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When Radical Atheists fight amongst themselves I just sit back and watch

February 18, 2016

When Radical Atheists fight amongst themselves I just sit back and watch

How does one sit back watching the whole New Atheism Movement implode without cracking a smile? A few years ago Atheism was riding high in the media as they flogged a bunch of vitriolic books and televisions specials aimed directly at their ideological enemies. How they raged against God. How they condemned Jesus for being Jesus. How they merciless attacked the reputation of religious leaders with false accusations and cheap snide comments.

When Christopher Hitchens wrote his book called: ‘God is not Great – How Religion Poisons Everything’, he did not hold back on his hate and sneering condescension. Nor did Richard Dawkins show any regard for his opponents when called the previous Pope a leering old man in a frock. Hitchens some years earlier, when he was still hardcore socialist, penned his evidence-free hatchet job on Mother Teresa with his book called ‘Missionary Position’. Richard Dawkins once more to the fore, declaring that teaching religion to children was child abuse. The implication being that as a result parents who chose to bring up children in a religion of their choice were all child abusers. Even Atheists feminist icon, Germaine Greer, was a ball of condescending hate as soon as any celebrity happened to pass away on her watch. You need only read her attack on Steve Irwin to understand how much she enjoyed pissing on people’s graves.

I could go on for pages with example after example of how the great icons of controversy have wallowed in their own nastiness. Despite to overarching theatrics of playing the controversy card, there was often very little analysis of what the militant Atheists wanted.

In the case of Hitchens, his agenda shifted all over the place in the last few years of his life. He moved from being a Marxist who condemned the Vietnam War in the 1970s to Neo-conservative who was one of the most vocal promoters of the Iraq War. Without the slightest embarrassment, our man Hitchens still hung on to his adoring love of the Red Army mass murderer Leon Trotsky (because … God knows why.)

Both Hitchens and Dawkins inevitably showed their darker ambitions with their campaign to arrest the Pope on trumped charges. Dawkins vilification went further calling Pope Benedict the ‘Nazi Pope’. The Dawkins’ decline was inevitable as his brand of simplistic scientism had limited appeal. His scandal-mongering about religious leaders seemed hollow after his own online shop was hit by a scandal of embezzlement to the tune of $375,000. Earlier his essay that supported a revival in eugenics shocked many people.

Falling from Grace

Hitchens had some sense beaten into him over years of public exposure to try and make a consistent point. However, he was not a person who debated openly or intellectually about much. The few debates that he did have with his opponents were nothing to write home about. His debate with Dinesh de Sousa follows the same pattern as a debate with his own brother Christopher Hitchens.

  • 1: Open the debate calling God evil because there is suffering in the world;
  • 2: Claiming every evil including atheist communists are direct result of religion;
  • 3: Accusing his selected ideological enemies of supporting the creation of Nazism.

Despite having errors and falsehoods pointed out he keeps hammering them out at his next debate. In terms of intellectual discourse, this is about as dogmatic and fanatical as you can get.

Dawkins is a different style of figure. He is much more of a product than Hitchens. He has a website that sells all sorts of paraphernalia for the dedicated atheist: Earrings, tee-shirts, DVDs and so forth. His Community page on the site looks like a satire of how atheists behave:

  • The Hotline Project: This safe and secular toll-free number accepts calls from throughout the United States and Canada as they question the role of religion in their lives
  • The Clergy Project: The purpose of The Clergy Project is to provide a safe haven for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs.
  • Convert’s Corner: See letters from former believers who have left faith for reason.

In every sense, Dawkins was the ideal representative for counter culture secularists. He was, for a short period of time, the darling of the secular and left wing media because he was ruthlessly attacking their collective enemies.

Unfortunately, the concentration span of the general public was much shorter than Dawkins had hoped. ‘The Rise of Atheism’ conferences around the world failed to gather the millions of recruits it claimed it would. And like any movement that fails to live up to its own hype, it tends to fade away. If you have any doubts about this you need only look at the number mentions Dawkins had on Google in the last two years as opposed five years prior. Is it his time to age into insignificance?

No Plat-forming of Dawkins

Currently, Richard Dawkins is embroiled in a new controversy from an unexpected direction. The issue for Dawkins began when he linked a satirical video that bagged two radical activists. The video song was made by an online operator called SyeTenAtheist makes claims that radical feminists and radical Islamists believe in the same things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecJUqhm2g08

By showing the video, Dawkins has run afoul of the next rising group of secular darlings: the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ or SJWs, under the banner of Atheism+. As a result of protests Dawkins was disinvited from a sceptics conference that he was due to attend at a Fashion Institute of Technology’s Manhattan campus. This is because Atheism+ protestors had demanded that ‘No Platform’ should be allowed for the ageing Professor.

The pressure of the ensuing controversy and his open arguments on Twitter may have contributed to Richard Dawkins declining health. In an online recording, Dawkins explained how he suffered a recent stroke. He was being treated for a blood pressure condition for some time and had hoped that it was under control. According to Dawkins, the doctor wanted him to avoid any undue controversy that could make his condition worse. The cancellation of his invitation to speak at the conference he found to be personally very hard to take. Only after he received the good news that the Conference had capitulated and reinvited him did he suffer a stroke.

For now, it appears that Richard Dawkins is on the path to recovery and is unlikely to have any serious incapacitation as a result. However, he has cancelled a string of speaking engagements that he planned in the next few months.

Conclusion

There are just too many things here that make the whole story of banning Dawkins and incredible story.

A new dynamic has been introduced into the world of controversy. Raw unrefined Atheism that claimed to be noble because it was atheism had to contend everyday power struggles that all ideologies face. Traditional activists such as Marxists, socialists, anarchists and radical feminist still had their own agendas. Some tried to unite under the banner of Atheism+ while others remained separate. Vaguely we can call many of these people Social Justice Warriors of political correctness. (Whatever it is this week) What is clear, is that activism is the new nasty and somehow the previous master of nastiness is now their victim. Irony.

Editorial comment

If we are to judge Dawkins or Hitchens by their followers then have tribes of vindictive pretenders who spend endless hours on social media personally attacking their ideological enemies. By far I would say that the Dawkinites are far nastier. Hitchins, on the other hand, was personally a far more vindictive to his ideological enemies and critics.

However, the Social Justice Activists are unashamedly bullies and thugs. Who would have thought that so many intellectually superior Atheists have the same foibles as non-atheists?

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