What he said:

I think the atheist dickhead phenomenon is about at this level of discussion right now. It’s no longer about God, it’s about “others.” It’s about the purity of your unbelief, measured not against any philosophical standard or line of argument but about finding religious believers septic and converting polite unbelievers to the more radical view that religion runs from noxious to poisonous, not from good to bad. It’s also about your solidarity with others who share your radical unbelief and how you measure the attitudes and intentions of other members of the tribe.

Of Atheist Tribes
R. Joseph Hoffman

4 comments on “What he said:

  1. Taken out of context of the post, I think it misrepresents the point of the post which was to highlight a small fringe of atheism, as represented by particular previously mentioned groups. The post does not accuse all atheists of tribalism.

  2. There’s a reason I provided a link to the original post, so that the quote I selected could be read in its full context. Typically when quoting someone, you do not include the entirety of what was said.

    You’ve read too much into my post if you think I’m branding all atheists as being tribalist. There’s no need to get defensive — I put the quote on my blog in order to throw out a new idea that’s being tossed out in the atheist blogosphere.

    I think Hoffman may be onto something in labeling this phenomenon among some atheists as tribalism. It sure beats the label “fundamentalist,” anyway.

  3. I appreciate your reply thank you. You’re right about Joseph Hoffmann – he is astutely aware of the state of affairs especially in America where there are as many hostile anti religious atheists as there are thoughtful atheists who don’t believe in God. He makes that distinction frequently and I am grateful that you provided the link to his post and blog. I think my defensiveness was aroused because of another commenter who did misinterpret the post and I’m sorry about that ;-). Tribalism is probably a better term than fundamentalism, although I have adopted the too facetious ‘fungusmentalist’ to describe the atheists I want to distance myself from. Yes, tribalism works better.

  4. No worries, Steph! :)

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