"In retrospect, it’s unsurprising that a lot of New Atheism devolved into reactionary, antifeminist, and even white supremacist thought, because it was never really about the things it claimed to be about. The dominant affect of New Atheism wasn’t humility, or reflexivity, or curiosity, all the things one truly needs to improve intellectually. It was smugness."

The Magical Thinking of Guys Who Love Logic:

@noelle Yep. I know all of my interactions with people who were openly and aggressively atheist would openly belittle and insult me for mentioning that I went to church growing up. Even just as a, "Sorry, I didn't respond, was at church." And they would always be super surprised "because we thought you were smart"

Like, there's a reason atheism has become conjoined with neckbeard dudebros. And it's that they feel that they know something you don't.

It's agonizing.

@magicalmilly @noelle Atheism is basically it's own organized religion at this point. The loud aggressive atheists wield their beliefs like a club to anyone who disagrees.

I see someone who feels inclined to loudly proclaim they are an atheist as a red flag these days. A lot of the atheists I know don't refer to themselves as such anymore because of that sort of shit.

@magicalmilly @noelle I strongly remember an atheist white dude in a mythology studies class of mine who went into prolonged rants often during our studies of biblical mythos to the point people started complaining to the professor after class cause he was disrupting our learning experiences with his hostility.

@revolverocelot @noelle Like, do you think you're making any friends? Do you think you're making any allies?

Just.... do your shit.

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@revolverocelot @magicalmilly @noelle this is exactly the reason why I dislike atheism as much as all organised religions. And the worse part is when these small hate groups want to speak for the millions of people (and there are more and more, I think) who don't want or don't need to believe in a god or a religion.

@steko @revolverocelot @magicalmilly @noelle is new atheism a US phenomenon? i didn't know it existed until last year when i had to politely explain to someone that when i said i was an atheist, i was not actually the she-devil they were describing. i'm just not a believer. which isn't to say i have problems with anyone who does believe, though i have since noticed that new atheism feels more anti-god than lack-of-god, and aggressively so.

@pippasaidwhat @steko @revolverocelot @magicalmilly @noelle I don't have statistics on it offhand, but I know Richard Dawkins (a brit) is a major figure in the movement, and he's had some doozy moments (like telling followers at a rally to mock Christians they disagreed with).

@sandrockcstm @pippasaidwhat @steko @magicalmilly @noelle 'Celebrities' like Ricky Gervais spread a lot of shit around that encourages hating and mocking organized religion too.

The Christian stereotype of atheists harassing anyone who even mentions God and being offended by it is blown out of proportion to make themselves out to be victims, but it's definitely rooted in some shitty behavior from white male atheists.

@revolverocelot gervais is a dipshit. sigh. honestly wishing the white men of this country would sit down and shut up.

@pippasaidwhat Yeah, I cannot flipping stand him in any capacity anymore. Between the aggressive atheism and defense of rape jokes, he's dead to me.

It is very anti-god instead of lack of God.

And, I dont know if it is *new* persay. It's been something I've seen and interacted with since the 2000s for sure. Had middle school and high school people who were staunchly in the anti-god category with ideas they got from the internet.
@steko @revolverocelot @noelle


Maybe new atheism attracted teens who also love to mob and mock those they don't like?

Gaming was a cool thing until gamergate. Now people are ashamed of saying they're gamers because of it.

It's also interesting that Reddit's r/atheism forum got taken over by a bunch of asshole mods who derailed the whole thing and turned the entire sub into a toxic place.

People fled and created other subs like r/trueatheism (r/true* are a common thing in Reddit).

@magicalmilly @noelle
So maybe the problem was not New Atheism at all, but the environment in which it flourished.

Is it a mystery that the worst examples of New Atheists took place in corporate social networks?

What if New Atheism took place in more regulated platforms like Mastodon?

@magicalmilly @noelle
Maybe it wouldn't have flourished at all and it might have remained a fringe movement, who knows?


Sometimes I think the reason for this is in part the idea that "godless scientists" were ruining the natural order of things per dictates of the mainstream religious guidelines, but no question that the "New Atheism" turned out to be anything but new and largely not even about atheism in a useful, productive sense. :(

@noelle A chunk of the problem is that media anointed the "Four Horsemen" whose strident anti-theism involved politically throwing in with Bush the Lesser after 9/11 on the principle that multiculturalism was bad.

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@noelle I've met a hell of a lot of people on the left as well as the right who claim to be all logical.

That's how we came up with catchphrases such as evidence-based policy.

Apparently the author loves logic and hates people that can't use it? Not a lot of introspection going on there at any rate.

@noelle I was a bit worried about what the comments to this might look like, but I guess Mastodon keeps being a positive surpirse: only one guy who didn't read the article, but felt the need to comment.

@noelle Absolutely true. I posted about this yesterday, but there is no logical, rational operator when it comes to anything more complicated than the very basic operations of day to day living. Logic does not even begin to touch broad social issues, it can't do so, and it is not the universal ruleset which its proponents believe it to be. All logic eventually loops back on the inevitable conclusion that it is incomplete or assumptive.

Any appeal to "logic" is really an appeal to the aesthetics of logic and rhetoric, and retains the notion of the rhetorical position as a personal or meaningful identity or cause.

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