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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mailvox: let me explain how this works

Modernguy objects to my kicking around a few angst-ridden atheist teenagers:
You're treating them as arbiters of the best arguments for atheism so you're doing battle with them. And acting like you just spiked the ball in their endzone is comical considering they're probably just a bunch of teenagers. In any case they are philosophically unsophisticated, so I would think below your weight class as internet superintelligence.
First, if I only limited myself to those of my intellectual weight class, I'd have to ignore nearly everyone. Second, it has always been my philosophy to take on all comers and give everyone at least one shot. So, if an atheist Neo-Keynesian with Down's Syndrome wants to take his best shot, he's welcome to do it. It's not like his chances are going to be significantly worse than anyone else's. And third, who is spiking the ball? I'm not celebrating, being from the Emmitt Smith school of having been there before and expecting to be there again soon; it is an unusual defense that cannot be run over with ease. What I find annoying about Modernguy's protest is that for every atheist who wonders why I am bothering to kick around the ineffectual opposition, there are 10 clueless atheists who genuinely believe the kickees are making really good points and doing rather well.

The underlying problem isn't that the atheist teenagers of Reddit are philosophically unsophisticated - and since we're talking about internet atheists, the chances are good that they are not actually teenagers, it's just that their intellectual and social development makes them appear to be - it is that self-anointed atheist champions such as Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Myers are no more philosophically sophisticated than the teenagers and make pretty much the same arguments. Dennett and Onfray do somewhat better, but they're still not in my class as their arguments are riddled with obvious errors big enough to drive fleets of trucks through. But don't take my word for it, read TIA and make up your own mind. No one - and I mean absolutely no one despite tens of thousands of readers - has successfully argued that my critiques of the various arguments presented by these godless gentlemen are incorrect in any way. Few have even attempted to do so because the facts upon which I draw are so conclusive and easily confirmed. Whether it is the Courtier's Reply or the Red State argument, the Extinction Equation, the Ultimate 747, One Less God, Extraordinary Claims, the Lancet Fluke, or the Epic Self-Evisceration of Christopher Hitchens, I have shown how their arguments to be both inept and invalid.

So, as I and various others have told Modernguy, if you think there is anything better out there, if you think there are any atheists arguments against religion, Christianity or God that are stronger or more valid, then by all means send it to me. I'll post it here in its unedited entirety before picking it apart. And in the meantime, I'll finish my post for later today explaining why a scientist who is apparently rather well-regarded in the field of evolutionary science simply does not know what he's talking about when he prematurely proclaims a particular triumph of so-called science.

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