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Dawkins Jumps on Board the International Jewish Conspiracy Bandwagon

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 See the whole interview in the Guardian here:

In an interview with the Guardian, he said: “When you think about how fantastically successful the Jewish lobby has been, though, in fact, they are less numerous I am told – religious Jews anyway – than atheists and [yet they] more or less monopolise American foreign policy as far as many people can see. So if atheists could achieve a small fraction of that influence, the world would be a better place.”

Comments
Patrick: Thanks, ever so much, to you and Mark of Akismet for your efforts. The last comment -- to my amazement -- went directly through. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 19, 2007
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PS: Patrick (and BarryA) I trust you won't mind a link on a corrective note on the geopolitics issues that underly Mr Dawkins' bigoted remarks. Of particular interest is this paragraph [and the immediately following ones]:
There was unintended irony in the post-9/11 liberal caricature of Bush and Cheney as politicians who had haplessly allowed their administration’s policies to be hijacked by a few spookily effective intellectuals—this, less than a year after having been such master manipulators as to have allegedly stolen away the presidency from Al Gore. But this was not the only grotesque charge leveled at the President. Another was that the “neoconservatives” in question were in reality a group of Jews who were attempting to divert U.S. policy in the interests of Israel. This particular bit of slander ignored, among other things, the fact that the neoconservative position on the Middle East conflict was exactly congruous with the neoconservative position on conflicts everywhere else in the world, including places where neither Jews nor Israeli interests could be found—not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères.2
I'd say, so much for the self-chosen appellation, "brights." (Or, perhaps, more accurately, we should not confuse academic achievement or [worse!] mere IQ numbers with wisdom, good-will, fair-mindedness, a high value on truth [which inter alia restrains one from making ill-founded and bigoted offhand remarks], respect for others with whom one may differ on issues, and common sense.) Are we sure that we want this sort of "Materialist Ideology" to seize its declared intended monopolistic power over Science and the other the critical institutional and public spaces of our civilisation? [Cf. here the "banned in Sweden" issue.] For that alone, the ID movement is worthy of our respect, and if one finds the main arguments persuasive -- as I have [cf. my always linked] -- outright support.kairosfocus
October 19, 2007
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Hi Patrick: I communicated with Akismet and they very kindly responded just this morning:
We work very hard to prevent people both calling unwanted comments as spam and also people who try to target commenters. I think it's fair to say we do catch virtually all of them. In this case though it was not malicious, it was an error by us. I am hopeful I have corrected it, but you can check by leaving a comment at [XXXXX] Should it not get through it will give me additional information. Sorry!
On trying the test, the comment there went through. This is a test here in effect. Thanks for the efforts on my behalf. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 19, 2007
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Thanks Patrick. Appreciated; even though a bit frustrating. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 17, 2007
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Unless one of the mods put you on the banned list without announcing it or telling the other mods "the spam filter somehow likes you" is the best explanation I have at the moment. http://akismet.com/faq/
Help! Akismet is catching a regular comment as spam! Don't worry, if you see a regular comment on your Akismet page, just click the "Not Spam" checkbox and submit and the comment will be sent back to Akismet as a mistake. The system will learn from your submission, though it may take a day or so in some cases. False positives, as they're called, are extremely rare and we watch them closely.
It's getting false positives all the time. Good thing the explanatory filter is not like akismet...anyway, I just emailed the akismet people about this problem.Patrick
October 17, 2007
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Charles I note that the effect of your repeating of points on a rabbit trail is to divert the thread from its focus, a focus that has been well supported by the recent Crystal Clear Atheism event. 46 provides key evidence, onlookers. I also suggest: Re-read the report, especially on the Y Chromosome side, which indisputably comes from the male side. Indeed, the discussion of the Y Chromosome side comes BEFORE the Mitochondrial side:
The earlier study, led by Dr. Michael Hammer of University of Arizona, showed from an analysis of the male, or Y chromosome, that Jewish men from seven communities were related to one another and to present-day Palestinian and Syrian populations, but not to the men of their host communities. The finding suggested that Jewish men who founded the communities traced their lineage back to the ancestral Mideastern population of 4,000 years ago from which Arabs, Jews and other people are descended. It pointed to the genetic unity of widespread Jewish populations and took issue with ideas that most Jewish communities were relatively recent converts like the Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that embraced Judaism.
After this, it discussed the second study, and observed as a likely best explanation that:
Dr. Goldstein said it was up to historians to interpret the genetic evidence. His own speculation, he said, is that most Jewish communities were formed by unions between Jewish men and local women, though he notes that the women's origins cannot be genetically determined. ''The men came from the Near East, perhaps as traders,'' he said. ''They established local populations, probably with local women. But once the community was founded, the barriers had to go up, because otherwise mitochondrial diversity would be increased.''
As to the points you wish to make on mitochondrial DNA, I simply note that even Wiki acknowledges:
Unlike nuclear DNA, which is inherited from both parents and in which genes are rearranged in the process of recombination, there is usually no change in mtDNA from parent to offspring. Although mtDNA also recombines, it does so with copies of itself within the same mitochondrion. Because of this and because the mutation rate of animal mtDNA is higher than that of nuclear DNA[2], mtDNA is a powerful tool for tracking ancestry through females (matrilineage) and has been used in this role to track the ancestry of many species back hundreds of generations.
BarryA has made his point, and relevant to that point your attempts to argue that Jews do not constitute a race in the usual sense of that term, repeatedly fall to the ground. Mr Dawkins was WAAAAAAY out of line, and should apologise. (But then, sadly, this is just the latest outrage from this gentleman.) GEM of TKI PS: I have for some weeks now been on permanent mod without explanation other than a remark that the spam filter somehow likes me.kairosfocus
October 16, 2007
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The NYT report you site seems to say that the Jewish "race" is really a genetic mishmash. Some points from the article are a bit antiquated, such as the idea that mitochondrial DNA necessarily comes soley from the mother. Sure, they have some relationship to a Middle Eastern past, but they appear to be at least half derived from local populations. I never claimed that there is no connection between Ashkenazis and Middle Eastern ancestors. My issue was never with genetics anyway, just the definition of race. The antiquated definitions from the OED are not compelling to me. You'll need to tell me what year your copy was from for me to give it context. Maybe you're right, though, on the main point that Dawkins has a special hatred for Jews (though I really just can't believe he hates them more than Christians and Christianity). I have no stock in defending his good name. It's just that, if you replace "Jewish" with "pro-interventionism-in-favor-of-Israel" in that one statement, it is not an entirely unjustified statement. I was just giving him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps more than he deserves, but I guess I'm just a generous guy.Charles Foljambe
October 16, 2007
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Charles: Kindly review my remarks in 11 and 20 supra, then compare BarryA's remarks in 33, 35 and 36. (I think you need to read a little more of what is being discussed in a thread before commenting, or at least, to acknowledge even en passant what has been said before.) You will first see therein a plain set of statements that show the broad-spectrum contempt that seems to be Mr Dawkins' forte, especially for those who are by his lights "religious." Second, you will see therein, sufficient to clearly identify that Mr Dawkins has specified the Jews in a way that identifies them as a specific object of ill-informed contempt and bigotry. All of this goes seriously to his character and the supercilious and utterly superficial and inferior quality of his thought; never mind his conceit that atheists are the "brights." In that context, he clearly buys into the all-too-common -- and easy to confute, if one will but seriously check the facts -- propagandistic slander that the Jews [especially of course religious ones] monopolise American Foreign policy. No-one who has a modicum of knowledge of the history of spiteful deceptive propaganda and resulting pogroms against Jews [ESPECIALLY in Europe, but also in for instance the Arab world; cf here Peters' summary and the links between the infamous Mufti Hussein of Jerusalem and the Nazis] will fail to realise that such casual bigotry is telling, sadly and sickeningly telling. And I say that as a member of the no 2 perennial target-group of racism, oppression and exploitation in the world. THEN, to top all of this off, he sets out to say that he wishes to emulate such perceived monopolistic dominance, for his own pressure group, those ever-so-"bright" and well-informed, morally exemplary atheists! Worse, he pretends in so doing that atheists constitute a "downtrodden" minority in the USA, and expresses his horror that of all shocking things, in a nation set up under the declaration that God has given us liberties which Governments are to acknowledge and secure and so has in its Constitution inter alia a declaration of intent that it is designed to secure "the BLESSINGS of liberty," those who acknowledge God have a significant voice in the public square. (Cf. my compilation and discussion of too-often overlooked, or even hotly denied and suppressed evidence here.) All I can say to such, is that to be forewarned should be to be forearmed. But, there is none so blind as s/he who refuses to see what is "an inconvenient truth." GEM of TKI PS: Here is a NYT report on relevant genetic studies on the ancestry patterns of Jewish populations. A similar, later study has shown a very close genetic relationship with the Kurds (who oddly just happen to be located just about where the Northern tribes were taken into exile circa 722 BC by the Assyrians).kairosfocus
October 16, 2007
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Well, right, I was restating some things, but reformulated a bit for more meaningful goodness. As to Dawkins being hateful, I never denied it, I was just denying that hatred for Jews is any kind of special, extra-hatey hatred for him, and calling him an anti-semite is, I think, painting with too narrow a brush. I think he hates Judaism, Christianity, Islam, et cetera. But the Jewish "race"? I don't think so.Charles Foljambe
October 15, 2007
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Charles: Enough has already long since been said (e.g. 40, 46) to show the defects in your latest. You have, sadly, simply chosen to ignore inconvenient facts and factors. Astute readers can look those facts and factors up for themselves. Not to mention, your latest is a repeat -- and already answered -- red herring relative to the main issues at stake in the thread and indeed the blog; on which Barry A is abundantly vindicated, especially as at the citations in 46. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 14, 2007
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Do you not see the pernicious effects of such an antiquatedly loose definition of race? Did not Hitler use the ridiculous idea of a German "race" as a way of allowing for the persecution of the Slavic "race"? Even then, race was seen as having an inherent, biological component. I don't believe that "Jews" have any such distinctions. As I've said, many Ashkenazis are basically white. Resisting relativism is all well and good; what you propose is a deterministic life sentence, where one is trapped by a defintion that does not necessarily describe him, but only his ancestors. When I say I'm white, it describes the relative level of melanin in my skin. For an athiest Jew, it describes nothing about what they are, necessarily, just what their mother may have been. It is one of the reasons I'm no Christian: the Judeo-Christian God is all too willing to make offspring suffer the consequences of their ancestors' actions. We live in a fallen world, and are fallen, not because we rebelled, but because our ultimate ancestors did. Jews are blessed, a "chosen people", not because of what they do, but because of what Abraham did. A God that so arbitrarily holds individuals responsible for the actions of others is unworthy of worship, in my opinion. I see people as individuals, not collectives. I believe that collectivist mindsets could easily be shown to be the source of the massive horrors of the last century, and many from centuries before.Charles Foljambe
October 13, 2007
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All: It would, first, be good to read the article referenced in the Gil D Oct 12 Thread on the Atheist Alliance's launch [?] conference. Of particular note are these excerpts:
In his speech, Dawkins portrayed a black-and-white intellectual battle between atheism and religion. He denounced the "preposterous nonsense of religious customs" and compared religion to racism. He also gave no quarter to moderate or liberal believers, asserting that "so-called moderate Christianity is simply an evasion." "If you've been taught to believe it by moderates, what's to stop you from taking the next step and blowing yourself up?" he said. By contrast, Harris's speech was a more tempered critique of the atheist movement itself. While Harris said he believed science must ultimately destroy religion, he also discussed spirituality and mysticism and called for a greater understanding of allegedly spiritual phenomena. He also cautioned the audience against lumping all religions together . . . . Specifically, he noted that radical Islam was far more threatening than any radical Christian sect, adding that Christians had a right to be outraged when the media treated the two religions similarly . . . . While the audience gave Dawkins a standing ovation, Harris received only polite applause. One questioner later declared herself "very disappointed" in Harris's talk . . . . "Religion is not the root of all evil, but it gets in the way of [determining] how we got here and where we find ourselves," Dawkins said. "And that is an evil in itself." Dawkins was particularly critical of parents who raise their children as a "Catholic child" or "Protestant child." Children must not be labeled as subscribing to a particular religion, he said, and should be allowed to examine the evidence and determine their beliefs for themselves.
It is -- sadly -- painfully plain that Mr Dawkins is an uncivil intellectual bully, serial slanderer and irrational bigot who is motivated by hostility to the point where even his fellow atheist Sam Harris had to try to correct him publicly, by dissociating himself from the immoral equavalency slander that tries to push the Christian faith in the same boat as Islamofascism. Of particular interest is the audience response to that correction: While the audience gave Dawkins a standing ovation, Harris received only polite applause. In short, we can see immediately that Dawkins is pretty much as Barry A has summed up, and that the movement he is founding is in pretty much the same vein of bigotry, disrespect, slander, refusal to face inconvenient truths that mean that their objects of hostility don't fit their convenient demonic caricature, and worse. Are you sure you want to allow such people and movements to monopolise the US public square and major cultural institutions, as they intend? BTW: on the direct focus of this blog, why is it that Dawkins and his ilk wish to present an incoherent worldview, Evolutionary Materialism, under the misleading label, Science, and will not allow students in school "to examine the evidence and determine their beliefs for themselves" by learning about the issues and evidence that challenge the NDT and associated theories and models? Plainly, Mr Dawkins is guilty as charged, and his movement of hostility to God and those who stand up for God is extremist and resistant to plainly factual correction. Now, in closing off, a few further remarks on points raised above: 1] CF: I don’t believe in Judaism, nor Christianity for that matter, and therefore I have no basis to accept the racial claims . . . I just tend to see race as falling under the Mongoloid, Caucusoid, Negroid sort of classification. Charles, you don't have the power to decide that commonly used words mean what you as an individual simply want them to mean. That is the nature of language, if it is to function as a means of communication in a community. I have simply reported how the term and concept "race" [btw, not a properly scientific term] is and has been commonly used; for good or ill. You may not like it, but that is an objective fact. Here is OED:
race2 noun each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics: people of all races, colours, and creeds. a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group: we Scots were a bloodthirsty race then.
2] Judaism is a religion. Its practicioners are Jews, but at least from my individualist perspective that rejects collectivist notions that is a definition of belief/action of individuals. One chooses to be Jewish, or not to be Jewish. Nope. Judaism is an ancestral, traditional religion practised by some Jews; who share by and large a common ethnicity, history and culture. For one to be accepted as a Jew by the relevant authorities, s/he needs to either be born of a Jewish mother, or become a convert [which they often actually counsel against!]. Here is OED again: Jew noun a member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their origins to the ancient Hebrew people of Israel. 3] I could say I’m Jewish and in my mind have as much authenticity as athiest “Jews”. Therein hangeth a long tale about the pernicious effects of subjectivism and relativism on how we tend to approach knowledge and reasoning today, as Western Civilisation self-stultifies under the impacts of Evolutionary Materialism and its implications. What you may or may not think to yourself is irrelevant to what is objectivley so. Again, cf. OED. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 12, 2007
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"Of the covenant"? I'm sorry, I'm not Jewish, that is, I don't believe in Judaism, nor Christianity for that matter, and therefore I have no basis to accept the racial claims. Meh, I just tend to see race as falling under the Mongoloid, Caucusoid, Negroid sort of classification. Judaism is a religion. Its practicioners are Jews, but at least from my individualist perspective that rejects collectivist notions that is a definition of belief/action of individuals. One chooses to be Jewish, or not to be Jewish. I could say I'm Jewish and in my mind have as much authenticity as athiest "Jews".Charles Foljambe
October 12, 2007
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Apollo230: Please look at comment 11 above, on the specific statement by Mr Dawkins, its import, and the wider context of his antipathies and agendas. Then compare the opening words of the "holds that" text block at the top of this page. Namely, "Materialist ideology." This cultural agenda and its advocates have seized undue -- in some cases, even monopolistic -- power in major science and educational and media and courts and other institutions, and is exploiting that power to suppress alternative views and in particular the scientific work and findings that would underpin that work. In that context, it is obviously appropriate for us to take time to note on the agenda such advocates reveal by their public statements and actions; not least so that we can be forewarned. And, given that there are several cases of career busting associated with the debate, the blog owners and moderators would IMHCO be unwise indeed to constrain themselves to a narrower discussion of scientific issues. Not least, because the other side is abusing institutional power to cut off resources, de-legitimise and demonise scientists working within the ID paradigm. In this case, we see a leading British advocate for evolutionary materialism openly embarking on a political campaign to seize monopolistic power over the American Public square. In so doing, he adverts to a slanderous conspiracy theory claim against the Jews of America, as if that slander were the truth. This is at minimum important news, and it is also revealing on the character and likely behaviour of the initiators of this campaign should they succeed in gaining the degree of power they plainly covet. And, given the "long train of abuses and usurpations" already evident where Evo Mat advocates and their ilk already hold power, that likely behaviour is not hard to identify. Indeed, I understand the same Mr Dawkins has already publicly advocated using the British Libel law [much stronger and more severe than the US version] to prosecute those who advocate against "the truth,' i.e. Evolutionary Materialism. Multiply that by his unrecanted, bigoted assertion that those who reject his worldview are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Then, look again at what he and/or the Editors of the Guardian said in his interview, especially:
Britain’s leading atheist is spearheading a campaign in America to challenge the dominance of religion in every day life and in politics, insisting that the millions of US godless deserve to be heard too. Atheists in the US “have been downtrodden for a very long time. So I think some sort of political organisation is what they need”, he said . . . . Religion is palpable in US schools, places of work and public institutions. . . . .
Think again about the implications of the highlighted phrase, in its context: silencing "religion" in the public square and all institutions of note. In that context, observe how he alluded to the slanderous accusation against the Jews of the US (especially the religious ones) as having monopolistic power over US Foreign Policy; which is in itself revealing on his attitudes. In short, Dawkins aspires to monopolistic Atheist power over the public and institutional spaces. Add to that, now, the point that the slanderous claim of the Evo Mat advocates is that Design Theory is an injection of the voice of "religion" into science. (In short, while you may wish to play science, Mr Dawkins and his ilk are playing hardball politics and censorship though slander and manipulation to create a hostile public environment.) Plainly, under the doctrine of prudence in the face of a credible threat, BarryA is right to warn us. And, we are equally right to speak up loudly now, while we still have a voice. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 12, 2007
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apollo230: Hear, hear.MacT
October 12, 2007
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Shouldn't we be avoiding this kind of thrust? This thread is beginning to look more like an ad-hominem attack on Richard Dawkins rather than a reasoned, critical look at his contrarian positions on intelligent design-the self-evident subject of this blog.apollo230
October 12, 2007
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Jehu: I am certainly not anti-Semitic. And I don't leap to conclude that Dawkins is as well, despite his clumsy analogy. I am pointing out what I believe is a fallacious ad hominem attack. It is unfortunate that your response is in that same vein, rather than addressing the issue. BarryA: "MacT, it is staggering to me that you would compare a comment about the NRA or the ACLU to bigotry against Jews." You're twisting my words; I did not compare anything to bigotry against Jews. I don't accept that Dawkins' comments reveal underlying bigotry against Jews, or anyone else. I don't know whether Dawkins is a bigoted anti-Semite (hopefully not; that alone would make him a horrible individual). As I read his comments, Dawkins was referring to the power of a special interest group. Most likely he was thinking of AIPAC. I did note in my initial comments that the analogy is clumsy (for some of the reasons you offer, e.g., Jews are a culture and race), but that does not warrant a shrill charge of conspiratorial anti-Semitism.MacT
October 12, 2007
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Larry & Charles (etc): I find your comments at 38 - 39 just a little disturbing (given what is at stake and the wider context, e.g. cf my comments at 11 and 20 and BarryA's reasoning in 33, 35 - 36); sufficiently so to make a few follow-up remarks that I hope will be both reasonable and at least balancing. Even through the inexplicable "permanent" mod pile problem I seem to suffer in recent weeks here at UD. (Patrick, any update on that?) 1] LF, 38: Dawkins ignores the fact that Christian fundies bear a great part of the blame for the one-sidedness of the USA’s support of Israel H'mm, let's see; in 1940 - 41, who was to "blame" for the "one-sidedness" of the USA's overt and covert support for that old imperialist power, Britain, in a foreign, European war where the other side had many a legitimate grievance? (The Shoah had not yet happened, too. Cf. Hitler's rhetorically devastating finger-pointing reply in 1939 was it to Roosevelt's inquiry on his peaceful intent towards the various nations of Europe. In effect, he distracted attention from his own destructive ambitions by pointing to the sins of the French and British, and indeed the Americans too.) Take-home lesson: [Im]moral equivalency is rhetorically very effective but it is a dangerous fallacy with a horrible track record of strategic paralysis in the teeth of mortal danger. In other words, there is in the above excerpted comment a major begging of a question of alignment of basic strategic interests and even of the moral stance of an embattled democracy -- however imperfect it will inevitably be -- based on longstanding and long since internationally recognised legitimate national claims and history [cf discussion here, and the 1919 Weismann-Feisal side agreement to the Versailles treaty process on the joint mutually supportive development of the Arab and Jewish nations in the Middle East, here -- observbe the use of "palestine" to refer to the then re-emergent Jewish nation!], confronting enmity that is in material part a global conquest religiously motivated ideology, aptly termed by the Algerian moderates, "Islamofascism." For, Islam can indeed be understood and lived in a peaceful way, but unfortunately has in it Quran- and early foundational history-based elements [cf Q 9:5, 29 ff] that can easily lend themselves to such radicalisation. To give a broader view on the issue at stake in the ME, note that Al Qaeda etc have an identically structured claim against Spain [Al Andaluz], and indeed, Jamaica, my native land. [Cf. the Afroz thesis that by dint of the claimed Moorish element in the Spanish settlement and the claimed large Islamic proportion of the slaves in later years under Britain, by direct implication, Jamaica is properly Islamic land to be "reclaimed." The same fallacious historical revisionist rhetoric directly applies to the southern states of the US.] As to the use of the smear-word "fundies," I simply note that I commented on the implications of Mr Dawkins' remarks on religious influence in 11 above. And, noting on what is now routine in contexts where Atheist thought and its associated agendas dominate [cf. Expelled], one has to take serious pause and thought on the implications of widening such influence and agendas in the US and globally. 2] CF: what he said was bigoted, but what he meant probably wasn’t. Any reasonable person would pause, long and hard, before saying something that manifests bigotry. (And, if something like that inadvertently slipped out, any decent person would at once apologise and retract it.) So far as we know, Mr Dawkins has not. He is also the long-standing unrepentant declarer that those who differ with his evolutionary materialism are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. I and many others differ with him on his pseudo-scientific ideology and logically incoherent philosophy, without being exceptionally ignorant, stupid or insane. (On "wicked," I freely admit to being a repentant sinner struggling to be reformed by Grace; but I am certainly not motivated by sinful desires in my rejection of his views!) In short, sadly, it is unsurprising to see yet another outrageous, unapologised for comment from the same source. 3] I’ve never really understood why the Jews are thought of as a race. Semites are a race, but then, most American Jews are Ashkenazi anyway, and basically white. Do you really mean to say that? FYI, "race" is a socio-cultural, ethnically linked concept [not just genetic]; e.g. in say Churchill, you can see discussion of various European nations as "races," and racism targetted the Irish, Poles, Italians etc in C19 in the US. This sort of thinking for instance appears in Darwin's discussion of the Saxons [read, English], Irish and Scots in his notorious later book The Descent of Man. [My Irish-side (and ultimately Belgian) ancestors would approve of my saying that!] In this context, regardless of their "whiteness," the Jews of Germany and Europe, of course were notoriously, and, sadly, murderously, the victims of: racism. As to the Jewishness of the Ashkenazi, you should note that ethnicity often has in it, for instance, a significant religious identification component; i.e. if one comes into a covenantal people, one is a part of that people. [Going back to the OT period, King David was part Moabite [Ruth], and Caleb was of Edomite stock.] Similarly, today, "Hispanics" are in effect a racial group in the US, but obviously, the Spanish-speaking peoples of the Latin America and Caribbean region are very, very diverse. But, they share a strong socio-cultural stamp and are in the main of Catholic religious heritage. Topping that off, there were some interesting recent studies on the roots of the Jews and Arabs based on Y chromosome studies. As I recall from my reading on the topic, the Ashkenazi seem to largely descend from Jewish settlements in various European communities, where local girls were married and then the circle more or less closed. Consequently, they are genetically close to the Oriental Jews and to their Arab cousins of Palestine, Jordan, Arabia Lebanon and Syria. They are also reportedly close to the Kurds. A similar pattern may in part account for the Jews of Ethiopia [now in Israel], who certainly count as being of the covenant. So, please, think again. GEM of TKIkairosfocus
October 11, 2007
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Gotta agree with MacT and some others here, that the title phrase “Dawkins Jumps on Board the International Jewish Conspiracy Bandwagon” is out of proportion to the evidence. It’s conceivable that Dawkins has a bigoted or paranoid attitude toward Jews, but that’s not demonstrated by what he said. The Golden Rule would mean we shouldn’t distort what he said. Well, I think that what he said was bigoted, but what he meant probably wasn't. AIPAC is surely mostly Jews, but that doesn't make it "the Jewish lobby". On the other hand, it is monstrously powerful, and I do mean that in a derogative sense, as they are essentially a representative of a foreign power (Israel) that can exert massive pressure on our politicians to keep a destructive, interventionist foreign policy. Dawkins is, in my opinion, a victim of his own clumsy wording. It is bigoted to ascribe political influence to a race of people. I've never really understood why the Jews are thought of as a race. Semites are a race, but then, most American Jews are Ashkenazi anyway, and basically white.Charles Foljambe
October 11, 2007
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Dawkins ignores the fact that Christian fundies bear a great part of the blame for the one-sidedness of the USA's support of Israel -- see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/08/christian-and-jewish-zionists.html Also, an article in Time magazine said,
The Democratic party, with its many Jewish activists, has traditionally supported Israel. But the Republicans have no such ethnic affinity. It is the Evangelicals, major stakeholders in the G.O.P., who have made it a bastion of pro-Israel and pro-Jewish sentiment.
-- from http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1578973,00.htmlLarry Fafarman
October 11, 2007
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It’s very interesting Dawkins would make these comments about the Jews, seeing as they are for the most part a religious people. Looks like that religion meme hasn’t gotten in their way much hah? Dawkins has just shown his cards with this one. He’s power hungry, plain and simple, and he’s jealous of folks who have it. I imagine he also must be quite jealous of Christians too.shaner74
October 11, 2007
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Let me also say this. Above, I demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the subject of Dawkins’ comment in the Guardian was not an organization, but the Jews as a racial group. What is Dawkins saying about the Jews? He says they “monopolize” American foreign policy. “Monopolize” is a value laden term. It means “to have too much power in a particular market,” and, by extension, as here, to “wield undue influence.” Boiled down to its essence, Dawkins said, “The Jews have undue influence over American foreign policy.” One wonders if Dawkins would approve of a pogrom to remedy this state of affairs.BarryA
October 11, 2007
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lars, you refer me to the Golden Rule. Yes, I must apply the principle of charity to Dawkins’ statement, which means I am obligated to interpret it, if possible, in a way that does not ascribe bigotry to Dawkins. The principle of charity does not require me to look the other way when someone spouts bigotry though. Let’s see if there is any way to interpret Dawkins’ statement as other than bigoted. In context, when Dawkins says “the Jewish lobby,” he is clearly not talking about an organization such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. How do I know this? Look at what he goes on to say. He goes on to compare the number of people in the Jewish lobby to the number of atheists. This would make no sense if he were not talking about Jews as a race. Would anyone ever say, for example, there are more people in the NRA than there are atheists? Of course not. The only fair interpretation of Dawkins’ statement is that he is stating that the Jews monopolize American foreign policy. By the way, I agree with the commenter who said Dawkins’ “as far as many people see” comment is weasel words that do nothing to mitigate the bigotry implicit in his statement. Then you say, “I’d want to ask him on what basis he believes it, before finding him guilty of bigotry.” Nonsense. If a racist other than Dawkins said something like, “Them n*gg**s are lazy, shiftless and no account” would you want to say, “On what basis do you believe that?” before you attribute racial bigotry to him? Of couse not. By definition a prejudiced statement (see definition above) against a racial group is unreasonable and therefore cannot possibly have a reasonable basis. Finally, you say my title to this post is over the top. I disagree. If anything, it is too restrained.BarryA
October 11, 2007
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Rude:
When Dr. D says that they “… more or less monopolise American foreign policy” he’s conspiratorial
You've got a point there... I'd forgotten he said that. That is a leap, even if he did hedge with "as far as many people can see." To be fair though, I'd want to ask him on what basis he believes it, before finding him guilty of bigotry (again, Golden Rule, symmetric standards, that sort of thing).lars
October 11, 2007
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MacT, it is staggering to me that you would compare a comment about the NRA or the ACLU to bigotry against Jews. Here's the difference -- and I would have thought you would have learned this in the romper room -- the NRA and the ACLU are political organizations. The Jews are a race of people. Political organizations are fair game for comments of this sort. Races are not. The following is the Random House dictionary’s definition of prejudice: “unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.” It is bigoted to ascribe political influence to a race of people. Certain Jews may have influence over American foreign policy, and it is OK to say that if it is true. But that’s not what Dawkins said. He said, “The Jews” monopolize American foreign policy. There is no other name for this but racial bigotry, and it is startling and sad if you don’t understand that. It is not a close question. This is especially true when the Jews are the target of the racially bigoted accusation, because like no other people they have been persecuted and slaughtered by the millions, and much of the rationale for these persecutions and killings was that they had too much influence. God help us if this simple undisputable fact is not obvious to everyone.BarryA
October 11, 2007
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That a small percentage of one group can dominate foreign policy is not that remarkable. Neo-cons (globalists in nationalist clothing) are probably a minority. But clearly, they are not populated by religiously motivated people, nor do they have a religious agenda. Add to that the fact that about 90% of American Jews are seculare, and you get a picture very far removed from Dawkin's fantasies. But the irony doesn't end there. Darkins also assumes "believers" are calling the shots in the U.S. In fact, secularists are in charge of all the cultural institutions, while the moderate political and religious institutions fawn all over the secularists to stay out of trouble. He also assumes that atheists are persecuted more than believers. In fact, only Catholics, non-Catholic Christians and Jews are persecuted in our culture. Muslims and atheists are given a pass. Posting the Ten Commandments is out; installing foot baths for Muslims is in. And, of course, Darwinism rules academia. You could almost say he has it backwards.StephenB
October 11, 2007
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Lars, When Dr. D says that they "... more or less monopolise American foreign policy" he's conspiratorial and way out of line and ready for the looney bin. And so the Left continues in its relentless slide into anti-Semitism. Inasmuch as who it was that gave us our Abrahamic faiths, the atheistic left is by definition anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Funny how it all churns from the same cauldrin: Darwinism, atheism, statism, socialism, nihilism … anti-Semitism. Mearsheimer and Walt’s recent screed (The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy) and the positive attention it’s received should give us all pause. As for Jewish brilliance and any supposed Natural Selection y’all might enjoy Charles Murray’s article in Commentary (Jewish Genius) and Norman Podhoretz’s response Jerusalem: The Scandal of Particularity.Rude
October 11, 2007
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Gotta agree with MacT and some others here, that the title phrase "Dawkins Jumps on Board the International Jewish Conspiracy Bandwagon" is out of proportion to the evidence. It's conceivable that Dawkins has a bigoted or paranoid attitude toward Jews, but that's not demonstrated by what he said. The Golden Rule would mean we shouldn't distort what he said. Dawkins' statements about the Jewish lobby seems about as reasonable (and as politically touchy) as what Larry Summers said about the prevalence of women in science careers. Let's not follow a double standard just because it's Dawkins.lars
October 11, 2007
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APPOLLOS: its like Dawkins wants atheism to be a career move also. Last time it was the militaristic Call to Arms - what next - The Call to take over the Papacy!Tina
October 11, 2007
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MacT, (@ 10/11/2007, 4:55 am) As Apollos and kairofocus have stated, the revealing part is his choice of example, not the concept of influence itself. Allow me to slightly alter your quote to illustrate what you don't seem to understand: Did anyone actually read the Guardian article? Dawkins wasn’t criticizing the (purported) Reptilian lobby. He was simply pointing out that a relatively small group, if it functions cohesively, can exert a disproportionate influence in society. His assertion that US foreign policy is monopolised by that lobby may overstate the case, but it is hardly indicative of Ickean conspiracy theory. He is merely indulging in some wishful thinking that atheists might emulate that lobby in order to achieve greater influence of their own.angryoldfatman
October 11, 2007
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