Are we really “militant” atheists?

A quick post in response to James Wood’s recent piece in the New Yorker, “Secularism and its Discontents.” Wood misses no opportunity to take a swipe at “militant,” or “Darwinian” atheists (as he calls them) in his review of The Joys of Secularism. I used to admire Wood as a critic, but ever since he became an apologist for faitheism I can’t even make it through an entire article he publishes.

Discussing Philip Kitcher’s contribution, Wood writes:

His essay is characterized by its humanity, and by its willingness to borrow from religion. He will get no reward from the Darwinian atheists for this…

Oh, presumably because “Darwinian atheists” are incapable of humanity? Or unfamiliar with the religions they reject? Why are we always reading that religion is brimming, just overflowing with humanity? And that atheism is cold, and cold-hearted? Has Wood ever read a single book or blog by his nemeses, the New Atheists?

I think not. If he had, he would see clearly that they are not bereft of his much-prized humanity. It’s a patently ridiculous dichotomy he has set up. Aren’t we a little tired of this gnu-bashing already?

If you want to read a collection of very human essays by atheists – and Kitcher contributed to this one, too – try 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists. You’ll understand just how wrong Wood is on this one.

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