1. Dutch Vigilante says

    Yeah, dawkins harsh attack only serves people who are on the fence about facism to become facists. His fundamentalist Afacism Isn’t helping.
    What we should do is talk to the facists and soften up our own rethoric. That way we can reach far more on their side. What we need to do is stop speaking up for the Communists and the Jews, I’m sure that they’ll leave us alone then.

  2. Dutch Vigilante says

    Pretty much, yeah. You read one appeaser comment, you read them all, really. It was meant rather sarcasticly.

    Not to say that all appeasing comments are equally invalid. On something appeasment might be handy.. Facism and religion aren’t those things, though.

  3. JohnnieCanuck, FCD says

    Does a facist discriminate against a particular kind of face, like a sexist or believe in faces as opposed to an afacist who does not believe in the existence of faces?

  4. sailor says

    Yes, someone once redid a bunch of reviews of Hitchins substituting witches and witchcraft for religion. It was very revealing.

  5. Richard Harris, FCD says

    On BBC Radio 4 this morning, I heard the UK chief rabbi, Jonathon Sachs, refer to Dawkins, or his book, ‘The God Delusion’, as being ‘angry’. Dawkins’ reputed anger is a theme amongst religionists. I’m only on chapter 3 of the book, but I haven’t encountered any anger yet, & when I’ve seen him on TV, he appears to be quite mild-mannered.

    One of those tomfools who believe in made up stuff made up the meme of the angry Dawkins, & the rest of them believe it. Pahhh!

  6. Andrés says

    Another thing Dawkins is sidestepping is the fact that non-Fascism gave rise to Fascism. It’s a well known fact that Fascists were non-Fascists!

  7. Andrés says

    Another thing Dawkins is sidestepping is the fact that non-Fascism gave rise to Fascism. It’s a well known fact that Fascists were non-Fascists!

  8. Brenda von Ahsen says

    That was brilliant. The only problem that I see is that it will go over many heads. I would expect that Adam will be getting converts and willing disciples very soon.

  9. Matthew Skinta says

    I must say, I enjoyed a good laugh reading this but I still would agree with Richard Harris’s comment above – this idea of the “angry” Dawkins seems to me more a meme of those that dislike him. I also didn’t find his book to come across as angry. Seriously, though, “fundamentalist afacism”? That’s a little harsh toward poor Richard, I think he at least tries to make a good justification for an afacism not defined strictly in relation to facism.

  10. LKL says

    The problem in WWII Germany wasn’t that a few Jews were being killed; it was that they were systematically rounded up and systematically killed, and that wouldn’t have been possible without a totalitarian social structure that largely controlled the thoughts (through propaganda) and action (through police) of the citizens of Germany.

    Ahhh, but that’s supposed to be ok, because the Nazis found a great sense of belonging and brotherhood in being Nazis.

    I doubt even Dawkins himself could have driven home the link between religious faith and fascism as well as this reviewer does.

  11. Kagehi says

    Hmm. My **only** problem with the “in defense of witchcraft” one is that the guy writing it, despite being in defense of our side, opted to do so by using their sides mis-labeling of witchcraft as Satanism. I really doesn’t help our cause, even when we make jokes, if we get basic facts wrong. And the only people equating Satan with Witches **ever** have been the Christian groups that liked to equate anything and everything that didn’t have enough crosses and Bible verses in it as satanic. Which is kind of hard to to figure, unless the devil is also a cross dresser, given that “most” Wicca follow a goddess. lol But otherwise, love both articles.

  12. Sastra says

    Very good.

    I like to substitute the term “religion” with “astrology” when reading the critics who insist that Dawkins only really makes points against those extremists who distort religion into superstition. Moderate religion is no problem.

    You see, Richard Dawkins and his ilk fail to deal with the benign, reasonable forms of religion (astrology) which give vague, sensible advice which pretty much fits everyone and everything. “Love your neighbor,” as Jesus instructed us (because Sagittarians are hospitable.) What’s “irrational” about that? That’s advice and values even an atheist (astronomer) can endorse!

    So the problem isn’t with religion(astrology) at all. It’s a good thing to try to guide your life by doing what God wants (as the planets direct us)– and there’s nothing wrong with a culture that promotes and reinforces that at every turn. Dawkins should not attack the moderates by trying to tell them there is no God (astrology doesn’t work). Go after the extremists who misuse religion (misinterpret the astrological signs) irrationally — and therefore cause real harm!

  13. Patrick Quigley says

    Good analogy, Sastra. Religion is silly like astrology. But it is also oppressive like fascism. I guess religion is a bit like fascist astrology or astrological fascism.

  14. Steven Carr says

    Don’t fascist parents have every right to have their children brought up to believe fascism, just as Democrats teach their children the Democratic way, and Republicans teach their children to be republicans?

    In fact there should be fascist schools, funded by the taxpayer, and in Britain at least, it should be made compulsory for the main TV channels to make programmes about fascism.

    Fascists should also be given unelected seats in Britain’s parliament system, and fascists can then decide among themselves which of them should take up those seats.

    Anything less than this is just totally unwarranted discrimination and persecution of fascists, and complaints about any of the above are the hallmark of angry militants.

  15. says

    The “angry Dawkins” thing is an outgrowth of classic delusional rationalization. Since the main thesis of the book cannot be entertained, then Dawkins “must” be mad at the Big Boojum, I mean God. This meme must then be repeated incessantly, like all those other religious memes, to prevent “confusion” on the part of those who might wonder about Dawkins’ message. I’m waiting for the day when one of these organizations replaces “Amen” with, “Sleep! Sleeeeep!”

  16. fishbane says

    That was funny. “Fascists don’t kill Jews, people kill Jews. And didn’t you like it when the trains ran on time?”

  17. yoyo says

    Not only do the trains run on time but without fascism there is no moral certanty and that leads to fearful nihilsm and moral anrchy. Someone think of the children!! (PS Dont forget the tax exempt status all fascist organisations deserve, and anyway fascist buildings are so very pretty.)

  18. Sastra says

    I think some people are overextending. I like the analogy, but see it more as an indictment of the style of argument, than as equating religion with dictatorships. The problem with spiritual faith isn’t that it’s inherently fascist — or violent, or oppressive. It’s that it’s inherently unarguable.

    It may be violent; it may be pacifist. It may deeply encourage tolerance, human rights, and democracy; it may not. Religion isn’t a matter of “good,” well-intentioned people doing it right, and “bad,” self-seeking people getting it wrong. Basically, I think that whether its cultural or personal, you’ve always got a crap shoot because faiths base their precepts on untestable claims. The supernatural can redefine any situation or action as “virtuous” — against the world, if need be.

    In astrology, if someone reads the stars and sees directions to “form a constitutional democracy” and someone else charts the planets and discovers instructions to “be a fascist,” you can’t rationally examine who came up with the correct answer. Best you can do is pick the answer you like, and then praise the technique that got it. This time. I think that’s a practical but poor strategy, long term.

    What do the stars really say? Is that a “meaning question?” If science isn’t allowed to rule that no, it’s a fact question and astrology doesn’t appear to work so asking it is a non-starter, then it’s all just left to chance, whim, culture, or tradition, with no common ground appeal.

    What does God really want? What is it like, how does it define the Good? The gentle liberals and moderates who think True Faith is never fascist or violent forget that, when it comes down to it, True Faith is like Real Astrology.

  19. katie says

    I agree with the comments about the “Dawkins as angry atheist” meme. I remember having this conversation with a friend where he described him as a “strident polemicist”. I asked if he’d read anything Dawkins wrote …”um…no”.

  20. Timothy says

    Sastra: Are you seriously trying to claim that there is non-superstitious religion or did I just miss some sarcasm somewhere?

  21. Chris says

    I really do hate to see parody/satire that allows comments, because invariably there are some commenters who allow the parody to go right over their head. Each and every time I read one of these comments, my faith in humanity dies a little bit more.

    Please PZ, think of humanity!

  22. Andrew Cave says

    Lovely interview of Richard Dawkins at the Sydney Writers Festival (transcript and audio
    ) with Robin Willaims, the science broadcaster on the ABC’s Radio National lo! these past 40 years.

    And PZ Myers is not only mentioned, but his courtier’s reply is read out by RD to the audience…how much more famous can he get before he becomes famous for being famous?

  23. Sastra says

    Timothy wrote:

    Sastra: Are you seriously trying to claim that there is non-superstitious religion or did I just miss some sarcasm somewhere?

    Um, I think you must have misread a bit of sarcasm on my part, or misinterpreted a place where I was just stating the views of others. There are spiritual moderates who argue that their religion is “non-superstitious” or “antifascist,” and so it escapes atheist critiques about both.

    Many forms of religion contain less overt superstitions, certainly — but only because they are more vague and less direct about the main superstition: that there are Higher Powers which should guide us. I think it’s that starting commitment to place views and behaviors on earth on facts “above” the world which makes reasonable, sensible precepts in religion similar to reasonable, sensible advice coming from the stars. We’re just getting lucky, not discovering people who understand the proper ways of interpreting what the Cosmos wants of us.

  24. Carl says

    This was just such a good parody on the critiques coming from the opposition that Dawkins gets on his book and views, even if the analogy is maybe a bit skewed, though very amusing and it does drive home a lot of the dynamics of religion, or any dogmatic system.
    It is on the other hand like someone else metioned quite sobering to read the comments and see how so many of them just totally miss the satire and treat it as a real review. I wonder why they would comment in the first place on a review for a non-existent book. More so because they have no idea who Dawkins is anyway. It does seem to make the whole point of the open discussion on blogs etc rather pointless and dubious. It seems people just comment for the sake of it, for the idea of making their mark. A bit like internet grafitti/tagging maybe?

  25. Darby says

    I found myself in the position that many folks with a poor grounding in biology have when faced with IDers.

    Since I don’t really know much about the philosophy of fascism (although on its face it sounds a bit ridiculous), I realize that I could be reading a) a serious critique framed to echo Dawkins’ anti-religion screeds, based on actual expertise; or b) satire. I didn’t have the background to be sure.

    This ignorance stuff is not fun.

  26. Bozman says

    In case you guys missed it, there was a John A. Davison sighting near the bottom of these comments. You will be unsurprised to learn that he still considers himself a scientist for some reason, is not above shamelessly quoting himself in his signature, and continues to “love it so”.

    “What do you mean you’re out of hotdogs?”