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View Diary: Michigan country club cancels speaker due to his belief in God (242 comments)

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    my post is off the topic of the blog, but it answers a number of comments.  Or presents an alternate view to same.  I hope I'm more of a lone voice than a troll, though sometimes one looks like the other, and vice versa. There's a strange tendency toward consensus in cyberspace--it's always puzzled me (that tendency, not cyberspace, though that puzzles me enough).

    Re Dawkins' style, I wouldn't know where to start.  It's not simply his delusions of superiority, but his turned-to-11 literal-mindedness--he treats as a revelation the observation that religion is myth, as if the great religious thinkers hadn't known that for the past many centuries.  And he hews to science/reason/fact/etc. as absolute authorities, which is nothing but the appeal to authority fallacy.  To wit, things are either factual or they're not--"based on fact," a phrase his fans use non-stop, is utterly meaningless, because anything can be "based on" anything else.  Dawkins, in typical neo-a. fashion, invokes logic, reason, etc. as endorsements for his views, and he has a lot to answer for in the way his fans follow suit.  "Science is on my side" is as meaningless as "God is on my side," because truth doesn't take sides--in the universe we humans find ourselves stuck in, something is either true or it isn't.  Truth by association is a delusion.

    To answer your question, I have as little respect for Dawkins' fire and brimstone as the version dispensed by "true" believers (our press having decided, long ago, that fundies are the real folks of faith).  I've been assured repeatedly that Dawkins' brand of either/or scientism (is that a word?) is simply a response to either/or religiosity, but that's not my impression at all.   His think-as-I-think shtick is not reactionary at all--he's simply using his foes as a foil for his own views.  And to create the impression he's special buddies with Science, Truth, Reason, etc.

    D. does a disservice to skepticism by falsely posing as one.  A skeptic, after all, is someone who listens to a claim, studies the evidence, and passes a verdict.  D., by contrast, is someone who aggressively insinuates and relentlessly paraphrases, who is incapable of debating outside of the false construct of superstition vs. reason.  I mean, for God's sake, who's going to win when the debate is framed as truth vs. idiocy?

    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to clarify my issues with Dawkins' brand of faux intellectualism.  I have many atheist friends, by the way!  Family members, too.

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