Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dawkins Smacked Again - Slavery Links

Hot on the heels of his fumbling Darwin's book, Dawkins gets outed as having slave-owning ancestors.

Not much to be worked up over, normally, though considering this is Dawkins and the sort of crap he regularly stoops to to gain headlines, why not enjoy the fun?

I enjoyed the quip about how maybe Dawkins has a slave-owning gene he inherited. Of course, Dawkins also fired back that he had anglican clergy in his family tree, so perhaps he could be accused of having a genetic predisposition to piety as well?

Which makes me wonder... well, why not? No one would suggest that a gene makes one more likely to be a Christian in particular, but general religiosity - particularly, the traits the Cult of Gnu loves to associate with religiosity? Why not? After all, Dennett suggested that Marxism was either a religion or, at least, a proto-religion. Certainly Cult of Gnu atheism can qualify in principle, if we're going to work with that entire line of reasoning.

Either way, apparently some journalists have decided to soften Dawkins up prior to the Big Atheist Ho-Down next month. It's a change of pace.

Edit: And now Dawkins' little weaselly "I'm an agnostic technically so I can avoid saying I make positive claims" move bites him in the ass, with the big headline being 'WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS ATHEIST SAYS HE CAN'T RULE OUT THAT GOD EXISTS'. Now, as Vox said, Dawkins is being semi-consistent here - this whole '6 out of 7 certainty' schtick isn't new to Dawkins. On the flipside, that doesn't prevent me from getting a grin out of Dawkins flailing around on this. Especially given his past antics and his general approach to these questions.

If you're going to play the soundbite and mockery game, don't cry foul when once in a great while the same game is played on yourself.


Syllabus said...

There's a big atheist Ho-Down coming up? Will there be hashbrownies and kool-aid and icons of Saint Darwin? I simply MUST go, if only dress as the Pope and crash the party.

some kant said...

LOL oh man I love atheist self-trolling.

Crude said...

Man, it seems like the press is just really trying to knock Dawkins around lately.

Like Vox notes, this actually isn't new for Dawkins. He's been doing the 'technically I'm an agnostic' dance for ages. In fact, the Cult of Gnu is particularly big on this one when you get down to it, because it's part of the whole 'I'm an agnostic therefore I say I'm not making any positive claims and also atheism is a lack of belief not a belief' game.

But Dawkins loves to attack strawmen, so seeing him get strawmanned causes me no concern. Especially since he makes a point of calling himself an atheist, rather than an agnostic, for the aforementioned technicality reasons.