This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Atheism's open-door policy

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/sep/29/atheist-guide-christmas-religion

On Friday, Cif belief editor Andrew Brown wrote, "It is entirely possible that Ariane Sherine's book on enjoying an atheist Christmas will sell this Christmas; but come the new year, it won't be found on the bookshelf in the toilet but in lavatories nicely warmed by Agas." His assertion is that atheists (or "new atheists", as he confusingly calls us – are we the ones who refuse to stay quiet?) are "educated and professional" snobs, and that we use our lack of belief as an excuse to look down on people who are working class: "Obviously, it is no longer done to sneer at the working classes for being idle, brutish, smelly, and breeding too much. But it's perfectly OK to sneer at 'faith heads' for all these things: that shows you're enlightened. It's pure coincidence that the despicable believers are for the most part lower class as well."

This line of thinking is puzzling and wrong on every level. The atheists I know have only one thing in common: we don't believe in God. Beyond that, there are very few generalisations anyone can make – our social class, ethnic backgrounds and political views are often extremely disparate (though there is a definite correlation between atheism and being a liberal – that is, believing that everyone has the right to do and say whatever they like and express themselves as they choose, so long as their actions are peaceful and don't hurt anyone). As he himself has come out on this site as an atheist, it is baffling that the majority of Andrew's pieces seem to lambast atheists, when the sole criterion for being one is merely accepting the truth as science reveals it.
...
Continue reading
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/sep/29/atheist-guide-christmas-religion

TAGGED: ATHEISM, COMMENTARY


RELATED CONTENT

Science journalism through the looking...

Chris Chambers and Petroc Sumner -... Comments

Science has an uneasy relationship with journalism, so what can be done by both sides to improve coverage

In defence of obscure words

Will Self - BBC News Magazine 100 Comments

We chase "fast culture" at our peril - unusual words and difficult art are good for us, says Will Self.

Your Brain on Fiction

Annie Murphy Paul - New York Times 26 Comments

New support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience.

The spectre of militant secularism

Nick Cohen - The Spectator 40 Comments

If you turn on the news tonight and hear of a bomber slaughtering civilians anywhere from Nigeria to the London Underground, I can reassure you of one point: the bombers will not be readers of Richard Dawkins.

A brutal price still paid for daring to...

Amol Rajan - The Independent 39 Comments

Their assault illustrates the extent to which defenders of religion still dominate our press, the brutal retaliation exacted on clever opponents of faith and the incorrigible stupidity of Sayeeda Warsi's claim about "militant secularism" last week.

The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net 341 Comments

I can’t help wondering at the quality of journalism which sees a scoop in attacking a man for what his five-greats grandfather did.

MORE

MORE BY ARIANE SHERINE

Hey, preacher – leave those kids...

Ariane Sherine - guardian.co.uk 76 Comments

The Atheist's Guide to Christmas

Ariane Sherine - UK charity book... 71 Comments

Dawkin 'bout a revolution

Ariane Sherine - Guardian 52 Comments

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment