This is a guest post written by Steve Neumann. Neumann is a writer, teacher, and philosophile.
We know that crows are very smart birds. And we know that they need to eat to survive, obviously. But when a crow plucks a helpless chick from a robin’s nest and carries it away as lunch, we condemn him for doing so — we feel repulsed. However, when a crow figures out that dropping heavy cubes into a narrow jar raises the level of water inside so he can get a worm to eat, we praise him and call him a genius — we even admire him.
For me, the New Atheism in America has become like that first crow, going after the easiest prey. That’s why I recently wrote an article for Salon called “Cut it out, atheists! Why it’s time to stop behaving like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins.” In it, I issue what I call “The Atheist Positivity Challenge,” the purpose of which is to “draw attention to two things: The fact that gloating about the lunacy and misdeeds of specific Christians is not only unnecessary, but probably counterproductive; and the need to rehabilitate the reputation of atheism in America.”