Saturday, November 22, 2014

Barking in the dark

Renowned “scholar” Reza Aslan calls Harris, Dawkins anti-theists, and as dogmatic, fundamentalist as true believers. He adds “Sam Harris and “New Atheists” aren’t new, aren’t even atheists”

Here is the link to Reza Aslan’s article published in Salon:

I disagree with Aslan's sentiment that "New Atheists give Atheism a bad name".

Atheism and Anti-Theism are not mutually exclusive, and combining them in one name "New Atheism" is perfectly fine. Why would it be bad? On what ground?

Aslan recognises closet Atheism. A non-political, passive stance, scared to raise its voice, and gets along with religions by “respecting” them.

So long as Atheists lock themselves in a closet and they respect religions they are OK and they can be recognised as just “Atheists”, like a harmless religion.

Atheists for centuries had to hide themselves from religious oppression by simply being low profile. They still have to go under cover in religious societies.

Aslan resorts to polemics by saying:

“In other words, while an atheist believes there is no god and so follows no religion, an anti-theist opposes the very idea of religious belief, often viewing religion as an insidious force that must be rooted from society – forcibly if necessary.”

Wikipedia accurately defines New Atheism as follows:

“New Atheism is a social and political movement in favour of atheism and secularism promoted by a collection of modern atheist writers who have advocated the view that "religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.”

In other words no anti-theist in their good mind is suggesting “religions should be rooted from society - forcibly if necessary”.

Aslan is simply making one of his false generalisations about Anti-Theism and New Atheism to give them a bad name.

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