The Brothers Karamazov

"Actually, people sometimes talk about man's 'bestial' cruelty, but that is being terribly unjust and offensive to the beasts..."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are Dawkins and Hitchens Haunted by Hellfire?

It's so sad. It really is. They both had such great promise when they were...younger. The aging process can create fear of what looms ahead and that frightens some of us; awfully much. Has it happened with them, I wonder?

We have two distinguished luminaries; one well known for scholarship, the other for... posh Brit speak? Both made significant marks early on; both now rapidly spiraling back from the 21st to the 12th century. Both seemingly riddled with the most appalling medieval superstition.

"Wait a minute", you say. "Hold it right there. Are you telling us the distinguished scientist Richard Dawkins and his side kick, the journo Christopher Hitchens, are both as superstitious as old village scolds? Giddoudahere!"

Well, anticipating your doubts I consulted my trusty Websters Twentieth Century, Unabridged, mind you, and here's the skinny:
1.any belief or attitude that is inconsistent with... what is considered in the particular society as true and rational...

Now today in Britain I would suppose 99.9% of the population (in the US even higher)
are believers, or at least nominal subscribers to some sort of faith which they consider true and rational. This is true of the rest of mankind and has been so since time immemorial. Not so with our hysterical friends whose ravings recently leave an ever so slight whiff of anti-brimstone all about. One could almost conjure the shades of an aroused, unbelieving rabble with pitchfork and torch.
(Nowadays, of course, closer to fondue warmers and really pointy swizzle sticks.)

Further along in my trusty Webster's lies a clue to the heightened rise in shrillness, and hissy-fit scourging of all vestiges of faith, wherever found lurking. A lapse into almost girlish histrionics at invocation of any minor deity. 'Militant Atheists',for Christ's sake, come on now!.

Perhaps this aha! moment with Webster's explains the recent explosion of anti-religious fundamentalism represented by our pundits:

Superstitious...overexact; scrupulous beyond need.

Having manifested as the secular equivalent of serpent handlers and tent-show Elmer Gantrys, these poor credulous souls have given atheism an even worse (is it possible?)reputation. Just what we need in these nutty times.

Thanks a lot,guys.


Anonymous said...

Is this a comedy piece?

very good.

Tony said...

Here's more definition of superstition.
1. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.
a. A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance.
b. A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality.
c. Idolatry.

Cherry picking again are you? like u probably do with your bloody bible.

Justin said...

You 'suppose' that 99.9% are believers? Your own supposition is an excellent source too cite for statistical data! Good work! Try looking up some actual surveys and data - particularly in the UK - and I 'suppose' you will soon be eating your words.

Oh, and I notice your attempt to claim anyone with any faith of any kind as being on your side - no matter how vehemently they would reject any specific claims you may believe in. As if Richard and Christopher are outsiders from a monolithic sea of concensus!

In actuality of course, EVERY particular faith actually consists of a minority of humans. In fact there are nearly as many different 'gods' as there are individual theists to construct them. You can TRY to claim all theists as a mass to pad your stats, but it's pretty dichonest. Though they all may claim belief in a 'god' or 'gods' the similarity of those beliefs often ends with that title.

Funny, the faithful only seem to stop their squabbling and pretend to be on the same team when there is an atheist about and they need to circle the wagons.

Try limiting your comparison sample only to any folks who would affirm any given particular doctrine or precept. That would be a more fair comparison, to atheists - and the numbers in many cases will come closer to balance.

Coryat said...

"They both had such great promise when they were...younger."

Yes you're quite right, the populariser of a gene level view of evolution and a best selling author haven't fulfilled their promise. Unlike you, lonely internet troll. You're doing well.

"A lapse into almost girlish histrionics at invocation of any minor deity. 'Militant Atheists',for Christ's sake, come on now!."

Your misogynistic language is tiresome, whilst your use of the term 'militant' is inane. Do you mean militant like Islamic fundamentalists or Christian abortion clinic bombers? Or militant as in speak their minds? If so, I can't wait to hear you denounce militant stamp collectors!

So there we have it, your whole post is a mess of distortions, argumentum ad populum (backed up by argumentum ad dictionarius) weasel words such as 'militant' and unrestrained contempt for women.

I'm going to ask that you don't post again until you have really thought about what I'm saying. You have to understand, when a person like me deigns to speak to a person like you, it's because I feel that your words are seriously lowering the level of discourse. I would appreciate it if you would take my advice.

Quoth the Raving



Julius Caesar

Veni,Vedi,Vici...Sidi ( I stuck around )

Uncle Sam


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Police Action in Iraq; we call it a War.

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Gene Pool?

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