An Atheist Defines Militant Atheism

Julian Baggini is an author and atheist philosopher who helps us to better define and detect militant atheists.  In his book, Atheism, he has a section entitled Militant Atheism.  He writes:

 Atheism which is actively hostile to religion I would call militant. To be hostile in this sense requires more than just strong disagreement with religion—it requires something verging on hatred and is characterized by a desire to wipe out all forms of religious beliefs. Militant atheists tend to make one or both of two claims that moderate atheists do not. The first is that religion is demonstrably false or nonsense, and the second is that is usually or always harmful.”

I think this description perfectly matches the Gnu Atheist movement.

Their anti-religious hostility does verge on hatred and they do possess a desire to rid the world of religion.  In fact, this desire forms the very basis for their Cause.  Those atheists who do not share in The Cause are shunned and ridiculed as “accomodationists.”  How dare anyone think there is room to “accommodate” religion.  After all, the New Atheists leaders preach that religion is one of the world’s greatest evils. We cannot accommodate evil, now can we?

It is also true that New Atheists do insist and preach that religion is a) false nonsense and b) usually or always harmful.  Anyone who has ever read the writings of New Atheists will recognize both claims.

So New Atheism is basically a cultural movement that views religion as dangerous nonsense and their objective is to rid the world, as much as possible, of religion.  Those of us who both value and understand critical thinking easily recognize the New Atheism movement as the modern day expression of militant atheism.

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