Dear Mr. Derbyshire,
One thing I will never quite understand is why theists so often submit their
own personal experience as if it were a form of argument.
While I’m sure, for instance, that your atheist father was a very, very bad
man, you might just as well have gone on to consider the case of the child
reared by a theistic pedophile.
Your discussion otherwise might at least have had the virtue of being an
energetic autobiographic, however, would only that you had addressed the
issues with the seriousness you claimed to impute to them. Unfortunately, any
pretensions you might have had to seriousness were eviscerated by your casual
closing line about there being ‘more to morality than mere expedience,’
ya-da-ya-da. As if atheists thought otherwise.
Look: Jolly good for you if you want to condition your morality on a desperate
ontological postulate. But please don’t foist your meta-ethical neuroses on
those who understand that virtue, like life, is its own reward.
[Editor’s Note: This open letter is in response to an article published at http://www.nationalreview.com/derbyshire/derbyshire080602.asp.]