Why do New Atheists Fear Dissent?

One of PZ Myers dissenters made a good point:

PZ I ask you – given the footfall of Pharyngula; the contentious nature of the subjects in question; the substantial number of people who disagree with your position; the way in which you are regarded as a lead figure in many of these things; given all of this, is it really credible for you claim you don’t mind reasonable dissent when you appear, for all the world, to not have a single regular dissenter who has not been banned?

You may think I am a troll but please don’t mix up trolls with idiots. If you had a good couple of dozen REGULAR dissenting posters on these issues your arguments would look more convincing. In my couple of months before being banned I never encountered a single one. Not one. Nada. Zilch.

So where are these dissenters PZ? Is this just some incredible statistical freak of nature that you are the only person on earth with a substantial number of detractors but somehow none of them EVER bother to argue regukarlyon your blog, except the ones who are trolls????

Yes, for those of us who know how the internet works, it is very strange for a 10+ year old blog, that is supposed to have millions of hits a day, to not also have several REGULAR dissenting posters.  PZ’s answer:

Oh, yes. Why don’t I tolerate dissent, from a dissenter who posted here for over 4 months, making 168 comments. I have to say, this is a remarkably stupid question.

And he then bans the person and begins to launch in to long-winded rationalism for the heavy-handed censorship that takes place on his blog.  Myers tells us dissenters get banned because they are often completely tone-deaf, because they are obtuse and don’t listen, and because trolls are idiots.

In other words, within any cult, you must agree with the cult leader.  If you do not agree, and disagree in such a way that the cult leader becomes annoyed, you will be tossed out of the cult and shunned.   This form of dynamic clearly is in play on Myer’s blog. Afterall, the only reasons that anyone would dare dissent from Myers is because they are either tone death, obtuse, or idiots.

Given that New Atheist leaders are narcissists, it should surprise no one that he has used reason to justify the maintenance of his comments section as an adoring, echo chamber.  In such a chamber, there is no place for a “good couple of dozen REGULAR dissenting posters on these issues.”



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2 Responses to Why do New Atheists Fear Dissent?

  1. thesauros says:

    Your last paragraph is interesting. I’m retired now but I used to work as a mental health counsellor. I’m not familiar with the culture at PZ’s blog, I find him too obnoxious to bother visiting. Nevertheless, as I was reading your description of events, what kept pinging in my head was, “He describing a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” Hmm

  2. Apollyon says:

    Leftists (and 99% of atheists are Lefties) don’t believe in actual debate (strawmen don’t count). Labels (homophobe, racist, etc) are used to shut down dissent.

    Vox wrote about PZ Myers (the ‘Fowl Atheist’) here: http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2013/02/a-portrait-in-epistemic-closure.html

    Pretty much noted the same thing: PZ Myers likes an echo chamber. It’s safer than actually engaging in a real debate.

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