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As an agnostic/atheist for many, many years, I've been shocked and saddened by this new, extremist breed. They understand very little about the texts they criticize, (The Bible condones rape!) have no sense of history (If it weren't for religion, we'd all have flying cars!) and all the while, holding themselves out as intellectually superior.
It got so annoying, I actually started my own FB Page, "Atheists to Zygotes", (semi-shameless plug) just to try to open a dialogue with those of all beliefs and non-beliefs.
Neither side are the demons we like to portray them as(although they do have a few hiding in their midst)and if we are unable to have respect, tolerance and understanding of our fellow humans, we aren't going to progress very far, are we?
And you're right...Hitchens and Dawkins are terrible representatives. Dawkins may be a fine evolutionary biologist, but he knows nothing about history or theology.
And Hitchens? What can you say about a guy who went to his grave believing the war in Iraq was justified, and that WMD's DID exist?
Civility is a great goal but it is a pretty low bar. We can do a lot better.
Keep accommodation, humility, and goodness in mind to have better discussions.
Being nice needs to be fashionable again if we want to live in a better world.
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