Friday, September 25, 2009
Jerry Coyne is not only somewhat crippled in his ability to address the subject of religion rationally, he seems to lose his ability to comprehend the English language when the subject comes up. His latest is dubbing the following from Josh Rosenau as part of some "Hall of Shame":
If the goal of this blog is to be at all educational, one hopes that a vigorous defense of analogy will serve some salutary effect in the difficulties people have with analogical thinking, whether they be religious fundamentalists bent on Biblical literalism, or atheists bent on insisting that literalism is the true form of religion.
I weep for the NCSE if this kind of idea is running the railroad. We atheists don't give a tinker's dam about what the true form of religion might be, because we don't think there is one! Nor do we have one. We don't worship Darwin, nor think that he's infallible. Is this part of a strategy to marginalize atheists along with Biblical fundamentalists?
[T]here's one thing that both atheists and the devout agree on: Karen Armstrong's God-is-but-a-transcendence-beyond-a-symbol theology is not only unrepresentative of religion in general, but hard to distinguish from atheism.
Nor is it surprising that other people think Coyne insists that the "true form" of religion is closer to literalism than the more liberal and less primitive faiths, since the former is so much easier to debunk.
Update: Josh has his own response to Coyne.
"Within every faith one can see people arranged along a spectrum of belief. Picture concentric circles of diminishing reasonableness: At the center, one finds the truest of true believers — the Muslim jihadis, for instance, who not only support suicidal terrorism but who are the first to turn themselves into bombs; or the Dominionist Christians, who openly call for homosexuals and blasphemers to be put to death."
In any event, that was only one example out of many where he does the same thing.
My point is that you're free to try and impose that kind of label if you want but if the person you're trying to label doesn't agree with you're narrow definition, then it stops being a label and starts being an insult.