There is a particularly silly debate going on between some of the more heavy-hitting gnu atheists like Jerry Coyne and Russell Blackford, or Ophelia Benson, with a couple of accomodationist clowns, Jean Kazez and Jeremy Stangroom. Btw, I note that PZ Myers has stayed silent on the issue on his blog, which is a bit surprising.
Anyway, I wanted to make a few general remarks on the issues raised. And they won’t deal with objective morality, or error theory of morality, or metaethics.
Jean Kazez argues that the public sphere is not the right place to argue atheism, or to argue that science or religion are incompatible. Because, like, it might get complicated. I disagree, the public sphere is exactly the place to argue these things and to be putting them forward. Because atheism is an issue for “normal” people. But Kazez actually has a point here I think. Prevalence of religious belief is higher among the less educated, poorer, and less socially secured members of society. If we want to get those people to change their minds, or question their beliefs, then discussing metaethics with them is indeed not helpful, while a 14-year old kid making a YT vid deconstructing bible bullshit can be a highly effective tool. I don’t really want to say anything about Kazez’ pathetic “Emperor’s Gnu Clothes” story, other than that it is extremely embarrassing.
To Jeremy Stangroom, who as linked to above, has now started to go over everything any public atheist has ever said with a fine comb to look for evidence of “incivility”, I have only one thing to say : You Sir, are a pathetic loser. Feel free to quote me, on your sad excuse for a blog, that doesn’t allow comments.
I would like Mr Stangroom to look into how many people accomodationist losers like himself and, say, Chris Mooney, have ever deconverted, or at least encouraged to examine their beliefs, as compared to rude uncivil gnus like for example Richard Dawkins. Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we only had this debate, and the steep rise in people declaring themselves as atheists, organising themselves in secular and atheist organisations, and coming out openly in their rejection of gods and religion, ever since we stopped being nice and accomodating to religionists, and put our thoughts in books, blog posts, and newspaper articles ?
Here’s the thing Stangroom, Kazez, and all the other accomodationists just don’t seem to get. Even if you cite me a million examples of when Dawkins has made a rude remark to someone, that does not change the truth value of his claims one iota. Still no gods. To have a point with his search for examples of gnu incivility, Stangroom would have to show that at least one child, in one school classroom in country X, refused to accept evolution because of something uncivil that a gnu atheist said at any point in time.
And you get a rough idea about who the religionists perceive as most threatening to their power and privileges, when you look at who they are criticising and attacking most. Hint : It’s not Chris Mooney, or Jeremy Stangroom.
- "If we go back to the beginnings of things, we shall always find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that imagination, rapture and deception embellished them; that weakness worships them; that custom spares them; and that tyranny favors them in order to profit from the blindness of men."-- Baron d'Holbach
- What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. -- Christopher Hitchens
- None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me. -- Rorschach
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