I think the article riled you up and clouded your judgment.

I'm an atheist.

Rather than overgeneralizing about atheism, the article distinguishes between several kinds of atheism, including old and new atheism, and between the idols of secular humanists.

Rather than strawmanning those idols, this article is the first in a series that deals with each in turn (human nature, reason, power, pleasure, and art).

I have no problem with mocking exoteric or evangelical theism. I've done so in my writings. But notice that most new atheists are positively aligned with neoliberalism, against which there's been a backlash around the world that's gone along with the Arab Winter.

The problem is as Nietzsche put it over a century ago (and as Yuval Harari reframed it in Homo Deus). Once you demonstrate that God is dead, you still have to supply a worthy way of life to replace the God-centered one. Neoliberalism as a cover for plutocracies ruled by sociopathic bankers doesn't cut it.

So the Washington consensus appears to be broken, with authoritarian populism on the rise, led by the likes of Russia and China. The liberal revolutions in the Arab world were mostly put down by the religious extremists and the militaries. When the leading free country turned to Trumpism, that wasn't a good sign that the values of secular humanism are sustainable.

Ask yourself why the energy of the new atheist movement has been diverted to the opposing movements of the Intellectual Dark Web and Trumpism, on the one hand, and #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, and cancel culture, on the other. Clearly American nontheists are divided along masculine and feminine lines.

If atheists want to end religious institutions that stifle human progress, that will entail precisely the quest for godless honour, for a noble way of life without God, which evidently isn't neoliberalism, authoritarian populism, or French Revolution-style socialist totalitarianism.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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