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Feb 26 2012

What price the golden rule eh?

Another truculent Christian who plans to go to the Reason Rally in order to interfere with other people’s event.

Richard Dawkins will be one of the  main speakers, which tells us about all we need to know. Richard Dawkins of course is the leading horseman of the new atheism with his book “The God Delusion.” This book has practically become a Bible for most online atheists today with a new fundamentalism that says “Richard says it! I believe it! That settles it!” Dawkins has spoken. The case is closed.

Never mind that Dawkins has ran with his tail between his legs from William Lane Craig and most recently has done so from a clergyman who interviewed him. In reality, most of us who are in the field of Christian apologetics would love a chance to debate the horseman.

Yes of course they would! It would be great for them. For Dawkins, not so much; he’s a busy fella with a lot to do, so he chooses how he spends his time. For him it makes a good deal more sense to debate the archbishop of Canterbury than it does to debate Craig. That’s not “running” (much less with tail between legs), it’s allocating time wisely.

Dawkins proclaims himself as a champion of science and reason, as if not believing in God automatically means you are a person of reason. Obviously anyone who is a Christian or a believer in any sort of deity has sold themselves out to delusion and abandoned reason. This assertion is not defended. It is just asserted.

That’s just a falsehood. Of course the assertion is defended; it’s defended in a book and many articles, talks, debates, and the like. Nick Peters could say it’s not well defended, if he chose, but it’s just mendacious to say it’s not defended period.

Let us keep in mind the saying of Chesterton. “There are two kinds of people in the world, the conscious dogmatists and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found myself that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic.” Chesterton would see the Reason Rally as an example. While the new atheist crowd wishes to speak against dogma, they simply take one dogma and replace it with another.

Dogma is one of those terms not really understood. In reality, we all have some dogmas. We all hold some beliefs in high honor that we wish others to hold. The difference between myself and the new atheists is that I know I am dogmatic. The new atheists do not know it and in turn end up pushing their dogma the most.

Ah no, that’s not right at all. Dogma is not a belief we hold in high honor and want others to hold. No no no. It’s a truth claim from authority that must not be questioned. Makes a difference, doesn’t it.

Why not try to make a presence at Reason Rally, as I hope to do…I will be doing what I can to be there and I’d love to see you there. Let’s be there to argue not against reasoning, which we should all love, but to argue against bad reasoning. Let us replace the reason of Dawkins with what Ratio Christi is named for, the Reason of Christ.

It’s just as he admitted (apparently without realizing he’d admitted anything) – “most of us who are in the field of Christian apologetics would love a chance to debate the horseman.” They’re all excited about the treat, and not the least bit concerned about intruding on people who don’t want to be intruded on. Do unto others chiz chiz.

26 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    Another goddist who’s never read The God Delusion yet pontificates about what’s not in it.

  2. 2
    peterh

    Eaton’s planning to attend in order not to argue against reason, but to argue against “bad reasoning.” Judging from his blog, he’s mightily poorly equipped for that.

  3. 3
    screechy monkey

    I think it’s probably fair to say that a lot of “online atheists” admire and respect Dawkins, but I can’t remember the last time I saw an atheist quote from The God Delusion other than in a discussion about whether Dawkins is too strident/militant/meanie/etc. (Or, more recently, to point out that Dawkins’s supposedly shocking “admission” that he’s not 100% certain of the non-existence of god is nothing new.)

    But I don’t recall ever seeing an atheist tell a theist “you’re wrong. In Chapter X of The God Delusion, Dawkins says blah blah blah. So there!” I mean, it’s a big internet and I’m sure it’s happened somewhere, but common?

  4. 4
    stonyground

    I have read TGD but I have read hundreds of other books as well. I have read books of Christian Apologetics by CS Lewis, Creationists, various cannons and bishops. I have read books by atheists and religious sceptics like Ingersoll, Tom Paine, Sam Harris, Chris Hitchens, Dan Dennett, GH Smith, Judith Hayes and many others. I have read science books by Dawkins, Hawking, Goldacre and many others. So in what way is TGD my Bible?

    Is this guy projecting a little? He only reads one book, well bits of it at least, and assumes that atheists do the same.

  5. 5
    cag

    Surround the apologists with a Blasphemy Circle.

  6. 6
    Nick

    hehehe. I love how insecure atheists are. Actually, I have read the God Delusion and I have reviewed it and I’ve read anything by the new atheists I can get my hands on. It’s all pathetically weak. Not one of them gets the definition of faith right for instance and yes, I do interact on the net often and ever since the God Delusion came out, I see atheists left and right using its arguments.

    If you do think your atheism is really so secure, then feel free to come to TheologyWeb.coma and challenge me in the Deeper Waters sub-forum. It’ll be fun.

  7. 7
    Rrr

    come to TheologyWeb.coma and challenge me

    What — meet you in a coma limbo? Sounds great.

    in the Deeper Waters sub-forum. It’ll be fun.

    Uhh. Whats the safe word, again?
    Maybe some other epoch, ok.
    Btw, your contribution reminds me of a small unfortunate eel that had the bad karma of having swallowed a fishing hook and died a horrible writhing death in the shallow seaweeds. Not a pretty picture. Not a tempting way to go. For me, at least. YMMV, HAND etc.
    So excuse me if I pass on your bait, this time.

  8. 8
    otrame

    hehehe. I love how insecure atheists are.

    Project much?

    So tell us, oh secure Christian. What is your definition of faith?

  9. 9
    Aratina Cage

    hehehe. I love how insecure atheists are.

    In other words, you do not respect us–as if we didn’t know!

  10. 10
    LykeX

    Not one of them gets the definition of faith right for instance

    Feel free to correct us, then. Please give us the correct definition.

  11. 11
    Hein

    Richard Dawkins of course is the leading horseman of the new atheism with his book “The God Delusion.” This book has practically become a Bible for most online atheists today with a new fundamentalism that says “Richard says it! I believe it! That settles it!” Dawkins has spoken. The case is closed.

    Oh I’m getting so sick of this one! They can’t seem to make up their minds though. Is it “The God Delusion” or “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” (I had to look that up btw. ;-), that’s supposed to be the atheist bible? Or maybe these are like the old and new testaments?

    The only explanation I can come up with is that christians simply cannot conceive of a life not ruled by dogmas and holy books. The idea of thinking for oneself rather than having ones opinions dictated by holy men is just unfathomable to them. Therefore they assume that that is how we operate too.

  12. 12
    Hamilton Jacobi

    Thesis:

    This book has practically become a Bible for most online atheists today with a new fundamentalism that says “Richard says it! I believe it! That settles it!” Dawkins has spoken. The case is closed.

    Defense:

    …ever since the God Delusion came out, I see atheists left and right using its arguments.

    You do understand that it is possible to use someone’s argument because you believe it to be correct and well justified by evidence, right?

    When the engineers at NASA use Newton’s laws to predict trajectories of their interplanetary probes, do you ridicule them as “new fundamentalists” who say, “Newton says it! I believe it! That settles it!”?

  13. 13
    Ophelia Benson

    By the way Nick, as long as you’re being so condescending: the past participle of “run” is “run,” not “ran.” A commenter at your place silently corrected your “has ran” but you either didn’t notice or thought that was wrong, and repeated “has ran” again.

    Here’s how it works:

    She ran.

    She has run/had run/would have run.

  14. 14
    evilDoug

    “Truculent” is exactly the right word. This guy is very good at projecting the image of a two-bit street punk.

  15. 15
    Anthony K

    Not one of them gets the definition of faith right

    That’s God’s problem, not atheists’.

    If I need a PhD in faitheology to correctly believe in him, then it’s up to him to give me the tools.

    It’s hardly my fault if I end up in hell because every Christian apologist is some shitty asshole like Nick here, any more than it’s Nick’s fault he doesn’t speak Proto-Indo-European because he’s never encountered a competent teacher.

  16. 16
    Anthony K

    You do understand that it is possible to use someone’s argument because you believe it to be correct and well justified by evidence, right?

    When the engineers at NASA use Newton’s laws to predict trajectories of their interplanetary probes, do you ridicule them as “new fundamentalists” who say, “Newton says it! I believe it! That settles it!”?

    It’s not Nick’s fault. He’s only ever been taught by idiots, and of course, they said it, he believes it, that settles it.

    (The surest sign you’re arguing with a theist nitwit is that they think a compelling argument is to accuse atheists of acting in a way typically attributed to the religious. “Ha-ha! Stupid atheists, acting like typical Christians! We usually say ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it’ about ourselves, but I’m going to smear them by tweaking the sentence and applying to them! That’ll make for an effective argument in favour of religious thinking!”)

  17. 17
    danielmchugh

    All things considered, I’m more likely to believe a man whose credentials I can verify- whose experiences and ideology are public knowledge, who is demonstrably the author of the works attributed to him, and who responds to accusations made against him with clarity and wit- over the words of some dead holy man thousands of years ago whose name has been forgotten by history, who may or may not have even been the source of the words he laid claim to. Frankly, Dr. Dawkins is a far more reputable source than any of those responsible for the Bible or any works derived from it (or excluded from it by power-hungry clergymen centuries ago). Dawkins cites his sources, makes his case, and lets his position rest on evidence. No religious authority has ever done that, and that is what will ultimately render religion obsolete.

    Science and reason prevail over superstitious bullshit. They always have and always will- the only question is how long it will take each successive religion to fall by the wayside and be forgotten.

  18. 18
    Buffy

    Christians are such predators they can’t tolerate the idea of others having even one event free of religious meddling. Ugh.

  19. 19
    Erp

    I think the interviewing clergyman referred to was Giles Fraser not Rowan Williams. Dawkins has interacted with both recently (and seems to get along with both fairly well though with some mutual incomprehension).

    Nick, after a brief look at theologyweb.com (including a berating of those who just want to lurk), I think I will stick with ship-of-fools.com as a friendlier Christian web space.

  20. 20
    'Tis Himself

    I was an atheist years before I knew of the existence of Richard Dawkins. The first book of his I ever read was The Selfish Gene so I thought of him as a biologist. It wasn’t until the 1990s when I read The Blind Watchmaker that I found out he was an atheist.

  21. 21
    Jackie

    Are we still pretending that freethinkers don’t show up to Christian events?

  22. 22
    Stacy

    Are we still pretending that freethinkers don’t show up to Christian events?

    You think our problem is with the showing up part?

    You’re wrong.

    (That was easy.)

  23. 23
    Stewart

    Oh, dear. I, too, was tempted and looked at “theologyweb.coma.” I wonder who it could be is actually attracted to a site sporting a “Dear Guest” intro like that, one which uses “awesome” twice to describe itself and makes the ridiculous comparison between looking at a published website unregistered to peeking into people’s windows while they’re undressing. If you do have serious arguments in there, Nick, you’ll have to seem a bit more serious on the outside if you ever want to lure anyone inside.

  24. 24
    dirigible

    “That’s just a falsehood.”

    If only religion taught people not to lie.

    I mean actually taught them, not just told them they’re going to hell for all eternity if they do so.

  25. 25
    Svlad Cjelli

    “.coma”

    Please tell me that this is a real domain. I can’t find it, but it’s neat.

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