People Are the Problem and They Pretty Much Always Will Be


Today PZ Myers ruminates about the problems he has with the atheist movement here in the US, much of which, from my point of view, boils down to “the problem is that there are people in it.”

Which, I will hastily note, is not me snarking. People are hierarchical, status-sensitive and in many ways fundamentally conservative creatures. We crave structure, hate disruption and are wary of outsiders and change. And some people are just plain rotten people, and those people are widely distributed. I’m not entirely sure why the atheist movement (and/or the various public examples of it) would be at all different. And given the larger society in which the atheist movement in the US exists, it’s not entirely surprising that things play out as Myers notes:

Too many atheists turn out to be just as shallow as the fervent faithful I rail against. Too many see atheism as another useless…

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2 thoughts on “People Are the Problem and They Pretty Much Always Will Be

  1. What Myers starts to realize after 10 years of writing about atheism was clear to me after watching a couple of Sam Harris videos and having a few discussions in atheist forums. Being an atheist does not automatically make anyone a beacon of reason and tolerance. Perhaps, religion has little to do with those qualities.


    1. Well said. Reason and tolerance are, unfortunately, a challenge on both sides of the belief divide. I know I’ve been disillusioned in recent years with how much doctrinaire thinking there is in movement atheism.


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