Recently, I was able to clearly show that Richard Dawkins is not sincere when he insists that it is crucial we root our beliefs in the evidence. I document this insincerity here and here. Basically, Dawkins has been peddling this notion that teaching a child about hell is child abuse. Yet when he was asked to support his belief with evidence, it turned out he had none to offer. As I noted:
Instead of replying to the challenge with evidence and science, he retreats into some armchair philosophy. His argument amounts to this: “My intuition makes me think it seems like my claim is entirely reasonable.” That’s it. That’s all there is. No data. No studies. No science. No evidence. Nothing more than some hypothetical story that appeals to his intuition and confirmation bias. And he believes it.
What’s more, after being challenged by other atheists on Twitter, he admits his belief is without evidence and wants some psychologists to confirm his preconceptions. He wrote:
Anecdotes and plausibility arguments, however, need to be backed up by systematic research, and I would be interested to hear from psychologists whether there is real evidence bearing on the question.
That led me to observe:
This is hilarious. Richard made this claim, based entirely on anecdotes and plausibility arguments, ten years ago. And he has been making this claim, based entirely on anecdotes and plausibility arguments, for ten years. Only because someone finally challenged him on this, ten years later, it finally occurs to him that anecdotes and plausibility arguments need to be backed up by systematic research. Give me a break. Who falls for this stuff?
So now, ten years later, after being caught peddling claims without evidence, he’d like to hear from some psychologists “whether there is real evidence bearing on the question.” Did you get that? He’s looking for real evidence to support his belief. Please, someone, anyone, send him some evidence!
Okay, after being caught with his pants down, you would think he would have backed off this claim. But that assumes he is a man of principle. And that’s not a good assumption to make when it comes to Richard Dawkins.
Here is another puff piece about Richard that is only one week old. And what do we find within?
More applause erupted when Dawkins said that teaching children that a God can send them to hell is child abuse.
So there he is, making the same ten-year-old claim only three months after having to admit he has never had any evidence for his claim.
Think about this.
One could plausibly maintain that for 10 years, Richard, because he was blinded by his anti-religious zeal, would overlook the fact that he was contradicting himself in a) demanding that we all root our beliefs in evidence while at the same time b) making claims about religion and child abuse that had no such rooting in evidence.
But this is different. Overzealous oversight can no longer be invoked. That is no longer plausible since he has been challenged on this and had to admit he had no evidence other than anecdotes and intuition.
So this can only mean that the man who had made himself wealthy by promoting himself as some type of champion for Science and Evidence has consciously decided to continue making claims he knows to be without evidence.
Now why do you think that is?
Now, now — let’s not be too hasty. Maybe some helpful new-atheist psychologists have been able to supply him with some of the confirming evidence he sought.