Among the intellectual classes of Dead Britain, atheism is not just prevalent, and it is not just dominant; it is required.

I just came upon a remarkable comment from a British reader in the 2008 thread, “Replying to Richard Lynn’s argument that higher-IQ people are atheists.” I had said that “Britain today is the world’s capital of atheism.” To which the reader, Simon N., replied:

… I think you are correct. As an academic I can say that in my experience there is certainly a lot of pressure to be an atheist. Personally I am actually an atheist (albeit culturally Protestant, like Lynn), having been raised an atheist by my atheist academic parents. But with my Ulster accent, fellow academics are often suspicious that I might be a dreaded Ulster Protestant, until I make my atheism clear. I suspect that having been based at the University of Ulster at Coleraine, Lynn has not seen much of the cultural pressure towards atheism that is ubiquitous in UK academia outside Ulster. I grew up on the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, and while many academics were Marxist, there was not the same atheist dominance as there is in the rest of the UK.

To which I replied:

Thank you for this. I began to feel about 15 years ago that the British are a uniquely atheist people, that atheism is dominant in Britain as nowhere else. But I’ve never seen a Briton confirm the point as clearly as you have done here.

- end of initial entry -

Karl D. writes:

Judging from the comments I read at various British news sites, they are not only atheistic but militantly and nastily so. I don’t remember this always being the case. The way they talk about and view believers of any stripe often comes off as almost Nazi-like. And I don’t throw that word around casually. It is quite frightening at times.

Thomas Bertonneau writes:

The liberal view of religious conviction has always been a nasty stereotype. According to the cliché, a believer is someone who never ceases to broadcast his convictions, who only superciliously tolerates competing convictions, and who assumes that all intelligent people think the way he does. (He takes it for granted that he is an intelligent person.) Not that there are no such people—we have probably all run into a specimen or two. Generally, however, individuals secure in their belief feel little need to advertise it ostentatiously.

Atheism on the other hand strikes me as the actual incarnation (pardoning the term) of the false liberal view of religious conviction. It never shuts up about itself; it seems to follow a compulsion to blurt itself out. It is supercilious and presumptuous about itself. I meet many such “evangelical atheists” in the social context of academia and I have come to expect two things from them. One, atheists announce their atheism even when there is no reason in the conversation for them to do so. Two, atheists invariably, after affirming their atheism, describe themselves as spiritual people. (“I consider myself a deeply spiritual person.”) I might add that in my observation atheism is extraordinarily conformist in its tendencies. Once a person announces his atheism, most of the remainder of his beliefs becomes predictable.

All of this is consistent with the view that liberals project their own grumpiness and limitations on other people.

LA replies:

My impression is that the predominant belief among atheists about believers is that believers “think they know the truth, and they want to impose their beliefs on others,” and that this belief among believers is the greatest single threat facing society.

However, I’ve never heard an atheist say of believers, that believers think that they are very intelligent and that all intelligent people are believers.

March 8

JC in Houston writes:

How ironic that this militantly atheist Britain is totally supine and powerless when it comes to standing up to the most fanatical of all religions, Islam. In a few more decades Britain will be religious again, just not the way the intellectuals anticipate.

LA replies:

Great point. But it just goes to show that the real tendency and aim of British atheism is not to reject theism per se, but to destroy Western theism and Western civilization. The British atheists accomplish this task as insiders of British society; the Muslims they’ve invited into Britain accomplish it as outsiders of British society. The British atheists and the Muslims are allies in the destruction of Britain and the West.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 07, 2012 12:54 PM | Send

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