Science has shown New Atheism to be militant

Scientist Jerry Coyne defines science as nothing more than a “combination of empirical observation, reason, and (usually) replicated observation and prediction that investigates what exists in the universe.

Now, I have used reason and evidence to investigate whether or not militant atheism exists in our universe.  And I have used reason and evidence to show that it does.  Therefore, it’s not just my opinion.  According to Coyne’s definition, it is science.  It is a scientific discovery.  Science has shown that Gnu atheism is militant.  And when the Gnu atheists deny this, this is anti-science denialism.

Those who accept Coyne’s watered-down definition of science are rationally obligated to acknowledge this.

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2 Responses to Science has shown New Atheism to be militant

  1. TFBW says:

    I think that those who follow Coyne will disagree with your conclusions. The point of contention, I think, pertains to the use of the word “reason” and its variants. This seems to mean something distinctly different for new atheists than it does for their opponents. I’m still trying to come to grips with exactly what they mean by it, but I’m inclining towards the view that, in the new atheist lexicon, “reason” is closely related to what the rest of us might term “anti-religious vehemence”.

    You might think I’m being flippant with a remark like that, but I’m not. One should bear in mind that their worldview holds to the essential incompatibility of science and religion. In that view, science and religion are held to be mutually exclusive approaches to understanding and explaining the world, and the scientific mode of thought is considered self-evidently superior in all respects. It is part of their standard narrative that religious explanations of things (e.g. thunder and lightning) are replaced and superseded by scientific explanations. Combine this with a doctrine of scientific progressivism (the idea that science always increases knowledge), and you have a system in which science inexorably replaces religion, and religion, at best, merely holds back progress.

    By now, perhaps you can see why “reason” would be closely related to “anti-religious vehemence”. If we describe “reason” as being the art of proper thinking, then this is almost synonymous with “science” in their view, and almost antithetical to “religion”. Thus, to be vehemently anti-religious is merely to be passionate about reason.

    You call their anti-religious vehemence “militant atheism”, which is fair comment, since militant atheism would certainly seem to entail that. But from their perspective, anti-religious vehemence is just epistemic virtue. Now, personally, I’m not vehemently anti-religious, so I doubt that I can explain this in a manner that does new atheism proper justice, but I’ll try. Work with me here, okay? Here we go. It seems incongruous that epistemic virtue should be described as “militant”, so there’s obviously something wrong with that claim. In fact, it appears that you are describing reason itself in negative terms: reason and religion are opposites, so reason is necessarily anti-religious, and yet you disapprove of strongly-worded anti-religious statements. Therefore your remarks are, themselves, opposed to reason. Ergo, your argument is irrational, and you are spouting nonsense.

    I may have inflicted a mental sprain on myself with that last paragraph, so I’ll leave it there for now.

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