There are people like that
[A]mong our friends on the political Left – which is where I have my roots – there are people, not just a few but many, who despise everything I hold dear. These are supposed to be my allies, but they despise liberalism, reason, science, progress, and the Enlightenment. They hate the so-called “New Atheism”…because they see people like Richard Dawkins as providing a rallying point for … yes, liberalism, reason, science, progress, and the Enlightenment…It’s not some sort of accident or coincidence that their commitments so often have them opposing liberalism and all the values associated with it. They know that that’s what they’re doing; they actually see those values as disvalues.
Yeah. And that’s why I would so love to see them magically turned into women and transported to Swat so that they could ponder the absence of liberalism, reason, science, progress, and the Enlightenment up close and personal.
I despise and detest their frivolity. Their stupid, shallow, giggling lack of responsibility; their treating subjects that are very literally life and death to billions of people as mere toys for them to play with. They don’t even offer any serious reasons for their hatred of liberalism, reason, science, progress, and the Enlightenment – that’s what’s so frivolous about it. They just take it for granted, and offer at most silly lightweight pseudo-reasons, like the fact that their grandparents had religious beliefs. These guys aren’t children – they should know they need better reasons than that. They should pay better attention to the world, they should look around them, they should yank their heads out of their own stifling little egos.
Stanley Fish and Terry Eagleton, for example, are not just isolated, idiosyncratic sentimentalists who believe in belief. They really do hate the things that I value, and they see themselves as in a struggle to resist the very things that I am fighting for in all my work. When Eagleton says that Richard Dawkins is standing in his way, he actually means it. What’s more, such Eaglefish don’t see themselves as expressing a view that their colleagues and acquaintances will find alien and bizarre. They expect their views to seem familiar and attractive to many readers; they expect to find an audience for which such views will have the ring of truth.
Quite. This is why Butterflies and Wheels was created and why it still exists – because Eaglefish don’t see themselves as expressing a view that their colleagues and acquaintances will find alien and bizarre. B&W has been working hard (that is, I’ve been working hard, but it sounds grander to call myself B&W, as if I were a committee) for nigh on seven years now to make the Eaglefish view seem alien and bizarre to as many people as possible.