The New Philistinism

Here is a polemical piece on the New Atheism I wrote for The American, the journal of the American Enterprise Institute. In part it summarizes points I’ve made elsewhere, but it is primarily a discussion of the New Atheists’ tactic (invented by my longtime admirer P. Z. Myers) of shouting “Courtier’s reply!” whenever someone exposes their utter ignorance of what some religious thinker they are criticizing has actually said – a piece of Orwellian doublethink which by itself would suffice to illustrate the extreme decadence into which much secularist “thought” has fallen, if that were not blindingly obvious already. (For the memory impaired, I suppose I need to repeat what I have acknowledged so many times – that not all atheists are worthy of the contempt the “new” atheists so richly deserve. J. L. Mackie, J. J. C. Smart, Quentin Smith, and Jordan Howard Sobel – to take just four examples off the top of my head – are serious thinkers whose work must be treated by the theist with respect. Dawkins, Myers, Harris, Dennett, et al. are not worthy to be mentioned in the same breath.)
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