Monday, November 28, 2011

On Being a Sophisticated Atheist

We atheists really have a hard time pleasing theists and philosophers who insist that we immerse ourselves in the study of gods before declining to believe in any of them. Apparently it's not sufficient to simply reject as unconvincing all of the arguments for the existence of god. We also have to study apologetics, which takes the existence of god as a premise!

As if that weren't bad enough, we now have a group of philosopher types who insist that we study every atheist who ever lived. One of those philosopher types is R. Joseph Hoffman, a graduate from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Oxford. He is mainly interested in early Christianity. Hoffman is a nonbeleiver who posts at The New Oxonian. His latest post is: Atheism’s Little Idea.
It seems that everything I write these days is anti-atheist. And who can blame my unbelieving brethren for assuming I am fighting for the other side. Perhaps I should be, since modern atheism is hardly worth defending.

To be brutal, I cannot imagine a time in the history of unbelief when atheism has appeared more hamfisted, puling, ignorant or unappealing.
Hang on to your hats. This is going to be very much like the attack of the "sophisticated" theists only this time it's about "sophisticated" atheism!
Atheism has become a very little idea because it is now promoted by little people with a small focus. These people tend to think that there are two kinds of questions: the questions we have already answered and the questions we will answer tomorrow. When they were even smaller than they are now, their father asked them every six weeks, “Whadja get in math and science?” When they had children of their own, they asked them, “Whadja get in science and math?” Which goes to show, people can change.
This is an example of sophisticated argument? It seems a bit hypocritical coming from a man whose entire focus seems to have been on religion. What does he know about science?


Let's ignore the fact that Hoffman is equating atheism with some imaginary version of science and see where he's going with this. Keep in mind that to Hoffman atheism isn't just the absence of belief in gods. It's supposed to be a philosophy and a recipe for living.
They eschew mystery, unless it’s connected to a telescopic lens or an electron microscope or a neutrinometer at the Hadron Collider at CERN. “Mystery” is not a state to be enjoyed or celebrated like a good wine or a raven-haired woman with haunting and troubled eyes: it is a temporary state of befuddlement, an unknown sum, an uncharted particle, a glimpse of a distant galaxy, the possibility that Mars supported microbial life.
Okay. I can buy that. As a scientist I view "mystery" as a problem to be solved. It's true that I don't spend a lot of time enjoying or celebrating my ignorance. But I do like good wine. I'm not going to comment on raven-haired women because Ms. Sandwalk reads my blog.
Science reified (with its consort, Reason) has become the convenient alternative deity of small atheists. But this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Most of the greatest advances in science were made by “believers.” Without getting into the mud over Einstein (who whether a believer or not was not an atheist), Newton, Mendel, Galileo, Kelvin, Darwin, Faraday, Boyle, Planck, and on and on. But the score at the end of this risky game is not to stack theists against atheists. Most smart people, some of whom are scientists, are not religious in the way religious people want them to be religious or irreligious in the way atheists want them to be atheists.
Hoffman appears to be making two points here. The first one is that "science has become the alternative deity of small atheists." Let's think about that for a moment. Science is a proven way of knowing. No other ways of knowing have ever been shown to produce true knowledge. Hoffman undoubtedly uses the scientific way of knowing in his research. He almost certainly doesn't use any other way of knowing. What's the problem?

The second point is that some scientists were believers. Yawn.
When did atheism cease to be a big idea? When atheists made God a little idea. When its idea of god shriveled to become a postulate of a new intellectual Darwinism. When they began to identify unbelief with being a woman, a gay, a lesbian, or some other victimized cadre. When they decided that religion is best described as a malicious and retardant cultural force that connives to prevent us being the Alpha Race of super-intelligences and wholly equal beings that nature has in store for us. When they elevated naturalism, already an outmoded view of the universe, to a cause, at the expense of authentic imagination.
I don't think I can deal with such a rambling pack of lies and distortions. But, just for the record, I am an atheist and I never tried to make God a little idea. Gods don't exist. They are no idea at all.
Atheism has become a little idea because it is based on the hobgoblin theory of religion: its god is a green elf with a stick, not the master of the universe who controls it with his omniscient will. –Let alone a God so powerful that this will could evolve into Nature’s God–the god of Jefferson and Paine–and then into the laws of nature, as it did before the end of the eighteenth century in learned discussion and debate.
Gods don't exist. Not the green elf sort of god nor the big powerful scary god. I'm not the least bit interested in debating the properties of various nonexistent gods.
Atheism until fairly recently has been about a disappointing search for god that ends in failure, disillusionment, despair, and finally a new affirmation of human ingenuity that is entirely compatible with both science and art.
Say what? Even if that were true, what's it got to do with me or any other new atheist? I did not search for god and then fall into dispair because he got lost somewhere. I never believed in gods in the first place. It's not up to me to go searching for imaginary friends. The onus is on the believers to present the case for believing in their gods.

Until they do that, I going to drink good wine and think about that raven-haired woman. It's a heck of a lot more fun than disillusionment and despair.

Anyway, for those despairing atheists, whoever they are, I'm glad that you were eventually able to work things out and avoid suicide.
That’s the way Sartre thought of it. –A conclusion forced upon us by the dawning recognition that we are both the source and solution to our despair. That is what Walter Lippmann thought in 1929, when he described the erosion of belief by the acids of modernity. This atheism was respectful of the fact that God is a very big idea, a sublime idea, and that abandoning such an idea could not take place as a mere reckoning at one moment in time; it had to happen as a process that included hatred, alienation and what Whitehead saw as “reconciliation” with the idea of God. That is what Leo Strauss meant in 1955 when he wrote in Natural Right and History that the classical virtues would save the modern world from the negative trinity of pragmatism, scientism and relativism, what Irving Babbitt (Lippmann’s teacher at Harvard) meant in declaring war on modernity and science in favour of the “inner check” of classical humanism.

In 1914, on the eve of World War I, a very young Lippmann surveyed the situation in America: “The sanctity of property, the patriarchal family, hereditary caste, the dogma of sin, obedience to authority–the rock of ages, in brief, has been blasted for us.” A disllusioned soldier on the Western Front, Wilfred Owen asked poetically in the same year, “Was it for this the clay grew tall?” Ortega y Gasset observed that the goals that furnished yesterday’s landscape with “so definite an architecture” have lost their hold. Those that are to replace them have not yet taken shape, and so the landscape “seems to break up, vacillate, and quake in all directions.” And Yeats, elaborating on the kind of apocalyptic imagery he used in “The Second Coming” recalled: “Nature, steel-bound or stone-built in the nineteenth century, became a flux where man drowned or swam.” We all know the verdict: “Things fall apart,” because the god at the centre could not hold. The image was highly appropriate because it was atomic and prophetic.
Whatever.

I don't know what all the fuss is about but if those guys are all atheists then they seem to be very confused atheists who haven't come to grips with abandoning god. :-)

I feel sorry for them but I wouldn't want to be them.
My current Angst, to use that hackneyed word correctly, is that most contemporary humanists don’t know what classical humanism is, and most modern atheists won’t even have read the books mentioned in the last paragraph, and what’s more will not care. Their atheism is an uneven mixture of basic physics, evolutionary biology, half cooked theories from the greasy kitchen of cognitive science, assorted political opinions, and what they regard as common sense. They fell into atheism; they did not come to it.
Yes, he got that right. I'm not a humanist and I haven't read all those books. And I don't intend to ever read them—they sound depressing.

By the way, Joseph, I didn't "fall into atheism," I was never a believer, just like millions of people in Western Europe and elsewhere who are second or third generation atheists. You must be confusing new atheists with someone else.
That’s the way recent atheism has been, an old fiddle with one string and one tune to play: We are the world. Get over God. If the almighty being and his raggedy book are relevant at all, it’s simply as a record of all the stupid things human beings can think of: superstitious sorghum, toxic drivel that stopped being relevant in the century its superstitious, toxic tropes were composed.
Now I get it. Joseph Hoffman's real angst is that he invested a large part of his life in religion and now he regrets it. He wishes that all new atheists would suffer, just he had to, by reading all those boring books. He's really pissed that some of us have avoided all the suffering by never falling for gods in the first place.

Now he wants to replace religion with some other "big idea" that's related to humanism, or perhaps some sophisticated atheist philosophy. No thanks. I've managed to avoid being bamboozled by the "big ideas" of religion and I'm not going to fall for some pseudoreligion in its place.


44 comments:

  1. "most modern atheists won’t even have read the books mentioned in the last paragraph, and what’s more will not care."

    Hoffman does not mention any books; he has merely included lines from poems and books to support his rant.

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  2. "Sophisticated Atheist" = Oxymoron

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  3. Just as soon as one of these theologians insist on the churches shutting their doors until the congregations engage in the same level of study they insist on from us, they might have a point. Until then, I'm picturing these navel-gazers evacuating their bladders in an ascending vertical manner along a substantial length of braided hemp or cotton fibers.

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  4. Larry Moran says

    "if those guys are all atheists then they seem to be very confused atheists who haven't come to grips with abandoning god."

    Are you seriously referring to Lippmann, Yeats, Owen, and Ortega y Gasset as "those guys"?

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  5. Are you seriously referring to Lippmann, Yeats, Owen, and Ortega y Gasset as "those guys"?

    Out of context of Hoffman's sanctimonious move to justify his apologetics with those names I'd agree with you.

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  6. To me this sounds like a rhetorically dressed-up version of the same old accusations of 'scientism' and this supposed erosion of wonder we atheists have wrought on ourselves.

    The reality is that our commitment is not to atheism, naturalism, materialism, or what have you. Our commitment is to an epistemology that is demonstrably reliable and valid. The revelatory claims of religion simply do not have anything to offer aside from being placeholders to our ignorance.

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  7. The post-WWI generation knew nothing about quantum physics and nearly nothing about modern evolutionary and cognitive theory. The intellectual landscape has shifted and those of us who pay attention to it have adjusted accordingly.

    The gambit of requiring atheists to dress their unbelief in funereal or scholarly attire is so common as to merit its own name, even though it's just a variant of the courtier's reply.

    I'm sorry, I don't have a pedigree. Godlessness was a gift from my parents and my teachers, and I didn't keep the receipts.

    (Did this idiot actually call Darwin a believer?)

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    http://www.thecureforallmentalillness.com

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  9. You were doing a good job of convincing me that Hoffman is 100% wrong. Then you had to say "And I don't intend to ever read them—they sound depressing."

    Seriously? You won't read Yeats because he sounds depressing? Then I can assume you won't read Hamlet, The Handmaid's Tale, Catch 22, Slaughterhouse-Five, 1984....?

    If you had wanted to validate Hoffman's stereotype of the shallow atheist you could hardly have done better.

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  10. Larry, we all know you love publicizing the views of complete nut-jobs, but do you really not have anything better to do than read this guy's ramblings? You almost tricked me into reading the whole post.

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  11. "I was never a believer, just like millions of people in Western Europe and elsewhere who are second or third generation atheists."

    Yeah, this point seems to consistently baffle them. They can only see atheists as people who've stopped ringing Dad.

    When what we're really doing is saying 'look, crooking your fingers like that doesn't make your hand a magic telephone and it's not "sophisticated" when you do that and if you heard Dad talking back to you, even you'd concede you were mentally ill'.

    I've studied theology. I have read all those books. I have discussed theology with theology professors. And I can bet this: ask a theologian five basic scientific questions, real high school stuff, like the order of the planets or to give a rough working definition of the conservation of energy or what the 'm' in E=mc^2 means, or whether a molecule is made of atoms or vice versa and they won't get half of them right.

    So don't fall into the trap of thinking because they've demanded we have to memorize every word of every book they've ever read that means they have any intention of glancing at one of ours.

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  12. What does he know about science?

    Very little. This is a clear case of science envy.

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  13. "this supposed erosion of wonder"

    It's very, very important to remind people at every turn that before Darwin and other modern scientific discoveries, theologians cited God as the *explanation*, as the *solution*, not as the mystery.

    Scientists were motivated by their belief that the material world represented God's creation. The Vatican's persecution of Galileo was because he undermined their scientific authority (based on Aristotle), not because they preferred mystery to science.

    God was a scientific theory until it became a discredited scientific theory. Ask a theologian of 1800 about science, and they'd have said 'keep asking questions' not 'let's celebrate mystery'.

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  14. I feel like his argument is that of a fanatical convert. I've noticed that often adult converts to another religion can be extremely orthodox and by-the-book in their new practice, to the point of being a bore. Its like they're overcompensating, so as to allay suspicion that they're insincere converts.

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  15. David Evans said...

    You were doing a good job of convincing me that Hoffman is 100% wrong. Then you had to say "And I don't intend to ever read them—they sound depressing."

    Seriously? You won't read Yeats because he sounds depressing? Then I can assume you won't read Hamlet, The Handmaid's Tale, Catch 22, Slaughterhouse-Five, 1984....?

    If you had wanted to validate Hoffman's stereotype of the shallow atheist you could hardly have done better.


    Lighten up.

    I went back and inserted a smiley for the irony-deficient readers.

    But there's a more serious issue—see my response to Veronica below.

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  16. Veronica Abbass asks,

    Are you seriously referring to Lippmann, Yeats, Owen, and Ortega y Gasset as "those guys"?

    I want to respond in two ways.

    First, I wasn't being serious. This may not have been clear so I added a smiley.

    Second, I was being partially serious. I recall reading some poetry by Yeats about 40 years ago and I wasn't impressed enough to read any more.

    I don't think I've read anything by Wilfred Owen and I don't feel any desire to read him. Is that a problem?

    I'm sure I've read some of Lippmann's columns many years ago but I don't lose any sleep over not being intimately familiar with his work.

    I've never read anything by José Ortega y Gasset.

    Does that mean I'm not an intellectual?

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  17. Without getting into the mud over Einstein (who whether a believer or not was not an atheist), Newton, Mendel, Galileo, Kelvin, Darwin, Faraday, Boyle, Planck, and on and on. But the score at the end of this risky game is not to stack theists against atheists.

    Oh? Then why did you do just that?

    When they decided that religion is best described as a malicious and retardant cultural force that connives to prevent us being the Alpha Race of super-intelligences and wholly equal beings that nature has in store for us.

    What a childish strawman. To say that religion is a net negative is not to say that mankind would be perfect without it.

    Atheism until fairly recently has been about a disappointing search for god that ends in failure, disillusionment, despair,...

    Do you suppose there might be a link between viewing religion as a negative influence, and not despairing to leave it? Perhaps this linkage is no so-phisticated enough for Hoffman and his ilk.

    ... They fell into atheism; they did not come to it.

    Now he sounds like a cranky old fart. "Back in my day, we walked barefoot to school in the snow, uphill both ways!"

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  18. You sure this guy's an atheist? I've seen theists who didn't put this much effort into try to make God sound beautiful enough to look up his dress.

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  19. "Does that mean I'm not an intellectual?"

    Of course not, and I saw the lightheartedness in your remark. I think, though, we have to be wary to even look like we're celebrating ignorance. Reading a book is better than not reading it.

    There are limits. I don't think we need to dedicate ten years of our lives reading up on homeopathy to dismiss it.

    There is the onus on the advocate to explain why we should read up on a subject, I think. There are lots of books out there jostling for attention.

    I think the irony is that most religious scholars accept that a scholarly approach to religion invariably kills it - the urge to think about things, the urge to resolve ambiguities and go back to fact check ... no religion can survive a sustained attempt at that. Catholicism has not survived for 2000 years by encouraging people to think hard and read up.

    Part of the vibrancy atheism has at the moment is precisely *because* so many 'new atheists' are unschooled in the traditions of atheism. And part of its great strength is that there are no monumental books to either worship or tear down - Letter to a Christian Nation and The God Delusion aren't exactly Summa Theologica, nor are they meant to be.

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  20. I don't know if Wilfred Owen was an atheist. Perhaps he's not your cup of tea, but he was a fine poet who fought in World War I and wrote about the ugliness of war.

    We don't need to study former atheists to be one any more than we need to study Marconi to use a television.

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  21. I also wonder if a bunch of this "sophisticated atheist" stuff comes from philosophers who are a bit bitter at modern... well, let's call it "democratic atheism" for lack of a better term. These folks must have felt so intellectually superior in their atheism, based as it is on all sorts of pretentious academic sophisticated nonsense.

    Bad enough that after their years of writing nearly inscrutable philosophical musing on the subject, atheism became a big pop phenomenon thanks to a perpetually drunk journalist and a (*gasp*)biologist. Now you've got teenagers and college kids making videos and creating websites and starting up podcasts and none of them are members of the proper professional organizations or faculty clubs or anything! I mean, can you imagine? The little people get a say and have a voice? MADNESS!

    I don't think the phrase "little atheist" was misplaced at all. This is a argument based in perceived class difference.

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  22. I'm reading a book at the moment called The Churching of America (Finke and Stark, 1992), which attempts to see the decline and fall of various Christian factions in the US as the marketplace in operation.

    Over and over again, when a religious denomination is losing followers hand over fist (usually to another denomination), they pull out the word 'superficial' to criticize that rival denomination.

    The premise is that people are prone to fads, but they always come back to their original church.

    This isn't reflected in the facts. Here's a good one: 44% of people in the US have changed or abandoned their original religious denomination.

    What's hilarious is that Finke and Stark make a good case that churches always exaggerate the size of their flock (the US Catholic Church in the 19th century, for example, counted *all* French and Irish immigrants as Catholic). But the next generation weren't told that the old figures were lies ... so they panic that there's been a mass exodus.

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  23. Seriously? You won't read Yeats because he sounds depressing? Then I can assume you won't read Hamlet, The Handmaid's Tale, Catch 22, Slaughterhouse-Five, 1984....?

    If you had wanted to validate Hoffman's stereotype of the shallow atheist you could hardly have done better.


    Well of course "because he sounds depressing" is a poor reason to reject a book, but I'm sure Larry was being facetious. OTOH, it was Hoffman who took the cheap shot by suggesting atheists can't be bothered to read any of the books he book-dropped in his rant. Why are any of those books required reading for someone who wishes to discuss the merits and demerits of theology?

    I can't stand it when people like Hoffman book-drop in order to imply that people who haven't read these books being dropped are ignorant, and moreso if they don't care to read them. Of course, in the strict sense of the word ignorant, if I haven't read a book, then of course I am ignorant of its contents, but EVERYONE is ignorant in this sense. I'm sure I have dozens of books on my shelves and in my Amazon kindle that Hoffman has never read and has no intention of ever reading.

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  24. anonymous says,

    Of course not, and I saw the lightheartedness in your remark. I think, though, we have to be wary to even look like we're celebrating ignorance. Reading a book is better than not reading it.


    You don't understand. Perhaps you should have read C.P. Snow. Then you would know that the humanities pseudointellectuals don't accept just any book. It has to be from a set of prescribed books that mark you as a man/woman of letters.

    There are no science books on their lists at Oxford or Harvard. You can be a snob if you've read Yeats or Owen but not if you've read Darwin or Gould or Sagan.

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  25. I'll just repeat what my english teacher told me once about one of my essays a long time ago.

    "A whole lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing."

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  26. My (admittedly not deeply informed) impression is that atheism used to be a Big Idea sensu Hoffman because God was also a Big Idea, in the sense that it dominated society (even if often really as a cipher for the power of the churches). The early modern materialists like Sartre, Nietsche & Co. knew they were proposing something quite radical, and were maybe had just a little trepidation about where it would lead.

    That was then; this is now. We've had several generations of declining religiosity and increasing secularism, and guess what? Not only does the world go on turning, but life for most people in the West is better -- longer, healthier, more secure, more comfortable -- than it was back in the Good Olde Days when God was still secure in His Heaven. We can get along just fine without the idea of God, and whatever useful work the churches were doing can be (and in large part, has been) transferred to secular institutions.

    The irrelevance of God as a factor (not unbelief per se, but functionally equivalent) is now taken for granted in many areas. If atheism is now a "small" idea, it's because the God-idea has shrunk.

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  27. "I don't think the phrase "little atheist" was misplaced at all. This is a argument based in perceived class difference."

    Again, this has historical precedent - the revival movements of the nineteenth century had illiterate preachers attracting tens of thousands to their meetings, and the educated clergy despairing.

    I think an awareness of atheist history is useful simply because ... it's all been done. You are not the first person to note that bad things happen to good people, or that if it's absolutely true that killing is bad it's bad whether there are gods or not.

    But the 'I don't believe in God for way more sophisticated reasons than you' line is just ... foolish and exclusionary.

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  28. I'm with Konrad, Larry, why waste your time on someone who is so clearly intellectually dishonest. I stopped reading after the "reason became their alternative deity" nonsense. Hoffman can't seem to get anything right about atheists. He's either a fool or a liar, and those are a dime a dozen.

    Here's a hint Hoffman: atheism *IS* a little idea. You can't get smaller than absense. It's religion, with its endless meaningless verbage piling hgiher and higher to try to avoid the obvious, that's big, a rube goldberg of reasoning that in the end, can't even get the simple ending right - "Full of sound and fury signifying nothing"

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  29. Actually, Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses is a very interesting book about the phenomena of mass culture. It may be a little out of date by now.

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  30. When they were even smaller than they are now, their father asked them every six weeks, “Whadja get in math and science?” When they had children of their own, they asked them, “Whadja get in science and math?” Which goes to show, people can change.

    As a funny individual, both in writing and in person, I don't think I'm out of line in requesting that Dr. Hoffman refrain from such ham-fisted hackery in the future without first undertaking some training to make up for his deficiency in talent.

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  31. I spent enough time as a child having the love of god beaten into me by the nuns who controlled every aspect of my life.
    I spent many years since reading and re-reading the babble and trying hard to make sense of any of it. I spent many years figuring out that the churchiest people I knew were total hypocrites and utter liars, and then it dawned on me - this is all nothing more than regurgitated Bronze Age mythology gone wild, and you have to be brain damaged to believe a word of it.
    A non-existent god is as small as a god can get, and that's my god - do I now qualify as a real atheist?

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  32. Maybe I am not getting this entire argument that seems to be telling us that one must be a well read and highly educated individual to be a "true" atheist.

    I do not believe in god or gods. I am an atheist.

    Period.

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  33. Atheism until fairly recently has been about a disappointing search for god that ends in failure, disillusionment, despair, and finally a new affirmation of human ingenuity that is entirely compatible with both science and art.

    How gloriously epic. But Hoffman should speak for himself and not for "what atheism has been about," until recently or otherwise. My own search for god ended not in disappointment, disillusionment or despair, but in relief and rejoicing that the monstrous Yahweh deity isn't real. And I suspect I'm hardly am confused, though: did I fall into atheism, or did I come to it?

    Larry Moran has it exactly right: "Joseph Hoffman's real angst is that he invested a large part of his life in religion and now he regrets it." He personally wasted years on it, therefore it has to be Big! HUGE, even!

    Well I for one offer my sincere apologies that my entirely unsophisticated, non-intellectually pedigreed atheism upsets Hoffman so. Who can blame him for not wanting to be tainted by the unwashed masses of godlessness?

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  34. Considering that W.B. Yeats was a member of the Golden Dawn who literally believed in Magic, and who held sceances and rituals expecting to invoke spirits and sundry demons, I think that dismissing the man, even while recognizing his talent at turning a phrase or two, is warranted.

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  35. "Why are any of those books required reading for someone who wishes to discuss the merits and demerits of theology?"
    Why should an atheist want to discuss theology at all? Until proper evidence is presented for the existence of a god, theology is just intellectual tossing off and no different in principle to the debate on the size of angel's feet as measured in pin head units.

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  36. Larry wrote in the OP:

    We atheists really have a hard time pleasing theists and philosophers who insist that we immerse ourselves in the study of gods before declining to believe in any of them. Apparently it's not sufficient to simply reject as unconvincing all of the arguments for the existence of god.

    It's worse than that. We atheists are required to know if angels dancing on the heads of pins are waltzing or doing the macarena before we can reject their particular flavor of goddism. Yet they reject Huitzilopochtli as a god without knowing the basics of Huitzilopochtlism such as how often did human hearts have to be offered for the Sun to continue to rise.

    BTW, the answer is four times a year, on the solstices and equinoxes.

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  37. "Of course not, and I saw the lightheartedness in your remark. I think, though, we have to be wary to even look like we're celebrating ignorance. Reading a book is better than not reading it."

    I take it you've never read any L. Ron Hubbard or Danielle Steel

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  38. Seeing Hoffmann refer positively to Leo Strauss, along with this odd pseudo-atheist position he's taking, makes me lose interest in whatever else he as to say. What is going on in his head? He seems to have things to defend that he doesn't care to present openly.

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  39. Just one thing I wonder - what sort of hair do ravens have, anyway?

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  40. And troubled eyes. Would that be myopia or something more serious, like macular degeneration?

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  41. Nice point here to mention 'The intellectuals and the masses' by John Carey. Just because YOU read some books and feel good about it, does not mean that anyone else who hasn't read those books is less than you. Mr. Hoffmann might need a dose of that to sober him up.

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  42. His next article, The Sure-Fire Atheist Rapid Response Manual, is about a mentionned book "Sure-Fire Atheist Rapid Response and Defense Manual and Cookbook"

    Really odd that that book title cannot be found on the net ( I really just did the good old google and amazon search) Anybody seen this book or heard of this book before?

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  43. Cna I say a little thing? Think the because of the word "apologetics" is so close to "apologize". Cause it's mirror climbing and finding nonsense excuses for something more nonsense? exactly.

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