Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Uof C Professor Embarasses Self

From the online edition of the Calgary Herald:

It's no wonder evangelical atheists need to shout so loud

Every faith, the dogmatic atheists say, contains a seed of violence and torment

Barry Cooper,
U of C Prof of Political Science
For The Calgary Herald

Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The shining example of free thinking said to characterize the French Enlightenment was Voltaire. In the face of dogmatic clerics, both Protestant and Catholic, he urged reasonable people everywhere to "crush the infamous thing."

His argument was as obvious then as it is today: organized religion not only divides humanity into believers and infidels, it authorizes the former, with a beatific smile, to extinguish the latter. Often religion claims to be doing so for the good of the infidel.

That Voltaire had Christianity in mind is indicated by a rather more vulgar expression from his pen: "the people will not be free until the last king is strangled in the guts of the last priest."

Modern would-be Voltaires such as Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins are just as strident in their hatred of religion in general and revealed religion in particular. "

For one thing, the quotation comes from Deiderot, not Voltaire. For another thing, the article is chock-full of strawmen fallacies, prejudicial broad-stroke discrimination, misrepresentation and plain ignorance.

Welcome to the wonderful world of a PhD gone wrong.
Makes me ashamed of our University here in Calgary.

1 comment:

Cameron said...

Cooper is one of the idiotic Straussian cabal running amok in the U of C Poli-Sci and History departments.

He should stick to what he knows best - though I for the life couldn't tell you what that is.