Patheos Went a-Headhuntin’

Patheos Went a-Headhuntin’ September 11, 2012

And they tempted Chris Hallquist (who blogs as the Uncredible Hallq) to forsake Freethought Blogs and join the Patheos Atheist channel).  Chris has been an English teacher in South Korea and he’s soon to start work as a researcher for the Singularity Institute.

I’ll confess, I’ve seen more of what he’s written at Less Wrong than chez lui, but I am intrigued by his attempt to beta test his new book.  He’s putting chapters online as he writes and inviting comment and critiques, so the eventual text will be more comprehensive.

I’ve added him to my RSS feed and I’ll try to write a response to the next chapter that goes up.  It’s my impression that the book is more contra evangelicals, but we’ll see.

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  • jenesaispas

    “I’ll try to write a response to the next chapter that goes up.”
    Please do!

    off-topic but I wanted to share this

  • The migration of Freethought Bloggers to Patheos is getting a bit ECW/WWF. With the difference, naturally, that Paul Heyman’s audiences were a little more civilised.

    *Smiles innocently*

    • +1
      I had a similar thought about the migration and a similarly less than charitable thought about the audience(s).

      Isn’t Hemant responsible for the Atheism portal (I could be misunderstanding the way Patheos works) – seems to be a ‘contra-Libresco’ recruitment strategy. or something like that.

      • leahlibresco

        When I blogged there, Hemant didn’t run it; a Patheos person was my contact. I don’t notice anything contra-me about the new recruits, just that they’re popular and were willing to transfer.

      • ACN

        Notably, Patheos also pays better than FtB. The blogger choices are also quite popular, and if they move to Patheos they generate pageviews for Patheos.

        There are economic incentives at work also. 🙂

        • deiseach

          Um, I thought the high-rolling world of religion blogging meant you could earn literally cents for your endeavours?

          If atheism blogging is raking in the big bucks (as in, amounts sufficiently large to be quantified in dollar amounts), then maybe we’re all backing the wrong horse!


        • Patheos also pays better than FtB

          You get PAID for blogging here?? Did not know that…

          • leahlibresco

            Yup, that’s why the RSS feeds are truncated. My pay is based on pageviews.

  • Ted Seeber

    I have long suspected that the seeds of a certain group of modern atheism, lies in the Protestant Reformation. You can identify them mainly by their apparent need to treat the Bible like a science book (because that is what their parents did with them) and a general acceptance of Christian morality for no apparent reason.

    • Ashley

      As usual, you suspect wrongly. The focus on science issues wrt to the bible is simply a response to our most important enemies, the fundamentalists. They treat the bible like a science book, and they are the most dangerous group of Christians in America, so they get the most attention. Catholics don’t really rate that high because they aren’t politically unified, though subsets of you certainly hold many repugnant beliefs. And the morality that atheists generally accept is common across many cultures. There’s very little specifically Christian about it.

      • Ted Seeber

        But if the fundamentalists did not exist (and in Catholic theology, they’re as much heretics as the atheists are) would there be any reason to doubt the universal version of Catholicism (even the Cafeteria Catholics, are, in essence, borrowing from the Protestant Rebellion- without the Protestants, Catholicism would be Christianity, in total).

        I don’t see many atheists accepting Human Sacrifice (well, maybe not; depends on your definition of abortion I guess) yet that is common morality across many cultures as well. Or Polygamy- how many atheists embrace polygamous heterosexuality, which is the *default* sexuality for the grand majority of human cultures? Or how about child brides? The average age of marriage for girls when you take all cultures into account is 12.

        You borrow a heck of a lot from Christianity and just assume it’s good, without testing to see if it actually is good.

        • anodognosic

          “without the Protestants, Catholicism would be Christianity, in total”
          I know some 300 million people who would take issue with that statement:

          Also, rejecting a religion is not espousing the exact polar opposite of religion. Moreover, culture doesn’t spring forth fully formed from religion. Religion and culture affect each other and grow together. Real-world issues are brought to bear on religion, and even theology is quite influenced by non-theological forces. And often enough, religion is not much more than the backdrop (Newton’s observations have been any different had he been Buddhist?). Which is to say, rejecting Catholicism doesn’t require one to expunge everything that smells even a whiff of Catholicism, because a tangential cultural influence doesn’t necessarily make it Catholic, no more than Catholics need to drop their weird neo-Platonism because they are not themselves pagan.

      • deiseach

        Some – and I do mean “some”, not “most” or “all” – atheists try dropping the “So you believe, according to your infallible holy book, that the earth was literally created in six days of twenty four hours each, eh? What do you say to the evidence that the universe is billions of years old, which we have hard, factual, demonstrable evidence we can point at? Gotcha now!” on Catholics, and when the Catholic in question comes back with “Actually, no, we don’t believe that”, then the general response tends to be a kind of flailing about along the lines of “But you have to believe that! If you don’t, you’re not a real Christian!!!”

        The idea that Catholics (even American Catholics) are not American Evangelical Protestants and so don’t hold the same views on a wide range of doctrines never seems to have been presented to them before.

  • Ugh. If Patheos is going headhunting, one would wish they cared more about the heads they hunted. Maybe the pickings are slim among atheists.

    • leahlibresco

      Is there anyone who’d be on your wishlist?

      • Fred

        Slavoj Zizek

    • vandelay

      Would you prefer someone more in the PZ Myers mold?