News from elsewhere

I’ve been commenting on that thread at CFI. The moderators want it to go away, but I think they shouldn’t want that, because the underlying issues are entirely relevant to CFI. They think it’s all personal, but it isn’t. It really isn’t. The truth is I don’t care about Chris Mooney as a person at all. Of course I don’t. I care about what he’s saying and doing; I care about the ideas and their consequences. It’s not personal. (I admit it seems personal, while it’s going on, but when I think about it, I realize it isn’t, at all.)

So here’s some of what I said.

He has still never explained what he thinks Jerry Coyne should have done differently, and by extension, what everyone should do differently.

It’s an important question, especially for people who are fans of inquiry. It’s an important question for anyone who reviews books about religion or religion-and-science or related subjects. I, for instance, wrote a review of such a book for the April/May edition of Free Inquiry. I thought it was a pretty bad book, and I said so. If I had been following Chris Mooney’s advice, presumably I would have done something else – but even if I had wanted to follow his advice, I wouldn’t have known exactly what it was. Pretend I thought the book was good? Refuse the invitation to review it in case I thought it was bad? Decide not to review it after all once I had read it, because I thought it was bad? I don’t know.

Mooney could answer that question right now. He could answer it here, where he is among friends – he works for CFI. It really is a question worth answering. He wants us – us “new” atheists – to be more civil, but he won’t explain exactly what he means by that. I don’t see why not. I also think the unwillingness is an uncomfortable fit with support for free inquiry.

I’m back. Well, I do think that. I also – still, after all this – think it’s odd that CM doesn’t think that. I still think it’s odd that he’s comfortable with this level of silencing and stonewalling, given his other commitments.

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