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).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Time magazine provides us with some myths about atheism

As I've mentioned now and then, Udo Schuklenk and I are working on a book called 50 Great Myths About Atheism - to be published in 2013, I hope, if all goes as well as it might.

Documenting that these myths really are out there is one of the more difficult tasks, since we can't always recall the provenance of something that we know very well and certainly have no reason to doubt. Accordingly, it's kind of Time magazine to provide us with an article that is full of such myths.

Jerry Coyne has already done a good hatchet job on the article, which really is pretty terrible. It's full of tired, cliched thoughts.

I especially like: "It's a fairly widely accepted maxim that atheist fundamentalists, as I call them, can be just as intolerant as religious fundamentalists." Right, that so-called "maxim" might be "widely accepted" in the sense that there are a lot of gullible people who think such a thing. Even smart people might accept it if they told often enough that's true and haven't got the time or energy to check for themselves. None of us can stop and check out everything we're told. Nonetheless, the "maxim" is drivel.

It's unworthy of the author to write such rubbish as this, and of a supposedly high quality magazine to publish it.


Felix said...

"Jerry Coyne has already done a good hatchet job on the article"

I think this is a misuse of the term 'hatchet job'. Which I take to be a critical, one sided article about an individual.

Perhaps "debunking" or "fisking" would be better?

Happy Christmas!

Russell Blackford said...

Hmmm,don't some articles deserve hatchet jobs? Dunno.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

This guy is just, in the word of William James, rearranging his prejudices.