I don’t agree with what Dawkins retweeted. This website with its platitudes did not make me see a reason to become more accepting when dealing with irrational bigots. The only parts that spoke to me were the point that if you can’t correctly explain someone else’s argument and have it accepted, then you don’t understand it enough to refute it. Active listening is a problem in our society. Of course, theists are bad listeners and very impatient so you will not usually get that far.
The other line I liked from the comments is that “Perfection is the enemy of the good” -Volataire. I take it to mean that we must choose our allies and work for small changes if we are to be progressive, rather than being ideologically pure isolationists/special snowflakes. It’s true I don’t agree with Sam Harris on certain things, while he is clear minded and has insights in others and shouldn’t be shunned simply because he doesn’t fit into a familiar box idealize.
So if I agree with that, then what is the problem you ask? I’ll tell you. Reddit and others tell you to attack ideas and not people. So It’s okay to attack Christianity or Islam but not Christians or Muslims. I question why not?
The two are interwoven. If you are a Christian you subscribe to Christianity.
You will potentially act in ways that hurt me. If an skeptical atheist hears a voice and sees visions telling him to go to an abortion clinic and blow up some doctors, he will dismiss it and get psychiatric help. A Christian might too, but he could potentially think It’s the voice of God. That alone makes Christians a threat. And generally Christians are predictable, irrational bigots, and are relatively lame to hang out with. I feel justified in disliking Christians and attacking them along with Christianity. The only argument that might stay me is that attacking groups of people and/or individuals can sometimes be ineffective or counter-productive.
Moreover. I do not respect their underlying epistemology enough to even respect a difference of opinion as I might with someone who looked at the same set of facts I did, and came to another opinion of politics. That’s just finding a difference of view when there is a margin of doubt. But with Christians their underlying facts are definitely wrong. And if I attack Christianity you will still feel insulted that I don’t respect your core values, and react as though I attacked you personally. Why keep up the pretext of not attacking them? For civility? As Hitchens quipped, “Civility is overrated.”