About Me

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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); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Jeff Sparrow on the New Atheists

This article by left-wing journalist Jeff Sparrow is so appalling that I'm not going to bother commenting on it beyond two short paragraphs. There is a logical fallacy in just about every line. For now, at least, have at it yourselves.

None of which means that I support Hitchens' views on foreign policy - I don't. Nor do I agree with everything that has ever been said by Sam Harris. But Hitchens and Harris deserve much better treatment than Sparrow's over-the-top diatribe.


Brian said...

Didn't anybody inform you that Gnu Atheism is a religion and the 4 horseman are our high-priests, inquisitors and doctrinal authorities and we all submit to the 4 without question and hold all their views however objectionable?

David M said...

Well, the good news is it took a good while to scroll down the comments to find anyone willing to come close to seeing his point. And that was an atheist telling us that Dawkins and Harris are "angry and dogmatic."

All you can do is lol, somethimes.

Russell Blackford said...


Bruce said...

For some reason I forgot who the author was and for a while thought it was authored by some preppy undergrad. The response by Adam Brereton was somewhat more coherent, but showed all the same signs of opinion born of unfamiliarity with the subject criticised / texts discussed.


It's largely because of rubbish like this that I've picked up Chris Hedges' books on The New Atheist Terror. And largely because of the quality of Brereton's response to Sparrow that I've gone off of New Matilda.

I've never been in a position to grade hundreds of papers, but I swear all the note-taking I've done over the past year or so has to be like marking the essays of opinionated, pious undergrads who haven't done the readings. It's necessary, but tiresome.

I suspect you can sympathise, Russell. :P

Russell Blackford said...

I guess I need to look at the piece by Brereton that you mention. Not right now, though...

Ophelia Benson said...

Seconded. I saw it a couple of days ago and found it so godawful I for once didn't even bother to point and hold my nose.