Friday, 3 June 2011

We Are Sinners All

What to say about Jeremy Stangroom's latest flailing effort to marginalise gnu atheists? He says:
I don’t have time for the new atheist idiots right now.
Could one say, that's hardly civil or good behavior?

Or I actually don’t think many 'public intellectuals' would make a comment about folks being idiots in a blog?

Is it evidence that Jeremy doesn't have a good nature?
Karla, if you’re reading this, which I doubt, you probably know by now it’s a mistake to engage with these morons
Hmmm. Perhaps remarking that the targets of your criticism are morons is a bit... well, moronic?

Should one point out that calling gnus morons has nothing to do with [their] argument?

Should we conclude that, because he thinks I really don’t think that many public intellectuals would have said the sort of thing that Dawkins said. I don’t think I would have said it (except maybe ironically), he is calling gnus morons ironically? Or perhaps he thinks he's not a public intellectual? Well, he's certainly public.

In the comments of an earlier attack, he said:
The point here is that it has been stated quite explicitly that the new atheists do not “fall short” (though it’s not expressed quite like that, obviously) enough that they can reasonably be viewed as uncivil; and that the other side – i.e., the “accommodationists” – fall short a damn sight more often and more egregiously. I intend to show that neither of these things are true.
It's amusing that he's proving himself wrong on his own blog. And, for the record, I don't think that accommodationists "fall short a damn sight more often and more egregiously" than gnu atheists. From the start of this self-defeating accommodationist crusade, my objection has been that gnus do not fall short of acceptable standards of discourse any more than anyone else does. But they are cast by theists and accommodationists alike as if they do. I don't know the motivation for this 'othering' of gnus, but it's difficult not to conclude that it's driven, somewhat, by society's privileging of religious beliefs, over and above other beliefs. When this privileging stops, then gnus will have a lot less to complain about, civilly or otherwise. Until then, accommodationists are simply more evidence for its existence.
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