Over at Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin reflects on a disturbing aspect of a recent new book by atheist Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller, illusionists), God No! , where he writes:
“The respect for faith, the celebration of faith, is dangerous. It’s faith itself that’s wrong. I deny terrorists the moral right to have faith in a god that will reward them for killing people with airplanes. That means I have to deny Christians the moral right to a faith that Jesus Christ died for their sins. That means I have to deny the warm, fuzzy faith that there’s some positive conscious energy guiding the universe. That means I have to get pissed off when Luke Skywalker trusts ‘the force.’ … F*** faith.” (Penn Jillette, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales, p. 229 (Simon & Schuster, 2011).)
Note the rhetoric: “That means I have to … ”
Let’s hope that Jillette doesn’t mean he also has to ban the book or the film or forbid any discussion of it in an increasingly low ranking public school system. We raise this point only because some people who talk this way do mean that, and they mean it comprehensively.
For some while now we have been pointing out the illiberal nature of new atheism. It saves us work when the new atheists underline the fact themselves.
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