Monday, July 23, 2007

Appeasment vs. Assertive Atheists Part II

In a recent example of the debate between 'appeaser atheists' and 'aggressive atheists', we have Shalina at Scientia Natura discussing Appeasers: The Spineless Pushovers, and MikeGene at Telic Thoughts explaining how Shalina's comments warrant the term 'militant' in Don't Call Me Militant

In the comments to the latter, one writer states,

Yes, we shall certainly never forget the day that jumbo jets were crashed into the Vatican by militants screaming "Dawkins Akbar!"

However, an important question to ask is, given Shalina's argument, what objection can be raised against flying a jet into the Vatican or launching a terrorist strike against Mecca?

It may be true that no atheist has performed similar actions in the past. However, aggressive atheists also make the case that, in the past, atheists were too passive and accepting of religion. It was the so-called 'appeaser atheists' who were not blowing up churches or committing violence against the instruments and symbols of religion.

We do not yet know what type of history the aggressive atheists will give us.

It certainly makes no sense to say that the aggressive atheists deserve credit because appeaser atheists have not engaged in violence.

Yes, it is true that Dawkins and Harris do not advocate violence. Yet, I would like to know if either one of them could give a coherent argument against the use of violence.

What would happen if an atheist did blow up a church and post a manifesto where he declared that we are in a war between science and superstition, that the enablers of superstition deserve to die for the misery and suffering they have brought to the human race, and that this is a battle the friends of science must win?

What could the aggressive atheist say against such a person?

In fact, where has any of the aggressive atheists written, "Do not do this, because it would be wrong, and here is why it would be wrong"?

Read Shalina's post. It is filled with the 'us' versus 'them' rhetoric that has always been the precursor to violence. It even includes the rhetoric of, "You are either for us, or you are against us," the over-simplistic rhetoric that everything in the universe can be seen as black or white - no shades of gray, no shades of doubt.

So, this is what I want from the aggressive atheists.

A coherent argument to their readers explaining why it would be wrong to violently destroy the symbols and the leadership of the agents of superstition?

And, don't cheat and say that, "It is because it will not be effective." Because then, I will ask, "What proof do you have have that it will not be effective?"


Anonymous said...

[Because then, I will ask, "What proof do you have have that it will not be effective?"]

The Muslim jihadists/terrorists are a clear example.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and her name is Shalini not Shalina.

Alonzo Fyfe said...


An example of a failure is not proof that failure is inevitable.

History is filled with examples of one group going into an area, wiping out the local religion, and successfully replacing it with Christianity or Islam.

They destroyed the local temples, killed the priests, and, in the end, destroyed that religion.