18 May 2009

Angry atheists

Thanks to Phil Cooke for leading me to this article from the LA Times by Charlotte Allen. I like this bit:
I can't stand atheists -- but it's not because they don't believe in God. It's because they're crashing bores.

Other people, most recently the British cultural critic Terry Eagleton in his new book, "Faith, Reason, and Revolution," take to task such superstar nonbelievers as Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins ("The God Delusion") and political journalist Christopher Hitchens ("God Is Not Great") for indulging in a philosophically primitive opposition of faith and reason that assumes that if science can't prove something, it doesn't exist.

And this bit:
Maybe atheists wouldn't be so unpopular if they stopped beating the drum until the hide splits on their second-favorite topic: How stupid people are who believe in God. This is a favorite Dawkins theme. In a recent interview with Trina Hoaks, the atheist blogger for the Examiner.com website, Dawkins described religious believers as follows: "They feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed intellectuals from the East Coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do." Thanks, Richard!
I think she summarises some good points, and I actually like her combative style; it somehow seems fitting in the face of the vitriol of the atheist 'lobby'. I think she's right about the anger. People like Dawkins seem to be incredibly angry at a God in whom they don't believe. The other good point she makes is that the philosophical arguments often deployed by angry atheists are simplistic and naive. I'll have to see if I can find her book.

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