P.Z. Myers linked and made a post about this article, and I’l probably get into talking about his post later.
While, as you might guess, Myers pans it, this article is, in fact, precisely my problem with the New or Gnu or Schmoo or whatever Atheists: the overwhelmingly arrogant position that they are the only ones who are right or rational, and no one who disagrees with them can be, even as they often reveal that they neither understand nor care to understand the people they’re saying are just plain irrational idiots.
Some nice quotes:
“It’s these snarky and condescending rejections, not of faith itself but of those who profess it, that reflect a total unwillingness to learn something new about human nature, the world around us and even of science itself. While the neoatheists pay only cursory attention to dismantling arguments for God, they spend most of their time painting his followers as uncultured rubes.”
The Courtier’s Argument is precisely the sort of argument that allows those “neoatheists” to ignore theology and all of the more profound thoughts on religion to instead pick on “folk religion” that’s easier to mock. And even when they engage, so many of their replies are, in fact, shallow readings that are there just to mock the argument without understanding it.
“The truth is, folks like Maher and Silverman don’t want to know about actual belief – in fact, they are much more certain about the nature of the world than most actual believers, who understand that a measure of doubt is necessary for faith. They want to focus on the downfall of a gay pastor or the Nativity scene at a mall.”
“I implore my fellow atheists to take this humility to heart. There’s still a lot to learn, but only if you’re not too busy being a know-it-all.”
A know-it-allness that’s even more puzzling given how a lot of these people so proudly tout their willingness to say “I don’t know”. You’d think they’d say it a lot more than they do if that was the case.
It’s a good article, and I think it sums up quite well where a lot of the “accomodationist” anger and frustration is coming from.