Tweety Pete Says Strange Things

First, they wanted to be known as Brights.

As for now?

So Boghossian envisions atheists as “heroes” who shall be known throughout the land as “Epistemic Knights.” And they shall do battle with “villians” – the dreaded Faith Monsters.

My goodness. The university professor has begun to think like a toddler. It looks like we have more evidence that the Gnu virus can cripple the intellectual regions of the brain.

This entry was posted in atheism, Gnu virus, New Atheism, Peter Boghossian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Tweety Pete Says Strange Things

  1. carmelitaspats666 says:

    I know. The methodology of faith tells me there’s a Trinitarian-incarnational-atoning-resurrecting-ascending-soon-to-be-returning-God who sacrificed Himself to Himself through a process involving the insemination of a virgin. This is NOT the deist “force” but a mighty Lord who once walked this Earth as a virgin carpenter. He talks to me every single day through my hair dryer because we have a personal relationship which borders on the neurotic and the erotic: as a Catholic, I open wide and swallow the living flesh of Christ in the Eucharist. Boghossian, my psychiatrist, and my secular medications are completely WRONG. When I hear God’s low contralto voice, it is NOT “my-own-voice-only-a-little-bit-deeper”. Atheists are evil. ¡Viva Cristo rey!

  2. Michael says:

    Yawn. So tell me, carm – do you fancy yourself as an Epistemic Knight?

  3. Dhay says:

    My goodness. carmelitaspats666 has begun to think like a toddler. It looks like we have more evidence that the Gnu virus can cripple the intellectual regions of the brain.

  4. Kevin says:

    Carmelitaspats666 still has not offered up anything less logical than philosophical naturalism. Getting back to Peter’s tweet, that is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen.

  5. TFBW says:

    Oh, come on, Kevin. Carmelitaspats666 hasn’t offered anything but thoughtless scoffing and mockery. His comments are the equivalent of an offensive hand gesture, not an argument. If you treated it as an argument, you’d have to say that it’s not only a blatant strawman, but an exceedingly desperate strawman, given that it’s got to look stupider than Boghossian’s tweet in order to be rhetorically effective. I think it’s more charitable to interpret the comment as a taunt, rather than an attempt at sophistry.

    It’s a grave error to assume that anything a New Atheist says is intended to be reasonable just because they bang on about “reason” all the time. As this blog has repeatedly shown, they are more likely to speak and act based on emotional response, then paper over it with rationalisation later, should they be called on it. As such, you need to perform a sort of triage on each comment — sometimes each part of each comment: is this comment a reasoned argument, or is it just a way of lashing out verbally? Carmelitaspats666’s comment falls very obviously into the latter category, and should be treated as such. Boghossian’s tweet also falls into the latter category, but it’s pro-active propaganda rather than verbal retaliation.

    So, contra Dhay, I have to say that carmelitaspats666 is not thinking like a toddler, but merely behaving like one: reflexively lashing back at something which offends. Of course, the average toddler just pounds a fist or blows a raspberry, whereas a typical Gnu will make an attempt at sophisticated mockery. In deference to that fact, I think we should at least refer to them as Sophisticated Toddlers when they pull this kind of stunt.

    Having said that, I should clarify that while I’m ready to give carmelitaspats666 a patronising pat on the head and the label of Sophisticated Toddler, I’m not ready to do so with Boghossian. That man is an enigma: I can never quite tell whether he actually believes his own bullshit (like Dawkins, who, for all his flaws, is outstandingly sincere), or whether he’s a hardened cynic, quite knowingly spouting propaganda and sophistry in order to cash in on an audience of Sophisticated Toddlers who lap it up uncritically. Is Boghossian a dumb philosopher, or just playing dumb for tactical reasons?

  6. Richie says:

    Boghossian is an embarrassment to philosophy.

  7. Kevin says:

    TFBW, I guess my sarcasm doesn’t always translate over haha. I thought 666’s post was exceedingly stupid and childish, but my response was more of a taunt that even 666’s immature post was more reasonable than atheism.

  8. apeinacape says:

    If Boghossian believes in faith monsters, should he not also believe in flying spaghetti monsters too? Yet, if the latter isn’t real, why think that the former isn’t also?

    This is one knight that really needs to take his steed and pony up regarding the inconsistencies in his rhetoric – lest his wagging Lancelot tongue look decidedly lance-less when word-jousting with opponents.


  9. TFBW says:

    Point taken, Kevin.

  10. ccmnxc says:

    “…a typical Gnu will make an attempt at sophisticated mockery.”

    One of the absurdly infuriating things though is that it hardly ever is sophisticated mockery. It is almost like a mantra really, what with all the “Jeebus, magical sky-daddy, rape-condoning,” etc, etc, ad infinitum. The gnu with anything resembling wit is a rare creature indeed, and it’s almost insulting in itself that the insults they come up with are so bad.

  11. Crude says:

    It is almost like a mantra really

    I call ’em Cultists of Gnu for a reason.

  12. TFBW says:

    … it hardly ever is sophisticated mockery.

    Indeed — that’s why I qualified it with “attempt”. On the other hand, the perception of wit and sophistication is a rather subjective thing. Take the FSM for example. From the perspective of a theist, it’s a puerile piece of mockery which utterly fails as satire because it attacks a ludicrously shallow, straw-man representation of theism. From a Gnu perspective, however, it’s a masterful piece of satirical wit, because they are quite convinced that the shallow, straw-man portrayal of theism it offers is a perfectly accurate representation.

    I’m of the view that productive dialogue between theists and anti-theists is simply impossible — short of an anti-theist ceasing to be an anti-theist — because of this fundamental difference in perception. They are convinced that our beliefs really are that stupid, and that we are correspondingly stupid for believing them. They are not open to negotiation on that point: they are utterly closed-minded about what we actually believe and our reasons for doing so. The whole “sky fairy” thing is not merely an insult, it is also an accurate reflection of how they perceive us and our beliefs, incredible though that may seem.

    As such, Boghossian can probably get away with the absurd rhetoric of “Faith Monsters” because anti-theists have already demonised theists into irrational, mostly-evil monsters anyhow. And if nobody on his side of the fence called him out for the whole pseudo-medical “virus” metaphor, why would they call him out for a pseudo-feudal one? Maybe because modern medicine is an icon of science, while knights battling monsters is an icon of fantasy, but that’s about all.

  13. Dhay says:

    As regards Boghossian failing to understand the content and terminology of Christianity, but shooting his mouth off anyway, here’s what that apparently now more-or-less forgotten scientist, Richard Dawkins, had to say in similar circumstances:

    “[Midgely] seems not to understand biology, or the way biologists use language. No doubt my ignorance would be just as obvious if I rushed headlong into her field of expertise, but I would then adopt a more diffident tone. As it is, we are both in my corner, and it is hard for me not to regard the gloves as off.”

    Looks like a reply to the Courtier’s Reply, also.

  14. Crude says:

    No doubt my ignorance would be just as obvious if I rushed headlong into her field of expertise, but I would then adopt a more diffident tone.


  15. TFBW says:

    Here is Dawkins’ “diffifent tone”, as expressed in the preface to the paperback edition of The God Delusion.

    To expand the point, most of us happily disavow fairies, astrology, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster without first immersing ourselves in books of Pastafarian theology.

    He adopts a more diffident tone unless he happens to hold the entire field of expertise in utter contempt, as per theology. That, however, doesn’t explain why he’s perpetually spouting bad philosophy (which happens to be Midgely’s field of expertise). I don’t think that’s the result of contempt, although he definitely shows a lack of respect for the field on occasion. Mostly, I blame the fact that he’s so utterly ignorant of the field that he doesn’t even know when he’s blundered into it.

    Boghossian has no such excuse as regards philosophy, but I suppose he’s just as entitled as Dawkins to hold theology in contempt, and therefore fail to engage the subject in exactly the same way. This illustrates what I said earlier about the impossibility of dialogue between theists and anti-theists: anti-theists don’t just disagree, they despise.

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