Saturday, 25 October 2008

Has Richard Dawkins Finally Overstepped The Mark?

I mean, decry religion and you'll be feted by the liberal luvvies until the cows come home.

But start in on children's fiction (particularly the ubiquitous 'Harry Potter') and you might find those invitations to the smart parties drying up:
Prof Dawkins said he wanted to look at the effects of "bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards".

"I think it is anti-scientific – whether that has a pernicious effect, I don't know," he added.
Oh, dear. This is going to cause some wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments among the Islington set...

9 comments:

Furry Conservative said...

I think I am getting an inkling of what a Richard Dawkins ruled world would be like, and it isn't a pleasant sight.

God save us from the 'benevolence' of people like Dawkins.

Longrider said...

I don't think J K Rowling is suggesting that Harry Potter is "the Truth" though, is she? A second-rate take on Tolkein, yes, but no one - not even the Islington set are suggesting that spells and magic are for real. Whereas, the religious do argue that their deity of choice is real and we will burn in hell for not believing.

I've always thought Dawkins a bit OTT. This time he seems to have lost it.

JuliaM said...

"I think I am getting an inkling of what a Richard Dawkins ruled world would be like.."

Pretty scary, I think...

"A second-rate take on Tolkein, yes..."

That high, eh...? ;)

Ian_QT said...

Oh dear. I guess its easy to slip over that line marked 'self-parody' when you're as passionate about something as Dawkins is.

Umbongo said...

Dawkins is the last person to throw around accusations of something being "anti-scientific". Dawkins' atheism - which I guess he claims is "scientific" - demonstrates that he is as much in thrall to a scientifically unprovable belief as any one who declares himself a believer in Allah or the divinity of Jesus. The only rational position concerning the existence of God is agnosticism. Believing in spells and wizards is not anti-scientific it's unscientific - just like Dawkins belief in atheism. Since Kant no-one but a complete knucklehead (of which Dawkins, in respect of his views on religion, is a prime example) can claim that the existence or non-existence of God is a question amenable to scientific investigation and thus (pace Popper) proof [1].

As the irrational extremist that he is, it is easy to imagine Dawkins burning witches in the 17th century or calling for the guillotining of enemies of the revolution in late 18th century France. He is a bigot and a big-mouth. He is the perfect exemplar of an intellectual (bigged up by the lazy media) seeking to exorcise his demons by changing the world to accord with an extremist world-view coloured by his, obviously profound, personal problems.

[1] Although it might be an element of Roman Catholic theology that the existence of God is "provable"

Stan said...

What a joyless twat the man is.

Anonny Mouse said...

Umbongo: Of course the existence of a god is unprovable. However, the non-existence of anything is unprovable, outside of very specific abstracts. That's no reason to suppose that something as jaw-droppingly as odd as a god may exist. May as well believe in a flying spaghetti monster. Is the position of agnosticism as regards an FSM the only rational approach? Or do you agree that, on a balance of probabilities, and given that you've seen no evidence for the existence of such a creature, it doesn't exist. The evidence for a god is the same as for ghosts, demons or fairies.

kev g said...

Umbongo - fancy meeting you here. Nice work over at DK last week.

Dawkins has indeed traduced the traditional canons of scientific method and has turned his official employment into the Professor of the Public Understanding of Richard Dawkins.

Man's a buffoon.

Umbongo said...

annony mouse

I don't believe God or FSMs exist but I can't prove it scientifically. All I'm saying is that the supernatural is not a subject open to scientific enquiry and thus the Popperian scientific method of conjecture and refutation doesn't apply. Therefore almost anything goes: it's a subject of faith not proof. However, in my opinion it's as daft to be categoric that God doesn't exist as to be categoric that he does: no-one knows.

kev-g

We must stop meeting like this.