But Feser ends up being the ignorant bigot on this one.
To make his point he has a fictitious dialogue between an utterly ignorant buffoon called "Skeptic," which represents the New Atheists that Feser rails against, and a knowledgeable "Scientist" who patiently tries to show the "Skeptic" the error of his ways. Feser concludes:
Naturally, a Dawkins or Myers would be appalled at our Skeptic. And rightly so. But replace terms like “science,” “physicists,” “quarks,” etc. with terms like “theism,” “philosophers,” “God,” etc. and you’ve suddenly got in our Skeptic a typical Dawkins or Myers fan – indeed, you’ve got someone pretty much indistinguishable from Dawkins or Myers themselves. Link
In the first place, if you've read much of Feser he is a loud mouthed arrogant ignorant bigot, who, upon hearing of the murder of abortionist doctor George Tiller compared him to Jeffrey Dahmer who killed, dismembered and ate 17 men and boys. Feser claimed that "Tiller was almost certainly a more evil man than Dahmer was." What ignorance! So even if we grant he's right, which I don't, it's like the pot calling the kettle black.
His most glaring stupidity is the comparison itself. He reverses the roles to make his point. He puts himself in the position of the knowledgeable scientist, and he places real scientists like Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers in the role of the ignorant buffoon. The ONLY way for his analogy to work is to think there is a parity between science and theology, such that theology brings something at least as significant to the table as science does. Even if we grant that theology might possibly have something to say, it doesn't deserve the same place at the table or the same kind of respect at that table, by far. No sane rational person can think this who knows anything about the history of science and the history of theology. Theology has continually retreated from the onslaught of science, you see. And Victor Reppert liked what he said! If Christian intellectuals are this deluded then ipso facto so are the people in the pulpits and the pews.
I'll end by saying something more about the use of ridicule. I've commented before on it. There is a place for ridicule. Everyone ridicules the notion of believing in the dead gods of the past, including Baal, Ra, Zeus, Poseidon, Odin and Thor. Everyone does! Now think about how that first began to take place and you'll see what's going on today in America. People probably began ridiculing these gods as they were dying, that's how. Surely faithful believers in each of these cultures didn't like the ridicule, but it came anyway. That's how gods can die. People no longer fear them or their priests so they ridicule them. [They can also die when a culture is conquered or when it collapses from within]. So what we're potentially seeing is the beginnings of what Nietzsche predicted long ago, the dead of God, like what has largely happened in Europe. Whether America's God dies or not is another story. But I welcome it, and that's one reason I do ridicule the dominant God of our culture, because I want to help it die. There's nothing ignorant about my doing so, nor bigoted at all. I can back up my claims.
To Dawkins and Myers I agree that you do not need to know about theology in order to ridicule it. Just send believers to me. I'll wallow in the mire with these deluded people for you. You just keep on educating the rest of us about science.