Recently this article appeared in the Guardian which appears to be accusing Hitchens, Dawkins, etctera of wanting to take away the liberty of freedom of religion and, therefore, not being liberals.
Russell Blackford has a great response here but as it is something that people could potentially accuse the Atheist movement in general of, I thought I’d sum up Terry Eagleton’s error in one sentence:
In all his fancy wording about the “liberal state” he makes it clear that his flawed assumption is that Atheists want to make our beliefs about the harmfulness of religion public policy.
Well, he’s right insofar as we want a secular state in which religious beliefs which require “faith” don’t form public policy. This is for a good reason. We shape our morality around our perception of reality. If your morality is shaped around something that can’t be empirically demonstrated to people who don’t share that faith (i.e. God told me that gay marriage is wrong), then you can’t expect them to form morality around your perception of reality.
Yeah, I’d like there to be more Atheists in the world (at least fewer fundamentalists), but I don’t plan on doing that by taking public office and banning religion (although I may tax churches). I plan on doing that by the less effective, but “liberally” permissible means of free speech through debating Christians, writing blog posts, while others add to Atheist literature.
That’s it. All we want. Tell me about how us Atheists are just-as-bad-as-fundies again? “Militant” rationalists? Western supremacists? kthx