Update on “The Insulting Richard Dawkins”- “The New Atheists”

Hey-ho. Found an update by DrOakley1689 entitled The New Atheists, where he goes at length to explain the repercussions of The Insulting Richard Dawkins video. Again, I will try to address the points he makes. There’s more padding around the points this time round, and I will ignore the name calling. He also tends to use the term “new atheist” a fair deal; don’t know what that is about- atheism has always been not believing in a deity.

“The man [Dawkins] is a scientist he is not a philosopher”

This is a fallacy in the form of argument from authority that condones Dawkins’ credentials. A funny place to pick, considering Dawkins was the Proffessor for Public Understanding of Science, as well as holding honourary degrees from half a dozen universities as well as several awards for areas of outstanding ability. Not that any of this matters of course, neither should the fact that he hasn’t recieved a doctorate in philosophy or theology. Did Socrates recieve a doctorate (not that comparing Socrates to Dawkins would get us anywhere)? The man has been polled as the greatest thinker of our time.

“Atheists have no morality. They cannot control their tongues, or in this case they cannot control their fingers on the keyboards”

This was the reason Oakley turned off the comments on The Insulting Richard Dawkins video. Ignoring the condemnation of profane language (which gets us nowhere to be sure), the suggestion that atheists have no morality is appalling. I cover this issue somewhat in a previous post in my own way (suggesting atheists may be more moral than some religious observers), but look around as there are plenty of other reasons and ideas as to why this is not the case. Nevertheless, I agree with Oakley that if his message board was becoming inundated with pointless flaming, it should be removed as an option.

“Nothing has shown me the religious nature of atheism more than this. These people are zealots. They are just as zealous for their religion of anti-God as almost anyone is for promoting the existence of God.”

The “more than this” refers to the way some atheists tended to flood the comment section of his youtube videos. I find that a bit of stretch to label such behaviour as religious zealotry, compared to what the real stuff is capable of. Furthermore, I would like for Dr Oakley to reconsider labelling atheists under one banner, in the same way he was unhappy with Dawkins labelling all religious observers as not often changing religion. Furthermore, the suggestion that all atheists are “anti-God” is also incorrect, although anti-theists certainly exist here and there.

“Secular’s hatred of theism, in particular Christianity… … the unwillingness of Darwinism religion to consider the possibility of intelligent design”

Guys… get over it. It’s done. Darwinism is not a religion, it’s a scientific fact and theory. Intelligent design has had no ability, whatsoever to prove itself a worthwhile candidate. Furthermore why would secularism be so anti-Christianity more so than other religions? It’s a question I’ve never seen an answer for.

“But at the same time. The liberalism of Europe that people want to promote here in America as well is demonstrating its incapacity to deal with fundamentalist Islam, with Koranic Islam. The Islam that really goes back to those first centuries… …the secular left just doesn’t know what to do with these people… …to see these two forces come at each direction [other force being secularism] both forces don’t exactly like us [Christians] and we can be expected to pay a higher and higher price for our beliefs”(paraphrased)

Again, wanting your cake and eating it. So what Oakley is suggesting is that on one hand you have a powerful anti-religious lobby that is stifling any theism, and on the other you have a encouraging liberal secularist lobby (from Europe, whatever that entails) that can’t cope with a particular theist religion. Surely the one can do the job of the other? Why is Christianity the only one sufferring here? The only higher price I could envisage (as no secularist in their right mind would ever remove freedom for religion) would be reinstating tax for religion-based organisations that have been skipping from it for centuries.

“They have no interest in truth [secularists and atheists]”

The highest proportion of atheists in any sector is science. The most under-represented group in American prisons are atheists. While secularism is something that is generally undefinable in regards to polls in lieu of atheism, I would think that secularists tend to hold the truth, unbias from religious preference, in better stead than someone who reads a book promoting child slavery (Exodus 21:1-11). Come to think of it, that also means atheists are less likely  listen to this stuff when determining their ethical standing.

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~ by freeze43 on May 22, 2010.

5 Responses to “Update on “The Insulting Richard Dawkins”- “The New Atheists””

  1. “Nothing has shown me the religious nature of atheism more than this. These people are zealots. They are just as zealous for their religion of anti-God as almost anyone is for promoting the existence of God.”

    The zealotry or non-zealotry of a belief’s adherents tell us nothing about the belief. Most people are anti-murder zealots, and many serial killers are surely murder zealots, but this tells us nothing about the moral status of murder. Nobody doubts the badness of murder because so many people are zealously anti-murder, and hence horribly biased. There are many zealots who claim the existence of anthropogenic climate change, and many zealots who claim the opposite, but that tells us nothing about the truth of the matter.

    It doesn’t matter if many atheists are zealously anti-god, or casually anti-god, or anti-god only on Sundays. The correct response to an accusation of zealotry is “so what?”

    • If the debate is centred around what is the actual case in the world (i.e. does God exist) then I would agree with you. However this was a different issue in regards to the relative, typical behaviours of non-beleivers compared to believers.

      • The two – truth, and typical behavior – are inextricably linked. Zealotry is a good thing when it’s on the side of truth, and a bad thing when it’s on the side of falsehood. To accuse one side or the other of zealotry means nothing without the context of the beliefs themselves – it’s a positive claim without any normative weight.

  2. With nevertheless socially defined negative connotations which I addressed. I agree with you though.

  3. […] previously refuted Dr. Oakley’s assertions not once but twice, I thought that it would be a little staid if I was to have another crack at Alpha and Omega […]

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