Moby Chris

I give up. I’m going to stop saying I’ll stop disputing Chris Mooney, because Chris Mooney won’t stop talking bossy patronizing evidence-free nonsense, and I can’t stay away. It’s like trying not to pick a scab. The scab is there! It tickles, it nags, it pulls – how am I supposed to ignore it?! I can’t, so I give up.

I’m reading the book. It’s very short and very easy to read in a sense – but in another sense it’s very hard to read, so I’m going slowly. It’s hard to read in the sense that the mental atmosphere stifles me after a few pages, and I have to stop. There’s also a lot of annotation to do, which slows things down.

Meanwhile – there’s yet another offensively condescending hectoring bossy smarmy post in which Chris tells Jerry Coyne how to be more like Chris. This comes after – what is it now? A week? Two weeks? Is that all? It feels like months – of Chris ignoring all reasonable serious probing questions about how he knows what he keeps claiming to know, what he means when he tells Jerry in particular and ‘new’ atheists in general to be more civil, to not flail at religion, to talk and write in a different way, and similar gaps in our understanding. Many people have asked him such questions, and he just ignores them all and goes on repeating his original claims over and over and over again. I find this profoundly exasperating. He really needs to answer these questions, because he’s busily telling people off in public, so he has a duty to pay attention to their questions and to answer them.

Today’s sermon was on this text:

What good is trying to communicate about science and reason if you can’t get non-scientific audiences to listen to you?…But how long do we have to keep making the same mistake, of trying to defend science and reason in a manner that we ourselves find persuasive, but that does not appeal to non-scientific audiences or even grasp where they are coming from?

I pointed out (knowing it was futile, because he won’t answer me, because he literally never does) that he is as usual treating audiences as a bloc and ways of appealing to them as a dichotomy as opposed to a range of possibilities. The book does exactly the same thing. It’s not convincing.

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