Monday, May 31, 2010

Davies on New Atheism!

Ed Feser has tossed up a link to a long interview with Fr. Brian Davies, where he touches on a number of topics - including the sputtering, sliding-into-obscurity movement known as New Atheism.

Again, I marvel at this habit of theists in building up the New Atheist arguments before tearing them down. I'm not talking about mere accurate representation. Instead it's closer to providing entirely new, nuanced arguments that conceivably someone could have made, but practically to a man the NA's have not. Reverse-strawmanning, where you respond to something closer to an accurate observation rather than the crass stupidity your opponent actually engaged in. Even perpetually polite David B. Hart recently unloaded on the New Atheists, finally admitting that there just isn't much of substance to the movement as a whole.

I think this attempt to bend over backwards in terms of civility is not only misplaced, but harmful. It's like responding to some ignorant, stubborn anti-semite's yells of "Jews are money grubbing bastards who keep leading the world into war and poverty!" as if he made some kind of intricate argument about American foreign policy towards Israel and the demographics of those employed in the entertainment industry. Sometimes the most apt response is, "Man, you're pretty dense. Get lost."

1 comment:

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

"Reverse-strawmanning"

That's good.