This column seems simply tossed off, and as with all of the recent work of these Big Names, admits no light whatsoever into it. First off, the recent flavor-of-the-month of atheism bestsellers is supposed by the psychic Ms. Pollitt to have been due, in some kind of part--undefined but presumably something like 34.76 percent--to a recently generated fear of Muslims. Okay, then. How about not? How about even if, what does matter, the books are the books, maybe they sold because of industry payola, maybe the third star of Jupiter was in enclave fourteen of Hammurabi--what does such nonsensical sociological musing have to do with reality? I read the books, I even bought some of them. And it damn sure wasn't because of Muslims depicted therein. Atheist books, such as the great Atheist Manifesto by Michel Onfray, are resolutely ecumenical in their condemnation of religion. Okay?
And as for the next imaginative construction by Ms. Pollitt, that of atheists intending for all religionists to put down their religion immediately--who thinks that? Are we that stupid? Who on earth is saying such a thing? Why are all the religion-defenders, and the weak-kneed don't-offend-a-soul humanists such as Ms. Pollitt, putting nonexistent stances and words in the mouth of Dawkins and his following hordes?
There is an Aspergian punditocracy that takes over when a genuine debate arises from below and flattens it with insipid professorial ramblings, irrelevant disquisitions and maddening obtuseness. The pundits on the right are demented, but our stalwart Names on the left are untouchable also. Whatever good work they have done on other issues--and Ms. Pollitt has done remarkably good work, even in this area where she turned, sideways, on her friends--they all, all, seem to succumb to the lure of issuing pronouncements from above. Why won't they debate?
Dec 6 2007 - 8:04pm