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The Westboro Baptists of the New Fundamentalist Atheism!
on 27 December 2013
When I started this book, at first I thought it was a parody. It is so extreme, irrational and arrogant, that I assumed it must be a religious person taking the mickey. But apparently not. Apparently, and disturbingly, Peter Boghossian, really means what he says, and is serious about his proposals. I won't list them all but let it suffice to point out a few of them. Faith should be officially classed as a mental illness and should be eradicated like polio. Atheists should bring up their children as atheists. Churches should not receive charitable status. Don't use facts when debating with people of faith. Universities should inoculate against faith. Christians and other people of faith should be treated like racists.
The author comes across as incredibly arrogant and patronising. Only his way is the right way and everyone who disagrees with his epistemology is either a deluded idiot or evil. The smug, patronising attitude and the attempt to try to evangelise people to his (non?) faith position is reminiscent of the worst kind of fundamentalist religions. One good thing about this book is that it provides empirical evidence for the existence of the NFAs - New Fundamentalist Atheists.
The whole book completely falls apart when Boghossian gives the definition of faith as being believing without evidence or pretending to know things one doesn't know. That is not the normal definition of faith - nor is it the definition of those who claim to have faith. It is the classic strawman argument. He himself is guilty of massive sweeping irrational statements of faith - not least his faith in the powers of his own rationality.
The last book I read that was this bad, illogical and intolerant was Mein Kampf! It really is that bad. (incidentally his attempt to justify calling Hitler a Christian is school boy laughable). And I know already that despite this, those who share the NFA faith will love it! Thats how deep the irrationality and hatred runs...A sad book, which could sadly be a pointer to the shape of things to come....