Ashley Miller wrote a post: Atheist tribalism poisons everything
We [atheists] need to talk about how we think that religion is the reason that bad things happen in the world.
I think we’d need to talk about that if that was what we thought.
If we don’t like Christian politicians peddling untrue stereotypes of Muslims, why are we ok with it when it comes from bestselling atheist authors? Atheists heal thyself.
Best selling atheist authors? Who could she possibly be talking about?
There is anger and fear from atheists today upon the revelation that the most recent of the mass shooters in America was a non-believer who targeted Christians. They will blame us, they will think this is all atheists, they will think we are all the same as him.
Well, they might if you keep telling them that it’s atheists doing the deed.
This is not the first atheist shooter, there have been many throughout history. Earlier this year, Craig Hicks took the lives of three brilliant humanitarian Muslims over a parking dispute. Atheists tried to distance themselves and label him as “anti-theist” and others thought he was secretly really a Christian.
Did any of the ‘best selling atheists’ do that? Or did you pick the low hanging fruit? And of course there is good reason to distance the act of Hicks from atheism. His profile on Facebook was one of a humanist atheist, but in other respects he was an angry dude struggling with his personal demons – including parking lots. I posted on Rebecca Watson’s poor take on this some time ago: pseudo-liberals
He was one of us. So was the shooter yesterday.
Was he? Was he really? Was he a Humanist? Was he Atheism+? Was he whatever SJWs pass for these days? Was Mercer even an atheist?
Stop with your buts and your wells and whatever you want to add, just sit with it and live with it for a minute. Let it make you uncomfortable.
This is the most self-indulgent pious bollocks that I’ve seen, and I can only imagine Ashley and Myers now:
Well, maybe not Myers. It’s all other atheists that are guilty, not him.
Atheism can motivate terrible crimes, just like religion can.
No it can’t. Atheism is only about disbelief in gods. It’s very specific in that respect. It isn’t the about the ideological dogma that many at FtB want it to be [We’ll get to ‘dictionary atheism’]. Nothing I know of has every been done in the name of atheist ‘scripture’, where as the link between religiously inspired moralising and the persecution of people is a direct one.
Atheists are so used to being exceptional, to being smarter and less criminal than other Americans, that the fact that someone was an atheist and did a bad thing seems to be exceedingly difficult for us to understand.
No. It’s very easy to understand. If an atheist kills it’s rarely as a direct consequence of being an atheist. It could be that some other political and social programming has given them reason to kill. If an atheist does kill theists for their theism, because the atheist thinks their theism is like some demonic possession, then it’s fair to say that that atheist has a screw loose. And it has fuck all to do with the general nature of atheists. The atheists being referred to here, the New Atheists (thinly disguised as ‘best selling atheists’) are liberal humanists.
Blaming atheists like this Ashley might as well blame all wearers of spectacles – you do now the killer was one of you hateful spectacles wearers, don’t you? Oh shit, so am I, but only for reading, so I’m not as guilty as some, right?
Atheist exceptionalism cannot survive the exponential growth of atheism — all atheists are not better than all religious people.
What? No! Don’t say that!
Furthermore, the atheist community is culpable of spreading bad ideas. We share memes and the belief that religious people are bad and that all religions and expressions of those religions are bad.
Well, you might. In fact you share memes that other atheists are bad just because you disagree with them. I’ll remind you that some on FtB, and especially their commenters, are full of hate for ‘best selling atheist authors’ (sorry, New Atheists; sorry, Dawkins, Harris, Maher).
Harris has to spend a lot of time repeating the same mantra: ideas not people. But these fucking idiots hear that and say, “Ha! You’re attacking people, not ideas!”
For the record, this is why Harris is not a racist bigot that hates people: Sam Harris – Free Will. He clearly sees even the most heinous ISIS Jihadist as the product of his cultural, political and religious programming, as well as his personal nature.
We dehumanize people who disagree with us instead of arguing about ideas. … Humans are tribal, humans are sometimes sociopaths, humans are power-hungry, humans get angry.
And while not as bad as comments on Pharyngula, there’s a fair amount of tribalist commentary that attends posts like this, that does indeed demonise ‘best selling atheist authors’. A lot of the symptoms described by Ashley there can be seen in the commentary of some of the FtB posts and in their twitter presence.
The atheist demographic being dominated by young white men means that it’s not surprising that there are mass shooters who are atheists, shooters are predominately young white men (the Oregon shooter was mixed race).
So, it’s white young men – except when it isn’t. They’re atheist – except when they aren’t. To be honest, since the gun culture is very much a white rebel hang over from the wild west and the civil war, wouldn’t you expect much of it to come from white young men?
Atheism is a rejection of a belief, but it is not a philosophy or creed.
So, atheism is dictionary atheism after all. Who’d have guessed it.
The atheist community online builds up creeds and philosophies in light of that absence. It is reactionary.
Well, that’s predominantly an American thing. Many of us have multiple identities that we apply as we see fit. Many of us are humanists, and even Humanists (Dawkins is a member of the British Humanist Association). Our atheism is often a consequence of critical thinking and scepticism – and Skepticism seems to be another off-shoot that was deemed to be necessary by the US contingent of the ‘atheist community’. People like Myers were happy to be considered New Atheist, then they weren’t; then they thought Atheism+ sounded reasonable, but then they didn’t. Humanism was there all the time. All you had to do was say, I’m a Humanist Atheist, and that would say pretty much all that needs to be said. Try the international humanist manifesto, if you need a creed.
It seems that American atheists have as much an identity problem as some British Muslims. They are keen to invent their own identity and find it in ideology.
We have to let it go. We have to stop thinking we are better than other people just because we know something they don’t — that’s exactly why religious people act the way they do. We aren’t better than anybody and we never were.
I like the sentiment. But I really don’t think that ‘we’ ever thought we were better than anyone else in some mystical self-righteous sense. I’ll leave that to Myers, Greenwald, Aslan and others. The statements from ‘best selling atheist authors’ are usually directed at ideas, or at some specific thing that some theist has said. I take it that when theists claim that homosexuality is the source of the natural disasters inflicted on the world by God then you’re not so picky about calling such people idiots?
Now, Ashley, while you ask a friend to bathe the wounds on your back, take some time out to read this:
If you want to do some soul searching, reflect on the fact that you posted before you knew any significant facts about the case.
Reflect on the fact that including “My article, “The Non-Religious Patriarchy,” ” might just be a clue to your bias here in targeting ‘best selling atheist authors’, and trying to blame this killing on their rhetoric, while dishonestly playing the self-flagellation routine. It doesn’t wash. This was a poorly disguised hit-job.
Reflect on this too: even if the shooter had been a RASH SJW (Rational Atheist Sceptic Humanist Social Justice Warrior) that had concluded that theists need to die, it would still not reflect badly on any other atheists, New Atheists, ‘best selling atheist authors’, FtB, SJWs. The shooter would have been acting in direct contradiction to what all those subsets of atheists hold to: humanism.
Reflect on this, to understand the difference: when New Atheists target religion they target the texts that influence the religious. So, if an ISIS member beheads someone, they point to the ISIS member and the texts that inspire him. They don’t target ALL Muslims for beheading people, for being extremists, for being the killers; they target THOSE Muslims that kill and THOSE Muslims that excuse the text of having any input to the problem; they target ALL believers that use faith, for using faith because it’s a bad methodology. And you SJWs conflate all this as New Atheist racist bigoted Islamophobia.
So when some would-be humanist atheist shooter goes crazy and kills people, his action is a departure from humanism. When a white supremacist racist atheist goes crazy, it’s a direct cause of his white supremacist racism, and his atheism might at most cause him to identify religious targets. That isn’t a reflection on atheism. But when some of the religious quote very specific parts of their religious texts and declare they are killing in the name of their religion, then there is a causal link. And those of the religious that use faith to explain their belief in their holy books, yet deny that those killing in the name of the very same god have nothing to do with their religion, they are directly responsible for excusing the killing by their co-religionists.
But such distinctions seem totally lost on SJWs.