New Atheist activists Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay, and Phil Torres have a solution to the problems posed by radical Islamists:
Solutions are hard to come by. But there is a way to counter extremism that’s potentially as effective as it is unpopular. It’s a social and intellectual strategy that aims to undermine the religious beliefs that motivate jihadists—and one of the most controversial set of ideas to emerge in the West in the last quarter century: New Atheism.
Ah yes, fight extremism with extremism. In response to ISIS, let’s label all Muslims as mentally ill child abusers and really double down on the mockery of Mohammed. Another brilliant Gnu idea.
What’s really telling here is the admission – New Atheism is a social and intellectual strategy that aims to undermine the religious beliefs. This explains the “ends justify the means” approach to New Atheism. It’s a “strategy.” We’ll have to explore this more in the future.
New Atheism emerged in direct response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks executed by al-Qaeda,
Indeed. In other words, New Atheism emerged as an emotional reaction. Muslim extremists commit horrific acts of terrorists and New Atheists like Richard Dawkins bravely respond by mocking Catholic grandmothers.
which demonstrated that acting upon certain religious beliefs could lead to catastrophe.
And it also demonstrated that acting upon certain socio-political beliefs could lead to catastrophe. Let’s not forget the terrorists not only had religious motivations, but also had anti-American and anti-Western views that are not all that uncommon among Western campuses.
The movement offered a heretofore unwelcomed perspective: That every religion has negative consequences, and that even religious moderates contribute to the problem because, by affirming that faith is a legitimate reason to hold beliefs, they enable religious extremists.
Ah yes, the Rambow Effect. I previously noted the logic of this perspective:
a moderate concern for animal welfare fuels animal rights terrorism. Do you support your local Humane Society? Then, according to Harris/Rambow logic, you are helping to legitimize extreme animal rights organizations and their acts of terrorism.
In making this case, the New Atheists famously broke one longstanding taboo against criticizing a person’s faith.
Y’gotta love that self-inflated sense of revisionism. In the Bubble of Gnu, nobody ever criticized a person’s faith until Sam Harris came along with his book. That New Atheists continue to ignore people like Madalyn Murray O’Hair doesn’t exactly help diminish the perception that New Atheism is linked to sexism.
Look, religious people who were alive before the rise of New Atheism can tell you that no such taboo existed prior to the Gnus.
Does the Boghossian et al. article ever become something more than irrational Gnu talking points? We’ll have to see in the next posting.