Lousy lovers pick their prey but they never cry out loud… The patronising dullness of New #Atheism

Atheist Bus Campaign creator Ariane Sherine an...
Atheist Bus Campaign creator Ariane Sherine and Richard Dawkins at its launch in London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Atheists have always been a confused lot.  To mock an idea that he didn’t like, Hobbes imagined a class of people who popped up out of the ground — like mushrooms — fully formed with the ability to engage in economic transactions.  This group of mushroom-men were devoid of culture, family, society, and (most importantly) history.  Of course, no such creatures can exist and we have to form our political views in response to an existing social framework.

That said, a lot of the rhetoric of New Atheists suggests that we might have found our mushroom-men.  Culture is something that happens to other people.  Their intuitions are the default rational ones.  Everybody should be a straight, white male or at least not talk about deviations from this norm.

It doesn’t strike any of them as odd that they just happen to share common views about things.  Enlightenment calculus just happened to direct them all to the same conclusions.  Rejection of religion was intuitively obvious.  Indeed, it would have been easier to just go along with the religious beliefs of their society!  They had to strive to be better.  They had to transcend the superstitious ways of the past in order to become Atheists.  Indeed, atheism is nothing more than merely the lack of belief in God, so therefore all of the common slogans, mantras, and orthodox pop-atheist rhetoric makes perfect sense.

New Atheists have been criticised for this inane bullcrap for the better part of a decade.  It doesn’t make any sense.  It’s incoherent and intellectually bankrupt.  It exists only because of market forces (pandering to the egos of adolescents turns out to be profitable; a lesson we’ve learnt from video games which allow you to bash to hooker to get your money back).

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