Home » Atheism, Culture, News » Shhhh. Someone is telling atheist activists to grow up

Shhhh. Someone is telling atheist activists to grow up

Further to a recent post, “More reasons why Dawkins should just retire: No one, it turns out, defends Darwin on the evidence.,” a friend who follows philosopher Massimo Pigliucci’s blog writes to say that his post, “The Community of Reason, a self-assessment and a manifesto,” is a must read on the “Community of Reason” – atheist activists. Here are some attitudes (there’s way more) that he thinks are just out to lunch:

…* Science has established that there is no consciousness or free will (and therefore no moral responsibility). No, it hasn’t, as serious cognitive scientists freely admit. Notice that I am not talking about the possibility that science has something meaningful to say about these topics (it certainly does when it comes to consciousness, and to some extent concerning free will, if we re-conceptualize the latter as the human ability of making decisions). I am talking about the dismissal-cum-certainty attitude that so many in the CoR have so quickly arrived at, despite what can be charitably characterized as a superficial understanding of the issue. …

… A) Anti-intellectualism. This is an attitude of lack of respect for the life of the mind and those who practice it. It may be strange to claim that members — and even some leaders — of the CoR engage in anti-intellectualism, but the evidence is overwhelming. When noted biologists or physicists in the movement dismiss an entire field of intellectual pursuit (philosophy) out of hand they are behaving in an anti-intellectual manner. …

Better still, Pigliucci recommends a startling, novel, unheard-of practice*:

Turn on moderation on all your blogs, this will raise the level of discourse immediately by several orders of magnitude, at the cost of a small inconvenience to you and your readers.

Wot? Troll riddance? Some new atheist blogs will lose 90% of their commenters if they drop the trollbox. On the other hand, they wouldn’t sound so unhinged. Is it worth it?

Somewhere, a troll is bawling up a storm in his cave.

* pioneered at Uncommon Descent.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

4 Responses to Shhhh. Someone is telling atheist activists to grow up

  1. “When noted biologists or physicists in the movement dismiss an entire field of intellectual pursuit (philosophy) out of hand they are behaving in an anti-intellectual manner…”

    True. But they’re the reigning priests of Pigliucci’s religion. They determine what facts are since only they are qualified to wield the only legitimate tool by which facts are arrived at: the scientific method.

    Philosophers, on the other hand, only ask questions that have no answers.

    He’s fighting an uphill if not altogether losing battle.
    Atheism doesn’t allow for a Martin Luther.

  2. “Atheism doesn’t allow for a Martin Luther.”

    You mean a real reformer like Francis De Sales. ;)

  3. Turn on moderation on all your blogs, this will raise the level of discourse immediately by several orders of magnitude, at the cost of a small inconvenience to you and your readers.

    I did that, enabled moderation, and the evis still spew their cowardly nonsense. They have no interest in discourse. Evos are the epitome of anti-intellectualism

  4. While I welcome Prof. Pigliucci’s article very much, does this seem a bit problematic to anyone else?

    A1) Scientism. This is the pernicious tendency to believe that science is the only paragon of knowledge and the ultimate arbiter of what counts as knowledge. And the best way to determine if you are perniciously inclined toward scientism is to see whether you vigorously deny its existence in the community.
    A2) Anti-intellectualism proper. This is the thing on display when “skeptics” reject even scientific findings, as in the above mentioned case of global warming.

    Is it just me, or is there a large bit of contradiction there?

Leave a Reply