Strange Notions is re-running a fine piece by atheist Tim O’Neill…

on the absolutely ignorant myth of the Dark Ages so beloved by atheists who worship, but almost never use, their intellects.  He is that rarest of phenomena, an internet atheist who is knowledgeable, honest and genuinely intelligent, as well as unafraid to treat of Christian history on its own terms and with some actual conversance in how medievals thought.

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  • Eve Fisher

    Actually, the old “Dark Age” myth was started by the Renaissance humanists (from Petrarch in the 14th century, Cesare Baronius in the 17th) to show what an amazing illumination was theirs as opposed to their immediate predecessors. (Almost exactly the same way that teenagers look at their hopelessly benighted parents with contempt and superiority, and “we’ll never be like THAT”.) Sadly, ever since it has been passed off as truth, when it is egregiously false. Good historians fight this tooth and branch in every class on European history, but old myths die hard…

  • Des Farrell

    It’s harsh to say that atheists never use their intellects, especially since the fine article, as you point out, was written by one. The previous article of yours that I read from June was an apology for being bitter. I find a lot of US catholic media to be unnecessarily confrontational. It’s a dangerous road to go down. God bless.

    • chezami

      I don’t say that atheists never use their intellects. I say that that those who worship their intellects (a huge percentage) tend not to use them. O’Neill is a refreshing example of an atheist who does not put up with atheists who worship but do not use their intellects and he does not let them get away with BS.

      • Besides being ambiguous, (Des’ reading is also possible, though it would impply/require a comma after “so beloved by atheists”), the “huge percentage” thing is still unjust and offensive. You wouldn’t like much, an atheist saying that you are a refreshing example of a catholic that use you intellect, in constrast with those catholics -a huge percentage- who are idiots.

        Homework: 1) Do atheists, on average, use more their intellects than than catholics or less? or is this an intersting/irrelevant/impossible question or what?
        2) Doesn’t much of catholic apologetics implicitly affirm that atheists are dumber than catholics?