Not a moment sooner, k?

David Barash wrote another pro-gnu-atheist post a couple of days ago, and Jacques Berlinerblau posted a chippy comment there. His comment was rather sinuous, but the upshot was that yes gnu atheists are just as horrible as everyone says so ha.

nsmyth made reference to “critical atheists” and she or he has perhaps finally identified the proper term to describe the many scholars who are nonbelievers themselves but who have serious reservations about New Atheist worldview.

These critical atheists–the list grows longer every day–are subjected to all manner of vitriol and invective by Gnus. Now, the infidel tradition is full of vitriol and invective so I am not entirely opposed to that sort of thing and not averse to giving it a spin myself. But the point raised by nsmyth stands: there just doesn’t seem to be any attempt by many NAs to think through these criticisms seriously.

It’s JUST vitriol and invective, a reflex like a gagging mechanism triggered by any criticism. That’s why it frustrates so many critical atheists (I assure you David this is not a small cohort and not lacking for serious scholars). Again, I have written a fair amount about this. You can read it if you like and if you do I would be more than happy to discuss it with you privately or publicly.

Love, Jack.

You see how it is: The gnu atheists – they do vitriol and invective, and they don’t think, plus they do vitriol and invective. I’ve written about it.

Well who could argue with that? Not I, certainly – but I did ask him for just a little in the way of specifics. Just a crumb, to be going on with.

“Again, I have written a fair amount about this.”

What did you say?

Really. Just a hint. Just one little paraphrase. So far you haven’t said a thing, you’ve simply scolded like a crow.

What did he say? Well, not “how dare you compare my scolding to that of a crow!” – but rather, something more civil but also more exigent and dismissive.
Always great to hear from you. Go to the CHE review I wrote about Hitchens’ God is Not Great. Then a piece in the old Washington Post Book World on Michael Novak’s No One Sees God.

Then read the book I wrote Thumpin’ It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today’s Presidential Politics. After that, I would urge you to read The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously (written before the Gnus emerged, but should be of interest to you nonetheless).

There are other sources, but that’s enough for now. I have a book coming out soon on the subject. So head out to your local library, read up, and let’s talk when you have that all read. But not a moment sooner, k?

So the deal here is, anti-gnus get to do any generalized character-assassination they want to about gnu atheists, but if gnu atheists have the audacity to ask, “Like what?” then the anti-gnus are entitled to tell the gnus to go read everything and shut up in the meantime.

This is the sophisticated nuanced vitriol-free scholarship that is supposed to be so much better than what the Gnus do.


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