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Mar 15 12 5:34 PM
14 Mar 2012
Mar 17 12 9:14 AM
King of the Being Wrong DepartmentWith so many mindbytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns.
Richard Dawkins -Nope sorry Mr Dawkins your are wrong... and even the Moonies know your wrong.. they do not go after dullards and gullible folks.. they go after college students. Guess maybe Mr Dawkins missed Let My Children Go.. oh well he can catch up on his cult reading later after he gets finished getting his advanced degree in theology of Religions of the world! Or any degree on religion or maybe if he just reads the bible and does not skim though while listening to himself giving lectures on subjects he has no qualifincations in and is constantly wrong about..----
A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different.Richard DawkinsI am sorry but I found it hard not to laugh out loud at this piece of daddle.. how on earth could it possibly be different?? One change.. oh say the little engine that runs our cells, one tiny piece missing one tiny piece so small we can not even see it. .. and we cease to exist, all living things cease to exist.. thats why they call them the LAWS of Physics.. but if you think that a big pile of nothing or manly apes can do better then you go for it Mr Dawkins. ----The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist's sense bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion.Richard DawkinsAnd here is why that is true of Mr Dawkins...
Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can't hear the music of the spheres. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 214)----
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
Richard DawkinsErr did Mr Dawkins just say that these men did not like to think or evaluate evidence???
Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Kepler, Mohammed ibn Mu-sa al-Khowarizmi, Galileo, Descartes, Newton , Faraday, Mendel, Avicenna ,Kelvin, Planck, Pasteur, just to name a few but I am pretty sure that all these men were able to evaluate evidence...wow Mr Dawkins thinks he is smarter than all these men??----Mr Dawkins never read the works of this man or he would know that it is he who does not like to think.. instead he likes to talk.. on and on about things he knows nothing about.. and those who listen are being ripped off..
The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”Charles Darwin- founder of the Theory of Evolution And this ..... I love this question and answer.You accept the historical Jesus?- Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”Albert Einstein, from an interview with the Saturday Evening Post
So what I am saying is that Mr Dawkins should read more and talk less..he makes atheists look bad, like dullards and fools... and I take offence to that as many of my friends are atheists and they are neither dullards nor fools. I am always surprised when folks follow this man, even after he said that aliens probably made man... so its either monkeys or aliens.. but not God. I get the feeling that is his personal opinion and most folks know a blow hard when they hear one.. or maybe not!
Apr 2 12 7:14 AM
One of the cults I fear damage from the most is not one that everyone might think is so very dangerous. But to me it is one of the worst cults out there.. The cult of the Militant Atheist.
You generally do not think of this bunch as anything more than a bothersome bunch but they have the power to destroy much of what the religious world is doing to keep the wolves at bay. They drag more atheists into their form of cultism by preaching that religion is ruining the world. And while there are those who are doing just that, like your Militant Muslims, or your Christian Pat Robertsons.. And on and on.. And yes Pat Robertson does not strap bombs onto young men and send them to their deaths but he is a nasty evil piece of work and what he does is not as clear and in your face as say a Muslim terrorist but he is still leading the sheep into hell. So it does not matter if a Muslim terrorist blows himself up or a Christian Minster lies and deceives you, if you end up in hell the result is the same..your in hell. The very place Jesus warned us over and over again not to end up, and I am not a real fan of the heat so I definitely do not want to go there.
Now my church is a small church, we have no stain glass, no steeple and two different groups preach in this church. Baptist and United, I only attend the Baptist.
At Christmas our small church sends out over a hundred shoe boxes for children for Christmas even though we only have 30 members in our church, we keep bins to go to the food bank, and as part of our church we do missionary work. Right now one of the Baptist mission is the on going project to battle Chagas disease in Bolivia. This disease is a silent killer transmitted by the Vinchuca insect which thrives on adobe walls. The Canadian Baptist Mission is using education, medical treatment for those infected and renovation to homes to make them Vinchuca proof.
This is not the first time that the CBM has been working in Bolivia, they instituted a land reform project that turned land titles over to the peasants who had been indentured servants. This action served as a model for the governments land reforms.
Immanuel Baptist Church raised money and built rainwater harvesting/micro-irrigation systems in rural Bolivia.
The CBM helps children who live in Bolivia’s prisons with their mothers. Supports sports programs that could not be afforded without outside help.
This is one church, in one country…. This is only the Canadian Baptists.. Not all of Christendom.
The church that built the rain water harvesting irrigation system is close enough for me to walk to.. But there are others and not just Christians who reach out to others when they are in need..
So add just one Muslim group say the ..Zakat Foundation of America who pledged early to provide relief to the victims of the mudslides in Bolivia who were living in tent camps. ZF’s representatives went to the camps to distribute much needed food, clean drinking water and clothing to the needy residents of the camp. Among the residents, many included older people, pregnant women, and children. In addition, ZF provided mattresses for the most vulnerable in the camp.
So now you have two groups of two different religions.. Just two.. And look what they have done in just one country..
Now that and multiply by thousands of groups, in hundreds of countries and you begin to understand what will be lost if Militant Atheists get their way. They do not see the destruction to the poor because they do not understand. They see only the negative side of religion because that is all they are looking for.
Now I am not talking about your run of the mill atheist but a Militant Atheist.. For your average Atheists is not blind to the good done by churches and they know that they can not financially do what the churches are doing and have done for centuries. They often give to Religious charities so that the work they are doing can continue. They are a blessing.
If I thought all atheists were like stalin or lenin I would be no better than the Militant atheist because I would be blinded by my own ignorance. I see the good that Atheists do. So I know that others are helping us…but together we can make a big difference in a community. We make a big difference here in our own community. We put on drives , dinners and dances to raise money to send those who need medical help away from home but can not afford to go … we send them. I can tell you I have washed a few dishes in my time.
Militant atheists would like to see all religion destroyed… and they care nothing for who is going to lose the most if they get their way. That is the problem they are so prideful they have only thoughts of themselves, and how right they are in their own minds. They claim the world would be a better place with out religion.. Like those who are insane will not be insane if there is no religion. Like those who are violent will not be violent if there is no religion. John Lennon was wrong.. If there was no religion the world would not be a better place.. The man who killed him was mentally unstable and it was not religion that killed John Lennon .
So that is what I wonder …how will the Militant Atheist fill the void that religion leaves if they were to get their way? Can they band together, raise billions of dollars, and go and do the work that must be done. You can not just send money, oh no, that is the easy part, you must go and do the work. Will they now take over the work of World Vision, and take care of those millions of children that is now being done by World Vision? Will they then take over the work of the The Salvation Army, will they show up at disasters everywhere and will they feed the hungry and shelter the homeless?And here at home, will they do the same for the poor on our own streets?
Will they go with Church World Service into developing countries and help eradicate hunger and poverty ? Will they take over the Make a Wish Foundation? Will fund and deliver the wishes of sick children? And what of World Relief, they are in 24 nations on five continents - equipping churches to help victims of poverty, disease, hunger, war, disasters and persecution.
Will they be running the YMCA and the YWCA? YWCA organization sponsors health and wellness programs, day camps and after-school programs for kids, and fights racism
And there are thousands of YMCAs so that should keep them pretty busy and out of trouble, which is just the kind of thing the YMCA likes!
They may find it tough to keep up with the work of the Islamic Relief as they raised a total income of £11.4 billion, and they need it to do all the work that these volunteers have done during the continuing East Africa Crisis.
Children must be fed or they will starve … so I hope that those Militants putting signs on buses realize that if they want us gone they had best first have a system to replace us. And we will be really hard to replace.
I really hope they can keep up the Christian Aid work, its so important for the poor countries that this group supports.
And lets not forget the Christians Children’s Fund, are they ready and willing to take up this work? They must travel to third world countries and bring hope and clean water to those who are struggling. They bring medical aid and build schools. Oh and just one project that they have running is going to cost Christians, well now Atheists two million bucks, but it is important to Ethiopia that this program continue as it is saving the lives of thousands of children.
I have no idea how they will replace Christian Medical Missions, they will need volunteer Doctors, nurses and labourers to go to third world countries and relieve the suffering of many who can not afford medical care. Working with Lepers is good work for those who think that putting up signs on buses is the best thing they can do for the world. There are many children who need their help. Christian Medical Missions have reduced the children’s death rate in Uganda so those Militant Atheists must continue this work right away. I am sure there are lots of Doctors in the bunch putting up signs against religion, let them go and heal the lepers and save the children. They should send Richard Dawkins, he claims that religion teaches poor morals. He should go and help the poor and show us all how it is done.
My niece Rebecca went to Kenya where Richard Dawkins was born with her Christian group, she is young and strong so she helped make the walls and floor of a new school. She walked miles to bring water back to the village and she slept in a mud hut with a spider so big it looked like a small dog. You see she believes in what she is doing. She loves those children and they love her. She is willing to do the work that needs to be done and does not have time to preach foolishness when there are children in need of help. Now Richard who was born there and knows the struggles of the children there and has done absolutely nothing to help. He has built a Charitable foundation but its sole purpose is to finance research on the psychology of belief and religion. So he is really feeding his ego instead of feeding hungry children, oh and its tax free!. And he said religions gave folks bad morals. My niece who is a Christian was there working hard labour to relieve the suffering of others, and her mother who is also a Christian was right there working along side of her, making bricks and hauling water. Mr Dawkins talks about how religion harms us all and yet he does nothing to help the suffering of those where he was born. Where are these moral religious folk are missing that Mr Dawkins says he has. So how are they going to replace the millions of Muslims, Jewish, Buddhists and Christians volunteers? Where will they find all those folks to do the work that religion is doing? Not government work but the work that Government is not doing, the church is picking up.. And now the Militant Atheists will have to dig deep in cash, time and work.. No more sitting in judgement of others, there will be way to much work to do, babies to rock, medicine to deliver, meals for the poor.. And that is just in my community.. So they had better get cracking for time is a wasting and there is much for those who think that they do not need religion in the world.
So when these Militant Atheists get ready to take over the humanitarian work that Religion does let us know because we need a break.
In this little message I did not mention the thousands of other religious charity groups of which there are thousands, and the wonderful work they do with out the notice of the rest of the world. They do not need to put up notices on buses or call the tv stations, they just quietly work away at making the world a better place.
How have Militant Atheists made the world a better place? Where are they relieving suffering? What have they built for the poor?
Atheists are a blessing.. Militant Atheists are all about ego.. You know the selfish gene!
Apr 2 12 9:57 AM
Here is one young Christian Girl... my Niece Rebecca.Building a pila ( Water Reservoir) in Nicaragua.... Here is Rebecca...giving puppet shows across Africa to teach children about Aids because Aids here effects Children in such an awful way.. this tells them how to avoid getting Aids in a way that they can understand.Here is Rebecca.. helping to dig a trench into a village of 25,000 to bring them water so that they do not have to haul water to water crops and cook.Here is Rebecca and her Mom helping to build a school house in KenyaHere is Rebecca delivering shoes to South America..Here is Rebecca helping to start a garden for the hungry.. So you get the idea.. Mr Dawkins says that Religion does not give a person good morals.. BUT.. I can not find any where that Mr Dawkins has helped anyone but himself or his own family.. where are those Morals he keeps talking about??? And yes he did start a Chartiable Foundation but it is only to try and tear down the church and does nothing to help feed the poor or heal the sick. I would put my niece up against this guy and his morals any day of the week.. this is one girl from one Christian family. ONE GIRL..ONE RELIGIONNow add all the other religions and all that they do.. Mr Dawkins is good at taking the talk..be nice to see him lift a shovel to dig a well or put shoes and a child's feet. But I will not be holding my breath.
Apr 2 12 10:10 AM
American Atheist President David Silverman told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he and many other atheists believe that faith-based charities, such as The Salvation Army and various Catholic groups, use part of the money donated for relief efforts to disseminate Bibles.
"They (Christian charities) push religion rather than give food and aid which the people really need," Silverman accused faith-based groups of doing.
But Jennifer Byrd, the special public relations director for The Salvation Army, said the group was one of the first organizations to help, being that it was already on the ground in Japan when the tsunami struck. Since the disaster, the group has distributed 1,000 hot meals and drinks.
On the actual night of the disaster, The Salvation Army provided food, water and shelter at its Tokyo headquarters to Japanese citizens who could not go home because public transportation was shut down, Byrd said.
So far, the charity has received a total of $2.1 million to help the people of Japan. The money, Byrd said, will be used to continue providing hot meals, shelter and basic necessities such as blankets and diapers to those affected by the disaster.
When asked about the sharing of the Christian faith during relief efforts, Byrd said workers only pray with victims if they are requested to do so.
"If someone feels moved to do so they can ask," she stated.
However, prayer is not forced, she emphasized. She also said she is unaware of any Bible distribution by The Salvation Army in Japan. In the United States, The Salvation Army does not distribute Bibles during its relief efforts.
American Atheists President David Silverman, however, insists that donation is better used when given to Richard Dawkins' Non-Believers Giving Aid Disaster Relief Fund, which in turn gives the money to non-religious groups such as the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.
But in Japan, Doctors Without Borders has only an 11-man team on the ground providing medical services. The Red Cross, meanwhile, has about 700 staff members and 80 medical teams treating the wounded in tented clinics and giving food and shelter.
By comparison, The Salvation Army has 1,000 staff members in Japan helping the homeless and wounded. The Salvation Army also has two hospitals and 80 centers providing housing and rehabilitation for men, women and seniors in Japan. Moreover, since The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1985, Byrd said the group has been given access to roads that are closed to the public.
Byrd also clarified that neither The Salvation Army nor its affiliate s have said that Japan's natural disaster is a punishment from God. The American Atheist had asserted on its blog that funds should not be given to faith-based charities because they blame victims for the natural disaster.http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-donate-to-dawkins-fund-not-religious-groups-for-japan-49458/Sharon says...WHAT A BIG LOAD OF HOOEY.. in the end when you go and check out the Dawkins Fund..they just give the money to the Red Cross.. as folks have been doing since forever.. why did they need to funnel it though Dawkins first??? So the President of the Atheists was wrong... again! And may actually have caused less aid to reach those who needed it so badly by his stupidity and ignorance. If you want to stand in front of folks and tell them what to do you should at least make sure you have your facts straight. That is the MORAL THING TO DO! That is the smart thing to do and in this case it would have been the Merciful thing to do.
Apr 8 12 6:29 AM
WAS ATHEISM IN PART RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CRIMES OF COMMUNISM?
Major atheist Richard Dawkins was interviewed not long ago on a national station. During the interview, he was asked to justify the evils perpetrated on tens of millions by the atheist leader, Stalin. The atheist’s response was that the connection between Stalin’s atheism and his great crimes is unfounded. Stalin, he said, had mustaches; could you not use the same logic, he added, and conclude that he killed people because he had mustaches?
The atheist’s response is foolish to such a magnitude that it is not really deserving deserving of an answer. Nonetheless, for the sake of fairness, we will endeavor to assess his objection.
Was the philosophy of atheism espoused by communists responsible for the mass murders perpetrated by communist leaders such as Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Ceausescu? Let's look at some enlightening facts that militant atheists prefer not to acknowledge.
1. Communists leaders were motivated by a strong desire to impose an ideological "package" over the whole world. The package included the eradication of Religion, defined by arch-atheist, Karl Marx, as “The opium of the people.” According to Marx, religion helped keep the masses passive before the abuse of the wealthy and powerful, and the only way to free them from the “stupor," God and religion had to be eradicated. Lenin embraced Marx's views and so did Stalin up to the Second World war. The enforcement of Atheism was a “critical” requirement for Communism’s success, and thus it had to be implemented at all costs. This meant oppressive measures, such as brainwashing in state schools, the closing of houses of worship and arresting countless religious leaders. (For an enlightening discussion of Atheistic-Communism's persecution of the Christian church see the article, Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union.)
2. Karl Marx’s extremist followers were not in any way impeded in their blood-thirsty global quest by fear of a Higher Power. Atheism took very efficient care of this “limiting factor.” Since the end justified the means, as Machiavelli had instructed, they could do whatever was necessary to bring about a workers’ paradise. Because the opposition in some cases proved to be powerful and resilient, drastic means were used. Large numbers were killed for refusing to abandon their religious beliefs. A great many were sent to concentration camps. (For an enlightening, "first-hand" account of suppression of Religion and other "enemies" of Atheistic-Communism in Russia, please read, The Gulag Archipelago, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn -- especially Chapter 2.)
3. Communist-atheist leaders, in their own eyes, became supreme, all-knowing, all-wise and all powerful "gods." They had total control over people’s lives and over who lived and who died. Being "gods," they asserted their evil schemes over the masses with brutality and mercilessness.
4. People like Stalin were interested in propagating an ideology, not a look. Nobody was persecuted in the Soviet Union for not having a mustache like Stalin, or for not wearing a uniform similar to his, or for not liking the same food, music or sports. Large numbers were persecuted and killed for practicing religion, and for being interferences to atheist-communist expansion. Now some would retort that Stalin had a change of heart during the Second World war and that he recognized and elevated anew the Russian Orthodox Church. This is a historically correct statement, but in no way does it indicate that Stalin moved toward theism. The move was strictly utilitarian. Steven Merritt Miner in his work Stalin's Holy War informs us that Stalin had ulterior motives behind the move.
"Moscow's religious policy at this time can only be understood in the context of Soviet security considerations, especially Moscow's concerns about the disaffection of non-Russian nationalities. The Kremlin saw the church not only, and perhaps not even primarily, as a tool for mobilizing and harnessing Russian nationalism throughout the union, but rather as one of several instruments for countering and disarming non-Russian, and anti-Soviet, nationalism. As most tsars could have told Stalin, the Russian Orthodox Church was an effective agent for the Russification of the ethnically diverse and contentious western regions." 
This move, though "seemingly" noble, did not neutralize or excuse his heinous actions toward countless Christians and Muslims who were killed so as to facilitate the spread of Stalin's atheistic-communistic ideology.
Militant atheism, therefore, was a major factor in the murder of countless millions, during the past century. Unfortunately, militant atheism, is still driven by some of the same extremist views reminiscent of atheist-communist regimes of old. They, like their predecessors, do not hesitate to admit that they hate God, religion and that they would like to see both disappear forever. Furthermore, they are driven by a hatred for the unborn, and a blind support for common-law living, sexual immorality, euthanasia, etc.
The understandable concern of many is that a propagation of their philosophy of meaninglessness and their blind allegiance to atheistic evolution would lead, in the long run, to a return to a cold-hearted and dangerous devaluing of the weak and the needy in society; though they "assure" us that that is not part of their agenda. We believe that their cold-heartiness toward millions of unborn babies, and their total support of euthanasia indicates otherwise.
Theist author, Dinesh D'Souza, eloquently expresses similar concerns in the following quote:
The crimes of atheism have generally been perpetrated through a hubristic ideology that sees man, not God, as the creator of values. Using the latest techniques of science and technology, man seeks to displace God and create a secular utopia here on earth. Of course if some people - the Jews, the landowners, the unfit, or the handicapped - have to be eliminated in order to achieve this utopia, this is a price the atheist tyrants and their apologists have shown themselves quite willing to pay. Thus they confirm the truth of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's dictum, "If God is not, everything is permitted. http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/atheist_crimes.htm
Sep 19 14 2:38 AM
Content note: mentions of childhood sexual abuse, trivialization of childhood sexual abuse.
There should be no rivalry in victimhood, and I’m sorry I once said something similar to American women complaining of harassment, inviting them to contemplate the suffering of Muslim women by comparison.- Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins has Apologized for "Dear Muslima"” — his infamous comment belittling American women in general and Rebecca Watson in particular for speaking out about sexist behavior, on the grounds that sexism and misogyny in Islamist theocracies is so much worse.
The apology is easy to miss. I missed it myself the first time. It’s buried in the final paragraph of an otherwise obnoxious piece that once again snidely straw-mans his critics. (No, Professor Dawkins, nobody said that you had to experience your molestation as the worst thing that ever happened to you. Everyone I’ve read who’s criticized your comments on this subject has great compassion for you as a target of childhood sexual abuse; and yes, you absolutely get to assess for yourself how harmful that experience was. We criticized you for belittling OTHER PEOPLE’S sexual abuse. We criticized you for insisting that when it comes to sexual abuse, you personally know what the objective gradation of badness is for OTHER PEOPLE. We criticized you for commenting on this supposed objective gradation of OTHER PEOPLE’S abuse based purely on your own experience and opinions — with no apparent knowledge of the extenisve research showing that the factors contributing to the degree of harm caused by sexual abuse are numerous, complicated, and often highly subjective. We criticized you for condemning physical and sexual abuse in religious cultures, while inconsistently rationalizing the physical and sexual abuse of OTHER PEOPLE as well as yourself, saying it was just the culture of the time and place. We criticized you for belittling OTHER PEOPLE’S sexual abuse.
Richard Dawkins has apologized for "Dear Muslima"
Finally. It took three years, but Richard Dawkins has openly acknowledged that it is reasonable for American feminists to complain about harassment, even though women in many other countries experience sexism and misogyny in far worse forms. He has openly acknowledged that it was wrong for him to say otherwise. It’s sad that this should be news, but it is. And although I’m not thrilled with the fact that he buried this apology at the end of a pile of muck — that’s rather insensitive, given the years of toxic $%%# feminist women have dealt with since he poured that tanker of gasoline onto a forest fire — I, for one, am nevertheless going to accept the apology. Apologies are hard to make, and people often make them awkwardly, and I don’t like to refuse to accept them just because they’re less than ideal. Y’all, of course, can follow your own consciences on that. (For the record, although the apology was not personally made to Rebecca Watson — the original target of “Dear Muslima” — and did not mention her by name, she has accepted the apology. Her exact words: “Richard Dawkins just did the blog-equivalent of coughing into his hand while mumbling “sorry” to me. Eh I’ll take it”)
I’m not holding my breath for Dawkins to suddenly become super-awesome on the subject of feminism or social justice generally. His recent behavior r is not filling me with optimism. But given how much furor was sparked by “Dear Muslima,” and how often the sexist jerks in atheism cite it and the fallacious ideas behind it, I’m happy that Dawkins has finally retracted it. The absurd notions that the only forms of sexism worth fighting are the most extreme forms, that the only valid feminism is the fight against misogyny in Islamist theocracies, that sexism and misogyny in the Western world are trivial or non-existent and anyone speaking out about them is just whining — these are way too commonly held, especially among the sexist douchebros in the atheist community. I’m hoping that Dawkins’ apology, and his acknowledgment that it’s valid for American feminists to talk about American sexism, will trickle down. I’ll echo Rebecca Watson here: I’ll take it.
Dear MuslimaStop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and… yawn… don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and… yawn… don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Similarly, Rebecca’s feeling that the man’s proposition was ‘creepy’ was her own interpretation of his behaviour, presumably not his. She was probably offended to about the same extent as I am offended if a man gets into an elevator with me chewing gum. But he does me no physical damage and I simply grin and bear it until either I or he gets out of the elevator.Sharon Says...Oh dear..I do not understand why this lady is upset over this mans comments, did she not see him belittling and trying to shame Christians, did she not hear the name calling and the finger pointing. Oh I get it, SHE does not like to be insulted and belittled! Hurts her feelings.. but its ok to call me brain dead, stupid, and mock me in print! Well maybe now she will look at her own words and see that she is going the same thing just to different people. It is fine to be an atheist but it is not ok to force your unbeliefs on me and mock my beliefs.
Similarly, Rebecca’s feeling that the man’s proposition was ‘creepy’ was her own interpretation of his behaviour, presumably not his. She was probably offended to about the same extent as I am offended if a man gets into an elevator with me chewing gum. But he does me no physical damage and I simply grin and bear it until either I or he gets out of the elevator.
Sharon Says...Oh dear..I do not understand why this lady is upset over this mans comments, did she not see him belittling and trying to shame Christians, did she not hear the name calling and the finger pointing. Oh I get it, SHE does not like to be insulted and belittled! Hurts her feelings.. but its ok to call me brain dead, stupid, and mock me in print! Well maybe now she will look at her own words and see that she is going the same thing just to different people. It is fine to be an atheist but it is not ok to force your unbeliefs on me and mock my beliefs.
Sep 19 14 2:53 AM
Yesterday, Professor Richard Dawkins was on Radio 4’s Today programme defending his latest piece of secularist propaganda — a poll which purportedly shows that of those who said they were Christians, many did not go to Church, read the Bible or hold very specific beliefs about Jesus, and some could not even name the first book of the New Testament.
On this basis, Dawkins suggested, it was wrong to claim Britain is still a Christian country, so we should get rid of bishops sitting in the House of Lords, abolish faith schools and put an end to chaplains in NHS hospitals.
Radio 4 had asked along the Rev Giles Fraser, former Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, to lock horns with Dawkins. He said it was ludicrous to assume someone was not a Christian simply because he could not name the first book of the New Testament.
'Secularist propaganda': On Radio 4, Richard Dawkins suggested it was wrong to claim Britain is still a Christian country, citing a poll which shows that many 'Christians' do not appear to practice their religion
And he challenged Dawkins, as the high priest of the secular movement, to recite the full title of the secularists’ own bible, Darwin’s Origin Of Species.
So Dawkins began, ‘On The Origin of Species …’ before getting it wrong and, rather touchingly in the circumstances, groaning: ‘Oh God, there’s a sub-title.’
(The full title is On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection, Or The Preservation Of Favoured Races In The Struggle For Life.)
The professor’s humiliation, in which he was skewered on his own argument, did not stop him from taking to the airwaves throughout the day to promote his anti-Christian agenda with its creed of intolerance and ignorance.
Sadly, his zealotry would have precluded him giving consideration to an event the day before, in which a Cabinet Office minister called eloquently for Europe to become more confident and comfortable in its Christianity.
Religious discourse: Rev Giles Fraser, former Canon of St Paul's Cathedral (left) challenged Richard Dawkins to recite the full title of Charles Darwin's most famous work
Baroness Warsi — a woman and a Muslim — was addressing the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in the Vatican. She said: ‘The societies we live in, the cultures we have created, the values we hold and the things we fight for, all stem from centuries of discussion, dissent and belief in Christianity.’
Her speech was especially timely. ‘I am not calling for some kind of 21st-century theocracy,’ she went on. ‘Religious faith and its followers do not have the only answer … My concern is when secularisation is pushed to an extreme, when it requires the complete removal of faith from the public sphere.’
Note the difference in tone between Baroness Warsi and Professor Dawkins. I believe she speaks for most people in this country, for the huge number who would not call themselves very religious, but who might want a wedding or a funeral in church, and who might very well describe themselves as Christian.
In contrast to Baroness Warsi’s open-minded declaration that religion might not have ‘the only answer’ to life, Dawkins peddles the extraordinary view that science does have all life’s answers.
The truth is that science does not even have the answers to the questions posed by science itself, let alone the questions posed by philosophy, or by the experiences of birth, love, bereavement and the prospect of our own deaths.
Very few Christians of the 21st century would see such matters in the same terms that they were seen by Christians in the Middle Ages or in the first century AD.
But that does not mean there is no reason for practising a faith, or for having religious institutions which hallow and shape our experiences of life.
The contempt felt by the secularists such as Dawkins for hospital chaplains tells us so much about their approach to life. The chaplaincies in our NHS hospitals play a vital role in bringing healing, human company and comfort to patients.
Timely: I believe that Baroness Warsi speaks for most people in this country
This is not something we should despise. No doubt, some religious extremists would wish, in such circumstances, to push their own hardline viewpoint on to vulnerable patients and their families.
Most, however, are kindly presences, recognising the fears we all feel in the face of illness or death, and are offering comfort.
When the immensely popular comedian Peter Kay wrote in his autobiography that he was brought up as a Roman Catholic and found the notion of some kind of God or higher being ‘comforting’, Dawkins was excoriating. ‘How can you take seriously someone who likes to believe something because he finds it “comforting?” ’ he demanded.
It is almost beyond belief that such an eminent man could ask such a silly question.
When figures such as Richard Dawkins are asked to defend themselves against religion, they always select as their opponents the most extreme fundamentalists — whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish.
But Dawkins’ presumption to have an idea of someone else’s innermost beliefs is both fanatical and an intrusive thing.
He may be very clever at explaining the theory of evolution, but when hurling insults at those who profess their religious belief, he is hardly the objective scientist.
Of Nadia Eweida, the check-in worker whom British Airways tried to prevent from wearing a cross round her neck, he said she had ‘one of the most stupid faces I have ever seen’.
There never has been, in the whole history of the world, a culture or a society or a civilisation which was devoid of any religious structure.
Forgotten truth: Richard Dawkins neglects to dwell upon the fact that Charles Darwin said he believed in God
Nor, in the history of human thought in West or East, does there exist more than a handful of eccentrics who would reject the spiritual dimension of life.
The vociferous secularist minority may, at first hearing, sound like the majority of intelligent men and women, dominating the broadcasting channels and much of the printed media.
But they have ranged against them Plato and Aristotle, nearly all the philosophers and sages of East and West down to the 20th century. Einstein was no atheist either. ‘Science without religion is lame,’ he said. ‘Religion without science is blind.’
Even Charles Darwin — and this is a fact Dawkins does not dwell upon — said he believed in God.
It is time the secularists shut up and grew up. They are like spotty adolescents who think themselves clever for cocking a snook at the clergy. Anyone can pick holes in the more absurd myths of religion, just as anyone can make perky fifth-form debating points about the non-existence of God.
The truths of the great religions have been tested, not in radio studios but in human lives. Look at the deeply religious beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King.
They were all highly intelligent people whose gentle lives are more impressive than the strident debating points of secularism.
I am not saying gentleness is impossible for unbelievers; merely that a little more gentleness from the secular lobby might allow them a humble glimpse of what we all — whatever our beliefs — owe to our religious inheritance.
Sep 19 14 3:33 AM
Late last month, two heavy-hitters within organized atheism, activist Ophelia Benson and scientist Richard Dawkins, reached a detente of sorts about online debate and posted it on their separate websites.
"Disagreement is inevitable, but bullying and harassment are not," the statement reads. " If we want secularism and atheism to gain respect, we have to be able to disagree with each other without trying to destroy each other."
Before the virtual ink was dry, Dawkins had stepped in it again.
"Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knife-point is worse," Dawkins said on Twitter, where he has almost 1 million followers. "If you think that's an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think." Another tweet applied the same logic to "mild date rape" and "violent date rape," and still another compared "mild pedophilia" and "violent pedophilia."
The reaction was swift and severe. Some defended Dawkins, saying he was merely engaging in a thought experiment, while others decried another eruption of what they see as chronic insensitivity and misogyny and flimsy "I'm sorry but ..." apologies for repeat offenses.
Atheists say controversial things online every day. But Dawkins' position as the godfather of the modern atheist movement has revived a question that's been percolating for at least three years: Has the famous scientist become more of a liability than an asset for the movement he helped create?
"Regretfully, I think Richard Dawkins has become a liability," atheist activist and author Greta Christina said in an email. She has shared a podium with Dawkins at two high-profile atheist events, including 2012′s Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., which attracted tens of thousands of people.
Many credit Dawkins' 2006 best-seller The God Delusion with swelling the ranks of atheism. His Richard Dawkins Foundation supports dozens of atheist organizations with its annual budget of $800,000.
"He is the reason I call myself an atheist, and he's a big part of the reason I became an atheist activist," Christina said. "But the unfortunate reality is that newspapers and other big media outlets have been making him into the major face of organized atheism — and it's creating an image of us that turns a lot of people off."
`Dawkins seems to embody everything that people dislike about atheists.
Dawkins declined to be interviewed for this story, and a representative for his foundation said a statement he made on its website would be his final word on the subject.
Yet the current dust-up may have served as a wake-up call. On Wednesday, presented with criticisms collected for this story, Dawkins added to an existing post on his foundation's website.
"There should be no rivalry in victimhood," the addendum to the post reads, "and I'm sorry I once said something similar to American women complaining of harassment, inviting them to contemplate the suffering of Muslim women by comparison. But maybe you get the point? If we wish to insist ... that all examples of a sexual crime are exactly equally bad, perhaps we need to look more carefully at exactly who is belittling what."
Dawkins was a famous evolutionary biologist before he touted atheism. His 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, bridged the gap between academic writing and popular science and became a rare best-seller. In it, he outlined his theory of "memes"—ideas that travel within a culture through discussion, writing or images—which spread far beyond academia and into popular culture.
But it was 2006's The God Delusion that many credit with sparking a growing interest in atheism in the U.S. Along with best-selling books by the other members of the "Four Horsemen" of atheism—the late Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett—Dawkins' rising star mirrored the growth of atheism in the last decade.
In 2012, the Pew Research Center found 5.7 percent of Americans identified as either atheist or agnostic, up from 3.7 percent in 2007.
"Richard Dawkins has done a lot to bring atheism to a whole new generation," said Phil Zuckerman, a sociology professor who studies atheism and who also credits Dawkins with speaking out against the pedophilia scandal within the Catholic Church. "On the other hand, Dawkins seems to embody everything that people dislike about atheists: He is smug, condescending and emits an unpleasant disdainfulness. He doesn't ever seem to acknowledge the good aspects of religion, only the bad. In that sense, I think he doesn't help atheism in the PR department."
'For Goodness Sake Grow Up'
One of Dawkins' biggest missteps came in 2011, when he blasted Rebecca Watson, a young atheist activist who wrote about feeling sexually harassed at a free-thought conference. In a now-infamous series of comments posted to the blog Pharyngula, Dawkins wrote in a message titled "Dear Muslima," "Stop whining, will you? ... For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin."
That incident—and others that did not involve Dawkins—led several atheist groups to include sexual-harassment policies at conferences and many say it swelled interest in the newly founded Women in Secularism conferences in 2012.
"My life was already negatively affected by his 'Dear Muslima' statement," said Amy Davis Roth, president of a Los Angeles women's atheist group and a speaker at Women in Secularism conferences. "In that statement he told one of my co-bloggers to essentially get over sexism and sexual harassment that she experienced because women have it worse elsewhere. His seemingly ignorant yet authoritative statements unleashed a barrage of online harassment directed at our blog and its contributors that has yet to cease to this day."
There have been other online eruptions as well. Last year, he garnered negative attention with a tweet some called racist. "All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge," he tweeted last August. "They did great things in the Middle Ages, though."
Amanda Marcotte, an atheist activist, blogger and freelance journalist who has been critical of Dawkins, said comments like that keep unbelievers from joining atheist groups or supporting its causes.
"A lot of close friends of mine do not believe in God and they see his (Dawkins') Islamophobia, they see his sexism, they see his unwillingness to engage with people who don't come from a white man's perspective and they are done," she said. "They have no interest in that. Zero."
So when his recent tweets about rape and pedophilia hit the Twittersphere two days after the release of the civility agreement with his longtime critic, the debate started anew.
"Perhaps he was testing it," Benson said of the agreement, which she characterized as a positive step in repairing a rift over feminism within atheism that she traces to Dawkins' "Dear Muslima" comment.
Benson said Dawkins attracts people to the movement with his well-reasoned arguments against religion and superstition. But he then repels them with what many see as an unwillingness to listen to ideas other than his own.
"In his two or three recent Twitter combats, the most striking thing is he does not listen to anyone except his fans, no matter how reasonably things are put," she said. "I don't think that's a good way to represent long-term, healthy atheism."
And it isn't only women atheists whom Dawkins upset. Writing on The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta said: "I'm a fan of Richard Dawkins. I know he means well. But ... it's annoying having to defend him. More importantly, I shouldn't have to!"
Adam Lee, who blogs at Daylight Atheism, said: "I don't think [Dawkins] has done more harm than good to the atheist movement, but the balance has been shifting toward harm. He has made comments about women and minorities that give people a bad impression of what atheism stands for. I wish he would stand back and let other people add their voices to his."
Sharon Says... oh they are getting a taste of their own medicine now.. all that finger pointing and name calling all those militant atheists loved just a short time ago is beginning to come home to roost. You see its funny when you attack someone for their religion but not their gender or make fun of their feelings .. I mean Dawkins says a little rape is not so bad, and now they are offended! They allowed this big mouth windbag to belittle a billion people but that was ok.. if you do not believe in evolution you are a moron.. sure thats ok to say.. if you believe in God your a fool, and should not be allowed to vote. If you know your going to have a Downs baby you should abort it.. says Dawkins. These things are ok to say but do not insult another atheist!! Kind of reminds me of so many folks who follow someone into the trenches only to find out they were a coward and had no intention of defending you and if they got the chance they would shoot you to make their own escape. No this man gives atheism a bad name.. and yet so many good God fearing atheists were fooled by his pathetic books that now come to light are full of science errors and foolishness. I myself Love Science, as do most people of faith, only blinded atheists think that those who believe in God do not believe in science but that is only because they know nothing about the religions they claim to hate. Now I am not talking about your regular atheists who have the live and let live attitude and do not find that others having different beliefs than they do an affront to them, no I am talking about those who try to tear down the faith of others and replace it with.... well nothing, as they have no beliefs other than nothingness. No the rest of us know when we hear them spouting off about science and how religion is against science we know they have no education or they lack understanding of what they have learned because many God believing scientists have made leaps forward as God told us to look for him in the stars and in ourselves.. and we do that, we are told to seek the truth and test all things. But Dawkins sadly is so blinded by his own ignorance he can not see the forest for the trees .... and he is lost in the woods. Those who follow him are just as lost and sound just as foolish as he does, and most people of faith know that..but what is the point of trying to show someone the truth who can not see. do not mean the truth about God but the truth about atheism. You can be an atheist and still allow other to have their beliefs with out mocking or belittling them.
Sep 28 15 3:48 AM
However, Dawkins' effort will not be welcome in many Christian bookshops. For his aim is not to persuade people to believe in God, but rather to disbelieve in God. It seems that Dawkins has designated himself as the apostle of a kind of anti religion, in which it is his job, role and duty to tour the world tirelessly revealing his 'message' which is that God does not exist. Old story though this may be in philosophy, in the world today , as Dawkins says, many people still seem to need convincing.
Dawkins' aim is to produce the 'definitive' account of why people are wrong not only to continue to believe in God (which is a disgraceful affront to him 'as a scientist') but even to entertain the possibility that there might be some kind of supernatural deity regulating human affairs. In God's place Dawkins offers instead a different deity, who will not tolerate any wavering in disbelief. Step forward, Charles Darwin, whose theory of natural selection he presents as the definitive proof of God's non existence. Over several hundred pages, and these largely repeating earlier book of his,
Dawkins explains that natural selection can explain the journey from primordial chemistry to the dazzling variety of life forms we know today. Morality, human consciousness, art, even religion itself, all can be explained by the elegantly simple theory of natural selection. Since Darwin, he says, anyone who continues to believe there might be a role for God is denying facts as plain as any that science can demonstrate.
Yet here is a curious thing: Darwin himself considered this theory to be perfectly compatible with belief in God. In Origin of Species , he wrote:
"I am aware that the conclusions arrived at in this work will be denounced by some as highly irreligious; but he who denounces them is bound to shew why it is more irreligious to explain the origin of man as a distinct species by descent from some lower form, through the laws of variation and natural selection, than to explain the birth of the individual through the laws of ordinary reproduction. The birth both of the species and of the individual are equally parts of that grand sequence of events, which our minds refuse to accept as the result of blind chance."
"Dear Sir, It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist & an evolutionist... Moreover whether a man deserves to be called a theist depends on the definition of the term: which is much too large a subject for a note. In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind."
Not for Dawkins is the idea that science proceeds in 'paradigm shifts' with large chunks of theory being unavoidably jettisoned as new findings expose inconstancies and flaws in the old certainties. And in fact, Dawkins' book rests on a much more impressive way of arguing than that used by either scientists or philosophers. He uses mere rhetoric to press his case. He creates straw men to before knocking them ringingly down, he draws irrelevant conclusions from partial data, and launches crushing tautologies at imaginary opponents as though the foolish opponents had stated the opposite.
Dawkins, it turns out, has successfully combined his day job , Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, with being the prophet of a new religion, the sole deity of which is Charles Darwin. It is his role to travel the world proclaiming the 'good news' that God neither exists nor is needed, but rather is in fact a most unfortunate evolutionary 'misfiring'. Religion, it tuns out , is an evolutionarily useful respect for the teachings of the elders that has unfortunately mutated into blind 'faith' in various deities.
But there is good news too to declare too, notably that Dawkins himself is now one of the world's "top three intellectuals", (alongside Chomsky and Umberto Eco) and many accounts of his successful actions to date in the war against 'unreason'.
"Seventeen years ago, I was one of 36 writers and artists commissioned by the magazine New Statesman to write in support of Salman Rushdie.." (p22) "I once was the guest of the week on a British radio show called Desert Island Discs. You have to choose the eight records you would take with you if you were marooned on a desert island..." (p86)
"I once was the guest of the week on a British radio show called Desert Island Discs. You have to choose the eight records you would take with you if you were marooned on a desert island..." (p86)
At other points in the book, the tone is even more chummy.
"...in the gardens of his old college at Cambridge, Clare, I interviewed my friend Jim Watson, founding genius of the Human Genome Project..." (p99) "My main authority for the cargo cults is David Attenborough's Quest in Paradise, which he very kindly presented to me." (p202) "In the course of a recently televised conversation, I challenged my friend, Robert Winston..." (p14) (and finally) "I am still amused when I recall the remark of a former Warden (head) of my Oxford college..." that he doubted whether theology was a proper subject. (p56)
"In the course of a recently televised conversation, I challenged my friend, Robert Winston..." (p14)
"I am still amused when I recall the remark of a former Warden (head) of my Oxford college..." that he doubted whether theology was a proper subject. (p56)
There is, for example, the Cosmological Argument which Dawkins summarises as saying that there must have been a time before the universe existed, and "since physical things exist now, there must have been something non-physical to bring them into existence". This he calls an infinite regress, although, at least as he describes it, there is nothing of the regress about it. Then there is the idea of a 'first mover', which rests on the assumption that we can see that there is movement in the universe and that we know nothing moves unless it is moved by something else.
This is indeed an infinite regress. It is particularly unconvincing as we all accept nowadays that things in fact continue to move unless stopped (for example , by friction). The question of why things in the universe move disappears without needing God to be invented. The argument was developed by Aquinas from the bad science of Aristotle. And what do we know about Aristotle? That he was not a religious believer but a biologist with philosophical leanings. Dawkins, a biologist with philosophical leanings, however does not mention this, but instead objects to the invention of God as a first mover and says it is "more parsimonious to conjure up, say a 'big bang singularity' or some other physical concept as yet unknown". Grammatically speaking, at least, I am not sure how "some other physical concept as yet unknown" can be called 'parsimonious', nor indeed why the 'Big Bang singularity' can be assumed to need nothing to create it.
Another argument for God, Dawkins calls the 'Argument from Degree' and is described thus: "humans can be both good and bad, so the maximum goodness cannot rest in us. Therefore there must be some other maximum to set the standard for perfection, and we call that maximum God".
However, again, this is really two arguments. One is that our concepts seems to require ideals, the ideal of goodness, yes, but also the idea of being a table' or being 'two'. One weakness in it as an argument for God is that since ideas are in the mind, God in this sense as the omnipotent, omniscient perfect being may end up with 'his' existence being 'necessary' only as an idea in the kind of alternative mental world of Plato's theory of the Forms. The problem for theologians, such as Aquinas, was to get God from existing only in the mental world to also existing in the physical world. Dawkins however dismisses the effort calling it 'fatuous' jeering "You might as well say people vary in smelliness but we can make the comparison only by reference to a perfect maximum of conceivable smelliness".
The other debate is that put by Thomas Anselm and called the 'Ontological Argument'. It simply states that as everyone can imagine a perfect being, all powerful, all good et cetera, even if they do not know whether such a being really exists, it follows that in order to be perfect, such a being must also exist, as to exist is better than not to exist. As Dawkins says, this is by no means clear, band indeed, as he does not say, it may well be more perfect to exist as an abstract idea than to exist in grubby reality. In fact, it seems quite likely that it would be more perfect to exist like that. But then, this argument against God's existence would not occur to Dawkins as really his book is intended to demolish God as a concept. He says he is attacking the hypothesis that here "exists a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe", a confusing formulation which could potentially rule out the laws of nature themselves as being 'superhuman'.
The 'Argument from Design' is particularly closely examined. Dawkins explains that complexity in the world arises from simple steps following the golden rule of C.D., namely survival of the fittest. He laughs at the idea that there might be a explanatory use for a designer, as he says such a designer would have to be unimaginably complex. It does not seem to occur to Dawkins that the most elegant designs are those requiring the fewest rules or procedures, and that 'God' could have designed the universe (as Darwin himself suggests) to operate using a system like that prescribed by evolutionary theory. Why shouldn't the evidence that all of the biological world seems to be reducible to a few microbes randomly mutating equally well be evidence of a wonderfully efficient design?
And sometimes, Dawkins insistence on the universal reach of Darwin's theory obliges him to make some strange claims. To the objection that certain specialised organs like eyes and wings seem to be useless until after many supposed cycles of evolutionary refinement, he says that animals might have found 'half a wing' useful even before they could fly. He says that it might slow their descent if the fell from a tree: indeed 51% of a wing would significantly advantage such an animal over another of the same species with only 50% of a wing, he explains. There is only one question left unanswered, which is how all those flightless birds and other animals, with only two feet and useless wings, got up the tree in the first place.
Similarly, Dawkins seems to think it necessary to demolish all aspects of religion together. Having easily demonstrated that the Old Testament is violent and unpleasant, he continues by saying that the "teaching that lies at the heart of New Testament theology, is almost as morally obnoxious as the story of Abraham setting out to barbecue Isaac, which it resembles...". His only evidence for this is the supposed 'racism' of Jesus' command to 'love they neighbour' which he claims, quoting one follow atheist-activist, was intended to promote preference for one ethic group (the Jews) over everyone else. He also says that the idea that most people will go to hell, as a result of having inherited the 'original sin' of Adam and Eve is part of the New Testament, whereas more accurately it is part of medieval theology introduced hundreds of years later, much contested both at the time and ever since and is now rejected by most Christians. Original Sin is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
Nonetheless, Dawkins, choosing his words carefully and with more than a little intellectual dishonesty, makes up for this in vehemence. "New Testament theology adds a new injustice, topped off by a new sadomasochism whose viciousness even the Old Testament barely exceeds."
Dawkins happily spends the second half of the book attacking various form of religious extremism, such as the Church that teaches that the world is only 6000 years old, and the evangelist movement that has 'hell schools' which attempt to terrify children who have been naughty. It is interesting to read about the inaccuracies and palpably untrue inventions of Biblical scripture, such as the likely reality that Jesus was NOT born in Bethlehem but was merely dragged there, so to speak, by later writers in order to fit with ancient predictions about the 'messiah'. Nor did I know that Martin Luther declared that a good Christian should "tear the eyes our of his reason" and that he thought that "reason should be destroyed in all Christians". This is all interesting stuff, but it does not really serve any purpose other than a rhetorical one in the argument.
Dawkins proceeds to demonstrate how various conflicts (the 'sectarian conflicts' in Iraq, Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia) were in fact all religious conflicts, only the newspapers preferred to protect the religious. If, in Iraq, ("Clearly a religious conflict" Dawkins asserts brusquely) we forget the American presence and the 'Kurdish question'.
Stories like that of David Mills, who tried to protest against a 'Christian faith healer' in small-town America are entertaining enough, and it is well to be reminded that the Taliban executed homosexuals, or that the Pakistani legal code prescribes the death penalty for blasphemy, yet none of this can establish the link between religion and violence that Dawkins seeks any more than to learn that the makers of the board game ' Cluedo ' changed the name of the Reverend Green to plain 'Mr Green' in the Americana version, apparently to avoid offending the religious. Such stories are offered as making an inescapable political case against religion. But people also use 'science' to justify not only foolish but terrible actions, and we do not condemn the activity of scientific inquiry in all its many other forms. Much of Dawkins' selection of religious nonsense, although in a sense useful (surely we must try to combat such prejudice) is unworthy of a book supposedly conducting a serious debate.
Not that Dawkins (having warned off 'amateurs') does not try a bit of philosophy himself. He describes what he calls 'that philosophical chestnut': the question of whether everyone sees colours the same way. "Maybe your red is my green, or something different from any colour that I can imagine", he says. Notwithstanding the fact that everyone, even philosophers, knows people see colours different ways. Dawkins instead says that philosophers say this question is one that can "never be answered no matter what new evidence might one day become available". he does not seem to realise that philosophers discuss such issues as a way of exploring the use of words, not as a way of examining possible knowledge of the world.
Another philosophical favourite, we are assured, is the "invisible, intangible, inaudible unicorn" ("disproof of which is attempted yearly by the children at Camp Quest", Dawkins adds in one of his many irrelevant asides, this one presumably intended as a 'plug' for an organisation he supports). Dawkins bravely asserts that he considers unicorns not to exist, even if the philosophers say it is impossible to be prove it.
Again, however, the point for philosophers about unicorns is not whether or not they exist, but whether or not their properties exist - for example, whether or not they have 'one or two horns' on their horsey foreheads. Unicorns are recognised, indeed defined, to be imaginary creatures: the philosophical debate concerns is the status of statements about such imaginary things. Dawkins is pleased however, having 'disproved' the existence of unicorns to extend his method to the question of God. "The point of all these way out examples is that they are undisprovable, yet nobody thinks the hypothesis of their existence is on an even footing with the hypothesis of their non-existence" he adds.
Religious extremism - be it Christian, Muslim or Jewish - is certainly on the rise as Dawkins' book usefully illustrates. Indeed, it takes some courage these days to do so. Yet Dawkins seems to actively court controversy. Noting that a link to Hitler is often thrown at atheists, as Hitler was probably an atheist, despite having had his Nazi troops wear belts with the words "Gott mit uns" on them, he then seems to think it necessary to downplay Hitler's wickedness. That Hitler was definitely a keen supporter of the theory of 'survival of the fittest' he does not seem to think relevant. His tactic in defence is a curious one, suggesting that "Hitler seems especially evil only by the more benign standards of our time" .
But then, Hitler seems to have been on religious matters closer to Dawkins than anyone else except Nietzsche. As Dawkins explains, while Hitler's speeches were full of pious appeals to 'the Lord', in private he was saying things like:
"The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity" and: "When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. let us be the only people who are immunised against the disease."
"When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. let us be the only people who are immunised against the disease."
In conclusion, Dawkins says that "Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument". Evil? What about a mother's belief that here baby is the most beautiful , of that it will become a famous writer? There may be no evidence for it, but surely she can hold these views because they are either harmless or marginally useful (creating a loving environment for a child to grow up in is doubtless evolutionarily desirable).
Now Dawkins refers to many of his friends in the book, from Nobel Prize Winners and Ivy league and Oxbridge Professors down to mere journalists and reviewers. Let this reviewer too then refer to one of his friends, a committed Christian, who had not won any prizes or become a professor but instead devoted her time to caring for severely handicapped people. Without her 'faith' she would not have done this. Does that make her action - or her - evil?
The only trouble with 'faith' is when it involves a commitment to do something bad. It is irrational commitment to evil that is evil, not commitment itself. And scientists, of course, are past masters at the 'rational' commitment to do evil. ]
Sharon Says..well you can see how someone could be converted by the teaching of Dawkins..well only if you do not want to think for yourself that is... I mean what is all that garbage about no religious scientists?? Does he think that atheists are morons and can not read for themselves? He insults everyone with his half baked ideas.. and he is so wrong on so many things it is really hard to take him seriously on anything..I am sorry but the man is an idiot... He has no idea what he is talking about and yet keeps on talking and talking..NOW he has said that feminism is ruining the world..!! Really... so we are to believe that Hitler had it right and God does not exist,,, and feminists are the ones ruining the world..
Atheists did not vote this man into power so why is he still talking like he is their leader...they are now embarrassed by him...as we all are because lets face it we are all human beings. How do I know this...because Atheists says so...and I believe them. I have no battle with Atheists... why would I ..I was once one of them but I never spewed such garbage as this man is spewing and most atheists are not that way either.. Lets face it the man does not even know that all the Gnostic gospels were not considered for the bible because they did not exist in the first century when the bible was put together...he is either lying or is just ignorant of the facts..he seems to think there were hundreds of first century gospels to chose from and even if those books existed at that time why would you put them in the bible as they were not the inspired word of God.. they were full of errors and told a different story of Jesus ...which we were warned of and of which Paul said was happening even at the time he was alive...So no .. they never were chosen and no matter how many lies are told and no matter how hard Mr Dawkins tries he will not be able to get the Gnostics to be considered Gospel...Its a simple thing to seek out the truth and not fall for satans and dawkins lies... shame on them both.,
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