Tuesday, October 02, 2007

When the Philistines of Gath go out against the Philistines of Gaza

Wow. Richard Dawkins really isn't a very smart man, is he? I had no idea.

Viddy this:
It is easy for religious faith, even if it is irrational in itself, to lead a sane and decent person, by rational, logical steps, to do terrible things. There is a logical path from religious faith to evil deeds. There is no logical path from atheism to evil deeds. Of course, many evil deeds are done by individuals who happen to be atheists. But it can never be rational to say that, because of my nonbelief in religion, it would be good to be cruel, to murder, to oppress women, or to perpetrate any of the evils on the Hitchens list.
Oh my dog, Dick! There is a logical path from religious faith to evil deeds, but there is no logical path from atheism to evil deeds?! How very convenient for you! But really: even if we were to take this on your own terms, it is at best a bizarrely pointless thing to say. I mean, given that you're rather clearly not trying to draw our attention to the apparent limits of (those utterly man-made constructs) logic and rationality, we are then supposed to be blown away by the observation that people are more likely to act if they have an opinion of a given matter than if they don't.* Brilliant, Dick! Just bloody brilliant! Next thing you'll be telling me people who aren't hungry are less likely to slaughter and eat a helpless wheat field than people who are. Or perhaps, people who aren't taught how to read are less likely to embrace the ideas contained in Mein Kampf.

... But what's really painfully fascinating about Dawkins' sophomore-level brain fart is this:
Religion changes, for people, the definition of good [from what, one is forced to ask --ed.]. Atheists and humanists tend to define good and bad deeds in terms of the welfare and suffering of others. Murder, torture, and cruelty are bad because they cause people to suffer. Most religious people think them bad, too, but some religions (for example the religion of the Taliban) sanction all of them under some circumstances. For non-religious people, the behavior of consenting adults in a private bedroom is the business of nobody else, and is not bad unless it causes suffering – for example by breaking up a happy family. But many religions arrogate to themselves the right to decide that certain kinds of sexual behavior, even if they do no harm to anyone, are wrong.
An unbelievable amount of rubbish here, I know, but focus on this the religion of the Taliban business? What was that called again, Mr. Dawkins? Islam, wasn't it? Could there be a reason for your refusing to name the religion of the Taliban even as you use it to smear every other religion known to man?

Could it be, I wonder, that to specifically name that one religion--whose doctrinal incompatibilities with your humanist orthodoxy are as a mountain compared to the molehills of, say, oh I don't know, Christianity or Judaism--could it be, I say, that to name Islam directly would be to violate the labyrinthine code of political correctnesses that your beloved "atheists" and "humanists" now enforce as law in the post-religious West? Could it be, Dick, that you yourself know that the only thing worse--and more likely to discredit you--than believing in God in the Cruelty-free New World is, strangely, illogically, irrationally enough, being what's now voguishly called an Islamophobe?

But if you can't even bring yourself to name your enemy, Dick, how the hell do you expect to defeat him?

Ah, well. Tangle on, my lad, tangle on!


*Of course, this requires of us that we accept the demonstrably false reasoning underlying this belief: that atheism is a position of neutrality.