The Rambow Effect: How Moderate Views Fuel Extremism

Henry Rambow wrote an article which essentially regurgitates Sam Harris’s argument about religious moderates being blamed for the existence of extreme religious fundamentalists.

Like Harris, Rambow approaches the whole issue with incredible tunnel vision.  He seems oblivious to the fact that there is no reason to restrict the focus of his logic to religion.  The very same logic can be used elsewhere.

For example, think about how a moderate concern for animal welfare fuels animal rights terrorism.   Do you support your local Humane Society?  Then, according to Harris/Rambow logic, you are helping to legitimize extreme animal rights organizations and their acts of terrorism.

Concerned about the environment?  Then you are both legitimizing and fueling eco-terrorism.

Do you consider yourself a supporter of civil rights and a good liberal?  Then, according to Harris/Rambow logic,  you are both legitimizing and fueling the Regressive Left.  After all, if religious moderates are to blame for religious fundamentalists, then moderate leftists are to blame for the extreme, Regressive Left.

The irony of this New Atheist Logic is that while Harris points his finger at religious moderates and blames them for the extreme acts of some religious fundamentalists, his same logic would make him (as a environmentalist liberal who supports animal rights) partly responsible for animal rights terrorism, eco-terrorism, and the anti-free speech efforts of the Regressive Left.

Posted in Hypocrisy, New Atheism, Sam Harris | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

What Idiot Runs Chick-fil-A?

Every thinking person knows you can not appease the radicalized social justice extremists.  So why bother trying?  Attempts to appease are viewed as signs of weakness and only encourage more extreme demands.  So again, what idiot at Chick-fil-A thought it was a good idea to throw the Salvation Army under the bus?

Actually, I think Rod Dreher nails this one:

Only the company’s top decision-makers know why they did what they did, but I would bet money that this was not about markets, but about its executive leadership class getting tired of them and their spouses being stink-eyed by fellow rich and upper middle class peers at social gatherings.

Posted in Culture, Social Justice | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Atheism is Dark Places

In the past, I have heard atheist activists argue that atheism actually enhances the meaning and value of our lives.  How so?  Well, since this is the one and only life we shall ever have, that makes it all the more special.  The atheist thus cherishes and values life precisely because it has no eternal backing or support.

Of course, there is an alternative view:

Adherents view life not as a gift and a miracle, but a harm and an imposition. And their notion that having children may be a bad idea seems to be gaining mainstream popularity.

This nihilistic and pessimistic view is held by the anti-natalists, people who believe and argue because of all the suffering associated with life, it would better to have not been born.

Apparently, one of the intellectual leaders of the anti-natalists is South African philosopher David Benatar, who published a book in 2006 which is widely credited with introducing the term anti-natalism.

From this article on Big Think:

Welcome to anti-natalism, a small but lively corner of philosophy that, in our time of climate change, prospects of nuclear war, and divisive populist politics, has been growing of late. Though David Benatar, one of the chief modern architects of this philosophy, may or may not have coined the term “anti-natalism”—he’s done “intellectual archaeology” to figure it out, and his jury of one is still debating—his recent appearance on Sam Harris’s Waking Up podcast further solidified his stake in this long debated topic: Is life worth living? Benatar says no, at least for the unborn.

According to Benatar, head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town and author of Better Never to Have Been, being born is “not always a harm, but always a very serious harm.” Summating his philosophy, he continues:

We ought not to bring new people into existence, but I think the view is broader, that we ought not to bring new sentient beings into existence. It’s not just the view that it’s harmful to come into existence, but a further view that it’s wrong to bring beings into existence.

The article then notes,

Harris finds a correlation with Buddhism. According to a translation of Buddhist texts by Sir Hari Singh Gour, Buddha claimed that men are ignorant of the suffering they unleash; existence is the cause of old age and death. If man would realize this harm he would immediately stop procreating.

Harris does try to push back against Benatar’s views, but, judging from this article, doesn’t come across as being all that successful.

The question that interests me is whether Benatar is an atheist.

Continue reading

Posted in atheism | Tagged | 24 Comments

Was Dawkins’ Book a Flop?

It looks to me like Richard Dawkins’ latest atheism book has turned out to be a flop.  Right now, over at Amazon.com, it is ranked around 2800.  And every time I have checked, it has never been less than 900.  In other words, it has never come close to breaking into Amazon’s top 100 books.  And I don’t think it has made it to any Bestseller’s List.  What’s more, there is no news buzz associated with the book.  And that last time he tweeted about his own book was on Oct 13th.

Also, I noticed that Tom Gilson’s review seems to be buried now.

Posted in Richard Dawkins | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Mass Shooters

Here is a visual break down of Isaac’s results looking into the belief systems of mass shooters here in the United States:

 

Posted in atheism, Culture, mass shootings | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

What Do Mass Shooters Believe?

The following is a guest post from reader, Isaac

Within a week’s time in 2019, three mass shootings occurred: in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, California. In most media coverage, two of the killers were described as white nationalists, while the third shooter’s Leftist politics and hatred of religion were mostly downplayed.

The entire reasoning behind ascribing a racist motive to the Gilroy shooter was that he had praised the book Might Is Right on Instagram. While the book does contain racist and sexist content, it’s not a book about race. It’s a philosophical screed against religion and the Bible, written in the style of Friedrich Nietzsche. In fact, Might is Right is the book Anton LaVey copied (without giving credit, of course) for his 1969 work of plagiarism, The Satanic Bible.

That means two of those three mass shooters were anti-religious nihilists. Most Americans, by contrast, identify as Christian in some way, and only a very small percentage are openly hostile to religion.

This made me wonder: could that anti-Christian, nihilist worldview be common among all mass shooters? If so, the rise in mass shootings in recent decades may be related to the sharp decline in faith over that same period.

Using Wikipedia’s list of American mass shootings with 10 or more victims, and using 1999 (the year of the Columbine massacre) as the cutoff date, I put serious effort into tracking down the worldview or religious beliefs of each of the worst mass shooters, as stated by them in their own words. I won’t use the killers’ names, but here are the results by location, in order of number of victims:

Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Culture, mass shootings | Tagged , , | 81 Comments

Another review of Dawkins’ Book

Here is another review of Dawkin’s new book.  This one from a fan:

Several reviewers just don’t get it – of course there is nothing NEW in this book. Facts are facts so they have obviously NOT changed since stated in Dawkins’s book, The God Delusion – BUT – that’s the point!

This book is written for a different audience – namely, those who found The God Delusion to be too complex to understand. 

The God Delusion to be too complex to understand??  LOL.  I guess this new book should really have been titled, “Atheism for Dummies.”

 

Posted in Richard Dawkins | 8 Comments

Darwin Fish Are Illegal in Connecticut

We have previously seen the University of Connecticut police have arrested and charged two students with violating Connecticut’s Hate Crime Law:

Sec. 53-37. Ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race. Any person who, by his advertisement, ridicules or holds up to contempt any person or class of persons, on account of the creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race of such person or class of persons, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.

Clearly, those interested in justice cannot apply this law in a biased, thus bigoted, manner.  Instead, the law should be applied fairly and even-handedly, across the board.

With that in mind, I would like to point out that New Atheists have a long history of ridiculing Christians on account of their religious faith.  Richard Dawkins once famously encouraged his followers to go out and publicy mock religious people.  Could some of this mockery and contempt be illegal in Connecticut?  Perhaps there are ongoing examples of hate speech that are tolerated at the University of Connecticut as I type this.

Consider the Darwin Fish.

It was obviously designed to mock and ridicule Christians.  For all these years, Christians have turned the other cheek or come up with their own bumper sticker response.  Yet let’s not overlook the inherent mockery and what that means in this day and age.

Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Hate, Social Justice | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Is New Atheism Illegal in Some States?

Here’s a story from the Washington Post:

The three people walking through a dimly lit parking lot near a University of Connecticut student apartment complex probably didn’t know they were being watched. But as the trio crossed in front of an open window repeatedly saying the n-word louder and louder, a person inside wasn’t just observing — they were recording.

Now, university officials say an investigation into the 11-second video, which started to widely circulate on social media earlier this month, has prompted campus police to arrest and charge two students Monday night with violating a Connecticut hate crime statute.

Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, both 21 and described by police as white, were charged with ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $50 or both, according to state law.

Here’s the law:

Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Hate | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Dawkins’ New Book Spreads Misinformation

George Heath-Whyte is a PhD Assyriology Student who posted a series of tweets about Richard Dawkins’ new book.  Heath-Whyte writes, “as an Assyriologist I’ve had a couple of major face-palms moments.”  You can read the whole thread starting here.  My favorite tweets:

and, better yet…..
Continue reading

Posted in atheism, New Atheism, Richard Dawkins | Tagged , , | 3 Comments