Greta Christina says that when Sam Harris wrote about the myths and truths of atheism a couple years ago, he spent a lot of time attacking religion.
Don’t get me wrong — I think religion deserves criticism. But here, I think it’s inappropriate. If you’re writing a piece saying, “Here’s who we are and why the myths about us are incorrect,” you shouldn’t go off on a “here’s why the rest of you are losers” tangent. It’s not persuasive … and it’s seriously off-topic.
Now, she has created her own list.
My favorite item is this:
7: Atheists are arguing with straw men: they criticize the ugliest, stupidest, most simplistic, most outdated versions of religion and ignore the thoughtful, complex forms of serious modern theology.
First, this isn’t true. Many atheists have read serious theology. I was a religion major in college: OK, 25 years ago, but a lot of it stuck. And I’ve read more since becoming an atheist blogger. As have other atheist writers. But second, and more to the point: So what?
Most atheists don’t give a rat’s ass about religion as it’s practiced by a handful of theologians. We care about religion as it’s widely practiced in the real world. And that includes many versions of religion that are outdated, simplistic, stupid and ugly … and richly deserving of criticism.
You can see the full list here.
(via Greta Christina’s Blog)