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Mar 02 2014

Watch that “all”

Oh lordy. Again. I should just add a little sub-blog or something: Dawkinswatch.

This time he’s trying his hand at making authoritative pronouncements about religion versus atheism on Twitter, and…well, I cringed.

Some good people are religious. Some good people are atheists. All who fight stem cell research & evolution teaching are religious.

Some good people are religious. Some good people are atheists. All who bomb abortion clinics & all who mutilate clitorises are religious.

Some atheists are bad. But all stoners, hand-choppers, abortion clinic bombers, evolution deniers, gay-persecutors are religious.

Some atheists do good, some bad. But atheism drives nobody to do bad. Raligion drives some people to do bad because they think it’s good.

Oh gawd. Somebody stop him.

I think I know what he’s trying to say; I think he’s trying to make the point that religion supplies certain kinds of motivation that are absent from atheism. But those blurts are not that point! And they’re wrong.

And it does matter, because he’s taken to be an atheist authority figure by many many many people, atheists and non-atheists alike. As a mouthy atheist myself, I’m getting increasingly restless about being “represented” by crude slogans like the above.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    Dawkins expresses himself well in books. He’s absurd on Twitter. It seems the shorter his pronouncements, the more asinine he gets.

  2. 2
    stevebowen

    He shouldn’t be out in public without an editor.

  3. 3
    rq

    My cousin and I fairly recently went to see a series of talks, where the line-up included Richard Dawkins (last, of course!). The first three talks, plus in-between speeches and music, were excellent, and we were really excited.
    Then Dawkins spoke. Rather lengthily, but I think he should stick to writing, since he had some issues making his point – it’s not just Twitter (maybe it was the topic).
    Anyway. We have labelled this post-Dawkins presentation feeling a ‘Dawkins low’, which is a step above a ‘Dawkins depression’ (which settled in once the question-period started). It was nearly enough to ruin the entire day, which was otherwise very interesting, educational and fun.

  4. 4
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Some people are tall. But everyone who says “meow” is a cat. Maek u think.

  5. 5
    aziraphale

    It’s not even true. Fred Hoyle spent years trying to disprove evolution and he was certainly not religious.

  6. 6
    Sarah AB

    One of the most obvious mistakes is the bit about all gay-persecutors being religious. Atheist communist regimes have a patchy track record on the issue.

  7. 7
    chrislawson

    aziraphale@5 beat me to it. Fred Hoyle went off the deep end and tried to rebut evolution and prove that the Archeopteryx fossils were hoaxes. His motivation was not religious but scientific jealousy as he wanted his own batty version of panspermia to triumph.

    As for atheists not doing bad things because of their atheism, I encourage Dawkins to read about Varg Vikernes of the Norwegian black metal band Burzum.

  8. 8
    medivh

    chrislawson, #7:

    I’ve read, admittedly little, about Vikernes. He’s one of those “spiritual not religious” types, and follows a pagan religion with a belief in an afterlife of sorts. He committed his crimes in the name of his ancestors, not in the name of atheism. So, you know… seems like a bad choice.

  9. 9
    Omar Puhleez

    Sarah AB@#6:

    “One of the most obvious mistakes is the bit about all gay-persecutors being religious. Atheist communist regimes have a patchy track record on the issue.”
    .
    Atheist communist regimes have their own religions, deities, holy books, prophets, heretics… the full bit. Look no further than to that murderous roly-poly Rasputin running North Korea.
    .

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