mercoledì 28 dicembre 2011

Ateismo e dintorni

Qualche giorno fa Massimo Pigliucci scriveva su “Rationally Speaking” (Massimo’s Picks, special Hitchens edition, december 25):

As you all know, Christopher Hitchens has recently passed away after a valiant (and very public) struggle against cancer. Most of the commentaries and obituaries were positive, and many of my fellow atheists and freethinkers seem to genuinely admire the man. I have always been puzzled by why, exactly, this is so.

Yes, he was an atheist. Yes, he wrote eloquently. But that's about it. He was also personally abusive (particularly, it appears, toward fellow writers), misogynist, obnoxiously in your face about his beliefs (or lack thereof), and spectacularly inconsistent (and incredibly often wrong) about his political positions.

So here is my admittedly contrarian collection of commentaries on Hitch, in the hope that we can come up with a more balanced view of the man and begin a thoughtful discussion about just how much good or bad he has done to atheism, freethought, and political discourse.
A seguire alcuni articoli con relativi link (che trovate qui).
Niente di strano fin qui, anzi qualcosa di buono: ovvero un esempio di come sarebbe sensato discutere di qualcuno o di una tesi. Ma qualcosa è andato storto, o meglio è andato tristemente nella direzione dlla dicotomia buono/cattivo. O meglio come spiega Pigliucci nel post del 27 dicembre (Jerry Coyne loses his cool, Dawkins his style):
This is not going to be a post about substance, only about form. Yes, I know, many in the atheist community don’t seem to think that the latter matters. If you are among them, don’t bother to read the rest of this.

As my readers might recall, a few days ago I published a special “Rationally Speaking Picks” with links to several articles critical of Christopher Hitchens, to balance out what I perceived to be a bit too much of a glorification of his persona upon his untimely death.

Apparently, that simple list managed to completely unhinge my colleague Jerry Coyne (as well as Richard Dawkins), in the process precisely making my point that some atheists suffer from hero worship and a selective dearth of critical thinking.

Jerry and I have a long history of mutual criticism, which goes back to our pre-public outreach days, covering a variety of issues in evolutionary biology (species concepts and speciation theory, the status of evolutionary theory, and the like). As readers of this (and his) blog know, we openly take issue with each other’s posts from time to time, and occasionally — and regrettably — the disagreement has gotten personal. It was for the latter reason that at some point I issued a formal apology to Jerry, which he rather ungraciously did not reciprocate.

But his latest post is a rant pure and simple, and has finally closed the book on Jerry Coyne, as far as I am concerned (and pretty much also closed the one on Dawkins too, more on him near the end). I will leave aside, as I said, the substantive content, partly because it is so preposterously an overreaction to what I wrote that it takes care of itself, partly because many of the questions that Jerry asks have actually been answered in the articles I linked to. Instead, here is a taste of what he writes about me:

“I respond briefly: Pigliucci is full of what comes out of the south end of a bull facing north.”

(I appreciate the colorful, if somewhat burlesque-style metaphor. As it turns out, however, his response is anything but brief.)

“Give me a fricking break, Dr.3 Pigliucci!”

(Jerry appears to have a complex of inferiority in my respects, at least as judged by his constant jeering of the fact that I have three PhD’s and he only one. What’s up with that, my friend?)
Il post continua e vale la pena leggerlo per intero. Non proprio un esempio di come discutere... O non ci si può permettere di criticare dio Hitch?
Sempre del 27 dicembre è un post su The goals of atheist activism.

2 commenti:

Matteo ha detto...

È altrettanto interessante guardare i commenti al post di Pigliucci. I primi sono adoranti, ma -scendendo- il Pigliucci inizia ad arrampicarsi ai vetri quando i commentatori lo incalzano. Quello che Pigliucci stenta a capire è che il mondo è interessante nella sua varietà, e che la sua "via di mezzo" è una tecnica comunicativa altrettanto valida di quella dei New Atheists. Anzi, nel nostro mondo così veloce, la seconda è forse anche più efficace.

Matteo ha detto...

Due letture (più) interessanti: