As we have seen, Bill Maher is a recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award and sits on the Advisory Board of Project Reason (Sam Harris’s private “think tank”). We have also seen that Maher is an anti-vaxxer, leading us to question just how sincere the New Atheist movement is when it postures as being “pro-science.”
Now there is more reason to question this “pro-science” posturing, as Maher not only opposes Western medical science, it turns out he opposes the use of animals in scientific experiments. Maher once said:
To those people who say, ‘My father is alive because of animal experimentation,’ I say, ‘Yeah, well, good for you. This dog died so your father could live.’ Sorry, but I am just not behind that kind of trade-off.
Maher is also a longtime celebrity spokesman for PETA and has also wished people would die of mad cow disease:
If ten people in America died of mad cow disease, in the long run it would save probably millions of lives. Because people would stop eating meat. That’s not a catty thing to say, to say — in the long run this is what I hope.
One has to wonder just how common this animal rights extremism is among the New Atheists, given Maher’s animal rights extremist views can be traced back to atheist Peter Singer. And don’t forget that both Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris think it is wrong to eat meat. The Friendly Atheist even seems to agree. In fact, Dawkins thinks eating meat is as bad as slavery.
This issue is significant because animal rights extremism is not only anti-science, but has been harmful to science and scientists. If a group that postures as “pro-science” embraces or tolerates such harmful anti-science ideology, then we have something worse than hypocrisy.