It all started today with a tweet from Jeff Lowder:
With all due respect to @godFreeWorld (who I genuinely respect), I could not disagree more with this tweet. This post-theistic, ostrich (head in sand) strategy makes no sense from an activism perspective and isn't defensible from a probability perspective. 'God' != Santa Claus https://t.co/mKiMTePIJw
— Secular Outpost (@SecularOutpost) March 1, 2019
Now, of course, there are all sorts of nonsense to be found on the internet which is best ignored. But @godFreeWorld is described on his Twitter profile as a “Prof. of Biology” with 26.6K followers, so his opinion is more worthy of note.
I then replied to Jeff:
“Yeah, what a bizarre position to take. Most human beings on earth are theists, including many of the world’s leading intellectuals in diverse fields across the humanities and sciences. You really need to be living in a secular bubble to take this opinion seriously.”
@godFreeWorld then replied to me and I replied in kind:
@godFreeWorld: “Thank you for bolstering my opinion that the endless fascination of philosophy with the bankrupt ‘god’ claim only acts to protect it.”
Randal: “Pure tribalistic anti-intellectualism. Scientists who dismiss philosophy are fools as surely as philosophers who dismiss science. (Fortunately, the latter is comparatively rare.)”
@godFreeWorld: “I have in no way dismissed philosophy. But philosophy does have a failing, and that is its unjustifiable and ongoing fascination with the ‘god’ claim, which is without intellectual merit.”
Randal: “Presumably you recognize that in order to dismiss a field of inquiry one should first be informed on that field. So how well read are you in the field you are dismissing? Do tell…”
@godFreeWorld: “To which ‘field’ do you refer? I have spoken only of the ‘god’ claim.”
Randal: “Let’s start with metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics and philosophy of religion, since those are the primary fields in which the concept of God is discussed and debated. Please share your background in these fields that equips you to make your dismissive judgment.”
Crickets, that’s about the best way to characterize a non-response response, right?
Based on his failure to reply, I must assume that @godFreeWorld has read nothing in the relevant fields of metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics and philosophy of religion, and so he is repudiating the topic of God while remaining bracingly ignorant of the fields in which that concept of debated.
This is anti-intellectualism no less egregious than that of the Christian fundamentalist who repudiates biological evolution while having read nothing in the field of evolutionary biology.
The lesson, once again, is that fundamentalist anti-intellectualism is not limited to avowedly “religious” folk. Indeed, in my experience, it remains a pervasive problem among atheists.