Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Great article exposing the biggest embarrassments to atheism

I've been talking about the bigotry of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens for awhile on this blog, so it is very gratifying that there is a big article in Salon by Nathan Lean about it: Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens: New Atheists flirt with Islamophobia.

Although it should be noted that Dawkins and Hitchens are/were misogynists too.

One excellent aspect of this article is the author's focus on the shameless double-standards that the New Atheist Embarrassments have for religions, and their shameless ignorance on the topics about which they opine. Lean calls out Dawkins:
Dawkins, in a recent rant on Twitter, admitted that he had not ever read the Quran, but was sufficiently expert in the topic to denounce Islam as the main culprit of all the world’s evil: “Haven’t read Koran so couldn’t quote chapter and verse like I can for Bible. But [I] often say Islam [is the] greatest force for evil today.” How’s that for a scientific dose of proof that God does not exist? 
A few days later, on March 25, there was this: “Of course you can have an opinion about Islam without having read the Qur’an. You don’t have to read “Mein Kampf” to have an opinion about Nazism.”
And then about the double standards:
Dawkins’ quest to “liberate” Muslim women and smack them with a big ol’ heaping dose of George W. Bush freedom caused him to go berzerk over news that a University College of London debate, hosted by an Islamic group, offered a separate seating option for conservative, practicing Muslims. Without researching the facts, Dawkins assumed that gendered seating was compulsory, not voluntary, and quickly fired off this about the “gender apartheid” of the supposedly suppressed Muslims: “At UC London debate between a Muslim and Lawrence Krauss, males and females had to sit separately. Krauss threatened to leave.” And then this: “Sexual apartheid. Maybe these odious religious thugs will get their come-uppance?” 
Of course, the fact that the Barclays Center in New York recently offered gender-separate seating options for Orthodox Jews during a recent concert by Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman didn’t compute in Dawkins’ reasoning. Neither did the case of El Al Airlines, the flag carrier of Israel, when, in August of 2012, a stewardess forced a Florida woman to swap seats to accommodate the religious practice of a haredi Orthodox man. Even if Dawkins were aware of these episodes, he likely wouldn’t have made a fuss about them. They undermine the conclusion he has already reached, that is, that only Muslims are freedom-haters, gender-separating “thugs.”
It isn't only Judaism that gets a pass from the New Atheist jerks - both Harris and Dawkins have suggested that Christianity is preferable to Islam (according to Dawkins) and Mormonism (according to Harris). Dawkins reasoning is that there is something about Islam that makes people violent to a greater degree than Christianity, (Dawkins prefers to only consider 21st century Christianity) and Harris claimed, absurdly, that Mormonism was objectively less plausible than Christianity, because Harris could think of one more extra Mormon myth.

What's most stunning to me is the way these men are lionized by people in the atheist movement when their arguments are so easily refuted, and their quaking fear-based approach to Islam is so transparent. Their attitudes towards Muslims are indistinguishable from that of the most proudly ignorant tea-partiers - and Harris went so far as to join the tea-partiers in their objections to the Islamic center near Ground Zero.

It's about time they are called out on their bullshit.

Ooh, and a related article from months back that I missed - this one also calls out Sam Harris: Five atheists who ruin it for everyone else.

And yet another one! And this has one of the most perfect descriptions of Sam Harris ever - and the article's title is a question I've been asking myself for several years now: Why does anyone take Sam Harris seriously?

Now enjoy this gem:
Before delving further into this NRA wet-dream of an essay, let us reflect on an important facet of Harris’s personality. The common thread running through all of Harris’s logic-abortions, the key to understanding how a purported “intellectual” can be so consistently wrong and so morally repugnant, is his unbridled cowardice — both of the intellectual variety and an all-pervasive, crapping-his-pants fear that manifests itself in the form of  sophistry and a brazen disregard for following the available evidence to its logical conclusion.