Atheists packing heat

Now it’s Michael Ruse’s turn to do the ‘atheists are evil’ routine using the numbingly familiar ‘atheists are evil’ weapon of shameless exaggeration and misrepresentation. In short, like all his pathetic allies in this tawdry campaign, he paints the people he dislikes as violent and aggressive when all in the world they are is verbally explicit.

In the past few years, we have seen the rise and growth of a group that the public sphere has labeled the “new atheists” – people who are aggressively pro-science, especially pro-Darwinism, and violently anti-religion of all kinds…

‘Violently’ – in the sense of coming right out and saying that they think religion is a bad thing in many ways. That’s a pretty strained sense, if you think about it. That is to say, it’s a cheap trick, and unworthy of someone who says at the outset that he is a philosopher. Philosophers aren’t supposed to use exaggeration to do the work of argument. That’s a no-no in the trade. Ask anyone.

Recently, it has been the newly appointed director of the NIH, Francis Collins, who has been incurring their hatred.

No – their disagreement. Surely a philosopher ought to know the difference.

Then he complains of Dawkins Coyne and Myers (catch them in the Pineapple Lounge tonight at 9:30) saying things about him, then he explains why they do:

This invective is all because, although I am not a believer, I do not think that all believers are evil or stupid, and because I do not think that science and religion have to clash.

No, it’s because you say stupid things like that. They ‘do not think that all believers are evil or stupid,’ and they don’t over-simplify that way, either.

I engage with believers – I don’t accept their beliefs but I respect their right to have them.

But that just describes us – the “New Atheists.” That exactly describes us. We respect people’s right to have beliefs – duh – but we don’t accept the beliefs. So – the implication that we don’t is just yet more misrepresentation.

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