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Ed Feser prefers old atheists too


From Feser’s blog:

Now, what Parsons actually said is that the trouble with New Atheist writers is “their logical lacunae and sophomoric mistakes” when addressing philosophical matters, and their tendency to “tar everything with the same brush” rather than distinguishing more sophisticated religious arguments and claims from cruder ones. “[D]efeating your opponents’ arguments,” says Parsons, “requires (a) taking their best arguments seriously, and (b) doing your philosophical homework.” The “Old Atheists” were more likely to do that than the “New Atheists.” Hence Parsons’ preference. He simply prefers to address what the best arguments of the other side actually say, rather than attacking straw men, begging the question, and committing other fallacies. What could Loftus possibly object to in that?

The answer, of course, is that if attacking straw men, begging the question, and committing other fallacies were ruled out of bounds for New Atheists, Loftus would find himself suffering from permanent writer’s block. Consider his reasons for holding, contra Parsons, that the New Atheism is superior to the Old. The New Atheism, says Loftus, is willing to tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth about religion,” and to expose the “irrationality” of arguments for religion, which “deserve little or no respect.” New Atheist intellectuals “are so convinced religious faith is wrong from within their own disciplines they will venture outside their disciplines, disregarding the fact that people like Feser and Parsons will call them ignorant for doing so.” More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Loftus has problems? Hey, Harris isn’t even sure if he exists. Or something. So he wins.

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See also: Wayne Rossiter: no “I” in “Me” (and no sense in Sam Harris) The old atheists make a lot more sense. It’s not clear what the new atheists’ interest in science is even about, if Harris’s view is typical.


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