- May 17, 2014
I've read the first chapter of "I Don't Believe in Atheists" by Chris Hedges. It's since been reissued under a new title, "When Atheism Becomes Religion". Better but still stupid. The biggest problem I have so far is his description of the "new atheists" as absolutists is completely foreign to everything I've read by them. He seems to think they are utopian idealists yet it's unclear from where he's getting that idea. He complains about black and white thinking and then proceeds to see things in black and white.
I haven't read his book about the myth of moral progress and I'm unconvinced that humans have made no moral progress since slavery and human sacrifice. Perhaps he could make the case that we've merely shifted the framing of sacrifice. Humans once did it to appease mysterious gods and now we do it to appease 2nd amendment jerks.
Hedges seems to want to preserve some foggy garbage from religious pursuit as if it would be completely lost under humanist efforts. He seems to think the transcendent is exclusively religious and in that he places love, beauty, alienation, loneliness, suffering, good, evil and the reality of death. He believes those are in the domain of religion however that's not to say they aren't in other domains as well. He seems to think that all morality would be lost should religion be tossed in the waste bin of human history. That's dubious.
His biggest beef seems to be against militarism and corporate power being destructive as if the new atheists are to blame for that. I guess he missed the fact that the most militarized nation with the largest corporations is an outlier among the developed nations in that it is the most religious.
Perhaps he should write under the name Cassandra Hedges?
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