Questionable Motives

November 30, 2009

New Theism: crybabies

First there was this cringe-worthy article here by the vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, Greg Craven, which concluded with this keen half-truth: I am not quite clear why our modern crop of atheists hates Christians, as opposed to ignoring or even politely dismissing them, but they very clearly do. There is nothing clever, witty or funny about hate. .

It is true that there is certainly nothing clever, witty, or funny about hate. But criticizing religion is not hate; it is a necessary counter-balance to the unwanted and illegitimate intrusion of religious belief into the public domain. When religions attempt to influence policy policy, then it’s time to play religious whack-a-mole. It is a criticism that needs to be heard.

So let’s look at the ‘hate-filled’ response to Craven’s wretched piece:

Facing a new attack with an international audience playing close attention, religions have as little rational argument in their favour as ever. There was a time when they could deal with dissent through more draconian measures: the kind that can still be practiced in, say, Saudi Arabia. Having lost the power of the gun in the West, apologists of religion have a new weapon: being offended.

Rather than confronting (say) Dawkins’ arguments with counter-arguments, people like Craven, and many others like him, instead cry out: why are you picking on us? All we want is for you to respect our beliefs. And so, the crybaby theists hide behind the demand for respect, which sounds reasonable enough. The more shameless – and their ranks are represented in many religions, such as Muslims, Christians and Jews – complain that when someone criticises their religious faith, the people who belong to that religion are being subjected to abuse.

From the article here.

The bottom line is that such special pleading is a way for theists to avoid answering their critics. The cry that religious beliefs are not being treated respectfully often demonstrates incredible arrogance and hypocrisy. The solution is not for atheists to shut their gobs; the solution is for theists to get their favoured superstitions out of the public domain keep their religious beliefs private.

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