I guess R. Joseph Hoffman is trolling for attention again. Joey — or is it Joe? Joseph seems so fussy. Maybe R.? — R., then, is so disappointed in those dissolute insult-mongering New Atheists that he has scribbled up another sloppy, incoherent, lazy whine in which engages in prolonged insult-mongering, nothing more. It’s an astonishing demonstration of projection and an absolute lack of self-awareness: the post is little more than a clumsy list of the atheists who piss off R., with bombastic, affected explanations for why they are so stupid. It’s a rather useful guide, though, to who’s cool in the atheist movement; I’m flattered that he despises me so, and included me in the list.
Here’s R.’s list, with his tumid awkward insults pared down to a single summary sentence:
Dawkins: Unabashed science-thumper.
Harris: Singularly incoherent.
Hitchens: The only true intellectual of the group.
Coyne: How can he be such a scientist when the U of Chicago has one of the most venerable divinity schools in the country?
Myers: Moral nihilist who once destroyed a cracker.
Christina: Radical feminist and lesbian who sees everything as a weird sexual joke.
Benson: Runs a chat room for neo-atheist spleen.
MacDonald: Another horn in the bagpipe blown by Coyne and Myers.
Rosenhouse: Doesn’t like anything that rises an inch beyond cultural Judaism.
Now you know who to turn to for the intelligent and interesting commentary on religion. Keep in mind, though, that R. is a brilliant fellow who thinks Dawkins’ entire argument was devastated by this Terry Eagleton quote:
“What, one wonders, are Dawkins’s views on the epistemological differences between Aquinas and Duns Scotus? Has he read Eriugena on subjectivity, Rahner on grace, or Moltmann on hope? Has he even heard of them? Or does he imagine like a bumptious young barrister that you can defeat the opposition while being complacently ignorant of its toughest case?”
The knob-polishers and filigree-painters of religion and theology are not at all relevant to the fundamental question of whether a god exists or not — but they make useful distractions for the pompous, pretentious buffoons who try to hide the fact that there is no elephant in the room with learned discussions about what color he paints his toenails.