Shut up so that you won’t have to shut up
Another thing about Ruse’s claim.
Most of all I detest the New Atheism because I think it is playing into the hands of the Religious Right.
But if you decide it’s Forbidden to say certain things lest you “play into the hands of the Religious Right” then you are already playing into the hands of the Religious Right. If you give up the right to free speech as a precaution against theocracy then you are already in a theocracy. It doesn’t make sense to give up secular rights in order to hang on to secular rights.
I don’t want the religious Right deciding what I can say. I don’t want to defer to their sensitivities or their unreasonable beliefs. I don’t want to check what I say for acceptability to the religious Right before I go public with it.
Ruse is arguing for burning the village to save the village. No thanks; I’d rather just hang on to the village.
Dave Barash made a similar point on Ruse’s post:
The argument that we shouldn’t call out the incompatability between science – any science, including evolutionary biology – and religion for fear that this will compromise our constitutional right to teach the former strikes me as logically fallacious, legally naive, pedagogically vapid and intellectually cowardly.
I couldn’t possibly comment.