American Atheists Being Disingenuous about Middle East Violence, at Best

Atheist dogma in the U.S. is that religious beliefs are causing the violence in the ME.  That is not physiologically possible — and they know it!

In blaming religion, atheists are guilty of the same anti-intellectual demonizing of their opponents American atheists say they hate in religious actors!?  Predictable.

Take Aways

  • American atheist writers are promoting religion as the cause of violence in the ME
  • But they also accept the evidence of “no free will” in behavior
  • Only one of these perspectives can be true, they are mutually exclusive
  • This demonizing of religious “beliefs” is an obstacle to problem-solving

American atheists are asking us to take reports by violent men that they are behaving violently for religious reasons at face value.  “Prominent” American atheist writers Sam Harris and Jerry Coyne are the main voices marketing the “religious beliefs causes murder” theory.  A new voice has been added: Graeme Wood.  The main outlet for this theory* is The Atlantic.

Demonizing Is Always Good Business and Politics

Let’s first admit that smarmy demonizing of other cultures and religions is the default, and by far the most profitable, media and political strategy going right now. Fair enough.  But factually, claiming religious beliefs cause violence, or any behaviors, is either profoundly unintelligent or false claim.  I say Jerry Coyne and Sam Harris are making contradictory claims..

First, there is the problem that, scientifically, there is no evidence any beliefs cause any behavior. “Beliefs” are really just statements of preference using everyday language. It is an intuitive personal and cultural belief that belief-statements cause behaviors but medical and biological science says – probably not. Maybe what people “say” causes behavior, or maybe it doesn’t. We don’t know for certainty, yet. But, experiments so far say conscious/subjective/verbal are correlated, but not causal, of behaviors.

The latest brain research on animals and humans has uncovered brain processes that cause behavior that occur in millisecond and molecular scales that are well beyond the ability of anyone to either perceive, describe or control consciously. Thus, the experimental, medical evidence of “no free will” has been accumulating for over a decade and is getting stronger.

Atheists Know but Ain’t Telling

American atheists accept the medical facts proving humans, nor any other animal, don’t have any free will.  Harris and Coyne have both written extensively on the evidence and research.

Coyne repeatedly claims that religion is the cause of “malevolent acts” claiming it is “insane” to even think otherwise!  And he’s and evolutionary biologist at University of Chicago.

Sam Harris is also on TV more claiming the Sam.  Graeme Wood echoed these views recently in The Atlantic.

Which one is it?  Either there is no free will, as the medical science proves, or religion/beliefs cause behavior – it can’t be both.

Demonizing Dehumanizes and Kills Problem-Solving

Aside from just the patent contradiction of current American atheist writings on the ME, their ideological screed “takes up all the oxygen in the room” and impoverishes public discourse preventing real problem-solving discussions.

All the talk about religion prevents any other discussion of other possible causes of the violence.  Of course, that is always the role of dogma – drown out any other voices.

Of course, real, evidence-based, problem-solving discussions don’t sell media advertising nor get politicians the donations they need to pay for campaigning, but having truly intelligent conversations about violence in the ME would be a nice change of pace and may help – maybe not.

*Let’s remember, theories need lots of independent, peer-reviewed evidence to be proven true.

About the Author
Elmer Rich is interested in evidence-based problem-solving in professional, business and policy work. With an M.S. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from University of Chicago, he works as a professional marketer and communicator in B2B/technical topics in financial services.
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