by Carl E. Olson | Catholic World Report blog
Here is the deep, philosophical question of the week: What is more annoying, insufferable, and unintentionally hilarious than the pontifications of atheist, "humanist", and "free thinker" A. C. Grayling?
Yes, I know, it's a tough one. I won't keep you in suspense.
Answer: The fawning, embarrassing adoration of an eighteen-year-old English student who interviews Grayling and acts as if the impressively maned Englishman's empty pontifications are rhetorical gold nuggets. That the interview is published in The Humanist is cause for the stones to cry out: "Oh, the inhumanity! Stop! Cease!"
But, to be honest, we can at least admit how fun it is to read this sort of nonsense and think, "And atheists think Christians are stupid? Goodness. I weep for them." No need to waste time with the entire train wreck of an interview, but a few pieces of broken thinking and confused stereotypes are worth kicking about for a moment. First, from the opening:
Philosophy is a rather strange business in the modern world of consumerism and commerce, I suppose. We’re so used to being force-fed ideas these days that we rarely, if ever, stop and think for ourselves.
Uh, speak for yourself, young man, speak for yourself.
And that’s where Grayling bucks the trend.
I think a gallon of coffee just shot out my nose. That is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Mind you, I've crossed cyber swords with Dr. Grayling in the past, over the matter of his ridiculous—nay, farcical—take on Christianity and the "Dark Ages". How shall I put this? Grayling isn't about bucking trends, but making bucks out of trends—in this case, the whole "new atheists" vehicle, to which he has hitched his modest bag of philosophical agitprop and public relations handles. A few years ago, an acquaintance who earned his doctorate in London and is now an atheist (we attended Bible college together 20 years ago as young Evangelicals), smirked at the mention of Grayling, saying, "He's all about fame and money." True enough.
But there is also the fact that Grayling acts as if his thinking is fresh and his perspective is daring, when both are actually decades out of dates. As I wrote six years ago: "He is an heir to the Enlightenment and thrives on the sort of anti-Christian polemics and dubious historical assertions that became the rage among many intellectuals during the Enlightenment era, so much so that he seems to be nearly entombed in a dusty (dare I say 'old-fashioned') form of simplistic skepticism that was in style many decades ago." Carry on.