I just exploded after being patronized for the umpteenth time as a ‘silly little atheist’. Main reason for such: here, followed by here, with the kicker here. The trigger: here. Because, of course, I’m just a silly little Gnu Atheist who knows nothing about real critical thinking.
I was about to go to bed and then this hit me. Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris, PZ, Jen McCreight, all the other gnu atheists — even me — aren’t the “New Atheists”. We are, as has often been stated, just the same as the “old atheists”, we just don’t confine our musings to academia.
The New Atheists are those who coined the term. The people who say they believe yet mock us gnu atheists as silly, unsophisticated, strident, angry, hateful, arrogant bullies are. They’re so insecure about their belief that they hate us; they hate how we cut past all the “sophisticated theology” and care about the truth, they hate our ability to cut through all their musing and rhetoric with cold, hard reason. That hate and insecurity combines to form an abhorrent little ball of smug pseudointellectualism and false confidence that forms the very definition of the Dunning-Kruger effect and manifests itself in Courtier’s Replies and other idiotic empty tripe such as what I linked above. Their projection runs full course, from projecting their arrogance to projecting their very lack of belief.
The New Atheists are the atheists who still want to believe. They are the core of the very anti-intellectualism that will destroy us by proxy; their smug pseudointellectualism opens the doors for all sorts of idiocy from Deepak Chopra’s quantum woo, to the contrivances and conjecture of popular evolutionary “psychology”, to the sheer insanity known as the American “right wing”. It is they who enable the Becks and Bushes and Reagans and Khomeinis, who speak of reason and logic when they have none, who sit atop their lofty horse laughing at us silly gnu atheists.
Or, rather, playing recordings of them laughing as they cower behind their veil, drawing it ever tighter around them in order to shield them from the silly, strident, arrogant, mean, crass and unsophisticated arguments that threaten the very core of their beliefs.
I often think to myself that if I had the ability I would eradicate the entire Republican Party and the loudspeakers of the American right. However, had I a choice between the Rethuglicans and the pseudointellectuals, I’d kill the pseudointellectuals, because then we could expose the lies of the Rethuglicans — and besides, the two do overlap so I’d end up killing a bunch of Rethuglican-enablers anyway.
I hate pseudointellectualism, I hate false confidence, and I hate rationalization.
But I really, really fucking hate New Atheists.