New Atheist Activist Admits Atheist Fundamentalists Exist

New Atheist activist Jerry Coyne has finally acknowledged the obvious – the existence of Atheist Fundamentalists. Coyne lists some of the characteristic features of Atheist Fundamentalists:

  1. “those dogmatic atheists on the Internet who not only insist that certain viewpoints are ideologically correct, but that youmust conform to them, passing purity tests to be acceptable, and that those who merely question those views are to be demonized and cast out.”
  2. “They also arrogate to themselves the power of censorship: determining who is and who is not allowed to speak.”
  3. “Finally, the Fundamentalist Atheists are convinced, as in Kaminer’s description, that they have absolute truth on their side. But that truth isnotabout God, as the religious atheist-bashers claim. Rather, it’s about politics and society. For the True Fundamentalist Atheists™ are those who insist on not only wedding atheism to social problems, but to social problems whose solution cannot be questioned.”

While it’s pretty clear that Coyne is targeting the so-called A+ atheists (PZ Myers et al.) as Atheist Fundamentalists, he seems oblivious to the fact that his criteria apply to the New Atheist movement as a whole.

#1:    Those dogmatic atheists on the Internet who not only insist that certain viewpoints are ideologically correct, but that you must conform to them, passing purity tests to be acceptable, and that those who merely question those views are to be demonized and cast out.……as accomodationists and faitheists.

#2: They also arrogate to themselves the power of censorship: determining who is and who is not allowed to speak. The popular Gnu blogs (Coyne and Myers) routinely ban dissenting voices such that their comments sections are typically echo-chambers for New Atheist talking points. Harris doesn’t even allow anyone to comment on his blog.

#3: the Fundamentalist Atheists are convinced……that they have absolute truth on their side. But that truth is not about God, as the religious atheist-bashers claim. Rather, it’s about politics and society. For the True Fundamentalist Atheists™ are those who insist on not only wedding atheism to social problems, but to social problems whose solution cannot be questioned.  The core feature of New Atheism is to wed atheism to a social problem – what to do about the evils of religion – and the Gnu solution to the problem (mocking, ridicule, bullying, name-calling, etc.) cannot be questioned.  Otherwise, we’re back to #1 and that means your an accomodationist and faitheist.

Yes, New Atheists are Atheist Fundamentalists.  That’s why most atheist scientists and philosophers steer clear of New Atheism and find that they need to distance themselves from the New Atheist Movement.

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2 Responses to New Atheist Activist Admits Atheist Fundamentalists Exist

  1. Kevin says:

    Brutal and spot-on. I’m almost inclined to think Coyne is really a parody atheist like Stephen Colbert was to conservatives, spouting his ideological points in a manner designed to make the entire movement look ridiculous.

  2. Dhay says:

    > #1: Those dogmatic atheists on the Internet who not only insist that certain viewpoints are ideologically correct, but that you must conform to them, passing purity tests to be acceptable, and that those who merely question those views are to be demonized and cast out… …as accomodationists and faitheists.

    I spotted the following in a recent Scott Atran article in The Guardian:

    The grey zone is where I want to live. New Atheists hate it, that place between black and white, where nothing is ever either/or and everything is a bit of both. Those who have studied the movement tell us “the grey zone” of accomodationism and faitheism is high on those verbal warriors’ to-eradicate list, along with all those other aspects of our world that so terrify them: the Bible, churches, political and social conservatives.

    Specifically, the grey zone refers to the sphere of coexistence where Christian and atheist might live together. That’s anathema to the frightened old men of New Atheism, who yearn for a world divided on binary lines, with room for only two categories – the New Atheists and the Christian Fundamentalists. Such a world would be as clean and neat as computer code, with New Atheists the ones and the rest of us reduced to zeros.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/20/isis-binary-struggle-grey-zone-jihadism

    OK, the original was about ISIS, not New Atheists: I made a few amendments — surprisingly few — to help you better see Michael’s point.

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