A Parody of Himself

 

Professional atheist Richard Dawkins is in danger of becoming a parody of himself. Taking to Twitter, he had this comment to contribute:

I feel sorry for the Pope and all old Catholic priests. Imagine having a wasted life to look back on and no sex.

Pretty gratuitously nasty, isn’t it? Aside from highlighting the important role that religious faith can play in inspiring kindness on the part of its adherents, it also raises one more suspicion: That many self-proclaimed atheists actually believe in God — they’re just angry at Him.

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Members have made 94 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Hartmann von Aue Member

    In danger of? He jumped that particular shark a while back. 

    • #1
    • February 11, 2013 at 9:54 am
  2. Profile photo of Robert Promm Inactive

    Dawkins has long been a parody. Even his academic credentials are a parody. A PhD in zoology qualifies one for precisely what? It’s a pseudo science or soft science at best like sociology or psychology. Kinda like Noam Chomsky’s PhD in linguistics does not qualify him to comment on what he comments on with any greater authority that you or I.

    • #2
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:00 am
  3. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member

    Half a millenium from now, John Paul II and Benedict XVI will likely be known. At the very least they will be recorded in the memories of an institution that has a very long memory indeed, if not known more widely to history.

    And Mr. Dawkins will be, well, Richard who?

    • #3
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:04 am
  4. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    This is why so-called atheists annoy me. If he were secure in his atheism, he wouldn’t care one way or the other about the Pope. 

    • #4
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:08 am
  5. Profile photo of Astonishing Inactive

    Psychologists call it projection: Dawkins is disappointed about what’s in his jeans.

    • #5
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:13 am
  6. Profile photo of Group Captain Mandrake Inactive
    Robert Promm: It’s a pseudo science or soft science at best like sociology or psychology.

    On this particular point, I must disagree with you (but I thoroughly agree with you about Chomsky). Zoology is a branch of biology. I knew people who studied zoology at my college (which was also Dawkins’ undergraduate college) and based on what I saw of the things that they were studying, I believe it’s “real, hard” science. Here is a good summary.

    • #6
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:17 am
  7. Profile photo of Skyler Member

    Well, it IS a wasted life and it doesn’t include sex that we would know about, but it’s pretty rude to point that out.

    • #7
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:18 am
  8. Profile photo of Jerry Carroll Inactive

    Your average atheist is an evangelist of sort. Not long after meeting one, he reveals his scorn for religion and invites your agreement. If it is not forecoming, he tries to win you over by the force of reasoned argument or appeal to scientific proof, as if they had anything to do with it.

    • #8
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:19 am
  9. Profile photo of Owl of Minerva Member

    No sex to look back on? As a Roman Catholic of over 30 years, I know many priests that have plenty, one or two perhaps even fondly.

    Dawkins is an evangelist the same way, say, Joel Osteen is. At this rate, it doesn’t matter how much he believes what he’s saying. It matters that it gets him notoriety and sweet, sweet coin.

    But, really, we shouldn’t give Dawkins any more attention than he already gets, not that I’m chastising Mollie or anything. I just think he gets a lot of people riled up over nothing. Pun intended?

    • #9
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:27 am
  10. Profile photo of Johnny Dubya Member

    I don’t think he’s angry at God. I think he’s angry that so much of humanity, by his lights, believes in things that he is too “enlightened” to believe. It’s fine for him to think that, but why people like him and Bill Maher feel the need to disparage, insult, and sneer at good people of faith is unfathomable to me. 

    The idea that the Pope “wasted” his life is absurd. Did he spend his life as a recluse, or addicted to drugs, or watching TV? No, he was a pastor, a teacher, a thinker, a writer, a philosopher, and so much more. And I say this as a non-Catholic without any strong feelings for the man one way or the other.

    The mention of sex is telling, and nasty. (Note that he doesn’t mention “romantic love”–it’s the act he focuses on.) Dawkins has no class.

    • #10
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
  11. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Ed. Editor

    Dawkins is predictably puerile and worthlessly antagonistic here; it’s a genuine shame.

    That said, it’d be nice for conservatives to acknowledge Dawkins for saying equally harsh things about Islamism, which takes some guts for a public figure, especially one who’s British. Dawkins also spent a fair deal of time discussing the Cartoon Jihad in The God Delusion.

    article-0-17434A35000005DC-262_634x286.jpg

    • #11
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:31 am
  12. Profile photo of Johnny Dubya Member
    Skyler: Well, it IS a wasted life and it doesn’t include sex that we would know about, but it’s pretty rude to point that out. · 10 minutes ago

    Why is it a wasted life? Would you say the same thing about a college professor, or a philosopher, or a historian, or the leader of a philanthropic organization?

    • #12
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:32 am
  13. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Member

    With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, he’s shown that the Chair of Peter can evolve in its views of the proper manner of papal succession, ensuring the survival of the Catholic genus and species. Richard Dawkins, on the other hand, seems to defy such a categorization as he devolves into a Shellfish Gene who can only open up to pass for the media a pearl of great vice.

    But, the Catholic Church is obsessed with sex.

    • #13
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:32 am
  14. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member

    Thumper: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Good advice for Dawkins.

    • #14
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:39 am
  15. Profile photo of AmishDude Member
    Astonishing: Psychologists call it projection: Dawkins is disappointed about what’s in his jeans. · 23 minutes ago

    Yep. Sigmund Freud, call your office.

    • #15
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:41 am
  16. Profile photo of Group Captain Mandrake Inactive
    Albert Arthur: This is why so-called atheists annoy me. If he were secure in his atheism, he wouldn’t care one way or the other about the Pope. · 22 minutes ago

    He is secure in his atheism (which if you watch his Oxford discussion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, turns out to be more like a form of agnosticism). His comment about the Pope is merely a put-down. It’s not something I would have said or even thought. 

    • #16
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:41 am
  17. Profile photo of Ross C Member

    The reasoning behind this comment is so flabby I don’t know where to start.

    1. I feel sorry…. I doubt that he feels sorry, if it is not true, then that is the definition of hypocracy. Professing something you don’t believe yourself.

    2. Wasted life… I cannot say it is wasted becasue I am a believer but, theology aside, I know it is true that priests are utterly consumed with helping their parishoners and the community either directly themselves or through the organization of lay people to do so. Constantly. So it is on the face of it untrue to say that they have wasted their lives unless you believe that being of service and doing good is a waste. Things like comforting the sick and dying, marriage ceremonies, counseling the troubled, funeral ceremonies, visting men in prison….all a waste. I expect “doing good is a waste of your life” is not a point Mr. Dawkins endeavors to make when he speaks.

    • #17
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:45 am
  18. Profile photo of wmartin Inactive

    Believers really should stop with the self-flattering “deep down, atheists really believe what I believe; they just can’t admit it” crap. Dawkins is angry that most of the rest of humanity doesn’t agree with him and spends their lives devoted what he regards as superstition. He likes to lash out at the opposing tribe. I share his belief, but not his anger. Neither one of us is insecure in his atheism.

    • #18
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:50 am
  19. Profile photo of drlorentz Member
    tabula rasa: Thumper: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Good advice for Dawkins.

    Easier to say than to live up to, isn’t it? This very thread violates the maxim repeatedly, starting at the very top. Glass houses and all that.

    That said, Dawkins is a pompous prig. Too bad, because some of his early work is worthwhile. Zoology is hardly a pseudoscience in the same category as others mentioned (cf. comment #2). I guess gratuitous insults come from all quarters. Sadly, they undermine the credibility of valid criticism.

    • #19
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:51 am
  20. Profile photo of AmishDude Member
    Group Captain Mandrake
    Robert Promm: It’s a pseudo science or soft science at best like sociology or psychology.

    On this particular point, I must disagree with you (but I thoroughly agree with you about Chomsky). Zoology is a branch of biology. I knew people who studied zoology at my college (which was also Dawkins’ undergraduate college) and based on what I saw of the things that they were studying, I believe it’s “real, hard” science. Here is a good summary. · 23 minutes ago

    Not a hard science. A hard science is basically defined as one that has a lot of math. Ironically, that’s not measurable, but the term “hard science” does have meaning.

    Ernest Rutherford would have called zoology “stamp collecting”:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford,_1st_Baron_Rutherford_of_Nelson

    • #20
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:53 am
  21. Profile photo of Jim Brown Inactive

    What a silly little man.

    • #21
    • February 11, 2013 at 10:58 am
  22. Profile photo of drlorentz Member
    AmishDude

    Not a hard science. A hard science is basically defined as one that has a lot of math. Ironically, that’s not measurable, but the term “hard science” does have meaning.

    Ernest Rutherford would have called zoology “stamp collecting”:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford,_1st_Baron_Rutherford_of_Nelson

    You clearly have little familiarity with Dawkins’s earlier work. It is quite mathematical. As a ‘hard scientist’ myself (by your definition), I assure you that it was hard science. By the way, your definition is too narrow.

    • #22
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:02 am
  23. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Ed. Editor
    AmishDude

    Ernest Rutherford would have called zoology “stamp collecting”:Not a hard science. A hard science is basically defined as one that has a lot of math. Ironically, that’s not measurable, but the term “hard science” does have meaning. 

    Rutherford had a very legitimate point, but that’s carrying it a bit far. I prefer Randall Munroe’s take on the matter:

    purity.png

    • #23
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:03 am
  24. Profile photo of AmishDude Member
    wmartin: Neither one of us is insecure in his atheism. · 3 minutes ago

    I disagree. That tweet is more of a cry for help than anything else.

    Think about it: Of all of the profound arguments of the heights man can achieve if he just unshackles himself from religion and superstition, he picks…sex.

    That’s right, if you are an atheist, you too can aspire to be a rutting pig.

    That tweet reminds me of a religious person who is eager to insert God or Jesus into even the most tangential and inappropriate circumstances.

    It’s an attempt at moral self-identification, to indicate to one’s fellows that one is firm in the faith.

    Maybe I’m wrong. It could be a situation where — if he says it often enough — he’ll end up believing it, himself.

    • #24
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:04 am
  25. Profile photo of AmishDude Member
    Tom Meyer

    Rutherford had a very legitimate point, but that’s carrying it a bit far. I prefer Randall Munroe’s take on the matter: · 0 minutes ago

    As a mathematician myself, I endorse this.

    • #25
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:05 am
  26. Profile photo of Group Captain Mandrake Inactive
    AmishDude
    Group Captain Mandrake
    Robert Promm: It’s a pseudo science or soft science at best like sociology or psychology.

    On this particular point, I must disagree with you (but I thoroughly agree with you about Chomsky). Zoology is a branch of biology. I knew people who studied zoology at my college (which was also Dawkins’ undergraduate college) and based on what I saw of the things that they were studying, I believe it’s “real, hard” science. Here is a good summary. · 23 minutes ago

    Not a hard science. A hard science is basically defined as one that has a lot of math. Ironically, that’s not measurable, but the term “hard science” does have meaning.

    Ernest Rutherford would have called zoology “stamp collecting”:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford,_1st_Baron_Rutherford_of_Nelson · 12 minutes ago

    Good old Rutherford. I’m glad I studied physics and not stamp collecting. In Rutherford’s days, there may have been some truth in what he said. As to hard and soft science, your definition is not one that I had heard before. Here is an alternative. In any case, my use of “hard” in this case was my own usage to mean “not pseudo”.

    • #26
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:08 am
  27. Profile photo of AmishDude Member
    drlorentz

    You clearly have little familiarity with Dawkins’s earlier work. It is quite mathematical. As a ‘hard scientist’ myself (by your definition), I assure you that it was hard science. By the way, your definition is too narrow. · 3 minutes ago

    I do not have familiarity with Dawkins’ “earlier work”. You may use terminology, I’d like to know what mathematics it uses. I have been singularly unimpressed with “mathematical biology” myself.

    My definition is not too narrow. That’s what a “hard science” is. There are also “soft sciences” and, in a separate category, “social sciences”.

    The latter involves a different kind of scientific method in which if the data does not confirm the hypothesis, we reject the data until we find some that confirms the hypothesis.

    • #27
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:09 am
  28. Profile photo of Group Captain Mandrake Inactive
    AmishDude
    drlorentz

    You clearly have little familiarity with Dawkins’s earlier work. It is quite mathematical. As a ‘hard scientist’ myself (by your definition), I assure you that it was hard science. By the way, your definition is too narrow. · 3 minutes ago

    I do not have familiarity with Dawkins’ “earlier work”. You may use terminology, I’d like to know what mathematics it uses. I have been singularly unimpressed with “mathematical biology” myself.

    My definition is not too narrow. That’s what a “hard science” is. There are also “soft sciences” and, in a separate category, “social sciences”.

    The latter involves a different kind of scientific method in which if the data does not confirm the hypothesis, we reject the data until we find some that confirms the hypothesis. · 1 minute ago

    I disagree with your definition of “hard science” which excludes biology. It may well be a matter of convention as to where the demarcation is between hard and soft, but Nature magazine defines it thus.

    • #28
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:18 am
  29. Profile photo of drlorentz Member
    AmishDude

    I do not have familiarity with Dawkins’ “earlier work”. You may use terminology, I’d like to know what mathematics it uses. I have been singularly unimpressed with “mathematical biology” myself.

    My definition is not too narrow. That’s what a “hard science” is. There are also “soft sciences” and, in a separate category, “social sciences”.

    The latter involves a different kind of scientific method in which if the data does not confirm the hypothesis, we reject the data until we find some that confirms the hypothesis.

    Since you’ve declared yourself ignorant of Dawkins’s scientific work, I find it surprising that you feel qualified to comment upon it. Fortunately, I have a solution.

    I propose we define mathematics as the only hard science to enshrine the purity depicted in the purity cartoon. That way, all one needs to know is that Dawkins worked on evolutionary biology, which is clearly not mathematics and hence neither pure nor hard.

    • #29
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:20 am
  30. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    No class.

    • #30
    • February 11, 2013 at 11:22 am
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