Damn Right I’m Angry: Part One
I don't find it surprising that the two writers I will be addressing here find atheists to be angry, selfish, and in one case, diseased. The patronizing attitudes of these men would drive the most timid among us into a fit. So, obviously, I nearly convulsed while reading these two articles-both full of condescension; spewing venomous rhetoric that does nothing more than add up to one giant attack on the character of everybody without a belief in their mythological friend.
Marty Fields, a pastor at a Presbyterian Church, and Jacob Stein, an orthodox Jew who has mistaken his skill in fallacious argumentation for philosophy: You two are winning the award for "Arrogant Deluded Fatuous Pricks of the Year." It's a coveted prize, and you were nearly overtaken by Dinesh D'Souza, but even he isn't this moronic.
Marty Fields, who will not be addressed as "Reverend" here as I have no reverence for him or his ilk, wrote an op-ed entitled "Angry Atheists". He starts out by accusing atheists of being philosophical dilettantes, using the "same old tired arguments that you heard in your freshman philosophy class." Ironic, coming from a proponent of a religion that hasn't come up with a new argument in 2000 years. I think that tops freshman year philosophy, eh?
He goes on to list the books of the "Four Horsemen", but his target here is mainly Christopher Hitchens. He passes over The End of Faith as being the first, and in his mind, the least offensive, tome published by the quartet. He must not have read it, because I have read all of the aforementioned, and Harris' The End of Faith is positively inauspicious in its relentless attack on religion. I guess it's in vogue these days to label Hitchens as the black sheep of the group, but in reality, Hitchens has stated that he has no desire to see the end of religion, in sharp contrast with the others. He uses Hitchens' God Is Not Great as the example of an increase in hostility from atheists, labeling his book "visceral and the angriest of all."
Hitchens is on the debate circuit quite frequently, and I have yet to see him be anything but mild-mannered and honest. The honesty is what is offensive to Fields. How dare you have an opinion that Mother Theresa or Jerry Falwell were anything but paragons of morality? In debates, Hitchens is respectful of his opponent, just as the example that he cited between Russell and Copleston. He has no obligation to be respectful of their beliefs or opinions, though, and neither do any of us.
Fields accuses us of being "intellectually inept," but with his clear lack of knowledge, one can only assume that he must be looking at his own internal mirror. Atheism is increasing worldwide, a fact easily proven by population studies and surveys. He calls us arrogant, and yet he is the one who claims to have the answer for every person on earth's search for meaning and value. Instead of "gasping for air", atheism is thriving, and it's not surprising to see the religious in denial-purposely pulling the wool over their eyes and pretending that their fairy tales have validity.
Of course, this shouldn't be shocking coming from people who base their lives on compartmentalization and self-deception. Speaking of dishonesty, I wonder what Fields would think of Jacob Stein's acerbic and unscrupulous diatribe titled "Why Atheism is Not a Religion." Trust me, that is the only thing upon which we agree.
To be continued...