Friday, March 30, 2012

Dawkins calls for public mockery of Catholics

At a March 24 “Reason Rally” (tee-hee-hee) in Washington, D.C., according to CNA (March 27, 2012) "an estimated 20,000 atheists and agnostics heard author and activist Richard Dawkins encourage mockery of Catholic beliefs and those of other religions."

Mockery is a game that can be played by two sides, as I endeavored to illustrate back in 2005 in a little parody of Dawkins' mockery of anti-Evolutionist Fundamentalists [HERE].

But contrary to scads of eminently rational Catholics and other Christian intellectuals who have offered serious-minded and duly argued rebuttals of the New Atheism [I won't even bother to list them: just go to Amazon and search for "New Atheism"], Richard Dawkins -- who should know better -- has long ago abandoned the chambers of serious argument for the limelight of grandstanding ad hominems, mockery, insinuation and innuendo.

Just listen:
“Don't fall for the convention that we're all 'too polite' to talk about religion,” Dawkins said, before urging rally attendees to ridicule Catholics' faith in the Eucharist.

“Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged – and if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt,” he told the cheering crowd on the National Mall.

“For example, if they say they're Catholic: Do you really believe, that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?”

If the answer is yes, Dawkins suggested atheists should show contempt for believers instead of ignoring the issue or feigning respect.

“Mock them,” he told the crowd. “Ridicule them! In public!”
Sad to say, given his audience, this is powerfully effective stuff. It produces the desired effect: the smug satisfaction in those who then feel empowered by their derision of Catholics and all they stand for.

But it also lacks the least shred of intellectual integrity and honesty. He has chosen the tools of the classic Sophist: taking the worse side of an argument and making it appear the better through distortion and mockery over honest argument, with the goal of winning over the jury at any cost. Why? Because, like the Sophist, he no longer believes in truth, no longer knows what truth is, so that all that remains is persuasion -- not persuasion of truth by means of argument, but persuasion to agree through victory in mockery. Richard Rorty, you may recall, defined "truth" as "what your peers let you get away with saying." Dawkins has turned Rorty's definition of truth into a regular modus operandi.

Call it "science." Call it "reason." Call it whatever you want. Even call it "truth." It's nothing of the kind, but sheer hatred of truth, posturing as moral high ground. Get real. It's not hard to imagine you eventually calling for Catholic extermination camps and calling it the "greening of the planet" or "love of liberty." We're on to you, Dawkins. You're simply a poor intimidated English white boy who finds himself still trying to defend with self-congratulatory panache the dying and bloodless values a liberal agnostic Establishment. You're "age of reason" is dead. Your "reason rally" exhibits no more intelligence than the crowd at a National Wrestling Federation event.


8 comments:








Robert Allen

said...

PP,

It really isn't a question of intelligence. Dawkins is a bright guy and so are lots of other atheists. The problem is that, as the Venerable Solanus Casey would say, the atheist is "insane." His mind-set is a form of mental illness; self-induced, born of inordinate pride, but a sickness all the same. It actually looks like a version of Pelagianism to me: the atheist can't bring himself to acknowledge his wretchedness along with his inability to save himself. He's also a bully, as Dawkins' latest suggestion reveals. Can you imagine someone cruel enough to browbeat another human being over his religious beliefs?





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Very good, Mr. Allen. Precisely what I was trying to say but put less clearly. Thank you.





Dark Horse

said...

Dawkins is a bright fool, a dork.





beowulf2k8

said...

"It actually looks like a version of Pelagianism to me: the atheist can't bring himself to acknowledge his wretchedness along with his inability to save himself."

Dude, that is the DUMBEST comment I've ever heard.

Atheism generally springs from Calvinism (which is of course Augustinian). The Calvinist says we are worthless wretches, that we can't do anything right, we are born evil, and so on. Someone accepts this line of stupidity, and then says, "Hey, wait a minute! If all that is true, then there must be no God!"

So, now, they move from Calvinism (or an Arminian oppressed by overmuch exposure to Calvinism) to being Atheists. They still believe the base premise of Calvinism, i.e. that we are worthless. Just now instead of putting it in religious terms -- Adam's sin, total depravity, etc. -- they put it in Atheist terms.

"This planet is just a spec of dust in comparison to the vast cosmos" the Atheist says, where as a Calvinist he would have said "We are worms and nothing more because Adam ate an apple."

So, the Atheist is a sort of Calvinist who has taken his demon worshiping doctrine to its logical conclusion and denied the existence of God.

It is as far removed from Pelagianism as anything can possibly be. In fact, the cure to Atheist IS Pelagianism. Because Atheism is caused by a Pessimistic view of God, in which God damns people for what someone else did (i.e. Augustinianism, where we are damned for Adam's sin) -- people see that and say "If God is that cruel, then he doesn't really exist." Atheists can't say anything against the Pelagian God without getting themselves in trouble. Atheism only trives when Augustinianism thrives.





beowulf2k8

said...

“Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged – and if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt...Do you really believe, that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?”

Are you sure Dawkins isn't quoting a tract from some John Calvin?





Dark Horse

said...

Dude, that's a view of Calvinism that not many of my Cavlinst friends would accept. They'd call it a straw man.





beowulf2k8

said...

"Dude, that's a view of Calvinism that not many of my Cavlinst friends would accept. They'd call it a straw man."

Devil worshipers always call an accurate representation of their beliefs a straw man. What, do you expect them to admit to worshiping Satan under the name of God?





Pertinacious Papist

said...
This comment has been removed by the author.