An Empty Pep Talk

PZ Myers gives another one of his New Atheist pep talks. But, as usual, they are just words:

Atheists turn to one another — our hope lies in substance and reality, not wishful thinking and delusion, and what we know exists are our fellow human beings, our world, and that ultimately we must rely on our interactions with what is, rather than what isn’t, to find happiness and survival.


Two words – Michael Shermer. Look, we have seen with our eyes what happens when atheists turn to one another.

We don’t have absolute answers on how to do that, and we do have to continue to struggle to work out principles to promote that essential cooperation, but it’s absurd for someone to accuse us of absolutism (comparing us to religious advocates, no less, with no sense of irony) while arguing for a literal interpretation of an Iron Age god-myth.

There is nothing absurd in noting the absolutism of the New Atheists. Their leaders are absolutely convinced there is no God and nothing can count as evidence for God. Their leaders are absolutely convinced the world would be better off without religion and faith. Their leaders are absolutely convinced religious people are the problem – “faith-heads” infected by “faith viruses” who “abuse their children” and whose faith is “in need of containment and eradication.” Why is it absurd to think that such militant extremism would go hand-in-hand with absolutism?

You know, we’re not the ones even trying to bridge a chasm separating us from an invisible fantasy-land on the other side at all. We’re here on our side, with each other, trying to build a society that fosters equality right here.

Excepts for the dozens and dozens who have been banned from PZ’s blog. I guess some animals are more equal than others.

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2 Responses to An Empty Pep Talk

  1. ChazIng says:

    Lol, Animal Farm.

  2. Kevin says:

    The New Atheist leaders have simply learned to tap into the same well of human emotion that leaders of other extremist movements have harnessed. Speak in absolutes. Describe your own side as holding the moral high ground and the other side as being responsible for half the problems in the world. For people who don’t like to think for themselves, this leads to a delusion of superiority in one’s own group while fostering hatred for whichever group happens to be the target.

    I firmly believe this is why the likes of Dawkins and Harris are so popular. They tapped into the hatred in the antitheistic segment of the population, gave them slogans and talking points to use in place of independent rational thinking, and handily placed themselves in the position of being the Enlightened Ones (despite all evidence to the contrary) that must go out and save the world. It’s pretty ironic that such a group claims to be the standard bearers of reason. Quite the opposite.

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