Par for the course

PZ is shocked, shocked that a prominent atheist calls for committing genocide:

Basically, what Hitchens was proposing is genocide. Or, at least, wholesale execution of the population of the Moslem world until they are sufficiently cowed and frightened and depleted that they are unable to resist us in any way, ever again.

This is insane….

This whole last third of his talk had me concerned about the first part. He had just told us in strong terms about the failures of religion and its detrimental effect on our culture, and now he was explaining to us how the solution in the Middle East was to simply kill everyone who disagreed with you. He didn’t relate the two parts of his talk, which was unfortunate. I’d like to know whether he thinks the way atheists ought to end religion in America is to start shooting Baptists, or whether he sees other ways to educate and enlighten … in which case I wonder why he doesn’t see any virtue in applying those same methods to Islam. I didn’t ask the question since the line for the microphone was long, and I had a depressing feeling that the solution would involve sending the Baptists over to Iraq to kill and be killed….

But while I agree with his goal of working towards a rational, secular world, a triumph of enlightenment values, I disagree entirely with his proposed strategy, which seems to involve putting a bullet through every god-haunted brain. To have a clearly stated position to which we can respond with clearly stated opposition is actually a kind of gift.

Atheists interested in politics and power always end up wanting to kill everyone. This is hardly the first, or even the fortieth time this has happened. It’s not only not new, it’s entirely predictable. Hey, it’s all just rearranging atoms anyhow, right?

If I can borrow Sam Harris’s amusing little formulation, PZ should know that the way he is now regarding Hitchens is exactly the way that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, most theists and more than a few agnostics regard PZ and the rest of his fellow atheists.