Monday, September 1, 2008

Fanatical Atheism

He's angry, very angry. You can tell by his disgruntled disposition. Where and when Christopher Hitchen's deep-seated rancor began might be a question not even he can answer. But this is clearly evident to anyone who examines his character: his bitterness and ill-temperament have turned him into a dogmatic fundamentalist atheist, or vice-versa. As a matter of fact, Hitchens' misanthropy is so entrenched that he describes himself as an "anti-theist", which, coincidentally, is what I've always perceived him (and Dawkins) to be. An "anti-theist" - according to Hitchens - is someone who not only denies the existence of God, but who also views that non-existence as a good thing because of the evil nature of religion. Hitchens and many of his dogmatic cohorts like to lump all religions together and assign them unequivocal blame for the September 11th attacks, the spread of aids, and just about every calamity you can think of.

Hitchens may have some good points when he rebukes some of the pernicious religious behavior of some societies, and their anachronistic understanding of the universe we live in. But what he doesn't understand is that that same segment of religion is harshly criticized by more peaceful and loving religious communities. He also has a tendency of focusing on the mangled understanding of scripture by religious fundamentalists then painting all religions with that same blank-minded brush.

Chris, get some therapy.

Caution: Potty Mouth Ahead
Below is a video that I think displays Richard Dawkin's militant and irrational animosity towards religion. Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is pointing out to Dawkins how incendiary his methodology is, to which Dawkins responds as offensively as he can under the guise of tongue-in-cheek. The video is just under three minutes.

On a lighter and more pleasant note, I would like to thank my Auntie A for this ward:0)


Terry Nelson said...

Very good post - all my favorite people - especially deGrasse Tyson.

I think some of the anger and vulgarity arises from the fact these guys are not universally hailed as heroes, or living repositories of truth. The other thing is that loss of faith and devilish pride immerses the person into such evil that spiritual blindness ensues - or envelops the intellect - and a type of madness results and spews all sorts of malice and contempt. Hence the term "mad". (Just my opinion however.)

Tom in Vegas said...


Something like what you write has been my perception of these individuals. One thing I do know for sure: fundamentally, what motivates the Hitchens and Dawkins misanthropy is NOT atheism but rather a deeper pathology both would either deny exists, or simply don't have the capacity to diagnose.

Katie Alender said...

I can understand not committing to a religious view, or to the idea of God at all. But to gracefully disagree with someone and to attempt with courtesy to prove your point is a very different thing than what these men are doing. You're right--it's just another branch on the fundamentalist tree.

And I forget where I read a rebuke against the idea that wars are all fought about religion, but the (valid, I think) point was made that most wars are actually fought over land, resources, and the right to tax whoever's land you get to take over.

Samuel Skinner said...

You don't appear to understand what the word "fundamentalism" means. I means to hold something up as inerrant and refuse to question it. Are these men doing that? NO!

They are being assholes. You may not like that, but let us be honest- alot of shit has happened because of religious faith. And, of course, Hitchens homecountry was bombed as was his adopted country. If you think he is virulant towards Christians you obviously haven't been paying attention to his position on Muslims.

The simple fact is that religion is Serious Business and people get their collars hot. Complaining about the intensity a person argues is simply BS and ignores the actual issue.

It is generally used as an ad hominum attack because a person can't logically refute anothers arguments.

As for antitheist... you do realize it has a long history? Antitheism refers to the ideology that religion is both false and harmful and should be opposed. Proponets vary from secularism, to changing all individuals into rationalists.

Hitchens personally views the whole bible as evil, but not all antitheists do- Dawkins is wearing the "atheists for Jesus" T-Shirt and Dennet and Harris have differant opinions.

As for assigning blame equally... nope. Hitchens blames Islam for 9/11 and the other terror attacks like 3/11 and Bali. He blames the Roman Catholic Church for its blocking of condoms and the spread of verneal diseases and pregnancies caused by it. And, of course, he blames Protestantism for the whole insane fundamentalism in America, with creationism, its attacks on science, its anti-intellectualism, etc. I go further. Shintoism is responsible for Japanese fanaticism during WW2, Hinduism is responsible for the whole partician blood bath which cost the lives of over a million people and lead to a low grade war which killed even more. I probably missed some, but that is all right- they will appear in the news soon enough.

Tom in Vegas said...

Samuel - if that is your real name - let's get a couple of things understood. I understand what fundamentalism is, its origins and how it evolved to acquire the meaning that circulates in modern day discourse. The label fits these individuals, and there it will stay until their methodologies are modified.

The second thing I want to point out to you is that you, as a complete stranger, showed extraordinary levels of disrespect to myself as well as to other individuals who visit and read this blog with your gratuitous use of profanity. I understand that the video I posted does contain expletives from a supposedly educated source, but the conduct (by Dawkins) is an example of what NOT to do and NOT a license to abandon social forms of decency and respect.

Get some manners before returning to this blog.

Adrienne said...

Well, ok then, Tom. Do you think Samuel "got it"?? To be quite honest, I'm not even sure I understood what he said...