I’d like to thank the Academy.
Jerry Coyne has just awarded me the Mooney Prize for “Accommodationist of the Year” and pays a lot of attention to why, he says, no one is paying attention to me.
He defends his fellow atheist headlights and several sidelights by calling Eric MacDonald “Venerable” (which I thought was a title only a pope could bestow on a saint-in-waiting) and to Jason Rosenhouse as a promising young atheist blogger. He has more trouble finding a name for Greta Christina so he just asks, “Has he read her?” Yes, he has.
Since Jerry seems to have the power to hand out titles (who knew?) I will take him at his word that the chums he defends are everything he says they are. And more. He even seems to have access to my insanely jealous private thoughts (“Why not me… Dear God, why not pay attention to me.”) This maddening envy should have been obvious to me, but wasn’t until Jerry pointed it out.
I thought I was attacking the newbies because they are turning atheism into a private joke, or blague privée as we pompoustuans prefer to call it.
But there is no petulance here. –Nor in Jerry’s comments, where he reminds me that he has written two books. One of which, Speciation, “has become the standard text on modern views about the origin of species.” Damn, I wish I’d written that.
He also quotes the Venerable Eric’s humble and charitable response to a note I left on the Venerable’s blog:
“I feel so embarrassed for you, and for the pitiful criticisms you try to make. It won’t do simply to snipe at us. You must respond to what we say, and if you do not have the time to do that, then you should just get out of our way, because your criticisms invariably miss their mark and we have places yet to go.”
It is not everyday you see largess like this in action. And don’t think twice about it: I will be glad to get out of your way–if you just let me know which way you are marching. So far it isn’t clear. (Btw, loved the Robert Frostiness of that last line.)
I know zombies can sometimes also be unpredictable in their clamber for human flesh. What are new atheists after? Where are you heading? A Christian would say to hell, but based on Jerry’s–not to forget the others’ posts–I tend to think nowhere. And that’s pretty clever. It keeps people off guard when you do the God-snatch at the end.
I’m sorry if this seems pompous and incoherent. Accommodationists are a little like theologians that way, I guess. I sometimes find it hard to finish my thoughts in a jealous rage.
I will try to do better in 2012. I plan to study the blog sites of all the headlights and sidelights and use them as models of how it’s done. Whatever it is.
The Surefire Atheist Rapid Response Manual (December 2011)
Atheism’s Little Idea (November 2011)
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