Ron Rosenbaum has been getting his share of verbal spanking for the past week from the secret atheist police. They are always out to silence the opposition, even if the opposition is pretty much on their side. Atheists, the new Radical Agnostics say, will settle for nothing less than absolute unbelief. Anything veering from the path of the Truth (there is no God) is suspect and therefore mincemeat for the Atheist Inquisition, especially if you’re guzzling Templeton gelt. It’s only a matter of time before they set up the gallows in your hometown.
What is this radical agnosticism Rosenbaum has proposed, anyway? It is the assertion that WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. It paints science as the pretension to a TOE – or Theory of Everything – and atheists as the henchmen of its church. Agnostics, feeling left out of the NYT bestseller list in the past seven years, want their share now, too. But how can you be radically undecided? This reminds me of one of those hollow political slogans you see at election time in Italy, Estremo Centro. Get it? Extreme Center. Enough fighting! We have the answer. We’re all just a bunch of ignoramuses. Scientists are no better than theologians. Life is a mystery. We’re all hypocrites. Even me. Even you.
What ever happened to the ancient, respectable art of making an argument and backing it up? Or is that just too fundamentalist for these troubled times?