Re: [asa] NPR on New Atheism

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Oct 22 2009 - 15:53:43 EDT

> I reject the common claim that the New Atheists subscribe to 'scientism'.
> Science is appealed to superficially only insofar as it offers utility - and
> is either ignored, rejected, or superceded by ideologies otherwise. To make
> what I think is an apt comparison, during the french revolution the
> revolutionaries yelled quite a lot about "reason". But does the reign of
> terror really seem like the result of reason? Do historians, or anyone who
> reads about that age, talk about how reason triumphed during that reign?

Of course they do not truly rely exclusively, or even all that much,
on geunine science. However, it is true that they claim that science
is all there is and that a scientific explanation is a full
explanation. So they do profess scientism but fail to live up even to
such a sorry and self-contradictory position as scientism.

Actually, there was a lot of bang bang and splash splash (e.g.,
sinking boatloads of peasants to save on ammo), not just chop chop, in
the effort to exterminate those who were not sufficiently revolting in
the eyes of the revolutionary French government.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Thu Oct 22 15:53:59 2009

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