He doubted doubt
So, my curiosity renewed about Vernon’s much-recycled trope that only theists doubt while atheists are full of certainty, I amble over to his blog and find an even more ridiculous example. He’s praising John Cornwell’s book on Dawkins:
It is a gently written, precision riposte to The God Delusion. Cornwell used to be an agnostic and so appreciates the place of doubt in life. He also ‘doubted his doubt’ and returned to the Catholic faith…
Ah – so he’s a doubly wonderful fella because he doubted not once but twice, thus returning to ‘the Catholic faith’ which of course as is well known is all about doubt and always has been. That’s what the pope is for, that’s what the Vatican is for, that’s what encyclicals are for – to reiterate the value and merit of doubt. Returning to the Catholic faith is admirable, while pointing out the flaws in ‘faith’ as a way of thinking is wicked because it fails to appreciate the place of doubt in life.
This stuff is really beginning to get on my nerves. What next? Rapists are admirable because they appreciate the place of women’s rights in life? Corrupt officials are admirable because they appreciate the place of integrity and duty in life? Why does Mark Vernon – an ex-priest – get to pat himself and his theist buddies on the back for being appreciators of doubt while they all get together to distort and swear at the arguments of atheists? Why is faith doubt while lack of faith is certainty? Why doesn’t someone slap them with a wet mackerel every time they try that trick?