Sam Harris is much better at articulating his objections, but unlike Dawkins he really does seem to be fully committed to a politics that is suspicious of identity in the social justice sense. ), “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”. The Constitution is a natural law context document,... –, Frequently raised but weak arguments against Intelligent Design, A glimpse at one facet of post-science physics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHUtMEru4pQ, https://evolutionnews.org/2007/10/one_of_the_worlds_most_famous/, https://archive.org/stream/There.Is.A.God/Antony%20Flew%20-%20There%20Is%20A%20God_djvu.txt. @Nornagest and Paul If that theory is applicable here, the long-term adoption rate would change – it would be kind of a snowball effect, or a lots-of-little-snowballs effect more like, in this case. Church attendance or non-attendance wasn’t politicized unless you literally lived under a Communist Party. You have to be the child of a Zoroastrian to be a Zoroastrian (at least that’s how some Parsis explained it to me). Just like bell bottoms being popular in the 70s, the 90s, and just starting to see a few of them around now (shudder). I’m pretty firmly of the opinion that the “Grey” concept is mostly a function of overfamiliarity with one’s own community. Likewise, I can see New Atheism as a hamartiology, because New Atheists also all follow the same general ideology of things like materialism and empiricism. None of these people are the intellectual powerhouses they imagine themselves to be. I started this essay with a memory of noticing that my favorite early-2000s-era website had two off-topic forums: one for religion vs. atheism, and one for everything else. In 2005, a college student made a webpage called The Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. If you have a more accurate or charitable story, feel free to articulate it. Maybe that group genetics was indeed more of a problem to the future SJ cummunity, given how “the bell curve” was divisive. The discourse centered around the idea that there was a flaw in the conventional wisdom, and pointing out that flaw and arguing against it would eventually, naturally, lead to its eradication. And they still do seem foreign to me now, but now I know I sort of tried something similar (albeit near-infinitely milder) in the early internet. By 2010 all the smart people were atheists. Scott, could you be talking about this article on Freethought Blogs by Natalie Reed? The children nowadays love industry; they have polite manners, obedience to authority, they show respect to elders and love exercise in the place of chatter. Politics is about coalitions. Atheism was the biggest comprehensive Internet world-view that exploded at that time and then mostly faded, but not the only one. Or maybe both were caused by the fact the Democrats had elected a black president? That couldn’t have brought that much revenue! They understood what they had (cf. Except that for many, it really is just entertainment. You can reject it in the same way you reject a contention that Rusell’s Teapot is floating in orbit. Admittedly, he’s spent more time doing work arguing against functionalism than on building a positive alternative theory, but he certainly *has* worked on the latter, and so have people inspired by him. Oh, how things change. Some logician giving an example of circular arguments: “I know the Bible is true because it says so in the Bible.” Some political writer saying a stupid policy is only to be expected in a country where X% of people still get their ethics from Bronze Age superstitions. https://skepchick.org/2019/09/richard-dawkins-loves-evangelicals-if-they-hate-social-justice/. I would think you’d have cottoned on if they had. My understanding is that a lot of arguments on the atheist forums were fighting over topics where mental gymnastics are necessary to have an (examined) belief in a certain direction (like evolution, literal historicity of certain biblical events, etc.) Surely we would think something deeper had to be going on? We can find plenty of scientists, mathematicians, and progressive philosophers who were and are religious people. I’ve thought (as a non-atheist), that atheist humanists might be more pragmatic about their use of energy and not worry so much about religion per se, but more about the specific versions of religions that exist. They think that they’re the victims of terrible oppression, so they’ll do anything to unite their fellows, and they’ll feel no mercy for their perceived oppressors.”. I read Scott as simply banning the pissing contest that I started about who is more of an asshole. Well, there’s gotta be a few Generation Z kids here. What, are you some edgy Internet atheist with unfashionable taste in headgear who’s questioning the veracity of scripture and rudely attacking people’s religious beliefs? And Dawkins (when he’s not anti-Brexit advocating for the voting age to be lowered, simply for the benefits to his pro-Brexit side, not for SJ issues as such)? Try again with more charity. If you only invoke it when certain groups want reasonable treatment, you don’t have an argument, just a side. Suggest that if you simply MUST be an atheist, you at least learn how to treat people who disagree with your atheism with the same respect you want to be treated with. Interesting point about people converting among secular religions. I consistently find in my personal relationships that when people feel they are under attack, they retreat to their corners and close their minds. I’m about 90% sure I know the answer, but I’m also 100% sure I have no charity on this subject, having been around for the explosion, so this is where I leave it. Good times…) I wasn’t as vehement as some since I had never been religious but I was definitely interested in the movement and its success. As an aside, is Jordan Peterson really censored? Eh, the Wikipedia article is pretty mild indeed, I remember agnostics being put on 4, followed by a takedown of “what, you think probability of god is 50%?”. A few years ago my work on Qualia Computing was mocked as strictly irrational by most people in the rationalist movement without much thought (simple binary classification between ‘woo or real science’ if you will). The ideas were already on each side but they had far less of an opportunity to run into each other. You edited out the parts which stick out like sore thumbs to outsiders. There was one in the early 17th century (inherited from England), one in the mid 18th century, one in the mid 19th century. It wouldn’t be reflected in searches of the NYT, it would happen in parts of Twitter you don’t look at, in a style you’d find boring. And I think there also was a gradual realization that reading about cognitive biases isn’t that much help in overcoming them, and a corresponding decline of the expectation that “Rationalists” should basically come to agree on all the rational beliefs. That’s hard to imagine. There is a scary amount of rage & hate around this issue. Trump is no more unrestrained masculinity, and arguably far less, than the firefighter that runs into a burning building. I know people who have told me exactly this. Download When I listened to Dave Rubin on Unbelievable I heard a redux of Cold War Civil Religion. Trump is a weak man’s idea of what a strong man looks like, a poor man’s idea of what a rich man looks like, and a stupid man’s idea of what a smart man looks like. For the first time in human history, people interested in debating a subject could do so 24-7 out in a joint salon-panopticon with all of the information of the human race at their fingertips. I think we can presume that he is describing the social climate there with a fair degree of accuracy, even if his characters themselves are exaggerated. That’s incredible common! But thank you for demonstrating the central conflict that the Elevatorgate thing dragged kicking and screaming into the light: Feels vs Reals. Sorry for reading you as one-sided when you were doing a good job at describing things from as neutral a perspective as possible. But you have surely got way more context for these conflicting stories than I do, so please help me out. But something really changed in (especially my perception of) the culture circa 2015. Thanks! (Okay, a slightly positive aspect of that specific religion, because one could imagine even worse religion, which would outright kill all the scientists and ban all the science.). In fact, not basing my identity around god makes be a better non-believer than self-described atheists are. Confucianism in many ways is similar. New Atheism was also more centralized. Then they suddenly stop, view counts across the board wildly decrease, and the ad apocalypse makes de monetization of anything controversial much more likely. Why? Have fun being rational. (Or sloth, if you want to cast it in strictly deadly sins.). 3) Racism and sexism are convincing unqualified evils, a few among many such as cancer, ransomware attacks on hospitals, or the genocide of the Rohingya. Lets say you wanted to measure the popularity of home births, you wouldn’t look at the home birth rate of the entire population, you look at the rate for new births. Indeed, and this division cuts both ways. If this is trading up intellectually, I’ll take the downgrade. To get an intuitive feel for the first category, look at the two sites involved. Consider for instance the anti-Islam crusade of Sam Harris: it’s entirely possible to view something as a serious existential threat while still recognizing that most problems have nothing to do with your bugbear. For liberals, the Bush II years were a nightmare, but it was also possible to believe that they were an aberration, and that if we could just get rid of dubya things would return to normal. going back to the 1990’s between Stephen J Gould’s position and the Bell Curve (Murray). Highbrow type devoid of meaningful religious experience or thinking what they actually believed it and some those... 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