Week of Reason: Atheist Abandons Reason and Science to Defend Critical Race Theory

Over at his blog, social justice atheist PZ Myers posted an entry entitled, “Why are you afraid of critical race theory?”

Myers is responding to a Washington Post story that tries to make it look like there is something wrong with parents opposing critical race theory being taught in the public schools.  In response to Myers question, I suspect they are afraid of the wild-eyed zealotry that often comes attached to critical race theory (recall the video evidence of the crazed professor and the delusional teacher, both clearly brainwashed by this theory).  Proponents of critical race theory want to cram their ideology down the throats of children.  But let’s face it.  Critical race theory is not science nor is it scientific.  It is a theory in the sense that it is a…….conspiracy theory.  It envisions a conspiracy of racist oppressors carefully designing a system that oppresses racial minorities everywhere and all the time.  That racism is supposedly “systemic” is one way of claiming the conspiracy of oppression is ubiquitous.  This “theory” is supported the same way other conspiracy theories are supported- by confusing cause with correlation and by relying heavily on confirmation bias.  People are free to accept this conspiracy theory if they want, but it’s another story when you are using the tax-payer funded schools to indoctrinate children with this radical ideology disguised as knowledge. 

To support my observations, watch Myers, who is supposed to be a scientist, actually try to defend critical race “theory”:

I don’t get it. As a white man, I love critical race theory — it explains so much, helps me understand my failings, and yet also provides a framework for comprehending my role in American racism that doesn’t condemn me (I know, it’s a selfish way to think about it, but that’s what’s great — it should appeal to people who only think of themselves).

Wow.  Notice not once did Myers mention it is true.  Not once does he mention that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates its truth.  Instead, Myers expresses his emotional attachment to the “theory”:  I love critical race theory

Myers then cites 3 reasons for his emotional attachment.

  1. “It explains so much.”  Yet this is what all conspiracy theorists claim about their conspiracy theories.  They “explain” all the previously unconnected data.  Cultists likewise insist their cult beliefs “explain so much.”  In other words, while Myers might be emotionally stimulated by the theory and its ability to “explain,” critical thinkers recognize this as being rather meaningless given that cultists and crackpot conspiracy theorists make the same appeal.
  2. “It helps me understand my failings.”  Here the “theory” is once again satisfying his emotions – helping to comfort him with its “explanations.”
  3. “It doesn’t condemn me.”  While this is not clear, Myers does seem to believe it.  Once again, for Myers, its about him and his emotions.  He is in love with critical race theory because it does not condemn his private racist beliefs and thoughts.  He thinks by arguing “the system made me do it,” his closeted racist ideas and beliefs are excused.

Myers even fully admits he is in love with critical race theory for purely subjective reasons – “I know, it’s a selfish way to think about it, but that’s what’s great.”   

I’m glad critical race theory gives some meaning and comfort to Myers’ dreary atheistic life, but this is not reason for any critical thinker to buy into it.  On the contrary, that Myers’ support for critical race theory is rooted in emotional needs and selfishness suggests there is nothing substantive in critical race theory.

But then Myers digs himself deeper into the hole of dwindling credibility:

I have benefited from historical biases in education and employment, but that doesn’t mean I have to be ashamed of who I am — it means I have a responsibility to work to change the system, so that everyone has the same opportunities I did. (emphasis added)

Of course!  Critical race theory means we have a “responsibility.”  To do what?  “to change the system.”   Change it into what?  Let’s take a blind guess.  Anti-capitalism?  Anti-police?  Anti-religion?  Isn’t it odd how this “theory” just happens to demand all pledge allegiance to an ideological utopia long envisioned by Marxist-type thinkers? 

We’re being played.

Look, I’m not sure all critical race theory proponents would agree that Myers should not be ashamed that his privileged status is indebted to racism.  But let’s be generous and assume, for the mere sake of argument, that critical race theory is correct.  Even at that point, I see two serious problems for Myers. The first stems from his atheism.

I’m not sure why any atheist believes responsibility exists in an atheistic universe.  As Richard Dawkins noted:  “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”” Atheists everywhere agree with this.

In this atheistic universe, where does this “responsibility” come from?  Did PZ pull it out of a unicorn’s ass and insist it is real, at least in this instance?  Where is the evidence that “responsibility” actually exists?  Tell us, atheist.  And it only gets worse if you buy into the deterministic flavor of atheism where, as Jerry Coyne and other atheists argue, there is no such thing as moral responsibility.  PZ Myers would then be delusional to think anyone had any responsibility to “change the system.” 

Second, what makes PZ think he is doing anything to “change the system?”  He talks and writes.  But is there any evidence that his existence has made ANY difference?  I see no evidence that the sum total of his writings and talking have done anything to “change the system.”  And what’s with this notion that mere talking and writing are all he is responsible for?  He confesses that he benefited from historical biases in education and employment.  And those benefits currently exist as….wealth.  Doesn’t PZ have a responsibility to transfer this personal wealth to racial minorities?  Instead of willing his money and property to his children when he dies, why not will it to a black or brown family?  After all, isn’t passing on accumulated wealth to your children part of systemic racism?   When he retires, why not withdraw a large percentage of that money and give it to a black or brown family?  Afterall, he admits the money comes from systemic racism, so it’s not truly his.

I think we all know that Myers would NOT be THAT responsible.  He’ll just stick to talking and writing, because that’s the cost-free way of posturing as if you are doing something good and important.  Virtue signaling and nothing more. After all, if you embrace critical race theory for emotional and selfish reason, as Myers’ has conceded, why not also use it to make it look like your talking and writing serve some “higher purpose.”  More feel good reasons for peddling critical race theory.  Pat yourself on the back, PZ. 

Finally, Myers gives us one final reason to dismiss critical race theory:

That conservatives oppose CRT tells me something: that they oppose any change to a pattern of systemic oppression, because they benefit from the system.

Didn’t see that one coming.  😉

And contained within Myers’ sentence is the unfalsifiability of critical race “theory.”  Any criticism, skepticism, or opposition of this ideology is spun as evidence FOR the theory.   Clever, but intellectually dishonest.

When you have a “theory” that is embraced for emotional, selfish, and manipulative reasons, a theory supported by the confusion of cause and correlation along with confirmation bias, a “theory” that cannot be falsified, a “theory” that imparts power to those who promote it, you have a belief system that cannot be taken seriously by those who value reason, evidence, and truth. 

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11 Responses to Week of Reason: Atheist Abandons Reason and Science to Defend Critical Race Theory

  1. Ilíon says:

    ==“Why are you afraid of critical race theory?”==

    If one is observant, one will notice that this passive-aggressive mode of “argument” (which is to say, studiously avoiding making and rationally defending an argument in support of one’s claims) is a favorite tactic of Freudians, Marxists, Darwinsts, secularists/atheists/agnostics … and women. It’s a variation of what C S Lewis called “Bulverism”.

  2. Ilíon says:

    And it only gets worse if you buy into the deterministic flavor of atheism where, as Jerry Coyne and other atheists argue, there is no such thing as moral responsibility.

    There is no other flavor of atheism, though there are certainly atheists who will trim on the matter.

  3. Ilíon says:

    And contained within Myers’ sentence is the unfalsifiability of critical race “theory.” Any criticism, skepticism, or opposition of this ideology is spun as evidence FOR the theory. Clever, but intellectually dishonest.

    It’s as I said in my first response in this thread. The “argument” he makes in that sentence was implicit in very title, and obvious to anyone who has been *observing* how Freudians, Marxists, Darwinsts, and secularists/atheists/agnostics tend to “argue”.

  4. Doug says:

    Here’s a good description of the “to oppose CSJ/CRT is to aid and abet racism” tactic: https://counterweightsupport.com/2021/05/01/how-to-play-games-with-words-part-1-the-tactics-of-the-woke-critical-social-justice-activist/

    Naturally, “those who value reason, evidence and truth” are typically not prepared for the tactics of those who have no interest in furthering the interests of reason, evidence and truth.

  5. Mel Wild says:

    Well said. Myers reveals that he is very religious afterall. His cult-like religion is “wopetopian” social justice, where truth is power and incoherence is justified. I’m surprised, though, that an atheist would embrace a postmodern ideology, which is anti-science and anti-reason. Either shows his ignorance of these neo-Marxist philosophies, or some serious cognitive dissonance.

  6. Kevin says:

    I’m surprised, though, that an atheist would embrace a postmodern ideology, which is anti-science and anti-reason.

    Atheists like Myers don’t care about science and couldn’t reason their way through making a sandwich. All they care about is attacking Christianity and things associated politically with it. Woke politics is the new trend for accomplishing this, over such buzzwords like science and reason.

    Dig in a little deeper and you’ll find even the non-woke anti-theists like Dawkins have no clue about science beyond some biology and astrophysics, the two fields that can be used to contradict certain interpretations of scripture. They know nothing of history beyond what can be used to cast doubt on the historical accuracy of the Bible. They care nothing about reason, which is why they adopt the “lack of belief” barrier which prevents all attempts to actually get them to reason. They know no philosophy. They know nothing but their own propaganda.

    There are scientists much more beneficial to mankind than Darwin, but isn’t evolution such a great anti-Christian tool? Darwin Day to promote science! At least until they discard him as a racist, once Christianity has disappeared in the west.

  7. Ilíon says:

    ==I’m surprised, though, that an atheist would embrace a postmodern ideology, which is anti-science and anti-reason.==

    Isn’t that just so precious?

    Atheism logically entails the denial that reason is even possible, so *of course* ‘atheists’ are going to embrace anti-reason.

  8. TFBW says:

    It seems to me that Myers is attracted to CRT for the same reasons he’s attracted to Darwinism: the comfort of the overarching narrative, as opposed to any of the details. Darwinism explains so much: in fact, it explains everything (whether it happens or not), and does so without reference to God, making It possible to be (or at least feel like) an intellectually fulfilled atheist. Darwinism helps one understand one’s failings: it’s an imperfect mechanism, so expect imperfect results. Darwinism doesn’t condemn: as a corollary of the previous two points, there is no God to sit in judgement, and there can be no reasonable expectation of perfection.

  9. Ilíon says:

    ==Darwinism explains so much: in fact, it explains everything (whether it happens or not),==

    Or, as I sometimes put it: Darwinism explains everything … and its opposite.

  10. Dhay says:

    Week of Reason: Two Atheists Abandon Reason and Science to Defend No Free Will

    In his 06 May 2021 blog post, “A great Stephen Fry interview in the NYT (with free-will lagniappe)”, Jerry Coyne basks again in the, er, “Big Man’s greatness”; and quotes part of his recent NYT interview:

    Q: You said earlier you’ve been reading philosophy. Is there a particular idea that you’re tickled by lately?

    Fry: I suppose the real biggie is free will. I find it interesting that no one really talks about it: I would say that 98 percent of all philosophers would agree with me that essentially free will is a myth. It doesn’t exist. That ought to be shocking news on the front of every newspaper…

    https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2021/05/06/a-great-stephen-fry-interview-in-the-nyt/

    Coyne says Fry is misinformed, and clarifies (or, rather, guesses) that “Fry is of course is talking about determinism and contracausal free will here”; which, by subtraction, leaves Fry saying that ‘2% of all philosophers would agree with me that essentially free will isn’t a myth.’ Coyne does not challenge or correct Fry’s 98% (or 2%), so he “owns” the figure himself.

    Let’s look at the actual figures — the best available fit for “science says…” — that were obtained from a 2013 survey of professional philosophers’ views:

    Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?
    Accept or lean toward: compatibilism 550 / 931 (59.1%)
    Other 139 / 931 (14.9%)
    Accept or lean toward: libertarianism 128 / 931 (13.7%)
    Accept or lean toward: no free will 114 / 931 (12.2%)

    https://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl

    There’s no 98% there, there’s no 2% there, and the “Accept or lean toward: no free will 12.2%” very much contradicts the detail and thrust of both Fry’s claim and Coyne’s amended version. Both have plucked figures out of their own ignorance or out of others’ ignorance, reason absent — probably, for both, figures plucked from wishful thinking.

    *

    Let’s see, “That ought to be shocking news on the front of every newspaper…” Yep, and science says that tables are not really solid (they’re mostly empty space between nuclei and electrons): that should also be shocking news on the front of every newspaper. Ah, yes, Fry’s a comedian.

    *

    In case anybody’s missed that Fry is an atheist, he was the willing judge of the Anti-Theist International (Atty Awards) Hitchens picture painting competition, ie he’s not just an atheist, he’s an avid anti-theist — as is Coyne, of course..

  11. Ilíon says:

    ==”Accept or lean toward: compatibilism 550 / 931 (59.1%)
    .
    Accept or lean toward: no free will 114 / 931 (12.2%)
    “==

    So, since “compatibilism” is the (incoherent) assertion that “your actions and thoughts and choices are totes determined, dewd, but you are still free to say that you are free, if you wish“, that would be a 71.3% on denial.

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