Professional philosophy is not always professional or philosophical. Anyone who has made it to or through graduate school in philosophy knows it has a dark and sad side, morally, politically, and intellectually. Much of it is on display in this thread (indeed, the whole website).
From the initial post itself, the puerile comments comparing theism to astrology, to the scoffing at allowing “religion” a seat at the table of enlightened philosophical discussion, there is a betrayal of philosophy. A true philosopher, I should think, would not even deny astrology a seat. Both the assumption that astrology is the paradigm of something that can be blindly dismissed and its comparison with theism should be rejected. Whatever happened to C. S. Lewis’s old adage “good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered”?
A few years ago I had a friend who was in danger of being hoodwinked by phenomena that occult and astrology often lay claim to. Rather than dismiss him with some overly cocksure and equally contentless nod to the omnipotence of Science, I showed him the respect any friend and fellow truth-seeker would: I researched what scholarly philosophical and scientific literature there was on the subject in order to have an informed discussion. There is actually very little. It basically came down to one book edited by Patrick Grim, Philosophy of Science and the Occult (SUNY, 1982). The essays in that book, my friend and I agreed, showed that many of the things he was taken in by were demonstrably naturalistic. True, this is probably precisely why there is little scholarly discussion of astrology and the occult. If theism is so comparable, one wonders why someone hasn’t yet done the history of Western philosophy the favor of pointing it out so it can die a similar death.
No one was able to answer Tim Maudlin’s simple request for examples. And, of course, not one example was given to substantiate the fear of “apologetics” material supposedly infecting reputable philosophy of religion journals.
The dogmatic ideologies that underlie some of the attitudes in that thread (proven by the amount of backpedaling, qualifying into oblivion, and deflated rhetoric that eventually ensued) are anti-philosophical and—like much the rest of Leiter’s blog—shed as much light on the current state of the profession as What is it like to be a Woman in Philosophy.