Helder Sanches and Neo-Atheism

In Portugal, the neo-atheist movement has two organizations. The Portuguese Atheist Association (AAP) and the Portal Ateu-Movimento Ateísta Português Association (PAMAP). The first is the oldest and the second was created by two former members of it, Hélder Sanches and Ricardo Silvestre.
As for the term “neo-atheism, experience tells me that AAP neo-atheists pretend that it does not exist and it is an expression invented by those who cannot stand that atheists publicly criticize religion. As for PAMAP, the case is different because Ricardo Silvestre’s personal blog, from the time he was a member of the AAP, is precisely called Novo Ateísmo. It is known that the maximum leader of the portal atheists defines himself as an adept of the movement. But most neo-atheists seem to have a hard time admitting that they are. In the impossibility of the members of PAMAP, they denied the existence of neo-atheism as a movement created by atheists, since even its beloved chief assumes himself as a neo-atheist; individuals like Hélder Sanches, neo-atheist to the core, opt for another strategy. The movement exists, it is atheist, but they do not accept to be included in the label.PAMAP then raised a debate of ideas among its members about this new atheism, as if only a few of them were supporters of the movement. Hélder Sanches says that the pillars of neo-atheism, according to its defenders, are these :

1. The existence of increasingly strong scientific arguments in the fight against the false premises of religions.
2. A clear “enough” in relation to the perks and ancestral modesty with which societies, namely the western one, publicly treats religion.

3. heldersanches

However, he considers that it is not appropriate to call this a new atheism, because the only difference is that nowadays these two points can be spread more effectively, with the internet and its social networks. He goes on and seeks anti-religious quotes from intellectuals of past centuries, to demonstrate that neo-atheism is nothing new.The problem with Hélder Sanches is that even the critics of the neo-atheist movement as such have never denied the movement’s historical and ideological roots. For example, we know that the slogan “Imagine No Religion “is used by today’s neo-atheists, but it was written by atheist John Lennon, when the neo-atheist movement did not exist. The” Flying Teapot “bullshit”, which neo-atheists use as if it were a philosophical argument, was invented by atheist Bertrand Russell, long before the current neo-atheist movement arose. The idea that atheism makes people happier and that the end of religion will be a decisive step towards the salvation of mankind, has been promoted and fiercely applied in France, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Cuba, China, Vietnam, North Korea, etc., etc.; over the last centuries (quite the last), much before 2001. The year in which certain propaganda intellectuals took advantage of the emotion caused by 9/11 to generalize the danger of Islamic radicalism as “the danger of religion”.

In short, the psychopathy of the atheistic revolutionary mentality (atheism for a better world: there is no objective meaning for existence, but atheism is the path to happiness), it was certainly not invented by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Denett or Cristopher Hitchens . So what is neo-atheism?

A revolutionary movement that has identifiable ideological and historical roots (Enlightenment), and that is a massive resurgence of this fanatical, scientific anti-religious discourse, with a new organization and strategy focused on one objective: to eliminate religion from public space. It was the atheists who created the movement who classified it as neo-atheism (see Victor Stenger’s book with that title). Neo-atheism is “new” because it is a new attempt to impose atheism and ban religion from public space, through the power of the state . It is known that there were several militant groups of this kind, the current campaign is one more. Olavo de Carvalho quote on the books of the four mules mentioned above:

“When four books by famous authors are published almost at the same time, defending substantially identical opinions by means of the same argumentative technique, it is obvious that we are not facing a festival of coincidences, but of a campaign aimed at continuing through increasingly comprehensive means. and achieving much more substantive results than the advertising frisson of a moment. If, in addition, this effort comes together with legal measures taken in several countries to give immediate practical realization to the same objective that the books propose as ideal and desirable – expel the religion of public life – so it is clear that the purpose of these works is not to put anything under discussion, it is not even to persuade, it is just to legitimize the imposition of power through a camouflage of public debate “

It is curious to see Hélder Sanches criticizing neo-atheism in order to try to distinguish it, using the slogans and rhetoric promoted by neo-atheism for this purpose. Remember when communists call communists seen as too leftist. As if they were not all radically leftist. Says Sanches:

“many of the protagonists of New Atheism have an attitude of opposition to religions and their influence on society that goes far beyond what can be considered, however much goodwill one has, of atheism.”

Curious. Is Hélder Sanches a tolerant atheist who boils some water in his comrades’ anti-religious delirium?

“Note that I consider this posture to be quite legitimate, I just consider that it is not innate to atheism and, as such, it should not be a pretext for fictitious designations that only serve propagandist actions and add little in terms of promotion and deepening. of the interests of atheism as a philosophy of life. “

Unfortunately not. Hélder Sanches is only concerned with labels: try to ban religion from public space at will, don’t say it has something to do with atheism.
There is a contradiction between this speech and the fact that it has its name associated with the Portal Ateu, in which 99% of the texts are about religion. What will be atheism as a philosophy of life? According to the editorial line followed by Portal Ateu, of which Sanches was the creator and is an administrator; it seems to criticize the influence of religion on society. Furthermore, in the objectives of the association he created with his comrade Silvestre we can read that one of the purposes is:

“annul the influence of superstition and the supernatural in society”

Detail: for the atheist Hélder Sanches, religion is synonymous with superstition.
Therefore, how can the individual who creates an association called the Portuguese “Atheist” Movement, and who signs below the annulment of the influence of superstition in society as an objective of the organization; criticize those who call atheism the combat that he also considers the aim of atheism? In this attempt to demarcate himself from neo-atheism, Hélder Sanches shot more boots:

“On the other hand, it seems to me inglorious the effort necessary to combat religion by meeting its premises, seeking to deny infinite versions of gods or to unmask infinite hypocrisies of religions. Inglorious in the sense that the energies and resources spent are almost always inconsequential. If we consider religions to be an irrational way of understanding reality, then what is the point of trying to be rational with religion itself? There is, it seems clear to me, something in the fabric of the religious norm that does not allow it to be subject to the scrutiny of reason. . ”

I ask again: if Hélder Sanches thinks anyway, what is the reason for him to be part of the Portal Ateu, with the editorial line fanatically concerned with the known religion, and of PAMAP, an association classified as “atheistic” and whose objective is nullify the influence of religion on society?
The justification he gives, “religious norm does not allow scrutiny of reason because it is irrational” , does not differ at all from the speech of Dawkins, Harris, Dennett or Hitchens. Just read your books, and we will see that Hélder Sanches is in agreement with them. Sanches also shares a huge contradiction with the four most famous and committed neo-atheists. They all argue that religion is immune to reason. The quote from the character “House”, “if it were possible to debate rationally with religious, there would be no religious “, it is in everything that is neo-atheistic site. Even in Richard Dawkins. But then:

-Dawkins writes in the introduction of” Deus, um Delírio “, that if the book run as he hopes, in the end the religious reader will have ceased to be.

-Denett writes “Breaking the Spell”, in which the spellcasters defined as targets of Dennett’s white magic are the religious.

-Sam Harris guarantees that atheism is a shortcut to happiness –

Hélder Sanches publishes an open letter to believers on Portal Atteu , with a sermon composed of requests to religious to abandon their way of life and enter the path of happiness: the renegade of religion.

Once again, Hélder Sanches according to the neo-atheistic discourse and contradiction: religion is immune to reason, but we will try to convert the religious (the majority of the population) to atheism, sold as the path of happiness.

Hélder Sanches is a neo-atheist. Otherwise, why would you have created an atheistic association? The existence of atheistic associations is encouraged by neo-atheistic leaders. Get out of the closet, speak up, get organized. Who has never heard such slogans?
Hélder Sanches’ association is a member of an international atheist organization . What is the need for atheistic federations? Aren’t atheists, say neo-atheists, free thinkers?
It is quite obvious that Hélder Sanches is an activist for atheism as a political movement for a better world. He rolled up his sleeves and responded to the call of the neo-atheists who founded this new movement, according to which it is necessary for atheists to organize and publicly manifest against religion.
Hélder Sanches argues that religion should be banned from public space, but does not want to be called a neo-atheist? For him, the person who believes in God has two responsibilities: :“to make the compromises with the same faith, on the one hand, and to live that faith in your privacy or local (temple) appropriate.”

Ban religion from public space. This is the aim of neo-atheism, a new wave of fanatical anti-religion. A movement with tactics, strategies and defined objectives. Portal Atteu responded to the appeal. All its members are neo-atheists. They join the cause to combat the influence of religion on society. No atheist needs to join atheistic associations to defend that God does not exist. It would just need arguments.

The website and association Portal Ateu are not spaces for pro-atheistic philosophical gatherings. Philosophy clubs do not accept any individual, just because he claims to be a fan of the current advocated or debated there. The Atheist Portal, accepts. A serious philosophy club, it has minimum intellectual and academic requirements. The Atheist Portal does not have one. You don’t believe in God, you don’t like the influence of religion on society; join the cause. The Atheist Portal boils down to this. They are atheists, but at no time have they managed, even tried, to demonstrate that God does not exist. There is no philosophy there, there is anti-religious activism. Hélder Sanches’s fanatically anti-religious stance, his total adherence to neo-atheism, can be confirmed with two more examples:

-Composes a song to insult those who believe in God as ignorant people who believe in an imaginary friend. He says it’s an atheistic song .

– Distills your hatred and veiled threats when a crowd of people exercise the right to participate in a religious event on the public road.

Of course, he is not interested in atheism, in proving that God does not exist. He wants to publicly humiliate and ridicule those who believe in God and to act as if the state, the street and society are the property of atheists, with the religious being obliged to manifest their faith and principles only in private. Furthermore, his scientific discourse is the copy of stooges like Dawkins and company. Even if we did not have this devastating evidence that Hélder Sanches is a neo-atheist; his implicit bullshit that he intends to defend atheism as a philosophy would also not stick. He is ignorant when it comes to the philosophy of science and religion. Sanches and sus muchachos imagine that there are scientific arguments against the premises of religions. I would love to see you try to demonstrate that …