Is Dawkins a Charlatan?

As you know, I love being right.  Years ago, I noticed that Dawkins was advocating a crackpot view – the twisted notion that it was better to be sexually molested as a child than to be raised as a Catholic.  Dawkins, who apparently lives in some tone-death, intellectually inbred bubble, not only included this offensive and kooky argument in his book on atheist apologetics, but he is now on tape making the same claim:

The interview is due to air on the Al Jazeera television network tonight.

The God Delusion author talks about a woman who described being abused by a priest as “yucky”, but who found it equally disturbing to be told by her Catholic parents that a Protestant friend who died would be roasting in hell.

“Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place,” he tells interviewer Mehdi Hasan.

And it’s starting to get attention from the mainstream:

The comments were condemned by Peter Saunders, the chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood.

He said: ‘At NAPAC we know that recovery from sexual abuse can take a lifetime. People never get over it. It is entirely unhelpful to make such comparisons.’

Yeah, I would say it’s, uh,……unhelpful to trivialize sexual abuse.

What’s most amusing about this all is that Dawkins’ argument is the same exact argument from 10 years ago.  Ten years, and the argument does not get any stronger.  Ten years, and no evidence is supplied.  It’s the same appeal to the same unsubstantiated story.  And that’s precisely how crackpots argue.  Dawkins, who is supposed to be a scientist, makes a broad, sweeping generalization on the basis of story, while ignoring any criticisms.  Since the story is something he wants to hear, he laps it up and repeats it again.  And again. And again.  That’s his argument.  A story.  Yet those of us who know how to think like a scientist never have a simple, basic question answered – just who is this woman and how do we know her story is true?  And what this means is that his story does not even rise to the level of a mere anecdote.  It’s hearsay.

So the man who makes himself rich by posturing as an Ambassador of Science not only eschews science when it comes to this claim, he peddles his wares on the foundation of hearsay.   Smells like a charlatan.

Anyway, if anyone out there comes across the snippet of that interview where he makes this claim on tape, please post a url.

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3 Responses to Is Dawkins a Charlatan?

  1. Michael says:

    Thank you! That was fast. It’s worse that I thought. The interviewer actually challenges him and Dawkins replies, not with evidence, but with an “intuitive” argument that “seems” right to him. He is a charlatan.

  2. Bilbo says:

    Rats! It ended before the show of hands.

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