Yet again, people are asking why are so many smart people such idiots about philosophy? I have a different answer than you’ll find at that link. It’s because so many smart people are idiots about psychology. I deal with a lot of atheists, and one of the many flaws in that group that have been coming to the fore lately is the obliviousness they have to their own motivations.
Atheists are all about the scienceyness. Good people are rational, objective, and unemotional, which whether they are aware of it or not, is a value judgment built on emotion. There is a lot of self-esteem-building going on, centered around who is smarter than who, who can build the most logical argument, and who is best at being aloofly superior. It’s all very annoying.
But, unfortunately for the atheists, philosophers tend to be better at the logical argument dealio than most of them are. I can tell you that while I think I’m reasonably good at arguing, I’d rather not get into a one-on-one with either a Jesuit or a philosopher, because I fear I’d be twisted into knots, and I’m aware enough that I’d know it, which makes it all the more painful. So lately I’ve been witnessing a lot of bizarre deprecation of philosophical skills, and it’s been awkward because it’s all coming from scientists and atheists who actually value those skills a great deal…except when they’re labeled “philosophy.”
So there’s a bit of ego-boosting behind the dismissal of philosophy.
The other psychological gambit I’ve been seeing a great deal of is the herd mentality. Big name nerd disses philosophy; then swarms of followers agree, “Philosophy is a joke!”, and they all laugh and slap each others’ backs and cheer on more jeering at the stupid discipline. It turns into an ugly self-perpetuating cycle. It’s especially irritating when groups of atheists fall into this trap, because their usual mantra is “show me the evidence,” and most of the ones playing this game have never studied philosophy at all.
(Note: I do not pretend to be a philosopher, I’m a crummy philosopher, but I’ve simply read enough of it to respect the discipline and see where some of its strengths and weaknesses lie.)