One problem with this statement here is (and a lot of people do this these days) the tendency to confuse groups with categories. Atheism is not a community or a belief system, its a position.
Like if we traveled back in time to the days of the debate between heliocentrism and geocentrism, you couldn’t say “I don’t use the label ‘heliocentrist’, I prefer the label ‘sun-centrist’, because I feel like a lot of heliocentrists are bigotted toward geocentrists.”
The debate-position of thinking the sun is at the center of the Solar System is not a ‘community’ or a ‘group’ with a shared identity…criticizing the other position (the Earth is at the center of the Solar SYstem) cannot be a hateful or bigotted endeavor. If I say “Geocentrism is idiocy” and people take offense to that, than WOW, such are fools who invest identity and meaning into stuff thats ridiculous.
This is a RED HERRING. Again, going back to the earlier analogy (Heliocentrism vs. Geocentrism), if the earth is not, in fact at the center of the Solar System, than you are wrong for thinking it is. Maintaining a view that is wrong makes you a MORALLY REPUGNANT PERSON in itself. It is immoral to maintain false views in its self, even if you happen to be a good person otherwise.
If I get a speeding ticket, I can’t do a “Whataboutism” and say I didn’t kill anyone. If I am wrong for believing in shit without evidence to support it, I can’t say that I am not a bad person just because I don’t fuck up in other ways.
If I said that believing the Earth was flat gave me “peace” does that justify me holding that belief? Besides, this confuses SUFFICIENCY with NECESSITY…even if holding the false belief that the Earth is flat good demonstrably give me peace (it is SUFFICIENT to make me happy) does that mean that it is NECESSARY to give me peace (well, it gave one person peace, so I guess maintaining it is necessary…can’t have both worlds where peace is found and round-earth is maintained…nope, one or the other).
I try not to thrive on provoking anyone, though if someone has a belief that is risible non-sense I am going to say it.
As for Sam Harris, you seem to be confusing groups with categories again. I am an ‘atheist’ (small ‘a’, it describes a particular position I hold, and doesn’t define other aspects of me) not an ‘Neo-Atheist’ (note capital ‘A’, which is a philosophy, that includes many propositions, only one of which is little-a atheism). I can be one without the other.