Monday, July 11, 2011

Atheists Value Diversity

"...It's a good idea to have somebody from the political right who is an atheist because otherwise there is a confusion of values which doesn't help us. It's much better to have this diversity in other areas."

- Richard Dawkins

3 comments:

aphaniptera said...

One could argue that all or most of the people seated at that table lean toward the political right, though it's doubtful that any of them would admit as much.

Michael Caton said...

I might agree for two of them. For Harris you could make a case for nuanced libertarianism. Hitchens maintains an unreconstructed pro-Iraq-War stance and his statement in that very video about the 82nd Airborne further suggests he's well along in the transformation that so many elder ex-Trotskyists undertake, but I think he's too iconoclastic ever to have made it all the way to full neocon (as in the Kristols, among others). For the other two I would disagree. Dennett's self-description as an ACLU liberal seems about right, and Dawkins seems centrist at his right-most by U.K. standards, left-leaning by U.S.

For more right-leaning atheists in the U.S., we have Shermer, Penn Jillette, and John Derbyshire, not to mention the late Grand Dame Ms. Rand. But the important point is that the whole idea of political debate and right vs. left would have been unthinkable in the pre-secular era when God told everyone which family of warriors we had to obey.

Anonymous said...

The interesting thing about the godless right and left is: Can they disagree and still work together?

Can they base their arguments on facts and experiments rather than rhetoric and dogma? If so, they should be able to not only compromise to move forward, but develop policy that includes measurement and testing to determine if it works or not.