A was saying that religion is a vast and complex topic and that there was no simple answer about whether it was bad or good. It had done bad and good. And A also pointed out that there are many different religions, not one. B answered that religion was bad. I said: the New Atheists are right, so shut up! I added that "We're right, so shut up!" had worked very well 1600 years ago for the Christians, and that I could only hope that this time around more people would see it coming. B protested: I'm arguing on the basis of history. I said: Oh, on the basis of history! Well, that changes everything! B said that I was above such one-liners.
One-liners. One liners, huh, black-kettle B. A was pointing out that this is a huge and complicated subject. And A was right about that. And I don't think A was arguing on the basis of a Ouija board. There are billions of religious people on this planet, and I am DONE, DONE, DONE lending any support to any people who think something that big can be reduced to 3 words like "Jesus is Lord" or "religion poisons everything." I'm still an atheist, same as I ever was. I still think it would be good if religious belief goes away, and that sooner would be better than later, same as I ever did. But I want no part of black-and-white, religion-bad-atheism-good positions. Fuck all that nonsense. The world is complicated and people are complicated and every judgment about good and bad is subjective. A see a whole lot of grey around religion. And I realize that it's not going to die out this week, or this year.
I think that belief in God is ridiculous. That is not even up for debate with me. No more than it ever was. But I'm not going to take sides in any conflicts based on the religion or lack of it of the people on either side. No more of that for me. I'm out. I was barely ever in that, I was part-way in for a matter of weeks or months before I had a clear idea of what New Atheism was, but I'm out now, out and loud and proud. I love some religious people and I detest some atheists. I don't have a one-category life.
One-liners. Well, B, sometimes you have to try to laugh to keep from crying. And whenever New Atheists, movement atheists, billboard-making atheists, fans of Harris and Hitch, whatever you want to call them, whenever they claim to be the only experts on history around -- no, no. I must re-phrase that -- whenever New Atheists suggest so much as that there are legitimate historians among them, I don't know whether to laugh, cry, shit or go blind.