Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Humanist: The New Atheists are responding to provocation, not mounting an arbitrary attack
"What Mr Dalrymple does not see is that the so-called New Atheists are responding to a provocation, not mounting an arbitrary and uncalled-for attack. Instead of turning a politely blind eye to religion as we all did until recently (when those with religion had the good taste, mainly, to keep quiet about them in return), we have chosen to speak out against the absurdities, distortions and even dangers that the presence of religion in our societies cause. For nearly twenty centuries the religionists have had it their way: what a squealing they put up now that half a dozen "New Atheists" have argued back!

In that squealing I hear hope for the world. It has the sound of desperation, of defeat, of retreat and lost arguments. No doubt the conflict will be long and bloody; look at the historical precedent provided by the Roman Catholic Church when it lost its hegemony over the mind of Europe, and sponsored a century of bitterest war in the struggle to hang on – the Thirty Years War and the preceding Wars of Religion, devouring human beings in their maw from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries."

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