Questionable Motives

December 3, 2009

Should atheists be more humble?

From WEIT comes this answer:

Atheists have been “humble” for centuries (who was more humble than Spinoza?) and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. It’s that crop of new atheist books that have finally created a climate in which atheists need not feel like pariahs. Like my confrères so maligned by Kristof, I think it’s time to try Mencken’s way:

The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.

True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge.

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2 Comments »

  1. In my history class we learn of the French Revolution, the philosophes, e.t.c and how religion had such a huge impact on people’s lives before only recently. I think maybe as we progress as a society and there is more reason in the world, that’s what religion will become. Ridiculous.
    I may have read something like that somewhere before though. . .
    Maybe one of the philosophes actually haha

    Comment by philosophe007 — December 7, 2009 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

    • Perhaps atheists are people who have already realized this?

      Comment by philosophe007 — December 7, 2009 @ 5:47 pm | Reply


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