New Atheist Phil Torres Wants People to Believe He is Not a New Atheist

New Atheist Phil Torres claims he is no longer a New Atheist.  The problem?  He’s finally come to the realization that the New Atheist movement is a hate movement.  Well, when it comes to women, people of color, and Muslims, that is.

As examples of the New Atheist hate, he cites comments from Harris in 2014 and 2012.  He cites the rape allegations among the various New Atheists in an article from 2014.  And he cites a tweet from Dawkins in 2016.

What supposedly led Torres to finally break away from the New Atheists was the hoax article by Boghossian and Lindsay that embarrassed academic feminism.

But here’s the problem.  In 2016 (just last year), Torres co-authored a paper with Boghossian and Lindsay aggressively promoting New Atheist extremism. In other words, even after he knew about the evidence of rape allegations, sexism, and racism among the Gnus, he still willfully joined hands with his fellow culture warriors.  In fact, he has no choice but to admit it and try to get out in front of it:

Yet some of us — mostly white men like myself — persisted in our conviction that, overall, the new atheist movement was still a force for good in the world. It is an extraordinary personal embarrassment that I maintained this view until the present year.

In other words, according to Torres’ atheistic sense of morality, it was okay to team up with people he perceived as racists and sexists as long as they could all direct their hate at Christians.  Once again, the end justifies the means. Torres broke away probably because he began to realize just how toxic the New Atheists have become among the social justice atheists who dominate academia and the tech world.  In other words, he is in damage control mode.

But I personally don’t give him much credit.  Social justice atheists are no different from New Atheists with one exception.  Social justice atheists believe that their hateful mocking, sneering arrogance, and manipulative propaganda should be targeting solely Christians.  And there is not a shred of evidence that Torres thinks the New Atheist approach to Christians has been a problem.

Put simply, Torres is a New Atheist who simply doesn’t want people to think he is a New Atheist anymore.

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5 Responses to New Atheist Phil Torres Wants People to Believe He is Not a New Atheist

  1. TFBW says:

    Social justice atheists believe that their hateful mocking, sneering arrogance, and manipulative propaganda should be targeting solely Christians.

    For the Social Justice types, “oppressor” groups (as specified by critical race and gender theory, so look to the radical feminists for guidance here) are legitimate targets for denigration. This includes Christians, but also males, whites, and people who are normal in terms of their sexuality and gender identity (and yes, I used “normal” there in a manner which will offend Social Justice types, despite its technical correctness). For old-school New Atheists, the legitimate targets were theists, pure and simple. Christianity is merely the intersection of those target sets. They fight like cats and dogs over everything else.

  2. pennywit says:

    legitimate targets for denigration

    As are Dallas Cowboys fans.

  3. Michael says:

    For the Social Justice types, “oppressor” groups (as specified by critical race and gender theory, so look to the radical feminists for guidance here) are legitimate targets for denigration. This includes Christians, but also males, whites, and people who are normal in terms of their sexuality and gender identity (and yes, I used “normal” there in a manner which will offend Social Justice types, despite its technical correctness).

    Agreed. Of course, I’d like to see a social justice type explain how Christians in China, Africa, or the Middle East are oppressor groups. Come to think of it, social justice types have a long track record of being oppressors.

  4. Dhay says:

    > New Atheist Phil Torres claims he is no longer a New Atheist.

    PZ Meyers, too; in his blog post, “The New Atheism is dead. Long live atheism”, Meyers declares himself no longer a New Atheist:

    That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news.

    That version of atheism that is all neocon, libertarian, anti-feminist, and smug cult of personality crap? It has conveniently lumped itself together under the label of “New Atheism”. Reject it. Repudiate it. Scorn it as being soooo 2005.

    I say this as a former proud New Atheist, but New Atheist no more.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/07/31/the-new-atheism-is-dead-long-live-atheism/

    Nah, they are both just repudiating the New Atheist figureheads; and each of the two declaring himself no longer one of those figureheads. What difference does a mere change of self-label make. But it’s interesting how strongly both obviously now feel about those they had openly and eagerly shared a label with.

  5. Dhay says:

    Phil Torres continues his animosity towards his former New Atheist friends, with a FaceBook rant against Michael Shermer (who is vituperative back in the comments); and with Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay and the Street Epistemology private FaceBook page railed at also:

    I’m increasingly concerned with the degree of censorship within the “new atheist” and “skeptics” community. As some of you know, after I published an article that was critical of what I would describe as a strain of anti-intellectualism among some skeptic leaders, Michael Shermer sent me an email complete with vulgarities, personal insults (e.g., you’re a bad scholar and you’ll never be a good scholar!), and basically a threat to harm my career because I’m a “backstabber” (search The Moral Arc for some fun reading about how Shermer sometimes fantasizes about murdering “backstabbers”! Seriously).

    https://www.facebook.com/phillip.torres.752/posts/1511456322301699

    Sounds like a fun book. In the comments below, Shermer is vituperative back.

    Similarly, after writing a critique of Peter Boghossian and James A. Lindsay’s gender studies “hoax,” both blocked me on social media and the former even blocked my phone number!

    No great surprise, given the level of animosity on both sides.

    I have also been permanently banned from Jerry Coyne’s blog for literally asking, “So, why not focus on something else?,” which he angrily claimed was a violation of the blog’s rules (it wasn’t).

    The free-speech promoting Coyne is infamous for banning free speech on his blog. Torres didn’t expect it? Coyne even silent-bans some people, no explanation, no discussion.

    Most recently, I posted a question in the private FB group for “Street Epistemology” (SE) about how one balances (a) advocating epistemological principles and (b) being associated with Boghossian, who founded SE, given his frequent defenses of white nationalists and derogatory statements about male feminists (for example). It was a serious question written for a group of what I thought were serious thinkers. Yet instead of responses, push-back, or commiseration, they simply banned me from the group! No explanation, no discussion.

    Shades of Coyne! I’m not surprised it’s now “I thought [Street Epistemologists] were serious thinkers” instead of ” I think [Street Epistemologists] are serious thinkers”.

    I continue to be awed by the reflexive censoriousness and stunning hypocrisy of the “skeptics” community. This community demonstrates why evangelizing for epistemology remains so very important.

    Looks like all in the above-named censorial and hypocritical community, including Street Epistemologists, need to be ‘evangelized for epistemology’. I too am awed.

    Clearly Torres was not amused. PZ Myers was highly amused:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/11/05/his-lawyers-must-hate-him/

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