As we all know, the New Atheists love to posture as if they are champions of science. The problem is that they only seem to care about science when it can somehow be recruited to aid their metaphysical and/or political agenda. What if you were to debate with a New Atheist and inform him that science has provided evidence that New Atheists are narcissistic, mean, and dogmatic? Do you think the New Atheist would acknowledge this characterization of New Atheists? Or do you think he/she would come up with reasons to ignore or dismiss such a scientific finding?
Well, there is no need to keep this in the realm of a thought experiment, as science has provided evidence that New Atheists are narcissistic, mean, and dogmatic. Check out the research of Christopher Silver from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Silver found that there were six basic types of atheists. One type, the “antitheist,” is described as follows:
The fourth typology, and one of the more assertive in their view, we termed the Anti-Theist. While the Anti-Theists may be considered atheist or in some cases labeled as “new atheists,” the Anti-Theist is diametrically opposed to religious ideology. As such, the assertive Anti-Theist both proactively and aggressively asserts their views towards others when appropriate, seeking to educate the theists in the passé nature of belief and theology. In other words, antitheists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental. The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions. They view the logical fallacies of religion as an outdated worldview that is not only detrimental to social cohesion and peace, but also to technological advancement and civilized evolution as a whole. They are compelled to share their view and want to educate others into their ideological position and attempt to do so when and where the opportunity arises. Some Anti-Theist individuals feel compelled to work against the institution of religion in its various forms including social, political, and ideological, while others may assert their view with religious persons on an individual basis. The Anti-Theist believes that the obvious fallacies in religion and belief should be aggressively addressed in some form or another.
Yep, that’s our Gnus. But here is the interesting part.
In addition to characterizing their subjects, the researchers carried out various empirical psychometric measures. And among all atheist types, the New Atheists scored highest for Narcissism, Dogmatism, and Anger. What’s more, they scored lowest when it came to agreeableness and positive relations with others.
Of course, those of us who watch the Gnus in action knew this already. Angry, dogmatic, narcissistic is exactly what we have seen. So it’s nice to see some scientific evidence that helps confirm our impressions. But this does put the Gnu atheists in a difficult spot. Either they have to acknowledge there is scientific evidence that shows they are mean, narcissistic, closed-minded, and have trouble getting along with others. Or, they could deny this, but in doing so, show the world they are not sincere when they claim they “follow science and the evidence wherever it leads.”