Atheism,  Religion

Annoyances in the media

It’s atheism this time, Sam Harris in particular. He rapes the mirror in 10 myths — and 10 truths — about atheism. It’s a smarmy read, in particular

2) Atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in human history. People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok.

How remarkably pointless. Everything good is on his side, and everything bad, even though explicitly and actively atheist, is on the side of religion.

What does it say of people who can’t admit that their position on an has an unpleasant side? Libertarianism is unclear on Foreign Policy and weak on the mentally ill. Liberalism is weak on education, conservatism is weak on immigration (pretty much every blend of conservatism). Why not admit these things? Any internally consistent ideology or religious theory will have strong points and weak points by any objective measure,


  • Nick

    I didn’t think it was a very good article. Still, I think you’re over-reacting. Accusing fascism and communism of being dogmatic to the point of resembling organized religion is hardly an incendiary remark.

  • Steve

    They are dogmatic,but atheism is the belief that there is no God, not the state of being cool and reasonable. To be against murderous dogmatism isn’t part and parcel of being for or against religion. To claim that Hitler and Stalin weren’t really atheists is silly.

    I do like my new term “raping the mirror” though.

  • Nick

    It’s an odd article for him to write, after having made such a point of the idea that there really doesn’t need to be a word for not believing in God. I’m definitely not reading his latest book unless someone lends it to me for free.

  • Anonymous

    Nick –

    Is that a threat?

    “I’m definitely not reading his latest book unless someone lends it to me for free.”

    I though that was a library

    I said the same thing about “Deal or No Deal” then, sadly it came on TV for free… my brain is soup

  • Nick

    Yes, it’s a threat. I’m not driving to the library for it either, genious(anon). Who let you on the internet, anyway? Shouldn’t you be wearing protective gear in front of a computer?