This article was cross-posted from Poligazette.

In the past, I’ve written about ‘militant atheists,” or those type of atheists who spend their time ridiculing and disrespecting believers for their beliefs.  But, I’ve also taken pains to point out that not all atheists are this way.  Not all of them going around laughing at Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. for belief in a deity.  Some are content to “live and let live.”  Freddie DeBoer, an atheist of the non-militant flavor, ponders the motives behind his more vocal comrades:

I’m left with three possibilities when I consider the atheism of disrespect. Either people like Richard Dawkins, PZ Meyers, Bill Maher, and assorted don’t know that the way they are confronting these issues is disrespectful, in which case they are tone deaf to a frankly absurd degree; or they think that, tactically, the way to get the kind of change they say they want is to ridicule people into believing as they do, in which case they have a dramatically underdeveloped understanding of human psychology and sociology; or they are more interested in producing ridicule than in producing change.

Freddie goes on to say that he really would like to wish that the third choice wasn’t reality.  But, I doubt number one is, since people like Dawkins are far too smart to be unaware of what they’re doing.

(H/T Andrew Sullivan)