Dawkins Stumped Again

Richard Dawkins’ prejudice, spawned from his hatred of Christians, has put him a a very awkward position:

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of “the Old Testament” is “hideous” and “a monster”, and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character “in fiction”.  Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.”

Sorry, but I don’t think any reasonable person is going to believe that well, um, Richard Dawkins doesn’t know much about the God of the Koran.  You see, it’s more likely he was lying.  It looks like it is pretty easy for Dawkins to lie.

And why hasn’t Dawkins taken the time (which he has plenty of) to educate himself about the God of the Koran?  He makes a lot of money off the whole notion that he is opposed to “religion.”  Yet it turns out he is willing to ignore one of the world’s largest religions.  When Dawkins talks about opposing “religion,” it turns out he is really opposed to some religions – Christianity and Judaism.

His prejudice is on display.  And to think that someone people admire and follow this bigot.

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9 Responses to Dawkins Stumped Again

  1. Apollyon says:

    Well, sure.

    This is a classic case of an atheist using discretion over valour. The former means not only survival, but also means remaining in the good graces of a) his liberal elite cohorts and b) his avid followers. The latter means the potential end of his existence or the end of ‘being important’.

    No sense being a brave fool. This life is all there is and one would be foolish not to ensure both continued survival and high status – that is, the good life.

    So, atheists aren’t so much cowardly as they are cunning. Fight when you are strong and/or your opponent is weak (Christians) and hide/acquiesce when you are weak and/or your opponent is strong.

    Clever. Not cowardly.

  2. TFBW says:

    I’m not sure we can attribute this reluctance to cunning. For all of his hyperbole about the evils of religion, he knows he can spout off the most offensive invective he can compose about the Judeo-Christian God without putting his life in immediate peril, and he knows just as well that bad-mouthing Allah is a different game. So what sort of strategy was it to walk into an interview situation with a heavy (if moderate) Islamic bent in the first place? It’s possible that he didn’t see that question coming, I suppose, which would take the gloss of any supposed “cunning” in feigning ignorance to avoid retribution. On the other hand, if he did see it coming, and it was a calculated lie, then that kind of demonstrates that he’s more a propagandist than a man of truth and reason. That it was a genuine profession of ignorance seems to be the most charitable interpretation, which isn’t saying much.

    I’m having a lot more difficulty putting a positive spin on it than you did, Apollyon.

  3. Another Steve says:

    Why is it so hard to believe that Dr. Dawkins doesn’t know much about Islam? In *The God Delusion*, he’s already demonstrated that his understanding of Christianity is pretty shallow. So why shouldn’t he be even more ignorant of a religion in which he was not brought up?

    In that same book he does make a number of jabs against Islam, in particular a discussion of the Danish cartoon controversy. He talks about suicide bombing. Islam gets more coverage in the book than Judaism, although not nearly as much as various forms of Christianity.

    He has not been bashful at all in bashing Islam. In February of 2011, he called Islam “one of the great evils of the world.” To read more about it, do a web search on this:

    “one of the great evils of the world” islam dawkins

    Without having any other information, I’m going to speculate that because he was being interviewed by al-Jazeera, he surmised that the interviewer knew a lot more about the subject than he did, and he backed off rather than make a fool out of himself.

  4. Crude says:

    Personally, I have no doubt that Dawkins is ignorant of Islamic theology. He’s certainly ignorant of Christian theology.

    The problem is A) Dawkins’ inability to judge the character of the God of Islam is transparent baloney – at the very least, he thinks he’s capable of it, and B) Dawkins demonstrably doesn’t shut up even if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Really, he has in the past shown himself to be downright proud of casting judgement on things he is ignorant of (see: theology.)

  5. Aaron Chen says:

    Islam is an Abrahamic religion. Why should Dawkins be well-versed in the Qu’ran? If he rejects the Old Testament then he rejects the Qu’ran.

    What important information does the Qu’ran contain which Dawkins should be aware of? It says Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged steed, but nevertheless we must study the whole book in order to conclude that it’s not true?

    Why do you assert that Dawkins has “plenty of” time?

    Why do you assert that Dawkins isn’t opposed to Islam?

    This is a good example of anonymous trolling. You wouldn’t be making such outlandish accusations if your real name was attached to it.

  6. TFBW says:

    If he rejects the Old Testament then he rejects the Qu’ran.

    That’s logically fallacious. The Qu’ran rejects much of the Old Testament. See, for example, differences in the account of Abraham. Acceptance of the Qu’ran thus implies rejection of the Old (and New) Testaments in certain details. Conversely, rejection of the Old Testament can be compatible with acceptance of the Qu’ran. Therefore if he rejects the Old Testament, it does not follow that he rejects the Qu’ran.

    Dawkins rejects the Qu’ran quite simply because he rejects all scripture as a matter of principle, along with everything else that isn’t science. See “Good and Bad Reasons for Believing” (A Devil’s Chaplain, Ch.7), in which he deprecates “tradition”, “authority”, and “revelation” as unacceptable reasons for belief. Allegedly divinely-inspired scriptures strike out on all three counts, particularly if a religious authority figure tells you to believe it.

  7. Aaron Chen says:

    TFBW, it’s a logical fallacy to call it a logical fallacy. Dawkins rejects *all* of the OT. Islam believes in *some* of the OT. Therefore Dawkins rejects Islam because he rejects *all* of the OT. Dawkins rejects the basic narrative of Moses given in the Torah, in whichever variation it is told.

    At least you seem to agree that it’s outlandish to claim that Dawkins does not oppose Islam, or that he opposes it any less than Christianity or Judaism.

  8. TFBW says:

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood your position, but I think the situation is a little more nuanced than “Dawkins rejects *all* of the OT.” If pressed on the matter, I’m sure that he’d be willing to concede that the OT might contain some true statement or other, somewhere. Dawkins’ position isn’t that “every statement in the OT is false”, but rather that “the OT says so” is not a reasonable basis for belief in anything. If his position were “every statement in the OT is false”, then “the OT says X” would be very good grounds for believing “not X”. His position is that the OT (like all scripture) isn’t properly connected with truth in any way, so “the OT says X” is not good grounds for accepting X, but it’s also not good grounds for rejecting X.

    In short, if what you mean by “Dawkins rejects *all* of the OT” is that “Dawkins claims that every statement in the OT is false,” then the following is a valid argument.

    1. Dawkins claims that every statement in the OT is false.
    2. Some statements in the OT are also in the Qu’ran.
    3. Therefore, Dawkins claims that some statements in the Qu’ran are false.

    The problem with this is that premise #1 is false, as far as I’m aware, and the conclusion is weaker than your original claim, “if he rejects the Old Testament then he rejects the Qu’ran.” Strictly, that would be, “if he rejects all of the Old Testament, then he rejects some of the Qu’ran.” Those qualifiers are essential to the validity of the argument.

    Sorry to make a fuss about it, but I’m a stickler for logic, and have a reflex habit of stomping down on sloppy reasoning wherever I see it. This, by the way, explains my preoccupation with Dawkins — a man who harps about Reason as though he were the Frickin’ Pope of Reason, and yet whose “arguments” are so utterly shambolic that one struggles to translate them into anything formal enough that logic even enters into it. Compared to a Dawkins “argument”, a formal logical fallacy is a welcome breath of fresh air.

  9. Papania says:

    Islam is an Abrahamic religion.

    And apples and oranges are both fruits.

    Why should Dawkins be well-versed in the Qu’ran?

    On your view, what does it mean to be “well-versed”?

    Regardless, if Dawkins takes great pleasure in parading himself on an international scale as the Great Humanitarian Undertaker of Religion, which he does, then he should at least know enough to – you know – know what he’s talking about when it comes to the second largest, (arguably) fastest growing, and most oppressive religion in the world, Islam, which any sane person would agree must include knowing something about the Muslims’ direct object of worship – i.e. their God, around whose dictates billions of Muslims orient their lives.

    Take this together with the fact that, in his home town of London, in home country of Britain, and in his home continent of Europe, Islam is by far the fastest growing religion, and you have yet another ironclad reason as to why he, qua Religion’s Undertaker, has no excuse whatsoever not to know a good deal about the Qur’an’s account of God and God’s mandates.

    If he rejects the Old Testament then he rejects the Qu’ran.

    TFBW has already made quick work of this confused comment, but I’ll add to it by pointing out that most Christians (especially Roman Catholics and Orthodox) (1) do not read and haven’t read the OT literally and (2) read and have read it as a descriptive text. Muslims, however, (1) read and have read the entire Qur’an literally and (2) read and have read it primarily as a prescriptive and proscriptive text on how to live one’s life. This stems from the fact that both groups view their holy texts as belonging to distinctly different genres of writing, a difference as big as the gulf between history and poetry, and so your comment here is completely baseless.

    What important information does the Qu’ran contain which Dawkins should be aware of?

    He styles himself as the champion of Reason and the enemy of religion in the 21st century. Hence he should know something concrete about why many Muslims behave in the ways they do. Hence he should know something concrete about Islamic beliefs. Hence he should at least know some important chunks from the Qur’an.

    It’s not hard.

    It says Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged steed, but nevertheless we must study the whole book in order to conclude that it’s not true?

    Arguments from incredulity almost always betray a closed, shallow, dogmatic mind. What if someone were to swiftly dismiss the case for atheism by saying nothing more than: “Ha, you guys believe that this intrinsically contingent material order was either an eternal material order or popped into being for no apparent reason or managed to somehow cause its own existence? Take your piffle and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!”? You’d be appalled at such a paucity of argumentation, but it’s no less invalid or less intuitive than your dismissal of Muhammad and the supernatural.

    Why do you assert that Dawkins has “plenty of” time?

    If he has time to write sophomoric books that purport to take down religion, fly to the middle of Nowhere, USA, to debate fundies like Ted Haggard, fly to the Middle East to interview radical Muslims for his documentary, go on various talk shows, participate in a number of debates, write about how he will not debate William Lane Craig, blog and comment on his website….then I think it’s safe to say he’s had enough time to read up on “Allah for Dummies.”

    This is a good example of anonymous trolling..

    And yours is an excellent example of a worthless drive-by pot shot.

    You wouldn’t be making such outlandish accusations if your real name was attached to it.

    There’s nothing outlandish about them, but even if there were, they’d still be far less outlandish than the raucous bilge spewed forth from Dawkins and his minions on a daily basis (e.g. “Religion is child abuse”)

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