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


← Do Atheists Understand and Appreciate Black Bodies?

Zeuglodon's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Zeuglodon

Many atheists and theists share a hyper optimism regarding human progress.

I got suspicious about this point. I wouldn't call all theists hyper-optimistic, let alone atheists. It smacks of pigeonholing.

While something of a hopeful outlook is a useful approach to ethical conduct, it should be guided and monitored by a sense of realism

I lost interest soon after this. Of course we need a sense of realism, but wringing your hands over one murder's grand societal implications is like linking Hurricane Katrina to global warming - isolated cases aren't excuses to extrapolate about broader ideas. In other words, it is not a realistic assessment nor is it a realistic approach to solving future problems. The comments above mine only discouraged me from reading anything past the first subtitle.

As the descendent of enslaved Africans brought to the American hemisphere, I have in mind something much larger than an individualization of this transnational problem. I see this as an educable moment – an opportunity to think deeply about the underlying issues girding a long debate concerning some very important things such as: (1) the nature of privilege within environments of discrimination; (2) the limits of individual accountability within global systems; (3) the measure of collective obligation for redress of wrongs done; (4) the disregard of black bodies made possible through these other issues. And, turning back to the context of atheism, these issues point to a strong need for atheists to develop new frameworks for ethical thinking and praxis in often-absurd cultural worlds.

Not to mention his knowledge is out-of-date (atheists need new frameworks? Really? Like we don't have a vast range available to us already?) and his style of writing is as transparent as a brick in quicksand.

Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

I read the entire article,

You're a more persistent fellow than I am. I gave up after the first few paragraphs because I understood little and liked even less.

I have a simple word that could solve this problem. It's called "egalitarian". An egalitarian believes in equality, and that best describes our goals for the removal of religious privilege, while promoting secularism, equal (or human) rights, democracy and other such values.

That's a good word to use, but it needs modifying to something like "progressive egalitarian" or "elite egalitarian"... something that suggests we're not indulging in Tall Poppy Syndrome or Crab Bucket Syndrome.

Sat, 05 May 2012 14:08:06 UTC | #939901