National Review pronounces the death of New Atheism

5

By Jerry Coyne

 National Review, founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, Jr., was a widely read magazine—probably the most important such organ for American conservatives. It has an online version, and I really should be reading it (all of us should read at least one site or magazine that opposes our own philosophy); it came to my attention only when it took out after me for my views on infant euthanasia.

Now, in a section called “The Corner”, which Wikipedia characterizes as representing “a select group of the site’s editors and affiliated writers”, there’s an interesting atheist-bashing piece,”What ever happened to the New Atheists?“, that makes three points, two of them half right and one dead wrong. Total evaluation: 1/3, or 33%, correct. Here are their points (in bold) and below them my responses; the article’s quotes are indented in my discussion:

1.) New Atheism is dead since it’s been rejected by both ends of the political spectrum.

2.) New Atheists are rejected by the Left because they criticize Islam, something that offends Leftist sentiments that favor the underdog and people of color.

3.) New Atheists are rejected by the Right because their arguments against God are silly and superficial.

Let’s take these one by one:

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

5 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – National Review pronounces the death of New Atheism

    In the minds of wish-thinkers, anything they wish was so, becomes troooooo!

    No need for surveys, analysis or evidence!

  2. Alan4discussion

    I wonder if Mr. Coyne tried to get his rebuttal published in the National Review first. That would have been better.

    Arguments against God? Alan, didn’t we discuss this rudimentary logical point recently and agree, as all reason-based people should, that the burden of proof is on the one who is positing the existence of something, that he must first prove or demonstrate that something exists, and that it exists for everyone in an objective sense, that it has universal, objective validity? That has never been done. Or if we see something and we all agree that it has empirical reality, the burden of proof should be on the person who denies that reality? God has no existence to dispute. (And gods of the past have no existence to dispute.) Nor are we affirming the non-existence of anything regarded as empirically real. No existence to disprove, no non-existence to prove.

    I think that obtuse and stubborn idiot from the “Rabbi” thread – what was his name? –writes for National Review. That’s about the level of thinking one would expect. Whether it’s someone writing for the Review or some quasi-troll writing here, it’s always the same tired and impudent assertions. Same old stuff. ~yawn~

    I’ve always disliked Buckley. An insufferable man.

  3. Dan #2
    Aug 3, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    It is “freedumb of speech” Dan!
    Any opinionated ignoramus can publish opinions on everything from logic evidence, and science, to strawman caricatures of the viewpoints of others! – and of course have their asserted ignorance, endorsed and applauded by fellow opinionated ignoramuses or conspiracy theorists!

  4. 1.) New Atheism is dead since it’s been rejected by both ends of the political spectrum.

    Partially, but the “new atheism” is less ideological, shunning pre-packaged solutions in favour of evidence and reason. Of course the political extremes that thrive on dogma will lose out on the most transformative intellectual idea in the social and political space.

    2.) New Atheists are rejected by the Left because they criticize Islam, something that offends Leftist sentiments that favor the underdog and people of color.

    There are many underdogs. The emotional left rather chooses the whimperiest rather than the most deserving.

    3.) New Atheists are rejected by the Right because their arguments against God are silly and superficial.

    “Silly and superficial” exemplified.

  5. phil rimmer #4
    Aug 6, 2017 at 6:56 am

    3.) New Atheists are rejected by the Right because their arguments against God are silly and superficial.

    This is the classical psychological projection, from those, who in the absence of credible replies, assert critics are “superficial”, reflecting the shallowness of their own levels of comprehension, rather than perceptions of anything of substance beyond their childish indoctrinated preconceptions about some exclusive “default” god!!

    It is also the classic thinking of science deniers, whose level of understanding does not extend to that “complicated sciency theory stuff” (which is allegedly “just the opinion” of Hollywood style, ivory-tower professors)!

Leave a Reply