Love it, particularly the ending:
Meanwhile, New Atheist bloviator and blowhard, PZ Myers, has fired off a string of typically moronic insults at de Botton, while at the same time showing that he hasn't actually bothered to read the book or understand what de Botton is even saying. He...brays:
His eloquent response to a mild observation de Botton made about New Atheists like Myers was "f*** you very much". It's certainly interesting to turn from de Botton's genuinely thought-provoking and stimulating analysis written in elegant and measured prose to Myers' gems with titles like "the League of Nitwits has f****d in my general direction". De Botton's book has done what all good books should do, added to my understanding and shown me the world in a new light. It's also made me change the way I live. No-one will ever say that of PZ Myers.
Our culture is currently divided between three groups: Atheists, who think the truth matters, and want our problems addressed with real-world solutions; theists, who want a god or supernatural powers to solve our problems with magic; and fence-sitting parasites like de Botton who see a personal opportunity to pander to the believers for their own gain, who will ride the conflict while pretending to aloof from it, and win popularity with the masses by trying to tell everyone they’re all right.
I'll admit I do follow Myers, Coyne and other scientists who are active in the New Atheist movement for their informed criticism of science denialism which is done incisively and from a position of general knowledge. Outside of that, all bets are off. While I'm hardly a supporter of Philip Johnson's ID arguments, the final paragraph of his review
of Dan Dennet's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" is apposite:
Science is a wonderful thing in its place. Because science is so successful in its own territory, however, scientists and their allied philosophers sometimes get bemused by dreams of world conquest. Paul Feyerabend put it best: "Scientists are not content with running their own playpens in accordance with what they regard as the rules of the scientific method, they want to universalize those rules, they want them to become part of society at large, and they use every means at their disposal -- argument, propaganda, pressure tactics, intimidation, lobbying -- to achieve their aims." Samuel Johnson gave the best answer to this absurd imperialism. "A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden."
Edited by Ken Gilmore, 13 May 2012 - 12:54 AM.
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei