Saturday, September 14, 2013

Job Opening: 1 New Atheist Leader. Must not make followers feel like creeps.

As time goes on, I notice Cultists of Gnu are becoming less and less willing to rush to the defense of Dawkins. First, most of his actual book has been jettisoned as a source of authority - too many flaws on too many subjects, and the Boeing 747 argument not only looks idiotic in retrospect, but actually counterproductive to the 'cause' when the multiverse is factored in.

Then there was Dawkins ducking the debate with William Lane Craig. To any onlooker, that whole affair just looked... rotten. Transparently a case of "Dawkins is making up whatever excuse he can to avoid this, as he'll get his clock cleaned if he takes part". But some guys - particularly the dumber ones - were still willing to go to the mat for the man on this one.

But now that his "mild pedophilia" comments are circulating in a big way - not that they're anything new, but now they're being noticed - it looks like the Cultists have lost faith. They won't be so quick to follow PZ Myers in his "Hey, Dawkins actually sounds like a pedophile doesn't he?" comments... but you can call Dawkins out on this, and the instinctual reaction seems to be "Let's change the subject, now, to ANYthing else".

Sorry guys - it ain't happening. Dawkins' creepy "hey a little bit of kiddy-fingering isn't the end of the world" defense is sticking at this point. He's done it too long, and too consistently, for him to shake the charge. And if the New Atheists don't publicly disown him soon, the Cult of Gnu is going to pick up another descriptor to go alongside "belligerent, annoying peddlers of rage and faux reason". Namely, "pedophilia apologists".

The atheism+ heretics in the cult already smell the blood in the water. Time to decide if you want to stay in this particular pool anymore.


Blue Devil Knight said...

His pedophilia comments are idiotic, but note of course he isn't saying he thinks "mild" pedophilia is OK, but that most religious indoctrination is even worse. Just stupid. I guess you could replace the word "most" with "a tiny fraction" and he is saying true (with a bunch of qualifications you'd need to add), yet completely uninteresting.

"actually counterproductive to the 'cause' when multiverse."

Not sure what you left out at end of first para...or if I am just missing how to parse it.

Debate "ducking" is a non-issue. Atheists and theists both like to whine and cry about who will debate whom (e.g., lots of atheists like to cry when Craig won't debate them, they often like to insinuate that it is because he is scared: Loftus is the master of this). The person they want to debate typically gives some BS reason that typically amounts to "You will not give me enough publicity" or "I don't respect you enough."

Crude said...

His pedophilia comments are idiotic, but note of course he isn't saying he thinks "mild" pedophilia is OK, but that most religious indoctrination is even worse.

Dawkins hasn't limited his comments to even that comparison. First, he's cited his own supposed abuse to say 'Hey look, I wasn't damaged by that at all'. Second, you get quotes like these:

First, just because some pedophile assaults are violent and painful, it doesn’t mean that all are. A child too young to notice what is happening at the hands of a gentle pedophile will have no difficulty at all in noticing the pain inflicted by a violent one. Phrases like ‘predatory monster’ are not discriminating enough, and are framed in the light of adult hang-ups.

The pretty clear implication there is that, so long as it's just a little bit of fondling and fingering, Dawkins doesn't think 'mild' pedophiles are 'predatory monsters', and are regarded as such 'in light of adult hang-ups'. Here's some more:

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.
He said the most notorious cases of pedophilia involve rape and even murder and should not be bracketed with what he called “just mild touching up.”

He can't condemn 'mild' pedophilia. It was a different era, with different standards - and it's those standards which are operative here.

So no, he's going further than you think.

Not sure what you left out at end of first para...or if I am just missing how to parse it.

Typo. "Actually counterproductive to his cause when the multiverse is considered."

Debate "ducking" is a non-issue.

It's a non-issue, except in a case where it's pretty obvious that someone is ducking out of fear, to the point where they are making up excuses. Dawkins tried excuse after excuse to explain why he wouldn't debate Craig, and really, 'I don't debate creationists' and 'I don't debate people who defend 5000 year old alleged acts of genocide commanded by God' are transparently lousy excuses, especially in light of who Dawkins HAS debated.

If WLC seemed particularly selective with who he debated, that response may have some teeth. But considering he's debated philosophers and scientists of pretty high calibre, 'He won't debate this relative nobody in a cowboy hat who is a notorious publicity hound because he's afraid' is a joke. Even moreso since, really, Loftus isn't known as a good debater, or even an original thinker.

Blue Devil Knight said...

That is worse than I thought, I have to admit. I hadn't seen the second quote you gave.

Conor said...

Hi Crude and BDK,

I don't want to derail Crude's thread. But I'd rather post this on his blog than Reppert's,if only to avoid the howling gibbons Skep and Linton.

Crude, your comments on Reppert's blog are invaluable; don't EVER stop posting. Some of us who are truly on the fence b/w theism and agnosticism appreciate the effort you put in.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And as for YOU Blue Devil Knight, why have you stopped posting there!!?? Do you realize what creatures have taken up your mantle? Dear God...

I'm a longtime reader of "Dangerous Idea," and I enjoyed BDK's posts immensely. BDK, you thought through EVERYTHING. You are dearly, dearly missed :( Please come back!

Best to the both of you,

Crude said...

Hey Conor,

I think I saw you post on DI once as an agnostic. Glad you like some of the posts - really, I thought I was always on my worst behavior on Reppert's (at least with said gibbons), so knowing someone's actually reading and getting something from that beyond the regulars is high praise.


Blue Devil Knight said...

Conor thanks, among other things I realized the time put in could have been better spent. But I appreciate your thoughts!