A popular claim among the New Atheists is that religion is incompatible with science. Of course, I have debunked that claim several times now, so why not proceed to more interesting issues? That is, consider the possibility that the New Atheist approach to epistemology is incompatible with transgenderism.
In my previous posting, I laid out the core elements of the New Atheist approach:
Atheists tell us our beliefs are supposed to be rooted in evidence. As Richard Dawkins once wrote, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence” Dawkins also tells us, “Yet scientists are required to back up their claims not with private feelings but with publicly checkable evidence” and “evidence is the only good reason to believe anything.” He sums up this approach as follows: “Sceptical rational inquiry is always the best approach. […] we can think independently, be truly open-minded. That means asking questions, being open to real corroborated evidence.” Fellow atheist activist Lawrence Krauss concurs, adding that “in fact we should be encouraging our children to question everything. It’s part of education.”
I then did exactly as I said I would do (nothing more, nothing less) – follow the lead of Dawkins and Krauss.
Dawkins and Krauss tell us to question everything.
So I did.
They tell us our beliefs must be grounded in publicly checkable evidence.
So I checked.
Needless to say, this did not go over well with some people in the comments section of that blog entry.
It was implied that I should steer clear of the question. The only evidence that Muscato is a women turned out to be nothing more than Muscato’s private feelings, along with the private feelings of other transgenders. As commenter Paul insisted, “The evidence of gender is exactly what a person says is his or her gender.” The request for evidence was attacked as silly, malicious, mean-spirited, harassment, cruel, shameful, ignorant, and inhumane.
It would thus seem we have a strong case for incompatibility here. Unlike the mushy “science is incompatible with religion” posture, here we have two contradictory approaches. The New Atheist approach insists we “question everything,” while the transgender approach insists certain questions should not be asked. The transgender approach contradicts the New Atheist approach by insisting that private feelings and personal testimony are indeed legitimate forms of evidence, entirely sufficient to elicit strong belief. The transgender approach completely ignores the New Atheist demand for “publicly checkable” and ” real corroborated” evidence and expects all to be satisfied with personal testimony and anecdotes.
The transgender approach appears to be at the opposite end of the spectrum, coming off as some post-modern expression of fideism (in contrast to the scientism that characterizes New Atheism).
It’s actually quite fascinating.
The New Atheists will attack me as being delusional and self-deceived for not conforming to the hardcore scientism, yet Paul, representing transgenderism, attacked me as being inhumane for not conforming to the extreme fideism.
Why is it that people like Dawkins, Krauss, Harris, and Coyne are not addressing this example of incompatibility? Or are we all supposed to pretend it does not exist?