"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Esmay on Dennett

Our nascent blogbrother [any day now, per our masthead] exposes the soft white underbelly of the New Atheism:

“Scientific” atheist thinkers like Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins have in recent years been admitting, in sometimes sulky fashion, that it appears to be impossible to talk religious belief out of most people, finding even that most self-described atheists raised by nonreligious parents wind up interested in spiritual or supernatural ideas anyway, such as reincarnation, astrology, numerology, palmistry, tarot, telepathy, and other “occult” phenomena, even if they don’t become outright religious.
Indeed, although there are exceptions, I have met few atheists who do not at least fiddle with something occult or pseudosciencey, often loudly protesting that it’s “just harmless fun” in case someone suspect them of Science Heresy. In his excellent book, The Irrational Atheist, author Vox Day shows that most self-described atheists believe in something beyond current science, they just don’t like talking about it. Professor of Philosophy Ed Feser notes superstitious and incoherent ideas popular with even some of today’s most celebrated atheist intellectuals as well.
Be it woo, or "humanity" and "human progress," it's how we're wired, it seems.

You gotta believe in something, or all is lost. It's a human thing.

5 comments:

RTod said...

"Our nascent blogbrother "

Gotta say, did *not* see that coming.

Dean Esmay said...

:)

Tim Kowal said...

Or as Alfred North Whitehead put it: "Those who devote themselves to the purpose of proving that there is no purpose constitute an interesting subject for study."

An atheist told me there is no meaning. He wanted to say more, but I took him at his word and stopped listening.

But I like the honesty of Isaac Asimov:

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."

Tim Kowal said...

Hadley Arkes shared this in his book Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths: "A dear friend, who has done premier work in the neural sciences and several books on philosophical psychology, remarked that he wanted, as the epitaph on his gravestone, "He died without a theory.""

Even the destruction of all theory is a theory.

He will not die without a theory, just without a coherent one.

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