New Atheists. You just kinda know.

Bonus Q & A

Q: What if an atheist kills someone?
A: They do it for non-religious reasons.
Q: Doesn't that make non-religious reasons a cause of violence?
A: Yes, but...
Q: So atheists can be violent, but atheism never is?
A: That's right. Atheism is the good and the true and people who follow its teachings can call themselves Brights, or, to paraphrase, The Finders of the Way. 
Q: I want to be good and true. Can I be a New Atheist?
A: Probably.


d.mantis said...
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d.mantis said...

Fun the 1:30:00 Sam tries to poke holes in the terrorism exhibited by Catholics in Northern Ireland as "tribalism based on religious identity and not the clear expression of doctrine."

At 1:31:20 Cenk calls him on his bullshit difference between suicide terrorism and states flatly that the evidence suggests its a means used by occupied and oppressed people rather than something from religion itself.

Sam's response is interesting. He builds a huge strawman about liberal's views. He conveniently disavows state action.

I swear, he's either a bigoted idiot or an amazing double agent meant to garner liberal support for imperialism.

Devin Lenda said...

Wow, don't know how you managed to watch that. I vaguely remember seeing it on facebook when it came out, only made it through the first few minutes.

I'd say he's a bigoted idiot "meant" by natural processes, mostly nonconscious, to garner liberal support for imperialism.