Building a Movement on Emotion

Brendan O’Neill posted a nice article about Gnu atheism and its growing obsession with its self-perceived victim status.

Passion of the New Atheists

HT: Curious Presbyterian

I think the conclusion is the most insightful:

It is their creation of a movement based on negatives rather than positives which explains why the New Atheists are so screechy. Because bereft of anything substantial or ideological to cohere themselves around, they instead spend the whole time attacking their opposite number – those who do believe in what New Atheists do not: religious people, the thick, the unenlightened. Like electrons in an atom, the ‘negatives’ of the New Atheist clique are forever whizzing around the ‘positives’ of the God lobby. The hole at the heart of modern atheism was best summed up in what Time magazine last month described as ‘The Rise of the Nones’ – that is, the speedily growing group of Americans who now list their religious affiliation as ‘none’. That is fine, of course, but then to cultivate an entire identity, a whole life’s outlook, on the basis of that ‘none’? That is sad.

I’ve often pointed out that the Gnu movement is not built around reason and evidence.  It is built around emotion and that emotion is hate.  It is hate that fuels their entirely negative approach.  And if you take away their common enemy, the object of their hate – Christians, then the emotion needs another outlet.  So they either begin hating on the eevil accomodationists or sometimes turn on each other (as in elevatorgate).  Even PZ was afraid to share some common values they could all rally around because he a) knew such common values are sparse, given the movement is built on negativity and b) knew they would hate on him.

The Gnu movement is just a modern day hate movement.

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2 Responses to Building a Movement on Emotion

  1. Bilbo says:

    I hate hate movements.

  2. Karl says:

    ”to cultivate an entire identity, a whole life’s outlook, on the basis of that ‘none’?” That fits with what I have seen of the new atheist movement. Every one I talked to or listened to speaks about how the world would be better off without religion, but when you ask them how getting rid of religion will cure world hunger or how it will stop wars over precious, limited rescources or cure cancer; all you get is a blank stare. At least old style communism had an idea what a better world would be and had some idea of how to achieve it, flawed as it might be.

    But a movement built solely upon hatred and intolerance? From experince I know that people who join movements like that always need something to hate, somebody else to blame for their problems, the world’s problems. So if people like Meyers had a lick of sense he would be praying his followers don’t achieve their major long-term goal. That little rabid wolfpack of his has already turned on him a couple of times before, once over a couple of cartoon bunnies. And if religion disappears and these guys find that wars, starvation, disease, poverty, are still rampant, that their lives have not improved….well, I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the guys who promised them otherwise.

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