There's been plenty of discussion here about Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists. By calling himself a street epistemologist, he focuses not so much on the non/existence of "god" as on broader questions of "how can we reliably acquire knowledge?" and "what makes beliefs justified or not?" He emphasizes the Socratic method of asking questions to guide people to their own doubts (or conclusions).
A few places where you might want to join the discussion:
"A manual for creating atheists": useful even if you aren't anti-th... (blog post) [I agree! And interlibrary loan is a great thing!]
Peter Boghossian looks at the word "faith". (blog post)
Eradicating the Faith Virus - A Conversation with Peter Boghossian (video with discussion)
Peter Boghossian (group)
When one in-group talks bad about people in a competing group. it often reflects poorly on the people in the in-group. When Muslims talk about Jews, it often makes Muslims look bad. When evangelical Christians talk about gays, it makes the evangelicals look bad. When men talk bad about women, it makes men look bad. So what about when atheists talk bad about believers?
It depends. When the fundie Christians are talking about the gay people, are they directly responding to something that the gay people said? When the Muslims talk about Jews, are they directly responding to something that the Jews said?
Plus, when we talk about the fundies, the fundies will generally agree with the basics. We'll disagree with them about how stupid the basic concept of religious faith is, but they'll agree with most things we say about them, before that point. We'll offer an opinion about the concept of believing in a Bronze Age text, over the discoveries of modern science, but they'll agree on our summation of their basic stance.
Hell, up recently, they would agree with us that they're opposed to basic science education. The attempted co-optation of science for their non-science bullshit is very recent in its inception.
In every in-group, the people think that their criticisms of outsiders are fair. If atheists think that their criticisms of believers are fair, that doesn't set us apart from all the other people criticizing people outside their in-groups.
Note the conditionals I placed on my statements, though. Within a certain scope, our criticisms are more fair than theirs.
When it comes to religious matters, atheists (at least the ones I hang out with) are far more educated about the opposition position than those who hold the opposition position are of ours. Most of us came from the opposition position, before breaking out of our childhood brainwashing. We know the ins and outs of the Christian position, while the reverse becomes obviously false, the moment that most Christians open their mouths to describe the atheist position.
Look at the polls on the subject: http://www.pewforum.org/2010/09/28/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey/
Atheists know a lot about religious stuff, because we're surrounded by the crap. On average, we've apparently studied the subject a lot more than the religious have ... thus leading to our atheism. Our criticisms of religious outsiders are more fair than in most examples, because we're more knowledgeable of the outsiders than in the other pairings you've mentioned.
So, in effect, your statement is inaccurate, when it's been demonstrated that what other in-groups think of themselves is actually the case, with us. That sets us apart from all of the other people who criticize people outside of their in-groups.
Every in-group thinks that they're the special ones whose criticisms of outsiders are fair. Us included, apparently.
Are you actually reading what I'm typing?
I guess he thinks that once you become an atheist you magically forget what it was like to be a theist.
I dunno. I'm still waiting for him to address anything that I typed. I can't guess which angle he's approaching it from, when he won't engage in the slightest. He has to explain why he thinks my points aren't valid.
I can't say that I was ever actually a theist, but I had 18 years of the brainwashing, even if it was ineffective. Plus, I've done a huge amount of research since breaking away.
Yea, I've been reading what you've been typing. It looks as though you and I have each expressed ourselves clearly. It's no surprise that people have differences of opinion. The important thing is that we can all get along despite our different viewpoints, right?
You haven't expressed anything beyond the vaguest of nay-saying, though. Your basic statement seems like a complete dismissal of the idea that any group should be allowed to criticize any other group, and I would like to see you justify it. I already explained why your comparisons to fundies bashing gays and Muslims bashing Jews aren't apt.