Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The only antidote to ideological violence

From this discussion. 

But I think New Atheist fundamentalism, and that is really what it is, really think there is a brave new godless world out there to be had if we just dump enough ridicule on religious believers. 

Consider this: 

Sheahen: You've said that baptizing a child or saying "this is a Jewish child"—that is, pasting a religious label on a child—is child abuse. In your letter to daughter, you ask her to examine what she's told based on evidence. What do you hope the world would be like if all children were raised without religion, according to your theories?

Dawkins: It would be paradise on earth. What I hope for is a world ruled by enlightened rationality, which does not mean something dull, but something of high artistic value. I just wish there were the slightest chance of it ever happening.

I'm sure Dawkins didn't mean it literally, but I think this explains some of the atheistic fanaticism out there. 

People out there really believe that we can make this world a better place for everyone by getting rid of theistic belief. That is why some of them are dissatisfied with the normal methods of honest argumentation, the principle of charity, etc. when engaging in discussion with believers. Consider this diatribe aimed at you.

In order for religious believers to engage in atrocities, they have to think the religious end they want to pursue justifies the means. A good case can be made that the use of power on behalf of Christianity isn't appropriate,although Christians in history have not bought these arguments. Marx's version of the secular paradise isn't the only one out there, by any stretch of the imagination. 

The antidote to ideological violence is a willingness to accept, and accept only, those means of persuasion made available by a free and open society. This is possible for religious believers and religious unbelievers. The idea that you can save the world from ideological violence by spreading unbelief as opposed to belief is, in my view, delusional.


Kevin said...

Reading that Loftus article was the intellectual equivalent of watching those epic fail videos where skateboarders and bikers and other would-be daredevils wipe out in horrible ways. It's funny to watch, but you just can't help but feel sorry for them, either.

New Atheism is filled with wannabe and self-described intellectuals, most of whom have no idea what they are doing besides repeating insults and one-liners they found on the internet. It's the Donald Trump of atheism/theism discussion - big on laughs and attacks, horrible on details and defense.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I think Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others prove that the worker's paradise would nit have been all it's cracked up to be. The only Marxists who never abused power were the Trotskyites, because they never controlled a country.

We know capitalism is abusive if you don't check power. It's obviously not connected to religion per se but to any notion that temporal power has a transcendent justification. As you said when the end justifies the means. Reinhold Niebuhr said that when the end justifies the means the means usually wind up negating the end.

That new atheism winds up using coercion to obtain it's ends is a clue as to which way they would go if they had any real power. I think Atheist Watch has proven that new Atheism is Orwellian. Thus they would redefine abuse to rationalize their abuses.

Ilíon said...

Do we really need an "antidote to ideological violence"? Is "ideological violence" always, and without exception, a moral evil?