Massimo Pigliucci responds to David Johnson’s 3QD essay on New Atheism

Massimo Pigliucci in Rationally Speaking:

AtheistsI am not particularly friendly to the so-called New Atheism. While I respect (and often respectfully disagree with) Dan Dennett, I have been a fairly strong critic of Dawkins, Harris, and the late Hitchens(not to mention other NA’s, such as Jerry Coyne). I have even written a technical paper analyzing the NA movement from a philosophical perspective.

So it was with some interest that I recently read a piece by David V. Johnson at 3QuarksDaily, entitled “A refutation of the undergraduate atheists,” which promised to deliver some guilty pleasure for my weekend readings. It did deliver, but only in part. In the following I will outline Johnson’s arguments and where, I think, he goes astray. I have also invited him to respond here at Rationally Speaking, and he has graciously agreed, so stay tuned for a follow up.

Johnson adopts the (obviously derisive) language of philosopher Mark Johnston, referring to the NA as “undergraduate atheists” (notice that while Johnson seems to be some kind of deist, Johnson is an atheist). Since the NA’s themselves are notorious for their, shall we say, aggressive sarcasm, I think that’s a fair enough shot.

More here.