You may have noticed a severe drop in posts, partly do recent sickness as well as some other issues am dealing with. Still I haven’t abandoned this space and will endeavor to return to full strength soon.
Now, on with today’s post:
I’m tired of the so called, “New Atheist”. They are, right there with Libertarians, one of the most narcissistic sectors of modern western culture.
They claim to defend women’s rights in third world nations but many are staunchly anti-feminist. Because the best way to defend women’s rights, or even human rights is to dismiss a movement (flawed as it may be, although I find that it is the assumptions made about it that are really flawed) centered on doing just that.
They claim intellectual superiority yet believe that if you remove religion from the human experience, that would be the end of human suffering. That is a form of:
Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to absurdity”), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin: argument to absurdity), is a common form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial, or in turn to demonstrate that a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance. First appearing in classical Greek philosophy (the Latin term derives from the Greek “εις άτοπον απαγωγή” or eis atopon apagoge, “reduction to the impossible”, for example in Aristotle’s Prior Analytics), this technique has been used throughout history in both formal mathematical and philosophical reasoning, as well as informal debate.
By reducing all evils in human history to a single cause, religion, it ignores history and the very human condition atheist claim to defend. It says nothing about such basic human failings as greed or fear nor does it speak to the human need to band together in groups and to bind such groups with legal and moral codes that create a strong sense of tribalism and allow if not encourage violence against non-tribal members. Religion may well be an expression of and a tool to reinforce tribal morality but it is not the only one.
There is also a virulent strain of Euro-centrism in the New Atheist movement. A familiar sense of western superiority vis a vis the old “desert religions” a term meant to cover all Abrahamic religions, but in fact is often aimed at Islam in an age old attempt to mark anyone outside the Western European experience as lesser than said experience. Old fashion western imperialism using old fashion pseudo-scientific thought to assert an non-existing superiority over others. Often it goes hand in hand with attacks on multiculturalism, which is seen as the biggest barrier for the imposition of Western superiority.
I do sympathize with the idea that religious extremism is a dangerous reaction to the modern world, one that seeks to plunge us all back into the Dark Ages. Nor can we hold religion to be an untouchable institution, free of all criticism or analysis. Yet, the way the New Atheist are going about it simply defeats the purpose, because in the end it has nothing to do with the evils of religion and more to do with a feeble attempt to reorganize the world to fit the narcissism.
That simply won’t do.