Apparently Paul Campos (U of Colorado law professor and darling of the HAES academia contingent) recently wrote a steamy pile of claptrap
in which he concludes that "there are almost no genuine atheists."
He comes to this point by arguing that atheists think "the human race has existed for an eye-blink of cosmological time and will certainly cease to exist in another eye-blink or two" (yes, and...?) and therefore should not demonstrate any concern whatsoever for the preservation of biological diversity because that kind of concern requires
"belief in some source of an ultimate moral order, i.e., what most people would call 'God.'"
Therefore, someone like E.O. Wilson
, an incredibly learned man who self-identifies as an atheist and has committed his entire life to the study and preservation of biological diversity, must be deluding himself with his "nonsensical" claims about not believing in a god.
This argument is an old, tiresome one for atheists everywhere and completely unremarkable in and of itself. I guess what bugs me is that it's coming from someone whose intelligent and investigative writing style I have admired in the past. Pity he couldn't be bothered to investigate sociobiology (Wilson's most infamous field of study), evolutionary psychology, or the basis of natural moral order before insulting a great scientist (and atheist).A poster to the Effect Measure public health blog
, hit the nail on the head:If I think my community "ought" to prepare its public health system for a flu pandemic, does that mean I am not an atheist? For that matter, if I think we "ought not" to make war on each other (because I believe our species is better off), does that denote an allegiance to some ultimate moral order that is equivalent to "God"?
If so, I guess I am only claiming to be an atheist because I think Professor Campos ought not talk bullshit. On the other hand, when I read stuff like the Campos column, I am inspired to use religious language, as in, "God give me strength" (eyes rolled heavenward). So maybe he's right after all.
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PS - E.O. Wilson's latest book, The Creation
, is an open letter to evangelical Christians asking them to work with people of other faiths (and not-faith) in order to preserve life on the planet. According to sources at the Vatican, this potentially makes him the Green Antichrist