Why atheists attack atheists

March 30, 2011

Here’s Simon Blackburn in his wonderful, short book, Being Good.

“We do not like being told what to do. We want to enjoy our lives, and we want to enjoy them with a good conscience. People who disturb that equilibrium are uncomfortable, so moralists are often uninvited guests at the feast, and we have a multitude of defences against them.”

New Atheism points to the lies that people live. This makes many atheists very uncomfortable because they perceive an attack on their integrity. Whereas in the past the Oxbridge atheist prof enjoyed a civilised chat with those decent chaps from the theology department, now the poor assailed atheist wonders whether he or she is guilty of a certain hypocrisy. New Atheists are moralists in a restricted sense: they care nothing who sticks what where, with and to whom, but they do cast moral aspersions on those who doggedly stick with delusion and those who cosy up to them. The multitude of defences translates into a multitude of attacks.

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