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Monday 28 April 2014

UnCracked Monday: Against Who??

There's a storm brewing over my review of Isle of the Unknown.  Apparently the author has taken umbrage. I'll have a few words to say about that tomorrow or the next day.

But for today, I bring you another controversially titled article:  "Against Neil Degrasse Tyson"!

Seriously, who, other than Rev. Billy-bob Cousinfucker of the Arkansas New Revival Pentecostal Baptist Reformed Church of JEEESUS could be against Professor Tyson, right?  I mean, Cosmos is fucking awesome!

In fact, I'll spoiler you that the title is at least a little bit disingenuous.  The real point being made there ties into something I wrote about a week or so ago: that the 'New Atheism' movement has become obsessed with their idol-fetish of "Science!" so much that they have lost any sense of Philosophy.  And this ends up making them look extremely stupid to anyone who does know a bit of the humanities.  Whenever they try to criticize religion, they inevitably end up looking like bumpkins.  Ironically, because they don't know their Augustine from their Origen, much less their Augustine from their Vimalkirti,  the New Atheist perspective ends up having far more in common with our good Rev. Cousinfucker than with either serious religious figures, or serious historical atheists like Marx, Freud, or (praise be upon him) Nietzsche.

Anyways, the article above is one of the most brilliant analyses I've seen on the subject; and it doesn't let the humanities off the hook either: it points out (and a very good point it is indeed) that probably part of the reason why Dawkins & Co. seem to have such disdain for the humanities, even to the point of intellectually impoverishing themselves and weakening the quality of their arguments on account of said disdain in a classic case of shooting off noses to spite faces, is because they realize that the modern humanities have completely betrayed the civilizational values on which their beloved Science rests, primarily the acknowledgement that there are things that ARE True, and things that are therefore false, and that everything is not equally true or just a matter of opinion. 

But if anything, this is why the Humanities desperately need hard rationalism, atheist or otherwise, to come and save them.  The tragedy here is that in trying to protect Science from an irrational world, the New Atheists are sacrificing the Humanities to the other side, and will ultimately doom themselves (and maybe all of us) for it.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Soltiario Poker + H&H's Beverwyck


  1. Science is actually a VERY radical (even anarchistic) paradigm: it is based on questioning everything, asking for concrete proof for things, and being fully willing to change everything is new evidence contradicts your theory. You can apply this to humanities as well. Treating science as religious dogma is a perversion.

    Say what you want about Marx (and Engels), Freud, or Nietzsche and their theories, but all three were VERY well-versed and well-read in a WIDE variety of subjects, from humanities to social sciences to "hard" science. The Dawkins kind of atheists usually go too far down the lane of mechanical-materialist reductionism that they end up with very narrow social-Darwinist explanations of social and human phenomena (i.e. the selfish gene theory).

  2. True,

    Pundit, let me recommend an article. It comes from an atheist who no longer defines himself as a skeptic, and in it he recognizes the same issues--that science only exists in its current form because of cultural viewpoints, especially the Science always has a political dimension part

  3. Yes, I think some atheists do indeed reduce us too far down into an "animal" state, where we're no better than the biblical "beasts of the field." The uber-atheists have become as exclusionary as people who claim they're the chosen of a god. They can maybe get off of their ivory tower in order to make their ideas more accessible, instead of seeming like elitists. I think the great Neil DeGrasse Tyson has done that with skill, savvy, charisma, and aplomb.

  4. I agree, which is why I find the title ironic. Atheism needs more Tysons and less Dawkinses.

  5. But New Atheism also needs profound thinkers from OUTSIDE the sciences/engineering/computers if it stands a chance of being a truly intellectually-serious endeavour.

  6. You guys are hilarious. Keep it coming.