The more I see from Peter Boghossian, the less I like him. From his ridiculous argument that “being published in the philosophy of religion should disqualify one from sitting at the adult table” to his equally ridiculous “street epistemology,” he strikes me as exactly the kind of atheist leader we don’t want. And here’s his latest bit of inanity:
I’ve never understood how someone could be proud of being gay. How can one be proud of something one didn’t work for?
This is a good example of a claim that is both technically true and spectacularly misses the point at the same time. Technically, he’s right. I’ve argued for a long time that the idea of being proud of things one didn’t actually do is silly — proud to be an American, proud that the football team you root for won the Super Bowl, and so forth.
But that obviously is not what is meant when one says they’re proud of being gay. It means the same thing that was meant when James Brown sang “Say it out loud, I’m black and I’m proud.” When the dominant culture says you should be ashamed of something, asserting one’s pride in that something is an act of defiance. And one can justifiably take pride in having stood strong against that bigotry to become a happy person in spite of being deluged with messages that they should be miserable and unhappy.He also recently pulled a “Dear Muslima” in response to concerns over women’s rights in America:
Yes yes, women are put in sacks and beaten, but that’s no better or worse than in the US where women make less than men.
First of all, it’s a ridiculous straw man. Who actually says that women are as badly mistreated in the United States as they are in, say, Pakistan? No one does. Secondly, so what? Should we stop fighting against inequality here because it’s worse somewhere else? That’s just plain fucking stupid. And lastly, I don’t remember seeing Boghossian saying to Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer and other atheist leaders who complained about “witch hunts” and “inquisitions” and “Stalinist purges” when they were criticized that they have no cause to complain because there are actual victims of those things around the world. As usual, the “logic” applies only to those fighting against sexism.
Frankly, I’ve come to the conclusion that Peter Boghossian is just an asshole with approximately zero credibility.