Atheist Bingo with Peter Goers

I just read this incredibly silly article by Peter Goers at Adelaidenow, and it’s time of my life that I won’t get back. It’s a parforce ride of foolishness, trying to cram as many cliches and prejudices against unbelievers into the one piece. Here’s a choice selection :

Atheists believe in nothing beyond themselves

The “new atheists” are born-again agnostics and are, unfortunately, becoming as virulent, toxic, exclusive, hateful and vengeful as the right-wing fundamentalist Pentecostal Christians (and extremists of all other faiths) they so despise.

They are zealots and bigots and a new cult, and they are drinking the intellectual Kool-Aid.

Richard Dawkins, the pope of atheism

Atheists believe anyone with any religious faith is stupid.

Atheists hiss and spit at prayers. It’s become a negative faith.


Now, there are 2 things I want to actually respond to, although Goers does indeed tempt me to just dismiss him as a bit of a clueless yokel, I must admit. First, this :

Muslims do not proselytise and some of the best Christians I’ve ever known are Muslims. We would do well to learn from moderate Islam.

Was this guy at the GAC last week ? Did he see the murderous thugs who chanted for the death of a convention speaker, did he not see their placards threatening death to those who don’t swear allegiance and declare submission to their imaginary tyrant ? And what exactly is it that Goers believes I should learn from moderate Islam ? How to enable extremism by staying quiet ? What nonsense.

And there’s this :

All believers are equally stupid whether they believe in God, Thetans, Opus Dei, the Mormon notion that God changed his mind about black people in 1978 and that Jesus has his own planet or “God hates fags, Jews and Swedes” as revoltingly expounded by the wackos of the Westboro Baptist Church in the USA (where else!). For atheists, all of this is no better than the Australian faith, education and welfare of the Josephites and St Mary MacKillop.

No, Peter Goers, all believers are equally wrong whether they believe in Thor, Zeus, Jahweh or Allah. This tired old strawman that we think that all religious people are stupid is really getting old.

I will give Mr Goers a clue, free of charge. He says in this article “Faith is a good answer to why we are here.” But that’s simply not true. Faith is belief without evidence, it explains nothing, and worse, it doesn’t even try to explain anything. Here’s why we are here : Because of the Cambrian Explosion 570 million years ago, and the death of the dinosaurs 500 million years later. It’s true, and it’s much more intellectually satisfying than the tired old invocation of the supernatural.

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