PZ is doing another talk tomorrow, at the American Atheists National Convention. Subject: “Scientists! If you aren’t an atheist, you’re doing it wrong!” Regular commenter (here as well as there) julian disagreed.
I’d say if a philosopher’s not an atheist they’re doing it wrong but a scientist can be whatevs so long as they’re sufficiently ignorant of things outside their area of expertise.
I disagreed with that.
How is that not doing it wrong? How is believing something that is dependent on being sufficiently ignorant of things outside their area of expertise not doing it wrong?
I see how it’s technically possible, of course, and how it can be made to “work” in a narrow, vocational sense, but I don’t see how it is, considered more broadly, anything but doing it wrong.
To put it another way, of course strict compartmentalization is possible, but it’s not a respectable solution for a scientist or any other kind of honest inquirer.
That’s what I think. Being ignorant in order to do a special, defective kind of thinking is doing it wrong, as long as “it” is understood to be cognitive functioning in general as opposed to just doing a particular (scientific) job. Yes a scientist can do science in the lab and woo everywhere else, but that’s doing it wrong. NOMA is doing it wrong. Doing it wrong is doing it wrong.