Friday, March 6, 2009

I Like It, I Quote It: Conservatives and Christians

Exhibit A: Matt Yglesias dares to speak of the dim-witted elephant in the room:

Something I think most liberals don’t understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are. There is, yes, a condescending tendency to believe that no smart person could be on the right ideologically at all. That’s dead wrong. Plenty of bright people on the right. But the way their movement works, intelligence or understanding of politics and policy has no meaningful role in advancement. If anything, there’s something of a negative correlation between knowing what you’re talking about and being able to get ahead in right-wing politics.

So you get stuff like this. He’s not cocooning by reading Milton Friedman, he’s cocooning by reading Ayn Rand.
The jape about the "condescending tendency" of liberals to overstate the matter is a fair one that jibes with my experience of fellow liberals. That said, conservatives really do have a pronounced tendency to be stupid, or too content with half-true nostrums, or poorly informed, or intellectually lazy, or some combination of these.

Exhibit B comes from John W. Loftus:
Do this. I’ll call this the Debunking Christianity challenge. Do what Andrew Atkinson did. He had read up on all of the top Christian apologetics books and then decided in fairness to read all of the top skeptical books. What he found was that the skeptical books ended his faith. They had better arguments.
Better arguments should win, don't you think?

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