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At Salon: New Atheists accused of intellectual grift and abject surrender


One of the more interesting intellectual movements in recent years was “new atheism,” which came and went — perhaps best known for being the the “godlessness that failed.”

Now, it’s being attacked among the In and the Cool in Salon, mainly for espousing free speech:

What’s sad is that the New Atheist movement could have made a difference — a positive difference — in the world. Instead, it gradually merged with factions of the alt-right to become what former New York Times contributing editor Bari Weiss calls the “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), a motley crew of pseudo-intellectuals whose luminaries include Jordan Peterson, Eric and Bret Weinstein, Douglas Murray, Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro, in addition to those mentioned above.

At the heart of this merger was the creation of a new religious movement of sorts centered around the felt loss of power among white men due to the empowerment of other people. When it was once acceptable, according to cultural norms, for men to sexually harass women with impunity, or make harmful racist and sexist comments without worrying about losing a speaking opportunity, being held accountable can feel like an injustice, even though the exact opposite is the case. Pinker, Shermer and some of the others like to preach about “moral progress,” but in fighting social justice under the misleading banner of “free speech,” they not only embolden fascists but impede further moral progress for the marginalized.

Phil Torres, “Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right” at Salon (June 5, 2021)

Torres makes quite clear that, to get on at Salon, you’d have to be a stiletto Stalinist. The new atheists have the advantage of at least being interesting people.

Hey, we’ve always given them that. And who cares about Salon anyhow?

The most disgusting trend in recent years has been the loss of interest, among fashionable media dominated by Big Tech, in intellectual freedom. They were never very interested in it but they used to have to pretend. Now they don’t. Being stupid is now officially okay as long as you are fashionably stupid.

Hat tip: Ken Francis, co-author with Theodore Dalrymple of The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd

Seversky, What hope of the atheist are you referring to when you say "there's hope for us all"? EDTA
New atheism hasn't failed. It has raised the profile of non-belief and more people are willing to identify as "nons". Unsurprisingly, it has also revealed that atheists are just as flawed as any other group of humans. So, there's hope for us all. Seversky
>"Pinker, Shermer and some of the others like to preach about 'moral progress,..." Unless there is an unchanging supra-human standard in effect, there is no such thing as 'moral progress'. EDTA

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