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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jerry Coyne's position statement

Jerry Coyne summarises his position on the never-ending, tiresome, but seemingly unavoidable, accommodationism debate. I don't see anything to object to in what he says here, but - *sigh* - I'm sure various others will.

Hopefully, we can soon move on, since this debate is a waste of time. People are quite entitled (not just legally but in any other sense of "entitled" that you like) to criticise even so-called moderate religious positions (which are often not very moderate at all). They are also entitled to base some or all of their criticisms on facts that have become known to us through scientific investigation of the world over the past 400 years or so. End of story.


NewEnglandBob said...

Unfortunately it is never 'end of story'. There are those who argue illogically.

Not only is there nothing to object in what Jerry says, it is a good stance for atheists to take.

Unknown said...

What puzzles me is that there are commentators on Jerry's blog, and on Jason's that are asking what is the philosophical incompatibility people see between religion and science.

What is even more puzzling is that the people asking are names I recognise from earlier debates, so it is not as though they are new to the subject.

There still is no counter-argument offered to support the view that belief in an interventionist god is compatible with science. Unless you count the attempts to claim that science does allow that miracles happen.

NewEnglandBob said...

Matthew, it is not all that puzzling. People who really have no valid arguments just divert the discussion to obfuscate their unsupported positions. Your last paragraph is the key.

Steve Zara said...

Sorry, Russell, but I'm going to be my occasionally tiresome self. I think Coyne's position on accommodationism is great, but I can't agree with some of the things he says on other matters. I've posted a reasonably long blog post about this.