Ron Rosenbaum tells us in this Slate article why his infantile Templeton-funded “radical skepticism” kind of agnosticism is so new and improved. It is neither. It is an intellectual embarrassment.
New Agnosticism (versus New Atheism, of course) as a practical matter is nothing more and nothing less than cowardly atheism but with a healthy dose of accomodationism built right in. What a surprise such a wobbly foundation would be acceptable to the Templeton Foundation that spends gobs of money attempting to marry science and religion in spite of objections from both families. That’s who funded Ron’s latest jaunt to Cambridge to experience this revelation regarding the evils of atheism.
Radical skepticism. Let’s see.
Does anyone really insist that as far as Zeus’ existence is concerned, we can’t really say? How radical.
Does anyone stand firm and proclaim that it is reasonable to take the attitude that we don’t know if a pink elephant will drop out of the sky and land on our cars during the afternoon commute? Skepticism in action, I say.
Is “I don’t know” really the honest answer to all assertions about what is not known? Let’s stay radically skeptical, people.
Are mushrooms really intergalactic spies sent here to keep tabs on the expansion of flax? Umm… I’m skeptical?
Is “I don’t know” the higher value answer upon which to base our daily decisions? Yeah, very skepti-cological, dude… like, totally rad, man.
Is this the kind of agnosticism that will in Ron’s words “take on the New Atheists”?
Yeah, good luck with that Ron.
But as long as Templeton continues to pay for writing like yours to subsidize the spread such nonsense, why not continue to spout this intellectual garbage? Although it pays your rent, doesn’t judging atheism in such a way fly in the face of exactly that you champion: you admit that you just don’t know?
So I suggest you sit in front of whatever writing tool you favour and follow your own position for the rest of your life pondering not whether you should or shouldn’t write anything that contains an opinion but that you admit that, deep down, you just don’t really know anything about anything and therefore cannot possibly take any position at all. Now that would really show these New Atheists what’s what from your unicorn and butterfly and rainbow mystic world of New Agnosticism.