Monday, February 23, 2015

Reppert's "A Portrait of the North Carolina Killer"

This is my response to Victor Reppert's post linking the Craig Hicks murders with a supposed hateful atheist ideology.  He says:
Just put "a new dark age" in for "hell" and you can see why someone might use force on behalf of atheism.  The more atheists insist that they are immune from the kind of temptation that leads to religious violence, the more concern I have. If you really think atheism leaves you with "nothing to kill or die for," then all I can give you is the Strait answer.

The glaring truth that you ignore is that people will lie and fight on behalf of ideologies, not on the basis of simple lack of belief in something.  Nobody is saying that atheists have no ideologies (despite the fact that atheism is not an ideology), or that "they are immune from the kind of temptation that leads to religious violence".  Those are YOUR words, not mine.

But you are explicitly linking some kind of hateful atheist ideology with a particular crime that happens to be perpetrated by an atheist, despite all the evidence that strongly indicates NO IDEOLOGICAL MOTIVATION for what he did.  Think about how much stronger your case would be if you actually found a case of some atheist committing murder for reasons that actually were based in atheistic belief.  If your claims have any truth to them, you shouldn't have any trouble finding evidence to support your case.

As it is, your argument is nothing short of pathetic.  You rail against the New Atheists' "hate message toward religious belief", but you can't even bring yourself to state their messages accurately, preferring instead to present a grossly distorted version of it.  Go ahead and show us the "hate message", and put it in context so that we can get a good sense of what they're talking about.  Show us examples of people who have taken this "hate message" to heart and committed crimes on that basis.

Why don't you just quit your incessant bleating, and give us some actual evidence?


  1. This doesn't come from a theist, this comes from the head of the Center for Naturalism.

  2. Yes, of course. These people are accommodationists. I'll note a few things about this article.

    First, while I do not object in principle to accommodationists' approach to dialog with theists, I can't help but notice that they are generally quick to chastise atheists for their contemptuous rhetoric, and at the same time totally oblivious to any and all equally contemptuous (if not downright hateful) rhetoric from theists directed at atheists and atheism. Hatred of atheists is prevalent, and we see it expressed every day.

    Second (and this is particularly pertinent to your own accusations of "hate messages"), read the passage from Dawkins again. He is talking about rhetoric that expresses ridicule, even to the point of being somewhat hurtful. He is not talking about hate. He is not advocating any kind of violence or use of force. He compares this rhetoric to that of Ann Coulter. I would never characterize her rhetoric as "hate speech", or something that would foment violence, but it is contemptuous and even hurtful, in much the same way Dawkins advocates. Dawkins wants to direct this rhetoric at fence-sitters, in order to sway them.

    This is a far cry from the kind of "hateful atheist ideology" you claim that would lead people like Hicks to violence.

    I implore you once again - if you want to make accusations like that, bring forth your evidence. Show me who is making this kind of hateful speech, and who is moved to violence by it.

  3. Try as you must, but you are *NOT* skeptical, or critically thinking here.... comments such as,

    " despite all the evidence that strongly indicates NO IDEOLOGICAL MOTIVATION for what he did."

    ...reek of amateur, non-critical thinking. You're not in this to prune away layers and get at truth, you're in this to "expose" how "irrational" you think Victor and the other theists are being.

    1. If you have any evidence to dispute what I have said, please show it.

      I can't wait to see how your professional, critical thinking will expose how irrational I am.

    2. Maybe these stories will give you some information to bolster your case about how wrong I am.