Well, it’s really hard to tell about Dori Hartley from her PuffHo piece, “The soulful atheist.” I’d like to say that she’s a kindler, gentler atheist (she certainly believes she is), but she might as well be religious, because she seems quite susceptible to Chopra-ian woo.
The new atheists baffle me sometimes. It is not enough to be an atheist, you must conform to the full set of dogmas of the ‘new atheist’ cult.
I know from my own experience: I was always, as here, an atheist, but always ‘sort of an atheist’. The reaon for that is that noone defines what the term means, and attaches all sorts of secondary implications to the affirmation.
Any intelligent stance here should be either an agnosticism tending towards theism, or an agnosticism tending toward atheism, or both at the same time.
The attempt to trash an atheist by Coyne because of some ‘Chopra-style woo’ is remarkable narrowness. Anyone tending toward atheism is going to have to consider the religious atheism of, for example, the buddhists, and a similar disguised brand in Chopra who plays two sides of the fence. That may be deceptive, but it is not woo. I think the clearest case of ‘woo’ is that of Darwinists trying to explain ethics with natural selection, social darwinist woo.
I think Coyne should be deprogrammed from the ‘new atheism’ cult. A healthy agnosticism would do wonders to his ‘obsessive twitch’ syndrome (new atheist fanaticism, still embryonic, but getting dangerous)