I’m sorry today’s atheist movement has inspired abuse.
Specifically, I’m sorry some of its ideas inspire abuse. To name a few things:
- I’m sorry atheists harass and aggressively malign complete strangers online because they think every religious individual personally and equally to blame for religious atrocities – or think all believers mentally ill or intellectually impaired.
- I’m sorry they think calling believers mentally ill or intellectually impaired is a fair tactic and stigmatise disability as a result, in particular with words like ‘crazy’, ‘retarded’ and ‘delusional’.
- I’m sorry atheists join the anti-immigrant far right because they think Muslims are wicked, animal or ‘barbaric’ by nature. I’m sorry atheists defend racist intimidation because they think religious groups can’t be marginalised.
- I’m sorry atheists degrade and dehumanise cisgender women because they think they’re biologically less capable of thought. I’m sorry atheists with ideas based on evolutionary psychology attack feminists.
- I’m sorry atheists with uncritical science-worshipping views harass and misgender transgender people because they they think sex and gender are empirical realities.
I don’t feel personally responsible for these things – I’m not sorry in the same way as when I step on someone’s foot or guess a Canadian’s from the US – but I’m sorry it’s the case today’s atheist movement has inspired them. Simply being atheists isn’t these people’s motivation – atheism by itself prompts no more action than theism by itself – but the particular atheist school of thought we share, which came to prominence roughly in the last ten years, produced the ideas that inspire this abuse just as particular religions produce their own. [Read more…]