I’ve heard this accusation just enough to make me think twice about going to atheist get-togethers: that we’re creating our own self-righteous cult of single-minded followers of our own dogma.
I’ve thought twice about it, and decided this argument is utter bullshit.
It’s another fallacy I’m fond of, that I’ve seen more often as I’ve argued with people who can’t back their own position. By the definition on [link here] it’s called “Tu Quoque”, literally meaning “you too”.
PZ Myers has a good spiel on this lame argument:
I think it is an indictment of the pernicious influence of religion that it has so thoroughly undermined the whole notion of a social community that when secular people with purely secular motives engage in community building, normally rational people gasp in horror, point, and shriek, “He’s creating a cult!”
Fuck ’em. I’m still going to go see Dawkins (and bring as many friends as I can) at the upcoming Atheists get-together (fixme: need name & details) in Minneapolis, March 21-23 2008.
[update March 17: this probably wasn’t finished, but I’m posting it anyway as I don’t have the time anymore to be the perfectionist I sort of want to be]