New Atheists, explained with a stick figure comic

Via Facebook:

Not really accurate, since it’s not like Sam Harris was the first person ever to refuse to keep quiet about religion. Still funny, though.

  • ‘Tis Himself

    The next picture shows the theist complaining how the “New Atheist” is being all strident and militant and offensive and is persecuting the theist.

  • Sarah

    Well that’s a slap in the face to all the old atheists who faced deadly threats and unrestrained oppression and sacrificed their safety lives and freedom to speak up against power.

    • anteprepro

      Indeed. The term “New Atheists” is an insult. It is incidentally an insult to “Old” atheists, though it was originally only meant to insult the mean, evil “New” atheists for being so different from how theists imagined the admirable and gentle ol’ atheists of yesteryear.

    • M. A. Melby

      Hence the quotes around the names.

      It seems weird to me that “new” is used to describe an atheist who is outspoken about their opposition to religion.

      I think that perhaps many people (especially in the U.S.) just don’t know who the atheists were and what their stances were because their status as atheists has been wiped from the history books and/or they just aren’t talked about.

  • Bronze Dog

    Like many others, I don’t buy into the “old” and “new” dichotomy. Atheists have been speaking up for a long time, and a lot remained quiet because they didn’t have easy outlets for what they wanted to say. I think the big change wasn’t in atheism itself, but in the information age providing easier means to speak up and find other atheists to speak with. If I was born a hundred years ago, about the only marks I’d leave would be some correspondence letters almost no one would read and maybe, if I got ambitious, a small book publication that didn’t sell very well. Today, however, I can leave my mark with a blog of my own as well as comment on other people’s blogs.

    As for the political activism, I’d say we’re emboldened because we have easy access to other atheist’s output. Knowing that there are lots of other atheists out there is a lot more encouraging than being worried that you’re the only one in town. The march of technology has given us more ways to offer emotional and moral support to each other.

    In short, the comic’s almost right. The big change is that the everyman atheist has the technological means and emotional support to speak their minds and fight for their rights, not just the academic and charismatic giants.

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