John C. Wright (johncwright) wrote,

Meanwhile, Over at First Things

Allow me, dear readers, to offer you a link here: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/04/believe-it-or-not

David B. Hart argues, and convincingly, that while atheists will be with us always, even to the end of the age, the 'New Atheists' those strident but empty-headed screamers of narcissism and sneerers at their intellectual superiors, are a temporary fad, like see-through plastic pants or disco.

In order to prove his point, a number of people posing as New Atheists crowd his comments board and make the weakest possible arguments, displaying fumbling inability to grasp a simple syllogism, or the most obvious technical distinction, while vaunting and preening like some misbegotten crow who thinks himself a peacock, spreading his shabby, dun feathers in a splendor visible only to him.

Or it could be that these are real atheists, merely ones who are too dull witted to realize when they are casting dishonor on what (I, at least) regard as a perfectly honorable philosophical position.

A thinker can make, not one, but many strong arguments favoring the atheist position. "ME AM BIZZARO NUMBER ONE SMART GUY!! YOU AM DUMBBEST!!!" is not, in my opinion, one of the stronger arguments.

(A most egregious example of this: you will find, somewhere in the bog of comments, one crooked-skulled loon who dismisses Mr. Hart's asseveration that perhaps atheists would be well served not to answer metaphysics with physics, or at least to show an understanding of how to two fields differ, by referring to the alleged metaphysical arguments of the Aztecs and Toltecs, and asserting that, since Hart does not refute Aztec theology with any intellectual arguments, therefore the New Atheists are excused from the duty of understanding the Christian arguments before refuting them. The fact that the New Atheists are writing books to condemn Christianity, a living religion, supported by a large and complex body of theological logic, which surrounds them on a daily basis and influences their culture, and not to condemn the practices of the Aztecs, a long-dead cult of devil-worshippers, unsupported by any theology, known only to archeologists and students of the macabre, is a fact evidently not worthy of note or refutation by this preening know-nothing. After amply displaying his inadequacy at making out even a prima facea case for his position, he climaxes with the demand that Mr. Hart should be embarrassed to make the demand that the New Atheist understand the position against which they argue.)

Would that the Real Atheists, the Men of the Mind, would bestir themselves and silence the clamor of these New Atheists, the Men of the Mouth.


Epicurus
Epicurus - Honorary Atheist
Lucretius
Lucretius - Honorary Atheist
Nietzsche - Real Atheist
Rand - Real Atheist
Wells - Real Atheist
Asimov - Real Atheist

Me Am Number One Smart! -- New Atheist


Footnote: I am listing Epicurus and Lucretius as "honorary" atheists on the grounds that they believed that the gods existed, merely that these happy beings, torpid in perfection, neither took account of the sufferings of man, answered prayers, demanded worship, nor merited it. They were atheistic in ethics but not in metaphysics. No writer before the time of Frederick or Voltaire can be found to support what a modern would recognize as unambiguously naturalistic atheism. 
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