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Richard Dawkins: No moralist like an atheist moralist

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File:A small cup of coffee.JPG As so often, we close our religion desk coverage for the week with the new atheists kindly supplying the entertainment, today via a polite atheist at Salon:

Richard Dawkins’ moralizing atheism: Science, self-righteousness and militant belief – and disbelief

Books by Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens as well as Dawkins (they have been dubbed the ‘four horsemen of the non-apocalypse’) argued that religious faith could or should be brought to an end. Dawkins made himself the cheerleader of the ‘new atheists’ when he set up the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to hasten the day. His book The God Delusion makes the argument at length, but it is his frequent sulphurous outbursts on Twitter that better illustrate the furious tenor to which the spat (at this level it certainly cannot be called a debate) between religion and science has risen.

Sample Tweet: ‘If one person claimed that a wafer was literally the body of a 1st century Jew,you’d certify him.That’s what Catholics officially believe.’ First of all, if a person claimed this, you wouldn’t actually certify him (or her) for this harmless delusion under any reasonable mental health legislation; which means this is a gratuitous insult. Second, it’s not quite what Catholics believe in any case: the bread and wine remain bread and wine (if one were rude enough to interpose a chemical analysis, say), but in the act of consecration their substance is changed into the substance of the body of Christ; according to the Catechism, it is a mode of His presence. Scientists may well have trouble with this, but semioticians will have less. Third, if it is what Catholics believe, then it is what they truly believe, not what they ‘officially believe’, a phrase that unreasonably projects Dawkins’s own distrust into the minds of these believers.

Because of his combative language, and because his religiose scientism is so curiously like the fundamentalism he is attacking, Dawkins himself has become a target for abuse, although his supporters claim this is only because the believers can find no answer to his logic. Dawkins’s bracing asperities are now routinely met in kind: ‘Puffed up, self-regarding, vain, prickly and militant’ was one columnist’s string of adjectives for him. More.

Yes, Dawkins has been one of our better performing investments, especially after we set him up with a Twitter account.  😉 If his fellow new atheists persuade him to retire, we’ll have a hard time replacing him.

Also: Missing: One messiah-like portrait of Richard Dawkins

Help wanted ad: Monitor circuit between Dawkins’ Send button and Twitter (Hey, not a chance, kiddo. Dawkins is our click bait. We’d like to place him on reality TV, maybe with Duck Dynasty.)

and

Richard Dawkins: One-man circular firing squad (We always give him blanks, and he doesn’t notice, thank goodness.)

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7 Replies to “Richard Dawkins: No moralist like an atheist moralist

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “No moralist like an atheist moralist”

    Although Dawkins denies the existence of morality, he is, as Dr. Craig once put it, ‘a raging moralist’.

    Dawkins claims that only ‘pitiless indifference’ exists:

    “The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation.,,, The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    Yet, if there truly is no good or no evil as Dawkins holds, exactly what metric did he use to be able to arrive at that judgement?

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    Neo-Darwinists simply cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a stable, unchanging, cause for objective morality so as to be ‘raging moralists’;

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris’ moral landscape argument – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL_vAH2NIPc

    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – 2015
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU

    In spite of the fact that Dawkins has no basis in order to make moral judgements in the first place, he apparently has no qualms whatsoever in making moral judgements against God Himself.
    In the following interview with Ben Stein, Dawkins proudly recites his passage from ‘The God Delusion’ where he, apparently without a clue that he, as an atheist, has no objective moral basis to do so in the first place, passes moral judgement on almighty God.

    Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc

    Of supplemental note:

    The amazing thing about Dawkins, and other militant atheists, in their claim that God does not really exist, is that, in their denial of the reality of God, also end up denying that they really exist as real ‘persons’.

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:

    “consciousness is an illusion”

    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins

    ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.

    Dawkins vs Williams – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    In the following, Dawkins, though still somewhat guarded, is more explicit in the denial of his own personhood:

    Faith and Science – Dr. Raymond Bohlin – video – (2015) (48:46 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/vTIp1kgSqzU?t=2552

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    Simply put, reductive materialism renders the concept of personhood to be an illusion:

    At 37:51 minute mark of following video, according to the law of identity, Richard Dawkins does not truly exist as a real person: (the unity of Aristotelian Form is also discussed)

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    Supplemental note:

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.”
    – Jerry Coyne

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    This denial of ‘personhood’ by atheists, and their insistence that we, as persons, are merely illusions, is an interesting dilemma for them, since the fact that we really exist as real persons is THE most sure thing we can know about reality.

    David Chalmers is semi-famous for getting the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness across in a very easy to understand manner:

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the irreconcilability of Consciousness and Materialism, this looks to be an interesting interview with Dr. Bernardo Kastrup on the subject:

    He goes toe-to-toe with science big wigs… and so far he’s undefeated.
    http://www.skeptiko.com/274-be.....rialistic/

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to ‘Does Dawkins exist?’

    Why I Don’t Believe in Atheists by Phil Johnson – audio sermon
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/ser.....7151453224

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 1

    Yet, if there truly is no good or no evil as Dawkins holds, exactly what metric did he use to be able to arrive at that judgement?

    What “metric” do you use to arrive at your judgments?

    If you are unable to decide what is good and evil for yourself but have to leave it to God to do it for you, what “metric” does He use to decide these questions? From what I remember of the Bible, it’s long on parable, metaphor and allegory but a little short on detailed rationales.

    People here are outraged by what has been reported about abortion procedures and I find the descriptions horrific as well but there is no Commandment in the Bible forbidding them or, more generally, the abuse and murder of children. Yet you would think a Commandment against them would have a higher priority than those against taking the Lord’s name in vain, worshiping graven images or coveting your neighbor’s ox. But, again, no explanations. If you’re content with God’s lack of justification for His morality, why object to atheists who actually do try to provide some sort of justification in most cases.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, you do not seem to understand the bottomless depth of your dire predicament as an atheist.

    It is not as if when you deny the reality of objective morality that you can then go about making up your own objective morality as you seem to believe.

    When you deny the reality of objective morality you deny the very possibility of you ever deriving a coherent ethical code period. End of discussion.

    There is no ‘but if then’ after your denial of objective morality. You’ve completely lost the right to even entertain the possibility of a binding morality!

    You must first admit the necessity of God for objective morality before you can then earn the right to even debate the many nuanced details inherent in moral ethics. (Which is, IMHO, best summed up with “Love God with all you might and others as yourself”)

    Moreover, for the atheist to believe in the delusion that he can create a better objective moral ethic without God is the folly of follies that was inherent in the original sin, (i.e. be like God, knowing good and evil), and was put on full display last century, and still today in North Korea, when the so called atheistic Utopian societies, where man himself would supposedly build the ‘perfect’ society without God, collapsed into totalitarian killing fields.

    Indeed, atheists have some nerve to continue to try to lecture Theists on morality after their supposed ‘utopia’ without God turned out to be hell on earth.

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    “169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
    I BACKGROUND
    2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
    3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
    II 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
    4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
    12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
    IV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
    15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

    This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    If you had any compassion, the fruit of your preferred Godless worldview, millions upon millions of slaughtered people, should send shivers down even your abortion defending spine.

    Supplemental note:

    Sorry Leftist Americans, Your Swedish Utopia Does Not Exist
    It’s time to kill the myth about the superiority of the Nordic welfare state model. – Jul 30, 2015
    Excerpt: “As a Swede living in the U.S., one of the most common reactions when I tell people where I am from is the question of why I would ever leave Sweden in the first place.”
    http://m.weeklystandard.com/bl.....00785.html

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    If you are unable to decide what is good and evil for yourself but have to leave it to God to do it for you, what “metric” does He use to decide these questions?

    This is a theme you return to. You have an accusation against God, or open questions, and that leaves the atheist free to pursue his own answers, which basically cannot be any worse that what God has done.

    I could accept that in some measure, but only if you really took the time and effort to understand your accusations against God, and to give Him a chance to defend Himself to you.

    From what I remember of the Bible, it’s long on parable, metaphor and allegory but a little short on detailed rationales.

    In my Christian tradition, the Bible-alone is not the only source for understanding these issues, but even still … why not take the time to test your assumptions? You’re going from a memory of the Bible, why not look into it directly? What ‘metrics’ does Jesus use in his moral teaching?

    Yet you would think a Commandment against them would have a higher priority than those against taking the Lord’s name in vain, worshiping graven images or coveting your neighbor’s ox.

    The first commandment is to worship God. So you raise a good point. Sins in that area are more serious even than abortion.

    But, again, no explanations. If you’re content with God’s lack of justification for His morality, why object to atheists who actually do try to provide some sort of justification in most cases.

    God does provide justification for His morality even if you’re limited to just the bible alone for understanding.

    But in the bigger sense, there cannot be a comparison between atheist justifications and God’s, since in the atheist view, ultimately, morality really doesn’t matter at all. There are no ultimate consequences. That’s really the starting and ending point of atheist morality.

    To compare this with God’s morality is quite different, since God created and has a plan for humanity. So, along with creating human life, the moral laws guiding human life are created along with it. That’s an integrated system. In that view, morality is very important. In atheism, morality is ultimately of no importance at all.

  7. 7
    Axel says:

    Richie, Christ in the form of the Sacred Host, only APPEARS to remain a wafer.

    If Richie can’t find design in the mechanistic, reductionist, physical world, confirmed by ever more subtle and sophisticated treasures of retro-engineering from the natural world, what hope has he of ever breaking the surface of the extraordinarily recondite and paradoxical world of quantum mechanics? It’s all trickery! Smoke and mirrors!

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