Further to a recent post, “More reasons why Dawkins should just retire: No one, it turns out, defends Darwin on the evidence.,” a friend who follows philosopher Massimo Pigliucci’s blog writes to say that his post, “The Community of Reason, a self-assessment and a manifesto,” is a must read on the “Community of Reason” – atheist activists. Here are some attitudes (there’s way more) that he thinks are just out to lunch:
…* Science has established that there is no consciousness or free will (and therefore no moral responsibility). No, it hasn’t, as serious cognitive scientists freely admit. Notice that I am not talking about the possibility that science has something meaningful to say about these topics (it certainly does when it comes to consciousness, and to some extent concerning free will, if we re-conceptualize the latter as the human ability of making decisions). I am talking about the dismissal-cum-certainty attitude that so many in the CoR have so quickly arrived at, despite what can be charitably characterized as a superficial understanding of the issue. …
… A) Anti-intellectualism. This is an attitude of lack of respect for the life of the mind and those who practice it. It may be strange to claim that members — and even some leaders — of the CoR engage in anti-intellectualism, but the evidence is overwhelming. When noted biologists or physicists in the movement dismiss an entire field of intellectual pursuit (philosophy) out of hand they are behaving in an anti-intellectual manner. …
Better still, Pigliucci recommends a startling, novel, unheard-of practice*:
Turn on moderation on all your blogs, this will raise the level of discourse immediately by several orders of magnitude, at the cost of a small inconvenience to you and your readers.
Wot? Troll riddance? Some new atheist blogs will lose 90% of their commenters if they drop the trollbox. On the other hand, they wouldn’t sound so unhinged. Is it worth it?
Somewhere, a troll is bawling up a storm in his cave.
* pioneered at Uncommon Descent.