On Sam Harris on the Chapel Hill murders


In the audio post linked above, Sam Harris addresses the accusation that he and other ”new atheists” are somehow responsible for the Chapel Hill murders.  He points out some of the same things that I have but perhaps more eloquently.  There is nothing inherent in atheism that should lead anyone to commit such atrocities.  There are no atheist “holy books” at all and nothing in the works of any well-known “new atheist” thinkers that should reasonably be seen as promoting murder.  Atheism differs significantly from the major monotheistic religions in that respect.

When we point out a connection between Islamic teaching and the atrocities committed by Islamist extremists who are shouting “Allahu Ackbar!” as they commit their crimes but deny a connection between “new atheism” and an apparent fan of “new atheism” who commits horrible murders, various religious apologists accuse us of hypocrisy.  This accusation is simply dishonest.  Read the Qur’an or the Old Testament and then read anything by, say, Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris (their works aren’t “holy” by any stretch of the imagination but they’re prominent).  I guarantee that you will be able to find passages in the Qur’an and the Old Testament that can easily be seen as promoting murder but you will not find any such thing in Dawkins or Harris.

As Harris mentions, it’s almost as if religious apologists had been just waiting for some random atheist to do something horrible so they could finally have their turn.  We atheists have nothing to be ashamed of.  Atheism has no murderous doctrine, unlike all three of the Abrahamic cults and their many sub-cults.

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