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Friday, September 19, 2008

Richard Dawkins : Planting God More Firmly on His Throne, part 2 of 10

Please note that this essay is being moved and will be shortly reposted at True Freethinker


  1. Interesting articles...

    I honestly don't think you've refuted anything in Dawkins' book. You point out a few things here and there but where are his true arguments set forth in his book? You complain about the following:

    “You may not know the meaning of ‘tribulation saints’ in this sentence. Don’t bother: you have better things to do.” This should be read as “The less you know about what I’m criticizing the easier it is for me to lead you around.”

    Dawkins was poking fun because of the baseless nature of such ideas. There is no evidence of any end times and you say this is an example of his "arguing against caricatures of religion."

    I do not see how you can claim a strawman when these beliefs are held by many individuals who do seem to wish for the end times to occur.

    You berate Dawkins on his scholarship, but I must say that yours is pitiful, and you don't even address anything of substance that Dawkins says.

    Sorry, but I did not find one thing that rebuts any argument that Dawkins used in The god Delusion.

  2. Arizona Atheist;
    Nice to hear from you and thanks for the comments.

    I wonder if part of the problem is that you commented on part 2 of 10 (thus far, the intro and stage setting). Perhaps your concerns will be answered when all ten parts are posted.

    Keep in mind that the purpose of these posts is to consider whether he is handling the text of the bible accurately. Let us look at it this way: it does not matter what you, me, or he think about the Bible (God’s word or man’s, etc.). What matters is whether he is criticizing it properly or committing non-sequiturs, etc.

    So, thus far (in this set of posts which parse one particular essay) no, I have not yet refuted anything in Dawkins’ book.

    Incidentally, my overall assertion is that he mishandles the Bible while the mention the “tribulation saints” statement was not to allege caricaturization per se, but as an example of an apparent attempt at making his readers rely solely on his assertions which is why I recommended the reading, “The less you know about what I’m criticizing the easier it is for me to lead you around.”


  3. I read through all of your posts so that you have up thus far and you haven't debunked anything of substance - at least not yet.

    As far as the bible is concerned I don't think Dawkins misread anything. A great majority of it is nothing but story telling and has no basis in fact - many of the stories of downright immoral. The incest, wars and people murdered by god. No, I do not think Dawkins misinterpreted anything.

    I do not understand your statement that, "What matters is whether he is criticizing it properly or committing non-sequiturs, etc."

    I saw no problem with his criticisms...Someone doesn't need to be a biblical scholar to see the inconsistencies, contradictions, and horrible stories, which many people base their lives on. Because of the bible many people want to restrict homosexuals from getting married, or murder homosexuals. No, these people are not taking the bible out of context since the bible makes these points very clear.

  4. Arizona Atheist;
    Thanks for checking in again.

    The debunking began in Part 3 where I dealt with a few very particular issues and Prof. Dawkins is clearly mistaken.

    Define “of substance” as you wish but I am dealing with particular statements made by Prof. Dawkins in a book that he thought would convert theists into atheists.

    In this set of posts, I am dealing with some instances in which he makes various claims about the Bible’s content. What I meant by "What matters is whether he is criticizing it properly or committing non-sequiturs, etc." is that my concern is that he is clearly misreading, misunderstanding, misinterpreting, misapplying the text which he cites.

    When you read through Prof. Dawkins’ book and considered the various claims he made about the Bible’s content did you stop to consider if his assertions matched the text of which he spoke?

    Did you do as I did, as I practiced skepticism, and look up each and every text which he cited?

    Did you read each one for context?

    Did you employ various research tools in order to get a full grasp of the issue?

    Or did you simply presuppose that since the Bible is saturated with inconsistencies, contradictions, and horrible stories then whatever anyone wants to say about its horrible nature must be accurate?


  5. Arizona Atheist;
    I am really very sorry but the notification of your latest comment came into my email box and I accidentally clicked on “reject” so Blogger simply deleted it. I opened the email again and tried clicking on “publish” but Blogger can no longer find it.

    So, I cut and pasted your comment from the email and will post it below. If you want to write back just to verify that I did not edit it, feel free to do so.

    Arizona Atheist wrote:
    I'm familiar with the stories that Dawkins cited so I didn't look them up. I saw no problems with what Dawkins said. I honestly think this is a case of "the bible doesn't mean what it says, it means what I say."

    As far as "of substance" what I mean is showing why (at least in the posts I read) you haven't been successful in refuting any main portion of the book. The parts on the bible is about three or four sections of one chapter. I don't see why you're spending so much time on this subject when that wasn't necessarily a main argument. Dawkins did not spend as much time on the bible as on other subjects.

    Well, maybe I will return later and see what you've come up with in later sections of your "rebuttal."

    I will now continue with my response to your comment.

    I too am familiar with the stories that Dawkins cited but being skeptical and looking them up proved to me time and time again just how wrong he is.

    It is not a case of "the bible doesn't mean what it says, it means what I say” rather, is it a case of "the bible doesn't mean what Prof. Dawkins says it means” and I will prove this time and time again so please do return later. You will notice that in order to refute his claims I barely ever do much more than to merely read an extra verse of two.

    Also, you are functioning off of a faulty premise in stating that I haven't been successful in refuting any main portion of the book. This premise is faulty because the premise that I have established and stated is that, in these particular posts, I am tackling the particular portion of his book which deals with the Bible and proving that he is misrepresenting its contents. The reason for dealing with this portion of his book is that:
    1. The Bible is the most read, studied, and scrutinized set of books in the history of the world.
    2. Prof. Dawkins, and many like him, criticize it while demonstrating a stunning lack of knowledge of its contents.
    3. Many people simply believe whatever he states about the Bible.
    4. Many people end up with misinformed ideas about the Bible’s contents.

    I generally do not take requests but — succinctly tell me what you consider to be The God Delusion’s main portion and I will see what I can do.

    I hope that you will pardon a bit of a pointed statement, I am certainly not interested in embarrassing you, or anyone:

    You strike me a reminiscent of so very, very many, many atheists that I have encountered: lacking skepticism and saturated with faith based beliefs.

    For example, you seem to be so very intimately aware of the entire Bible’s contents that you will not even bother questioning you own memory of the texts and will not exercise the honest skepticism which would require you to double check your own memory and Prof. Dawkins’ claims.

    You place your authority on Prof. Dawkins to tell you what the Bible states and also what it means—he is your infallible interpreter.

    When someone attempts to correct his errors you are so sure that you and he are right and anyone who disagrees wrong that you even began to criticize my attempts at correcting him before I actually began my attempts.

    And now, having read one or maybe two (parts 3 and maybe 4 [of 10]) of the actual attempts to correct him you state that you have see enough, or maybe will bother checking in again.

    Your mind was made up before I even started.

    Friend, I do hope to hear back from you either now or when you check back.


  6. Another angry atheists. What a paradox. These people praise science and rationalism yet they have trouble to employ any critical thinking towards arguments their heros present. Any stupidity that comes to Dawkins' or Hitchens' mind is valid just because they say so.
    I think you're a monkey, prof. Dawkins.

  7. Tremor;
    Do you think that it is a put down to refer to Prof. Dawkins as a monkey?

    He will be the first to agree.

    He wrote, “We are not, then, merely like apes or descended from apes; we are apes” (Late City Final Edition, April 9, 1989).




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