The Sciences

On "Accommodationism" and Templeton

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJul 12, 2010 3:08 PM

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I'm on a couple of podcasts recently talking about the clash within atheism between "New Atheists" and people like me. First, I was on the "Reasonable Doubts" podcast discussing this topic for a good half hour or so. You can listen here. Many things came up, including the Templeton Foundation and the problem of online incivility. A few brief comments:

* On the Templeton Foundation, I've already had my say, and in a post that has been very interestingly ignored, reporter Dan Jones does a far better job than me at explaining why it is doesn't make sense to discount views just because they may have received Templeton support. On an intellectual level, I think Dan really deserves an answer from those who dismiss Templeton funding and those who receive it in a blanket way. (Note: My post defending Templeton has not been prominently answered either, at least that I have seen.)

* I also am tired of the label "accommodationist." It seems to imply that there is something weak about my view, as if I'm all ready to just cave to some common enemy. On the contrary, I think that I'm being tolerant and pragmatic.

There's an added point here, which is that while some strong atheists may not like the "New Atheist" label, there doesn't seem any consensus here--Vic Stenger has put it in the title of his book! However, I'm not sure any alleged "accommodationists" like or embrace the "accommodationist" label.

I was also recently on "Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub

," where many similar themes came up. The relevant links, again, are here

and here

. As for "Point of Inquiry," I'm not sure yet how it is going to handle this very heated subject, or if it will do so on one of my own shows. We'll see.

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