Recently I participated in yet another Facebook discussion, initiated by a good friend, about atheism and religion. In the discussion, I referred to some (not all) atheists as “rabid, unthinking atheists,” which caused an heated debate. I promised to write a longer and hopefully thoughtful post, and here it is with a deliberately provocative title. TRIGGER WARNING FOR SJWs: you won’t like this post, perhaps you should stay in your safe space.
I have nothing against atheism and atheists: First, I am for live-and-let-live and against thought policing, so I affirm everyone’s right to form and hold their own opinions. Second, while given the believer/atheist polarization I prefer to call myself a believer, my unconventional form of religious belief has been compared to open-minded atheism inspired by highly imaginative science and science fiction (see comments to my article “Yes, I Am a Believer“).
If there is something that I hold as a primary, non-negotiable value, it is that people must be free to think with their own head. In particular, everyone must be free to embrace and practice a religion, or to reject all religions, and their free personal choice must be respected.
Religions (and political ideologies, and all other forms of organized shared thinking) have not always respected the right of others to choose, but too often they have oppressed outsiders (or worse). Some atheists blame religious belief for the atrocities committed by, or in the name of, or with the (explicit or silent) consent of, organized religion.
Of course, the real cause of oppression and atrocities is not theology and philosophy, but greed for money and power. Ideas and books don’t harm people. Other people do, and there are always people ready to use religions, or politics, or sports as pretexts to victimize others. In sports, we call them hooligans – but we shouldn’t blame the peaceful sport fans for the actions of the violent hooligans.
Most atheists are nice and decent persons – but so are most believers. There are billions of believers on this planet, and the vast majority of them are nice and decent persons. I call “rabid unthinking atheists” those who take pleasure in mobbing believers for the sole fact that they believe. For example, I remember a Facebook discussion where an atheist nazi proposed forced mental therapy for believers.
If you argue calmly and civilly in favor of atheism and against the excesses of organized religion, I will probably agree with some of your points and I certainly won’t call you a rabid unthinking atheist. But I call the person who proposed forced mental therapy for believers a rabid unthinking atheist, and a nazi, and an asshole.
I call rabid unthinking atheists those who don’t accept that peaceful believers who don’t harm anyone must be left in peace. I call rabid unthinking atheists the disciples of Stalin who want to expel believers from “liberal” colleges. I call rabid unthinking atheists the scientifically illiterate “bureaucrats of philosophy” who dismiss even science when it starts to sound like religion. I call rabid unthinking atheists those sadists who take pleasure in telling grieving people that their loved ones are gone forever.
Note that I am not arguing for religion, but only for free thought and free expression. To make this point clear, I hereby claim the right to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. I call rabid unthinking atheists those who have a problem with that, and I will defend my right by any means.
I consider rabid unthinking atheism as part of a wider cultural (or, better, un-cultural) package that is invading the West – the totalitarian, witch-hunting, thought-policing attitude of the so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs).
“They are the Social Justice Warriors, the SJWs, the self-appointed thought police who have been running amok throughout the West since the dawn of the politically correct era in the 1990s.”
I disagree – at times strongly – with other positions taken by Beale, but his definition of SJWs is right on point. Before SJWs Always Lie, Beale wrote a book titled “The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens” to criticize the totalitarian, thought-policing “New Atheism” promoted by the three authors (and too many others). A free version of the book is available online. Here again, there is much in the book that I disagree with, but there is also much that I agree with. In particular, I think Beale’s blunt and often hilarious book is much needed to counterbalance the unthinking atheism that is an integral part of the fashionable PC/SJW mind virus.
That I find myself quoting Beale with some degree of praise, and reading the ultra-conservative Breitbart News for a bit of fresh air, are very disturbing indicators of the toxic effects of the rabid unthinking atheists, SJW mobs, and fake-liberal thought-cops. I don’t like agreeing with Beale and Breitbart News – but sometimes I can’t disagree.
I insist on “fake” because I still wish to think that real liberalism is something else. Unfortunately, liberalism in the hands of SJWs is becoming a sad, pathetic, and dangerous caricature of its former self.
I used to support, and wish to continue supporting, all sorts of liberal positions: equal opportunity for everyone, women rights, minority rights, LGBT rights, gay marriage, anti-racism, liberal immigration laws, welfare, wealth redistribution, public health care, basic income… I am essentially in favor of all that. I said already that I have nothing against atheists, and I firmly support their right to stay away from religion.
But I find myself turning away from liberalism because I can’t stand the rampant fake-liberal intolerance of free thought and free speech, and I can’t stand the mobbing attitude of the SJWs. See some disturbing examples here and here and here and here, and use Google to find thousands of equally disturbing examples.
Usually reasonable people can discriminate between the good and the bad parts of a cultural package and choose à la carte what to support, but sometimes – when cultural tensions reach the breaking point – one has to choose the entire package and swallow it whole, otherwise his positions become illegible and therefore irrelevant.
I am afraid that, just like the rabid unthinking atheists make me side with the believers, the SJWs will make me side with the #Gamergaters. Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are the primary values that I choose to support. Too bad if swallowing Breitbart‘s cultural package whole is the only way to support freedom of thought and freedom of speech legibly.
However, it appears that our collective mind is finally beginning to react to SJW excesses. New “Cultural Libertarian” voices are emerging, and masses of internet users are starting to ridicule the SJWs, which is the best way to react. The current season of the popular TV show South Park is mocking SJWs, and the viral video “Modern Educayshun” (more than three million views in two weeks) hilariously ridicules the SJWs’ “educational” philosophy.
“Political correctness still reigns on campuses across America, and in Hollywood as well, but no totalitarian ideology can long withstand ridicule.” – LifeZette
Image from Wikimedia Commons.