Siegel first cites things from Internet pornography to the Kansas Board of Education being overruled on trying to teach
He then claims “the attacks in the book don’t make much sense.” Well, if you’re going to adopt the patristic Christian claim, “I believe because it’s absurd,” as Siegel does later in the column, well, of course, they won’t make sense. Logic doesn’t make sense in an illogical, self-contained, hermetically sealed thought system.
Finally, Siegel trots out this old chestnut:
For the imagination is what embodies concepts, ideas and values that cannot be scientifically verified and that have no practical usefulness.
He is, in essence, making the old claim that the atheist can’t appreciate the “spirituality” of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, let alone Handel’s Messiah, tying that with the canard about “soulless reductionistic science.”
I can surely appreciate the spirituality, or whatever, even of Mozart’s Requiem or Bach’s B minor Mass as much as any religious person, and said so in a newspaper column.
As for the “soulless reductionistic science” idea, I put up the quote of evolutionary biologist and science writer Robert Sapolsky:
Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it.
In short, Robert Siegel doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. The title of his forthcoming book, “Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob,” also labels him as some sort of Luddite.