Wednesday, October 19, 2011

what's the real differnce in "getting hard to tell the difference in new atheism and fascists" and "facists?"

I used Jeff Sparrow, a Marxist writer from Australia as an example of one who points out the totalitarian nature of new atheism. Hermit has been using his typical approach, get in your face and scream and sawqk about any and every trivial problem with the point utnil he scores a victory of any kid, however trivial, driving a wedge (however banal) bewteen the claim and the truth of the claim, the demanding that since he's scored a victory the whole thing is wrong. It doesnt' mattter to him that Sparrow said "it's getting hard to tell fascism from new atheism," he didn't say it was fascism so that must mean it's ok. Let's look at what he did say, understand his real argument is that New Atheism has a big totalitarian streak down it's back. That's not the way he puts it though. He uses the one issue of racism and Islamaphobia.

In fact, the only accuracy in Myers’ sentence comes between the quote marks. I did, indeed, write that many of the main speakers in the two conferences scheduled for Melbourne in 2011 are very, very right wing. That’s because … um… they are...

I provided quotes from Christopher Hitchens about the need to kill the Taliban without pity and to wage the war in Afghanistan more ruthlessly to support what seemed to me a fairly uncontentious point – that Hitchens is today the most high-profile warmonger active in literary circles, essentially a traveling mouthpiece for that wing of the American elite still wedded to neoconservative foreign policies.his politics are so far to the right as to make genuinely mystifying the support he receives from self-identified progressives, but also because, in Australia, at least, he’s the most high-profile of the New Atheists.

He’s not some fringe hanger-on, the crazy old uncle in the atheist family, but a major draw card, a keynote speaker, who will no doubt be featured extensively (as was the case during his last tour) on television, radio and in the press, opining about the need to plunge further into Afghanistan or launch a new war in Yemen or whatever the current neocon talking point might bethough Hitchens is more overtly political and more unashamedly bloodthirsty than some of the other New Atheists,

the Islamophobia he promulgates is widespread in the movement.

That was why I quoted Sam Harris (again, not a fringe figure but another of the so-called ‘Four Horsemen’) on how the ‘people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists’, an argument with which Christopher Hitchens says he agrees (in, mind you, a largely approving review of a book by the far right demagogue Mark Steyn, which claims that Muslims are breeding their way to a takeover of Europe!)..

contrasted the rhetoric used by neofascist ideologues (as well as a conservative Australian politician) with that employed by major New Atheist speakers, not to prove that Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins and the rest were fascists (indeed, I explicitly said they were not) but rather to illustrate that they embrace an Islamophobia more usually associated with the far Right – which was, after all, the very point that Harris was making

This is typical of Hermit's hair splitting to ignore the meat of the matter and just go for the letter of law. The overall point Sparrow was making is that the New Atheist movement has a lot of modes of thought in place that are far right wing modes of thought. Hermit is content to feel ventilated that they are not out and out fascists but he's just missing the point about how totalitarian they are. He tries to make it sound like Sparrow was misquoted therefore he didn't say anything that would impune the New atheist and he sure as hell did.

Sparrow's views were attacked by those Dennison of limited mentality, the atheists who can't think, saying things like

Besides Sparrow’s obvious hypocrisy, he makes some rather puzzling assumptions about atheism. To Sparrow’s mind, an atheist should not oppose superstition and religious bigotry. It’s not the job of the atheist to challenge religion at all. It is, rather, the atheist’s job to embrace left-wing politics and “build the kind of society in which religion no longer seems necessary.” I won’t speculate here on whether that’s an effective strategy. Instead, let’s look at his conflation of atheism and leftism.

That's that guy's version of what it means to say atheist shouldn't rail against religion like fanatical clowns who can't allow people have their own views. It doesn't make any difference to Hermit that New Atheism is clearly totalitarian, clearly exist to vent hate against religious people. In other words Sparrow's bellweather against a racist position in New Atheism is met with so much Hermit like refusal to consider the meaning of what's really being said, so much typical atheist "them and us" kind of thinking, that they were pracitally accusing him of being an evangelist for Christian fundamentalism. That's why he was making clear his position, which was not without it's criticism of new atheism.

Like Hermit most new atheists can't take any sort of criticism and his tactics are typical, get in your face and cream about nit picking and hair splitting until you for once one little trivial difference between the claims of the the opponent and some little trivial mistake they made, then claim that you've destroyed their evil lies.

No comments: