My internet experience can basically be summed up by what happened this morning; I went looking for something not about religion but stumbled across some fanatical internet atheist (which isn’t simply an atheist who’s on the internet) shoving his hatred of religion into it anyway. Hardly anything apart from the infamous aalewis reddit post (”In this moment I am ecstatic” etc.) has summed up the problems with new atheism in so little space.
- Lumping Other Things They Don’t Believe In With Religion
The crummy behaviour of the internet atheists not only puts me off of new atheism (the fanatical, negative, nasty atheism of Dawkins and co.) but also the things that often go with it, namely humanism, skepticism, so called freethinking, postmodernism, the alt right and socially liberal attitudes to abortion and gay marriage (although with the last 3 they’re only further putting me off of things I didn’t like anyway).
The internet atheists’ lumping religion in with Harry Potter, the flying spaghetti monster (the gold standard of puerile strawmen) and whatnot just makes me think that the mind of a skeptic functions like this; ”I don’t believe in x and I don’t believe in y so x is y”. Arrogance is the word for that. What is the guy doing with his tweet except arrogantly lumping ALL religions in together and with fiction, while not actually bothering to tell us why the religions are supposedly wrong? I can’t speak for every religious person (well nobody else can either so whatever) but as far as I’m concerned my being in a specific religion doesn’t mean the others are of no value; it’s not Twilight Struggle where we win and you get nothing, rather it’s the Olympics; all entries have their differing levels of ability and some even make the podium but only one person or team gets the gold. You can think somebody is wrong, even dead wrong while not thinking it’s a delusion or some comforting fairytale to get idiots and wimps through the night.
2. Assuming That How They See Religion Is How Religion Actually Works
They might think the religious doctrines or whatever is just ”a matter of perspective or opinion” but that’s mixing up how sola scriptura fails (sola scriptura is a Protestant doctrine that means one’s doctrines can only come from the Bible yet the Protestants have differing views on theology even though they mostly or all believe in sola scriptura) with how religions actually work. In Catholicism for example it isn’t a matter of opinion whether murder is wrong; it simply is wrong having been condemned by both the Bible and the church having a tradition of opposing it. If on the other hand he means that it’s only a matter of opinion when 2 different religions differ well he’s wrong there as well. If a faith says that Christ will return at such a date and then He doesn’t then that faith is wrong at least about that although judging by the Twitter user putting officially in quotation marks he’s a postmodernist and so thinks everything is opinion anyway so I fail to see why he’d single out religion if he cares in the slightest about being consistent (being a postmodernist he probably doesn’t). Worse yet he says there’s no small irony that fandom uses the term canon which is one shared by religion. Well the Catholic Church uses it with Canon Law but Catholicism is mostly definitely NOT a religion where it’s just opinion; some doctrines have been defined infallibly and (on very rare occasions) the Pope has spoke ex cathedra (from the chair). On Catholicism if you don’t agree with the Pope (at the very least on things like the Bible is the word of God or Christ was indeed the Son of God like he said) then you’re wrong and that’s it.
3. Automatically Thinking About Religion When There’s Division And People Acting Irrationally
Look I don’t like the amount of irrationally and division that happens between or even among religious groups but I just don’t like this stuff anyway while the new atheists seem to think it’s especially bad among religious people which it isn’t except among fundamentalist terrorists and really it’s opportunistic to lump all of a group in with its worst members; (the things I say about the new atheists in my blog posts don’t necessarily apply to the more moderate atheists but for years I thought he fanatical ones were the only kind a they were the only kind I ever saw; only reading nice comments by atheists on Fr. Mike Schmitz videos proved me wrong) it’s the behaviour of a fanatical partisan who’ll use anything that even the slightest bit looks like it might be dirt on his (the new atheists are overwhelmingly white men) opponents.
Forming tribes allows people to do together what they couldn’t have done individually but unfortunately this leads to people not liking the other tribe. Our brains evolved for survival and not for truth and so our views are treated like a position in a war; there may be better ones but people often aren’t willing to risk losing the current one and giving up the current one would in case be seen as a failing of some sort. von Falkenhayn’s calculations for Verdun may have been fine on paper but battles are won ultimately by keeping one’s nerve for longer than the enemy and not necessarily killing more of them than they kill of yours though obviously it helps. Division and idiocy even to point of having pointless arguments about minutiae are just what happens with people (just look at youtube comments although miraculously these seem to have vastly improved in the last few years). In this 13.8 billion year old universe you live for 120 years at best and with brains that have evolved for survival and not truth so the materialists of all people have no reason to think their group is smarter than anybody else. Sit down new atheists, be humble.