Cutting Your Cloth…

…to fit a false argument. Oh dear, I seem to be very negative today, what with pointing out Madeleine Bunting’s tripe, and now I feel impelled to do the same for Andrew Brown. Well, it’s not as if he doesn’t have a track record.

He’s written a piece on the “New Atheists” (oh, noes, not that meme again…). As soon as I read this bit, I thought, “Er hello, you’re either stupid or disingenuous…”:

The ideas I claim are distinctive of the new atheists have been collected from Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Jerry Coyne, the American physicist Robert L. Park, and a couple of blogging biologists, P Z Myers and Larry Moran. They have two things in common. They are none of them philosophers and, though most are scientists, none study psychology, history, the sociology of religion, or any other discipline which might cast light on the objects of their execration. All of them make claims about religion and about believers which go far beyond the mere disbelief in God which I take to be the distinguishing mark of an atheist.

Well, that’s interesting. “None of them philosophers”, eh? Well, passing over the fact that Harris has a degree in philosophy, where’s your mention of philosophers such as Daniel Dennett or A. C. Grayling, who I would have thought are prominent in the list of atheists in the public eye? Note, not “New” atheists… No doubt they conveniently slipped his mind.

Fuck it, he’s not worth the effort. Let P. Z. Myers deliver the flensing of Brown instead.

Update: And here is Ophelia adding some worthwhile points.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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