Celebrating Deception

I have not checked in on Richard Dawkins twitter account for some time so I decided to take a look.  One of the articles he shared with his fans recently is a Guardian article by Jonathan Freedland entitled, “Joe Biden is giving left parties the world over a masterclass in how to use power.”  It made sense that Dawkins would publicize this article given that atheistic principles do seem to boil down to “the ends justify the means.”  We’ve seen it again and again.  Thus, one could understand how Dawkins would be interested in “a masterclass in how to use power.”

Sure enough, when you read the Freedland opinion piece, it is essentially a celebration of deception.  Freedland acknowledges the deceptive nature of President Biden’s campaign: “He ran as a moderate but is governing as a transforming radical. That’s not a paradox – it’s a winning method.”  Of course, the Guardian could have written that subtitle, meaning they are the ones celebrating and applauding deception, but it does reflect the essence of Freedland’s article.  He wrote:

Recall how Biden campaigned. He presented himself as a reassuring grandfather of the nation who would restore calm and decency to the US government, a steadying presence who believed in the old-fashioned virtue of quiet competence. He would not be exciting; he would not light up social media. When the right claimed he was a radical socialist, the charge did not stick – because Biden had been around for 50 years and people could see with their own eyes that he was a traditional moderate. That view was helpfully reinforced by those leftists who had long written Biden off as a dull, decrepit centrist, barely fit to shine the shoes of progressive favourites such as Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But look at him now. Two-thirds into its first 100 days, and the Biden presidency has easily secured the right to be described as radical.

Freedland then runs a bunch of (premature) victory laps and ends by not only celebrating and applauding the “bait and switch” tactic of the Biden presidency, but by endorsing and promoting it as the way forward:

This is the first lesson that Biden is teaching would-be reformers. If you want to be radical in office, first reassure in opposition. If your goal is to win power, then in societies where people tend to be small-c conservative, your initial task is to persuade them that they have nothing to fear from you – that your concerns are their concerns. Remember Biden’s campaign: no gestures, no striking of radical poses, no indulgence of either. He was not campaigning to be a Twitter darling, nor to be president of the student union. He wanted to be president of the United States.

And that’s the second key lesson from Biden, one as old as politics. The true radical is not the fiery deliverer of revolutionary speeches or writer of maximalist manifestos. The true radical is the one who wins power and uses it for good. Biden has achieved more in two months than those who like to trumpet their radicalism manage in a lifetime. And he’s done it because he understands something that eludes so many. He understands that the greatest hope is power.

Translation: use deception to pretend you are not a radical but once you seize power, use it to implement your radical ideas. 

Ah, yes, the Great Secular Hope – “the greatest hope is power.”  Power.  As in the ability to control others.  To dictate to others.  Power achieved through lying. 

It makes sense that Dawkins would promote this mindset to his followers.  When the ends justify the means, lying to secure power for “the greater good” is a wise, moral strategy.  Thus, when you are dealing with atheist and secular activists, who, as a function of being activists, seek power,  do NOT make the mistake of assuming they will strive to be honest.  From the atheistic perspective, there is nothing objectively wrong with lying and from the activist perspective, it can be very, very useful. 

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30 Responses to Celebrating Deception

  1. i do enjoy seeing a Christian insisting that it is a bad thing to help people. Poor Jesus, he was a radical that so many of you Christians would re-nail to a cross. And lying, nope, Biden was honest about what he wanted to do the whole time. IT’s great to see you lying about someone supposedly lying now.

  2. TFBW says:

    Recall how Biden campaigned.

    Like a man who was incapable of doing so, but knew he didn’t need to. His campaign was memorable for being nearly non-existent, and peppered with incoherence to the small extent that it actually happened.

    But look at him now.

    A sad, feeble shell of a man, incapable of negotiating stairs, and requiring constant protection from questions. I don’t think the American public have any idea who is actually writing all those radical executive orders that Biden is ostensibly signing. I wonder what the poll results would look like if the public were asked, “do you think that Biden knows what’s in the executive orders he’s signed?”

  3. Michael says:

    i do enjoy seeing a Christian insisting that it is a bad thing to help people.

    As any sane, rational person can tell from reading my post, I never insisted it is a bad thing to help people. You lie.

  4. I do not lie, Michael. You attack people who are helping others.

    ” When the ends justify the means, lying to secure power for “the greater good” is a wise, moral strategy. Thus, when you are dealing with atheist and secular activists, who, as a function of being activists, seek power, do NOT make the mistake of assuming they will strive to be honest. From the atheistic perspective, there is nothing objectively wrong with lying and from the activist perspective, it can be very, very useful. ”

    Poor Christian, got caught doing something your god says never to do, not even if you think it is for the benefit of this god (Romans 3).

  5. Michael says:

    I do not lie, Michael.

    That’s a lie. You do too lie. In fact, I just caught you in your latest lie: “As any sane, rational person can tell from reading my post, I never insisted it is a bad thing to help people. You lie.”

    You attack people who are helping others.

    More lies. I draw attention to the way others are celebrating deception. That you interpret this as an “attack” on people who are just “helping others” indicates my observation may apply to you: “lying to secure power for “the greater good” is a wise, moral strategy”

    Do you agree with that statement? How about “lying to help others?” Do you think lying is justified if it helps others?

    Poor Christian, got caught doing something your god says never to do, not even if you think it is for the benefit of this god (Romans 3).

    Poor Atheist, so used to lying and relying on deception that she naturally projects that approach on others.

  6. Kevin says:

    It’s difficult to imagine a bigot like clubschadenfreude would be worried about helping others, as the nicer traits of humanity seem rather…lacking.

    Celebrating deception that negatively impacts the targets of her bigotry? Quite a bit more plausible based on available evidence.

  7. You are quite a the lovely Christian, Michael. You lie about others claiming “deception” on their part and yet you have no evidence of it. All you have is that you are upset that people want to help other people and they have to “decieve” to do that.

    do demonstrate where there was any deception, Michael. Where did Biden, et al lie? You are so desperate to attack liberals that you now have to pretend that there are “commies” under every bush when, again, people are trying to help others.

  8. I find it fascinating that some atheists, so terrified of Christianity’s unique ability to accurately point the finger at them as a flawed individual in need of God’s forgiveness, try to quash their fears by convincing themselves that Christianity is actually to blame for humanity’s flaws. A tragic irony that they’d rather shoot the messenger who brings word of the only way they can be lifted our of their self-obsessed emptiness.

  9. TFBW says:

    I don’t expect any kind of coherent answer from clubschadenfreude, but I’m curious to know exactly what “lie” Michael is supposed to have told. Leftists love to throw around smears without naming the specific transgression, and this is a paradigm example of that.

    As best I can infer, the accusation relates to Biden’s honesty, as the original comment includes the assertion, “Biden was honest.” Well, that flies in the face of what the cited article says: “He ran as a moderate but is governing as a transforming radical” implies dishonesty, since if you run as a moderate and you’re honest about it, then you also govern as a moderate. So why is club accusing Michael of lying? Does club think that this obvious dishonesty is actually honest—that it’s honest behaviour to run as a moderate and govern as a radical? Or is the claim itself inaccurate—because if that’s the case, it’s not Michael’s claim: he’s merely quoting the sub-heading of the article verbatim. If it’s a lie, it’s The Guardian’s lie, not Michael’s.

    The nearest club comes to a clarification of the problem is, “you attack people who are helping others.” Look, even if that were absolutely and unequivocally true (and it’s not), it still wouldn’t be “lying” unless there were an actual, wilful misrepresentation of facts involved. Finding not the slightest hint of such misrepresentation, I refer back to my earlier statement, “Leftists love to throw around smears without naming the specific transgression.” As far as I can tell, club is simply taking umbrage at the fact that Michael is pointing out things which make Biden look bad, and anything which makes Biden look bad must be a lie, because Biden good.

    Utterly mindless tribalism, in other words. Clubschadenfreude is functionally a meat puppet being piloted by an ideology, at least as far as this topic goes.

  10. Dhay says:

    Quoted in OP > He ran as a moderate but is governing as a transforming radical.

    clubschadenfreude > Biden was honest about what he wanted to do the whole time.

    Not if he “ran as a moderate but is governing as a transforming radical”.

    Quoted in OP > That view was helpfully reinforced by those leftists who had long written Biden off as a dull, decrepit centrist, barely fit to shine the shoes of progressive favourites such as Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    The number of “those leftists who had long written Biden off as a dull, decrepit centrist, barely fit to shine the shoes of progressive favourites such as Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” includes PZ Myers. Had Joe Biden presented himself to the electorate as intending to govern as a transforming radical, Myers — Jerry Coyne likewise, though I’ll focus on Myers — would have shown rather more enthusiasm for Biden than — my paraphrase — he’s crap and not worth voting for, but I suppose I must because he’s the only Democrat in town.

    Let’s see — I’ve trimmed the extracts for length, but I think you’ll find Myers’ full more scathing, more derogatory, rather than less: —

    17 May 2019, “I can’t believe Biden is the front-runner”
    He has said he has “no empathy” for the problems millennials are experiencing and claimed that Republicans will embrace bipartisanship after Trump is defeated. As I watch him campaign as an old (-fashioned, -school, -old) centrist, I realize how badly we screwed up. Instead of viciously skewering a public figure who deserved scrutiny, we let him off easy. The joke was funny, but it didn’t hit hard enough. … If he does win, all we get is a right-of-center centrist…

    12 June 2019: “Joe Biden, making promises he won’t keep”
    Do we really want a delusional old liar in the presidency again? Joe Biden is making ridiculous claims. … [He said] “I promise you if I’m elected president, you’re going to see the single most important thing that changes America, we’re gonna cure cancer.” … He looks stupid and glib and shallow… he’s doing his damnedest to make it difficult to vote for him if he wins the Democratic nomination. Which I earnestly hope he doesn’t.

    4 December 2019: “I can’t abide Biden”
    I’ll vote for him on election day. He’ll at least slow the country’s downward slide into fascism, but I don’t think he’ll do more than maintain the status quo.

    12 May 2020: “I didn’t need the ad to know I have to vote for Biden next fall”
    I hate it. I think Biden is a barely competent tool who is going to be a cheerleader for corporate America, but we’re not going to have a choice — it’s him or the totally incompetent grifter who is just in it for himself. Thanks, Democratic party! You’re a bunch of assholes! … Remember, you’re not voting for a good candidate, you’re voting against a malignant one.

    12 August 2020: “Why I think Kamala Harris is a plus mark for the Biden candidacy”
    I haven’t been reluctant to say that Biden is one of my least favorite candidates, and that my support is lukewarm. … I can hope that she’ll advance some progressive causes. I have more confidence in that than I have in passive empty suit Biden.

    21 October 2020: “I don’t have a lot of enthusiasm about voting for Biden, but that’s compensated by my need to vote Trump out”
    …compromise your purity to dive in and put out the trash fire. Hold your nose and vote for Biden, everyone!

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/?s=Biden

    Funny how Myers thought Biden a right-of-center centrist “suit”, but clubschadenfreude is unequivocal and explicit that Biden ran as a transforming radical who “was honest about what he wanted to do [as a transforming radical] the whole time.”

    Plainly both Myers and clubschadenfreude cannot be right at the same time, and I am too unfamiliar with recent US political history to be able to judge between them. But I observe that clubschadenfreude could easily settle the matter by telling Shadow to Light readers, with appropriate links to her authorities, what transforming radical (or otherwise) ticket it was that Biden actually did run on.

    That “Biden was honest about what he wanted to do [as a transforming radical] the whole time” is otherwise just clubschadenfreude’s opinion; and in the absence of evidence it’s an ignorant opinion.

  11. Michael says:

    You are quite a the lovely Christian, Michael.

    You get annoyed when I highlight the truth, don’t ya?

    You lie about others

    No, you are the one who lied about me. I put the spotlight on your lie in the 3rd comment of this thread.

    claiming “deception” on their part and yet you have no evidence of it.

    Anyone who has bothered to read this blog posting quickly realizes club is wrong.

    All you have is that you are upset

    More lies. I am not upset, but club tries to dishonestly portray me as such. Club, if your arguments are so good, why do you need to constantly rely on deception? Is it possible for you to stop lying about me? Or is your hate too intense?

    that people want to help other people and they have to “decieve” to do that.

    Whoa. Is club arguing that it is okay to deceive as long as it is to help other people?

    As I have mentioned before, I have come to believe that most atheists are afraid of my questions. I say that because years of experience have taught me that internet atheists will ignore my questions. Like club. She replies, but in doing so, ignores my questions. Which ones?

    After quoting “lying to secure power for “the greater good” is a wise, moral strategy,” I asked, “do you agree with that statement?”

    No answer.

    I asked, How about “lying to help others?”

    No answer.

    I then asked: “Do you think lying is justified if it helps others?”

    No answer.

    I think there is no answer because club does not want to admit she agrees with those positions.

    do demonstrate where there was any deception, Michael.

    Read the blog entry and the article it explores. If you need your hand held, read TFBW’s response.

    Where did Biden, et al lie?

    “He ran as a moderate but is governing as a transforming radical.” Also, be sure to read Dhay’s comment.

    BTW, Biden is now lying about the Georgia election law, calling it “Jim Crow on steroids.” That’s a lie.

    You are so desperate to attack liberals that you now have to pretend that there are “commies” under every bush when, again, people are trying to help others.

    More lies from club. As everyone can see, I said nothing about “commies.” Stop lying, club.

  12. TFBW says:

    Even the Washington Post is calling out Biden for repeated lying. Presumably club has some choice smears for them too.

  13. “When the right claimed he was a radical socialist, the charge did not stick – because Biden had been around for 50 years and people could see with their own eyes that he was a traditional moderate. That view was helpfully reinforced by those leftists who had long written Biden off as a dull, decrepit centrist, barely fit to shine the shoes of progressive favourites such as Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    But look at him now. Two-thirds into its first 100 days, and the Biden presidency has easily secured the right to be described as radical.”

    and Michael’s failed and false protest “More lies from club. As everyone can see, I said nothing about “commies.” Stop lying, club.”

    poor Michael. Nice to see you choose to lie, my dear Christian.

    Funny how the Jim Crow laws were exactly like the new Georgia law, created by ignorant white supremacists who were afraid of people of color voting. I do love how Republicans have admitted that they will never win again without trying to cheat.

    and poor dear again.
    ““Do you think lying is justified if it helps others?””

    Yep, in some cases of course. The folks who hid Anne Frank lied to the Nazis.

    And funny how Michael can’t show that Biden lied about what he was going to do. All he repeats is his own manufactured lie that somehow Biden ran as a “moderate” but is “really” a radical. Such a shame. Biden ran as Biden and said he would “build back better”.

    Poor Trumpees, you lost and your leader threw all of you under the bus, playing you for the ignorant fools you are. Now all you have are lies.

  14. oh I do love how TFBW presents Biden lying about other things, and still has nothing to show that somehow Biden was lying claiming he was a moderate and not a “radical”.

    Still nothing for that, and still we have conservative Christians lying.

  15. Dhay says:

    clubschadenfreude > i do enjoy seeing a Christian insisting that it is a bad thing to help people.

    I’m not at all sure how you conclude that Michael is “insisting that it is a bad thing to help people.” The OP seems to be about Joe Biden alleged deception of the electorate and Richard Dawkins’ celebration of that deception. Would you please quote the passage you base your ‘Michael is insisting that it is a bad thing to help people’ claim on.

    *

    Dawkins is hypocritical: he does not applaud, but has condemned British leader Boris Johnson’s blatant lies, lies including that £350,000,000 per week would be then available as extra funding for the NHS, lies made to swing the electorate in favour of Brexit, providing the road to the leadership and power that he subsequently obtained (which power he would have obtained immediately after the Brexit vote, had a colleague not stabbed him in the back.)

  16. Kevin says:

    Club won’t do that because Club is a bigoted clown with no reading comprehension, only able to respond with the ideological propaganda of regressive politics and anti-theism. Nothing rational to be found.

  17. TFBW says:

    All he repeats is his own manufactured lie that somehow Biden ran as a “moderate” but is “really” a radical.

    His own manufactured lie? So club thinks Michael wrote the subheading in The Guardian? Is club seriously that deranged, or is it just a case of not even bothering to do anything more than skim-read the OP, thus mixing passion with ignorance? Or is it, more likely, just a blatant disdain for objective truth? I was right on the money when I said I didn’t expect any kind of coherent answer.

  18. Michael says:

    I asked, “Do you think lying is justified if it helps others?”

    Club replies: Yep, in some cases of course. The folks who hid Anne Frank lied to the Nazis.

    Is that it? What IF Biden, for example, did lie to get elected, but lied because he wanted to help others. Would that be wrong?

  19. Since Biden didn’t lie, your desperate attempts to claim he did and corner me are moot.

    Each case is to be judged on its own. If Biden did have to lie to get things done that will help people, then I find lying to conservative twits who have no problem harming people to be no problem at all. Not the best thing to have to do but not the worst.

  20. Kevin says:

    Club the bigot is also too good to respond to anyone but her object of obsession. The projection is strong in this one.

  21. It’s so easy to apply ends-justify-the-means reasoning when you are So Sure You Are Right And The Other Side Are Eeeeeeeevil.

  22. Michael says:

    Club: If Biden did have to lie to get things done that will help people, then I find lying to conservative twits who have no problem harming people to be no problem at all.

    And thar she blows!

    This confirms what I wrote in my blog posting above:

    It makes sense that Dawkins would promote this mindset to his followers. When the ends justify the means, lying to secure power for “the greater good” is a wise, moral strategy. Thus, when you are dealing with atheist and secular activists, who, as a function of being activists, seek power, do NOT make the mistake of assuming they will strive to be honest. From the atheistic perspective, there is nothing objectively wrong with lying and from the activist perspective, it can be very, very useful.

    For years I have noted that atheist morality conforms to the pattern of the ends justifying the means. Thus, if you have to lie for the “greater good”, then do it.

    As Club says, “I find lying to conservative twits who have no problem harming people to be no problem at all.”

    I’m sure she views us all as “conservative twits who have no problem harming people” which explains why she so constantly lies about us here.

  23. And michael still chooses to lie about what I actually said, not the snippet he took from it.

    I love when Christians intentionally and repeatedly lie. It shows that they and their religion are complete nonsense.

    alas, poor Michael can’t show one instance I’ve lied. I’ve asked for him to cut and paste these times repeatedly and he has refused.

  24. Michael says:

    And michael still chooses to lie about what I actually said, not the snippet he took from it.

    I quoted what Club actually said. She made it clear she is willing to lie about anyone perceived to be “conservative twits who have no problem harming people.” Lying for a higher purpose.

    I love when Christians intentionally and repeatedly lie. It shows that they and their religion are complete nonsense.

    This is Club’s standard (only?) argument. She finds some Christian blog, accuses the owner of lying, and then uses that accusation to attack Christianity. It is now clear why she so commonly lies about Christians. She views them as “conservative twits” whose Christian beliefs “harm others.” Thus, she lies about them in order to discredit them and Christianity. It’s the kind of sleezy, dishonest tactic we might expect from an atheist who thinks the ends justify the means. Lying to defeat those eeevil Christians!

    alas, poor Michael can’t show one instance I’ve lied. I’ve asked for him to cut and paste these times repeatedly and he has refused.

    More lies from Club. I have documented Club’s lies on multiple occasions. This thread is merely the latest example. See the third comment on this thread where I cut and paste her lie and shine the light on it.

    Sorry Club, but your lies are getting tiresome. Good bye.

  25. Kevin says:

    Club is deranged enough that I almost worry she will stalk you in other ways, to prove how evil Christianity is or something.

  26. nsr says:

    This seems to me the most worrying form of atheism, in which the atheist genuinely appears to believe that reality shapes itself according to their own feelings and desires.

  27. TFBW says:

    You mean the atheist who, finding that the universe has no God, decides that he should fill the void?

  28. nsr says:

    Yes, and then declare holy war on all the other atheists who are doing the same thing but happen to disagree with his socio-political views.

  29. Dhay says:

    Looks like Richard Dawkins has declared war on cyclists; well, on one particular cyclist, who was, as far as I can gather from Dawkins’ own testimony and that of a witness, so shocked by a scarily near miss by Dawkins’ car that he went ape-shit — reading between the lines, the cyclist thought he could easily have been killed or seriously injured, otherwise Dawkins would have suffered just an angry telling off:

    Richard Dawkins
    @RichardDawkins
    Witnesses? Cowley Rd, Nov 29 c 1.50 pm? Crazed cyclist launched unprovoked attack on blue Tesla 3 heading SE. Smashed back window with D-lock. Then pursued us, fell off his bike in his fury, then tried to smash driver’s side front window. Witnesses pls phone Oxford police.
    7:48 PM · Nov 29, 2021·Twitter Web App

    http://www.twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/1465407268401340428

    A witness:

    Defund is a fine term
    @TayTaySF Nov 30
    Here is part of it. Can anyone else help fill in the pieces?

    Defund is a fine term
    @TayTaySF · Nov 30
    Replying to @RichardDawkins
    I didnt see that, but I did see a Blue Model 3 miss a person on a bike by a few inches on Cowley Road around 1:48pm. I was biking the opposite direction on Cowley Road near Oxford Driving Academy. Could this be helpful? Dm me

    The clincher that Dawkins was driving ‘without due care and attention’ (as the wording of the most probable driving offense has it) is that he hasn’t a clue what happened (beyond the cyclist’s red-mist fury) or what he himself did wrong.

  30. I’d be inclined to give Dawkins the benefit of the doubt. Some cyclists are absolute nutcases.

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