Difference between revisions of "Atheist intolerance"

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==Overview==
 
==Overview==
 
[[category:troll phrases]][[Atheist intolerance]] is an [[anti-atheism]] [[troll phrase]]. It [[claim-smuggling|smuggles in the claim]] that [[atheist]]s are [[social intolerance|intolerant]] of non-atheists, i.e. [[religious]] people and [[agnostic]]s.  
 
[[category:troll phrases]][[Atheist intolerance]] is an [[anti-atheism]] [[troll phrase]]. It [[claim-smuggling|smuggles in the claim]] that [[atheist]]s are [[social intolerance|intolerant]] of non-atheists, i.e. [[religious]] people and [[agnostic]]s.  
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===Analysis===
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Intolerance involves a refusal or failure to examine other ideas to look for merits. Atheism is based on principles which naturally give rise to inquiry, investigation, and open-mindedness. Those who claim "atheist intolerance" tend to be advocates of religious [[ideological protectionism]], which they see as threatened by atheist inquiry. They are themselves advocating intolerance when they use the claim of "intolerance" to suppress this inquiry.
  
This claim is erroneous.
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Also, although atheists have become increasingly [[organized atheism|organized]] in the past few years, atheism is not a centrally-organized entity – so it doesn't make sense to speak of them as if they were unified in any attitude other than the definitional one, i.e. not believing in [[God]](s). Some individual atheists may be intolerant in some ways, but that would generally be ''counter'' to the principles upon which atheism rests, rather than an indictment of atheism itself.
* Intolerance involves a refusal to examine other ideas to look for merits; atheists take great pains (and often display great relish) in examining religion in detail, and frequently observe that religion is not without merit.
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===Misuse===
* Atheists are not, ''per se'', an [[organized atheism|organized group]], so it doesn't make sense to speak of them as if they were unified in any attitude other than the definitional one, i.e. not believing in [[God]](s). Some individual atheists may be intolerant, but it's not an essential part of being an atheist.
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It is true that atheists are, generally speaking, intolerant of a number of things:
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* stupid ideas
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* sloppy thinking
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* arguments which depend on [[logical fallacy]] or [[rhetorical deception]], i.e. are dishonest
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* ''any'' form of dishonesty
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* religion in general, due to the many problems with it:
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** really bad ideas being defended solely on the basis of religion
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** evil committed in the name of religion
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** religious advocacy which claims that [[morality requires religion]]
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** religious advocates who claim that ''their'' religion is the only ''true'' source of morality
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** religious people who say insane things...
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** ...which are taken seriously...
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** ...because they are religious
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Refusing to tolerate demonstrably bad ideas or the people who promote those ideas is not, however, what is usually meant by [[social intolerance|intolerance]]. "Intolerance" is seen as a bad thing because of the ''refusal to examine'' and ''refusal to see the good'' (throwing out the baby with the bath water); this is a very different thing from considered and specific criticism.
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===Conclusion===
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This is a [[troll phrase]] due to its dishonest [[claim-smuggling]], its conceptual inversion (atheism is innately more tolerant than religion), and its slippery misuse of the word "intolerance".

Latest revision as of 17:19, 26 January 2011

Overview

Atheist intolerance is an anti-atheism troll phrase. It smuggles in the claim that atheists are intolerant of non-atheists, i.e. religious people and agnostics.

Analysis

Intolerance involves a refusal or failure to examine other ideas to look for merits. Atheism is based on principles which naturally give rise to inquiry, investigation, and open-mindedness. Those who claim "atheist intolerance" tend to be advocates of religious ideological protectionism, which they see as threatened by atheist inquiry. They are themselves advocating intolerance when they use the claim of "intolerance" to suppress this inquiry.

Also, although atheists have become increasingly organized in the past few years, atheism is not a centrally-organized entity – so it doesn't make sense to speak of them as if they were unified in any attitude other than the definitional one, i.e. not believing in God(s). Some individual atheists may be intolerant in some ways, but that would generally be counter to the principles upon which atheism rests, rather than an indictment of atheism itself.

Misuse

It is true that atheists are, generally speaking, intolerant of a number of things:

  • stupid ideas
  • sloppy thinking
  • arguments which depend on logical fallacy or rhetorical deception, i.e. are dishonest
  • any form of dishonesty
  • religion in general, due to the many problems with it:
    • really bad ideas being defended solely on the basis of religion
    • evil committed in the name of religion
    • religious advocacy which claims that morality requires religion
    • religious advocates who claim that their religion is the only true source of morality
    • religious people who say insane things...
    • ...which are taken seriously...
    • ...because they are religious

Refusing to tolerate demonstrably bad ideas or the people who promote those ideas is not, however, what is usually meant by intolerance. "Intolerance" is seen as a bad thing because of the refusal to examine and refusal to see the good (throwing out the baby with the bath water); this is a very different thing from considered and specific criticism.

Conclusion

This is a troll phrase due to its dishonest claim-smuggling, its conceptual inversion (atheism is innately more tolerant than religion), and its slippery misuse of the word "intolerance".