Alternet recently kicked off a fundraising event and having apparently registered with the site at some point I received an email asking for money. Having fallen far behind on my reading this past month or so I decided to check out what Alternet had up that I may have missed. Well, I apparently missed the earth shattering event of Chris Hedges discovering that someone, presumably an atheist, had taken a piss in his cheerios.
The author of American Fascists has a new book out titled “I don’t believe in Atheists” and Alternet decided to publish an article by Hedges that’s just a stone’s throw from being completely unhinged. Well, that’s a lie actually. There’s not a trace of anything that suggests the article was ever hinged to begin with.
Did you know that we modern atheists “embrace a belief system as intolerant, chauvinistic and bigoted as that of religious fundamentalists” who want to see to the “silencing or eradication” of those who disagree with us?
Yes, it was news to me also. I suppose we should notify the leaders of the Gay Agenda that they aren’t the only ones out to destroy civilization itself.
The main target of his article appears to be Sam Harris and his book The End of Faith which Hedges admits to not even completely reading:
I started Harris’ book when it was published but soon put it aside.
Is it just me or is there something fundamentally wrong about continuing to criticize a work you admit you didn’t actually read? I’ve seen atheists do this with religious works and it’s annoying. If you haven’t read the book, at least be smart enough to not admit it in the same piece containing your criticism of it. It’s unbecoming to say the least.
However, back to what else Hedges had to say about all of us atheists. It appears that we’re a bit too damned optimistic about our species as compared to Hedges general nihilistic view of us:
There is nothing in human nature or human history to support the idea that we are morally advancing as a species or that we will overcome the flaws of human nature. We progress technologically and scientifically, but not morally. We use the newest instruments of technological and scientific progress to create more efficient forms of killing, repression and economic exploitation, and to accelerate environmental degradation. There is a good and a bad side to human progress. We are not moving towards a glorious utopia. We are not moving anywhere.
In short, we’re not the nihilists we’re supposed to be by default of being god-free. That’s where Chris really loses it if you ask me as only a demented fuckwit, to borrow a term from PZ, could look at just the last one hundred years of American history alone and still come to the conclusion that there is nothing in human history that supports the idea that we have managed to advance ourselves morally.
Hedges is not done either. Earlier in his article he stated that we modern atheists wanted to eradicate others. Lest there be any doubt that he’s not actually talking about killing people who have the temerity to disagree with us, get a load of this statement:
Many of these atheists, like the Christian fundamentalists, support the imperialist projects and preemptive wars of the United States as a necessity in the battle against terrorism and irrational religion. They divide the world into superior and inferior races, those who are enlightened by reason and knowledge and those who are governed by irrational and dangerous religious beliefs.
And this one:
And while the atheists do not have much power and are not a threat to the democratic state, they engage in the same chauvinism and call for the same violent utopianism of the radical Christian Right. They sell this under secular banners, but this does not excuse it. They believe, like the Christian Right, that we are moving forward to a paradise, a state of human perfection made possible by science and reason. They argue, like these Christian radicals, that some human beings, maybe many human beings, have to be eradicated to achieve this better world.
So there you have it. We modern atheists support war without end, imperialism, are racists and want to take over the world, killing everyone who opposes our path to world domination. Where have we heard this delusional rant before? That’s right children – right out of the mouths of certain Christian fundamentalists that have drawn the ire of Chris Hedges in the past. Pots and kettles come to mind, don’t they?
The question though is just why is Chris Hedges so furious with us atheists? You made need to sit down for this, because it’s a verbal shot straight to the groin that’s going to leave you breathless.
Chris Hodges is pissed off and frothing out the mouth because we believe in moral progress and generally reject the idea that humans are “Evil” by default:
The New Atheists ignore the wisdom of Original Sin, as well as studies in cognitive behavior, that illustrate that human nature is often irrational and flawed. We are all governed, even in our moments of greatest lucidity, by unconscious forces. This understanding, whether achieved through Augustine or Freud, has been our most potent check on schemes of human perfectibility and utopian visions.
Original Sin is the Christian doctrine via the Catholic church that all humans are born evil. Everyone from the newest of the newborn to the eldest of the elderly are “sinners” by default. No one escapes being judged “guilty”. You can be a saint, but under Original Sin, you are a sinner with a capital “S”.
This is the “wisdom” of Original Sin and according to Hedges we are wrong to reject the wisdom of calling people evil because they exist. And this from the man who chews out Sam Harris for calling Muslims specifically evil. It’s almost funny in a sick kind of way.
So, there you have it. Chris Hedges doesn’t believe in atheists, but that’s okay. I kind of prefer that he stays on that side of the fence personally.