John Haught tries to hide

How tacky. I’ve disliked everything I’ve read by John Haught, and it turns out he’s a sore loser, too.

John Haught is suppressing the video of the debate he had with Jerry Coyne. He signed off on permission before the debate, but has now reneged, claiming he did poorly because of the presence of “Jerry’s groupies”, and that the event “failed to meet what I consider to be reasonable standards of fruitful academic exchange”. He got his ass kicked, in other words.

Bad, bad, very bad.


  1. says

    Well, y’know, my sympathies to the poor guy, ‘n all.

    Sure. I mean, y’know when you go to the formal debate society championship and it’s these two guys who draw cards and they just have to argue whichever position they get on whichever point comes up…

    … and it turns out the topic is ‘Sticking Your Hand in a Running Blender: Pro and Con’… and you look at the guy who draws the card which says he has to argue for the health benefits of such an action, and his face is in his hands and he’s looking kinda piqued before even beginning the endeavour, well…

    Well I begin to feel a similar sort of sympathy for theologians, in these things. ‘Cept they’re like the guys who actually carry around the ‘blending your hand will improve your tennis grip’ card, and actually volunteer to take that position every time for some reason.

    It can’t be easy. Perhaps Haught has just finally tired out, after a lifetime of creating such artificial challenges for himself, realized he’s perhaps getting too old for such masochistic rhetorical exertion. What can ya do.

    It’s all good, guy. Just time to move onto something a little less perversely difficult, maybe. Like maybe doing PR for the asbestos industry or somethin’.

  2. John Messerly says

    John Haught made a number of problematic or obviously false claims.

    For example, he says: The new atheists don’t want to think out the implications of a complete absence of deity … The implications should be nihilism.

    This is more than problematic, it is manifestly false. Nihilism no more follows automatically from atheism than does meaningfulness from theism. As I argue in my recent book, The Meaning of Life: Religious, Philosophical, Scientific, and Transhumanist Perspectives, both nihilistic and non-nihilistic views can follow from either atheism or theism. Most importantly, the view that theism does not guarantee meaningfulness is the generally accepted view among contemporary philosophers, of whom only about 15% are theists. The majority of the remaining 85% of philosophers are not nihilists, as Haught’s argument implies they would be.

    Next Haught suggests that theism justifies hope, whereas atheism cannot:


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