Thursday, August 03, 2017

How New Atheism Slid into the Alt-Right

Phil Torres has had enough.

A movement primarily united over what it is against, not what it is for, is bound to run into trouble.

23 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

Most atheists are left-wing, according to what I've read. So is there evidence that these atheists changed their political orientation from left-wing to alt-right, or is the author simply linking the two groups because he perceives both as racist?

Mortal said...

Ayn Rand was about as atheist as one could get, and she was also as right wing as they come. George F. Will is an atheist, as well as being a spokesperson for the right.

So atheists come in all political stripes.

Legion of Logic said...

Yes, I meant the New Atheist movement in general. Didn't make that clear.

John Moore said...

It just goes to show that mere atheism carries no political bias.

By the way, PZ Myers says of this Salon piece: "the article turns out to be dead-on. Don't you just hate it when someone effectively criticizes something you have been a part of? I'm actually going to have to recommend it, because it does summarize well all the problems with the New Atheism. I agree with it."

Joe Hinman said...

from the artiocle:

"Even worse, Boghossian and Lindsay explicitly argue, in response to some critics, that they don’t “need to know the field of gender studies to criticize it.” This is, properly contextualized, about as anti-intellectual as one can get."


duh really? that;s just what they say when you point out they know nothing about theology,




"Sure, it is a fallacy to immediately dismiss someone’s criticisms of a topic simply because that person doesn’t have a degree on the topic. Doing this is called the “Courtier’s Reply.”


no it's not! nothing in the emperor's new clothes parable about that,


"But it decidedly isn’t a fallacy to criticize someone for being incredibly ignorant — and even ignorant of their own ignorance — regarding an issue they’re making strong, "

that's what I tell atheists,

Joe Hinman said...

Mortal said...
Ayn Rand was about as atheist as one could get, and she was also as right wing as they come. George F. Will is an atheist, as well as being a spokesperson for the right.

So atheists come in all political stripes.

that is true but there is a huge difference in Reagan right and alt right, I am not fan of Will (or of Reagan's) but he is Reagan right. Not A;t right.

Joe Hinman said...

Remarkable they find themselves at this point now when only a few years ago they tor
e their movement apart over atheism plus. But they just reflect the county as a hole in that.

John Moore said...
"It just goes to show that mere atheism carries no political bias.

By the way, PZ Myers says of this Salon piece: 'the article turns out to be dead-on. Don't you just hate it when someone effectively criticizes something you have been a part of?'"

I know the feeling, since Nov 2016 thinking about evangelicals.

Stardusty Psyche said...

...an idiotic article with no concept of what the alt-right is, what they believe, who they vote for, and how vast is the chasm between the alt-right and the so called new atheists.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Blogger Joe Hinman said...

PZ Myers says of this Salon piece: 'the article turns out to be dead-on. Don't you just hate it when someone effectively criticizes something you have been a part of?'"
August 03, 2017 11:41 PM

PZ is a safe space coward who banned me in 4 hours, hilarious. He has no capacity to use rational argumentation with anybody who challenges his bullshit social views.

Here is a guide to the alt-right by a core alt-right site.
https://www.dailystormer.com/a-normies-guide-to-the-alt-right/

Then go to the base URL.

Anybody who equates the alt-right with Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, Dawkins, and Hirsi Ali is an idiot.

Stardusty Psyche said...

**The core concept of the movement, upon which all else is based, is that Whites are undergoing an extermination, via mass immigration into White countries which was enabled by a corrosive liberal ideology of White self-hatred, and that the Jews are at the center of this agenda... The Alt-Right is an online mob of disinfranchised and mostly anonymous, mostly young White men.**
https://www.dailystormer.com/a-normies-guide-to-the-alt-right/

Anyone who thinks this somehow aligns with Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, Dawkins, and Hirsi Ali is an idiot.

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Blogger Joe Hinman said...

PZ Myers says of this Salon piece: 'the article turns out to be dead-on. Don't you just hate it when someone effectively criticizes something you have been a part of?'"
August 03, 2017 11:41 PM


first of all I did not say that that's the quote I was responding to

PZ is a safe space coward who banned me in 4 hours, hilarious. He has no capacity to use rational argumentation with anybody who challenges his bullshit social views.

He was probably just embarrassed because you know so much more about science than he does.

Here is a guide to the alt-right by a core alt-right site.
https://www.dailystormer.com/a-normies-guide-to-the-alt-right/

Then go to the base URL.

all right wing is fascist, the alt right is KKK warmed over,

Anybody who equates the alt-right with Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, Dawkins, and Hirsi Ali is an idiot.


the sacred prohets of the science religion,

Joe Hinman said...

all prelims and ideology are false except scintism, the one true faith; atheism is to scientism as Judaism was to Christianity.

Joe Hinman said...

John Moore said...
It just goes to show that mere atheism carries no political bias

all of life is political-- Dylan

It's an organized movement it can't avoid being political. You must not have been an atheist in 2012 because no one on the atheist scene at taht time could have avoided teh atheism vs Ath+ you would have to be blind not to see that makes it political.

Chad Handley said...

PZ Meyers seems to think that freethought and secularism and reason imply a left-leaning politics. He seems to think they imply a certain kind of rationally-demonstrable morality. Does anyone know what his arguments are for this? Has he or anyone else in the atheist movement who is sure that atheism "ought" to lead to certain moral or political views ever demonstrated that this is the case? Why should atheism lead to any particular moral or political view?

I've always thought it a bit scandalous that some atheist writers 1) have moral views of which they are quite certain 2) are adamant that certainty without evidence is abhorrent and yet 3) offer no evidence for the truth of their moral views.

Mortal said...

The problem with this thesis is that neither Christianity nor atheism necessarily leads to any particular political philosophy. Atheists range from the far right (Ayn Rand) to the far left (Lenin). Christians are similarly distributed across the political spectrum.

(Islam is a whole 'nother ball of wax altogether, being inextricably tied to very specific political constructs. What little I know of Confucianism makes me think it might also demand specified political leanings, but I'm not sure about that.)

Victor Reppert said...

Yes, for example, they believe in gay rights. But the existence of gay rights entails the existence of human rights. But, as I showed here a few posts back, the existence of human rights a) does not fit in with an atheist world view and b) is open to the same kind of question atheists ask Christians, namely "Where's your evidence?" And, given new atheist methods for ascribing evidence, the answer has to be, "there is none."

Chad Handley said...

"Anyone who thinks this somehow aligns with Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, Dawkins, and Hirsi Ali is an idiot."

Harris has been a proponent of the theory that Whites are genetically superior to Blacks with respect to IQ, which is a favorite talking point of the alt-right.

Dawkins quite often retweets overtly racist altright sources. His critiques of feminism and identity politics are quite often indistinguishable from critiques from the alt-right.

Hitchens was a pretty big neocon when it came to the Iraq War.

The New Atheist movement, we should not forget, was really launched by 911, and there's always been a very prevalent anti-Islam present. There really should be no surprise, then, that New Atheism and the alt-right share some common cause with respect to their claims that Islam represents a unique threat to Western civilization.

Are all New Atheists members of the alt-right or vice versa? Of course not. However, some New Atheist views on race, the Middle East, and Islam are nearly identical, which naturally makes some left-leaning folk uncomfortable.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Victor Reppert said...
August 05, 2017 10:35 AM

" Yes, for example, they believe in gay rights. But the existence of gay rights entails the existence of human rights."
--No, it entails the experience of human rights, the sense of ought, the sense of altruism and fairness and equality as fundamentally good.

There is no need to ascribe these feelings to an existence outside the brain processes of human beings.


" But, as I showed here a few posts back, the existence of human rights a) does not fit in with an atheist world view"
--True, and functionally unnecessary, but an interesting point for philosophical clarification.

" b) is open to the same kind of question atheists ask Christians, namely "Where's your evidence?""
--Indeed. My evidence is that I am absolutely certain that I am experiencing the experiences that I experience myself experiencing.

Because I am self aware.

Further, I have the evidence of communication with my fellow human beings that most of us broadly share similar fundamental sensibilities. Upon this basis we form a legal consensus and a social consensus, absent the need for any physical realization of these moral judgements outside the processes of our brains.


" And, given new atheist methods for ascribing evidence, the answer has to be, "there is none.""
--There is no evidence for any sort of morality object, an outside source of objective moral truth, or any sort of moral realism. Personal morality is a personal sensibility, an individual brain process. Legal and social morality is by convention or by consensus among the great majority of us who communicate with each other broadly similar such experiences.

Stardusty Psyche said...


Blogger Chad Handley said... August 05, 2017 10:37 AM

"Anyone who thinks this somehow aligns with Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, Dawkins, and Hirsi Ali is an idiot."

" Harris has been a proponent of the theory that Whites are genetically superior to Blacks with respect to IQ, which is a favorite talking point of the alt-right."
--And Ashkenazi Jews even more so. Racial differences in intelligence is a hot button issue. It is absurd to think all races must be precisely equal in intelligence distribution. Some interesting work in details of the relationship between distribution curve shapes and how the upper tail of the curve is affected provide some clues as to one potential contributing factor for the fact that Jews are 100 times more productive in Nobel prizes compared to the population of the world.

To confuse this sort of scientific analysis with the neo-Nazi ideology of the alt-right is stunningly stupid.

" Dawkins quite often retweets overtly racist altright sources."
--Name the specific words retweeted. Given the general level of ignorance displayed by the author of the article it is obvious that the author knows nothing about what the alt-right is.

"His critiques of feminism and identity politics are quite often indistinguishable from critiques from the alt-right."
--How stupid. If Hitler says the sky is blue and you say the sky is blue then you are a Nazi.

" Hitchens was a pretty big neocon when it came to the Iraq War."
--To equate "pretty much a neocon on one subject" with "the alt-right" is stunningly idiotic.

" The New Atheist movement, we should not forget, was really launched by 911, and there's always been a very prevalent anti-Islam present. "
--I am indeed against a religion that promises paradise for crashing airplanes into buildings in NYC.

"There really should be no surprise, then, that New Atheism and the alt-right share some common cause with respect to their claims that Islam represents a unique threat to Western civilization."
--Stalin fought the Nazis, we helped him fight the Nazis, therefore we have common cause with Stalinists. So what?

" Are all New Atheists members of the alt-right or vice versa? "
--Are all guys named Chad jackasses? No, of course not.

Mussolini favored trains that run on time. You favor trains that run on time. Therefore you have common cause and nearly identical views as Fascists, so I have had enough of your Fascist alignments.

Go away and learn how to think.

Chad Handley said...

But the common cause in question isn't buses running on time. It's "Black people are genetically inferior to White people wrt intellect" and "anyone who looks like a Muslim should be profiled at airports." (Both positions openly defended by Sam Harris.)

If it walks like the alt-right and talks like the alt-right...

Chad Handley said...

"Personal morality is a personal sensibility, an individual brain process. Legal and social morality is by convention or by consensus among the great majority of us who communicate with each other broadly similar such experiences."

To say this needs fleshing out would be charitable.

Let's try for a real world example. According to this theory as to how legal and social morality are achieved, is gay marriage right/legal or wrong/illegal?

If I'm reading you right, you're suggesting a "majority rules" system. Well, the majority of people in the world would still say gay marriage is wrong/illegal.

Or is it only local sensibilities that count? In that case, it would actually be the case that women in Saudi Arabia don't have the right to an education, no matter what anyone outside Saudi Arabia says.

Stardusty Psyche said...


Blogger Chad Handley said...

"Black people are genetically inferior to White people wrt intellect" and "anyone who looks like a Muslim should be profiled at airports." (Both positions openly defended by Sam Harris.)
--You put those statements in quotes.

Link where Harris said those exact words, else you are a liar.


August 05, 2017 4:22 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Chad Handley said...

SP "Personal morality is a personal sensibility, an individual brain process. Legal and social morality is by convention or by consensus among the great majority of us who communicate with each other broadly similar such experiences."

" To say this needs fleshing out would be charitable."
--I don't need your charity. Rational argumentation will be sufficient.

" Let's try for a real world example. According to this theory as to how legal and social morality are achieved, is gay marriage right/legal or wrong/illegal?"
--Those are matters of personal judgement and local laws.

" If I'm reading you right, you're suggesting a "majority rules" system. "
--Laws are made by a consensus of the power enfranchised. That's not my "suggestion", it is a fact of the human condition.

"Well, the majority of people in the world would still say gay marriage is wrong/illegal."
--Yes, that's true. What's your point?

" Or is it only local sensibilities that count?"
--Every individual sensibility counts to that individual. How much that influence that has is highly variable.

" In that case, it would actually be the case that women in Saudi Arabia don't have the right to an education, no matter what anyone outside Saudi Arabia says."
--I claim for myself the right to defend the members of my tribe, and the whole of humanity is my tribe.


August 05, 2017 5:24 PM