About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Friday, January 01, 2016

Against accommodationism (my review of Faith versus Fact, by Jerry Coyne)

I'll probably repost the whole thing when I get a minute (the code is not completely, um, compatible, so it always takes a bit of time to get it right). Meanwhile, here's a link to my new 2500-word Cogito piece on accommodationism: a kind of a review of Jerry Coyne's new book, Faith versus Fact. I say "a kind of" because it's more than just a review. The release of Jerry's book is also a prompt to reflect on and restate some of my own non-accommodationist, or anti-accommodationist, approach.

For anyone who has previously missed it, I link in the piece, and will also do so here, to my detailed dissection - first published in 2000 in Quadrant magazine - of the problems with Stephen Jay Gould's NOMA principle. It was the lead piece in Quadrant on that occasion, if we go by the cover. That's  evidence of the way Paddy McGuinness, the editor at the time, was prepared to publish good-quality but risky material (given that his audience was mainly right-wing and often religious).

The accommodationism wars in the blogosphere, circa 2010, were all about whether it was okay to express an anti-accommodationist position publicly - even in a civil and thoughtful way - or whether this was too politically inexpedient to be allowed. My view from back then, from even earlier (as with the Quadrant article), and even now, is pretty obvious.

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