Five Thoughts On the Present Atheist Wars

I wasn't going to comment on the so-called wars taking place among atheists but I think I have something to say others have not yet said. I also want to respond to Christians who seem to be reveling in our disputes. I know that in this politically charged atmosphere there is probably little that can be written that won't draw personal attacks of its own. That's too bad. All I can do is hope for a charitable reading of what I'm going to write, which, if we at least tried doing that it could go a long way toward easing tensions. Here are three links to acquaint my readers with the atheist wars out of the many being written (sorry if anyone thinks I chose the wrong ones, since I haven't read them all). Mark Oppenheimer's essay asks, Will Misogyny Bring Down The Atheist Movement? Michael Nugent responds to blogger Adam Lee, who previously argued that "Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name." [Nugent links to other essays, including one from Jerry Coyne where he says, "Enough is enough" along with an earlier essay where Nugent tried to be conciliatory]. Then creationist Vincent Torley caught wind of this and wrote one titled, The New Atheists: A House Divided. Torley asked whether the atheist house is crumbling and seems to revel in our so-called demise.

First you should know that I am wholeheartedly a feminist, as much as a male can be. The major reason I debunk Christianity and with it the Abrahamic religions, is because of what they have done, and continue to do to women. Women need empowered and I am all for letting that happen and even propelling it forward as I can. Religion must go, at least all of the misogynist and sexist versions of it. Getting rid of religion will help reduce sexism in the world, which is my main focus, a focus I'm unwilling to give up on.

Second, aside from allegations of rape, which are indeed very serious charges to be handled in the courts I think, all I've seen from Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris is what I would call incipient sexism. Dawkins for instance, has mostly used bad comparisons at best, something like: "X is bad, but Y is worse." [If anyone thinks Dawkins never affirmed "X is bad" I'd like to see evidence for that]. Neither Dawkins nor Harris knew they had it, but they did. It just came out verbally because it was inside them as men. Sometimes ignorant men who express incipient sexism just need to be informed of their sexism. Informing them in a kind and cool-headed way can help many men see it for what it is and change their minds. That's how I learned I was infected with it decades ago and decided to think differently.

Third, it was inevitable that atheists would be divided over this issue, or any number of others. Atheists can be thankful that for at least a few initial years we had a more vibrant movement than we have probably ever had in the history of the world, and we owe it to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, along with a few others. Now we've gone the way of many churches because like churches we too are made up of human beings. Tom Quixote, tells us a joke on Christians that applies equally to atheists:
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it! "He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?" He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist? "He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.
Fourth, to Christians like Torley who seem to revel in the possibility of our demise I say this is not possible. Even if we divide and then divide again and again, atheism is the wave of the future. Atheism is not dependent on any leader. We are not hero worshipers. We calls them as we sees them. We expect disagreement since we agree on only one thing, that there are no gods, no supernatural forces or beings. Nonetheless, when it comes to sexism in particular, atheists are the standard bearers, not Christians anyway. That's why it's being rooted out in atheist communities in the first place, and it will eventually be rooted out, even if it takes some time. For we are evidence-based scientifically minded people and there is no way that sexism can be intellectually maintained without a holy book saying women are inferior people.

Fifth, there is some hope. When I set out to edit the book Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails, I sought outexperts in their fields who could write on the important issues that needed discussed regardless of whether these experts agreed with each other on other issues, liked each other, or me, and whether they were perceived to be on the right or wrong side of these so-called wars. I did the same thing when it came to people who would write blurbs for the book. I decided that the goal of the book, which is to show how the Christian faith has caused, and is causing harm to people, was more important than any of our disputes. Several of the authors who agreed to write chapters for this book and/or write blurbs for it came together for one purpose, setting aside any personal problems and any disputes, for the larger goal of disabusing Christians of their faith, and we did it!

THAT you won't find in any church split I have ever known!