Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part V – Cranmer vs Dawkins

Okay, this is last week’s news, but I promised somewhere I would write about it. Cranmer posed the question, Should Richard Dawkins be arrested for incitement to religious hatred? He was responding to Richard Dawkins’ ‘rant’ in The Times, Hear the rumble of Christian hypocrisy, about the comments made by TV evangelist Pat Robertson concerning the earthquake in Haiti being divine retribution for that country’s ‘pact with the Devil’ and about this being, according to him, adherence to Christian orthodoxy.

I have read bits and pieces of Dawkins’ writings and I can agree with Cranmer when he says of him,

He displays a sub-GCSE level of comprehension of theology and an utterly simplistic caricature of religious philosophy. If one were to critique evolutionary biology in such crass terms, Professor Dawkins would be the first to dismiss one as being an intellectually deficient ignoramus.

This is one of the aspects of Dawkins’ writing that discourages me from giving him any credence whatsoever. To confuse his gentle readers (or perhaps he genuinely is confused himself), he constantly talks about ‘religion’ as if they are basically all the same. The major religions are wildly different. Trying to equate the Son of the Living God with the animal ‘gods’ of Hinduism and the warmongering paedophile Muhammad (as some people call him) is obviously a good way to discredit the notion of religion, but it doesn’t do anything for the pursuit of truth.

It does sell books though. Lots of them.

Dawkins replied to Cranmer privately, who in turn issued A response to Richard Dawkins.

Cranmer writes,

…this blog…appears is fast-becoming the last bastion of unfettered religio-political speech in the United Kingdom.

Well, this one is also available for all opinions to be expressed, but to back up his point, I was banned from Dawkins’ Clear-thinking Oasis last week. Apparently I was trolling. I have been leaving comments now and again for about a year (I think) and have even been told by some of the regulars that I am welcome.

My crime seems to have been talking about the salvation possible through Christ. I occasionally quote some scripture. Now this seems perfectly fair and logical to me based on the fact that the discussion is often about faith and I am responding to the questions others pose.

I suggest that the ‘atheists’ do not like their consciences pricked nor their souls inconvenienced with spiritual matters when there is so much sinning to be done! What else can they do but report me for ‘trolling’?

Here is a rare example of my downright proselytizing, but it was only in reply to somebody who doesn’t understand what saving faith is.

Anyway, I did resolve to spend less time on Dawkins’ blog, so they have done me a favour.

Dawkins begins his letter to Cranmer with this accusation,

I am intrigued by the Christian vitriol that is being thrown in my face after my article in The Times. You, Cranmer, have even suggested that I should be arrested for incitement to religious hatred.

Dawkins believes that religious people should be seen and not heard. Well, not seen either. We should leave our faith at home. He also seems to like labelling plain speaking as ‘vitriol’. I get the same accusations on a number of topics of discussion.

I am constantly tickled, and disturbed, by Dawkins’ insistence that his blog is a Clear-thinking Oasis. Strange, then, that judging from the comments on both blogs, Cranmer’s supporters are generally erudite and polite, appearing to be fully human – while Dawkins’ are rude, crude and give credence to the theory that man evolved from apes!

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12 Responses to Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part V – Cranmer vs Dawkins

  1. Jim Baxter says:

    What’s to know? A supernatural being created the cosmos – put us pathetic humans in charge of all other life -watches over us – presides over disasters in which tens of thousands, sometimes millions die – judges us harshly if we don’t believe in Him

    That’s all you need to know to dismiss the lot out of hand.

  2. Stewart Cowan says:

    You should write books about it, Jim. That’s about as much as Dawkins knows!

  3. Jim Baxter says:

    Like I say Stewart – that’s all there is… it barely fills a post on a blog.

  4. Stewart Cowan says:

    And where do you expect your soul to go to after your bodily death?

  5. Jim Baxter says:

    As I asked English, Stewart (and I hope all is well with him – I know I insult him but I also respect him – maybe doesn’t always show) what do you think my answer to that would be? I’m not holding out on you. But, indulge me for a moment.

  6. “If one were to critique evolutionary biology in such crass terms”

    Oh, the irony.

  7. Stewart Cowan says:

    Jim,

    Yes, let’s pray that English is okay.

    Indulge you? Well, I think you’d say that you don’t have a soul and if there is a heaven then you wouldn’t want to go there if it’s full of self-righteous bampots. You might believe those lying films that Hell is really fun, rather than the truth that it is torment without any possibility of remission.

  8. Jim Baxter says:

    Don’t have a soul is right Stewart. I’m just a self-organising chemical system, as are you. You may be better organised. The other stuff – nah – you see the whole Hell business is based on fear and I have no fear. Used to – used to be terrified of my own shadow as a kid – but not any more. There is nothing they can do to me the prospect of which bothers me in the least. Not that I believe anything happens beyond personal extinction. You are the one who is terrified. It’s no way to live your life my friend. And I count you as a friend, just in case anybody thinks that was sarcasm.

  9. Stewart Cowan says:

    Jim,

    Thank you for the explanation, but it’s illogical. Your self-organising chemical system is far too complex to have arisen by random mutations (I would say that). As for fear – like you, I was afraid of my own shadow when I was younger. With experience of life I now believe in the old German family motto, “Fear God, fear no man.”

    Why do you think my love of God is grounded on fear? A child who has a healthy relationship with his father has a level of fear of him, but it is not the defining emotion.

    Also to bear in mind: “The truth will set you free,” and “Perfect love casteth out fear.”

    If I was living a life of fear, I wouldn’t be able to write the way I do.

    I don’t really associate you with sarcasm, Jim. I guess I think of you as a cyberfriend too.

  10. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘Imagine that you, as a greatly liked and respected person, found yourself overnight subjected to personal vilification on an unprecedented scale, from anonymous commenters on a website. Suppose you found yourself described as an… (various descriptions involving diseased lower body parts) Or suppose that somebody on the same website expressed a “sudden urge to ram a fistful of nails” down your throat. Also to “trip you up and kick you in the guts.” And imagine seeing your face described, again by an anonymous poster, as “a slack jawed turd in the mouth mug if ever I saw one.’

    That’s Dawkins about recent reactions to imposing strict comment moderation on his site.

    Evolutionary theory entirely aside, purely ad hominem observations, what kind of man takes offence at what people say on an open web forum such that he has to shut it down, and takes special offence, apparently, because he is ‘greatly liked and respected’? And he must be; he says so himself.

  11. Alan says:

    “…give credence to the theory that man evolved from apes!”

    D’Oh. The accepted theory is that Humans and apes have a common ancestor.
    They tried that one on Darwin.

    Most of the religious people I know are downright nasty. I had the misfortune to be obliged to live in a flat with 4 Catholic I.R.A. supporters who accused me of being a “^&^&* Proddie bastard. They arrived at that conculsion simply because I am not a Catholic. In their tiny little minds these are the only possibilities. So, like all %%&*^% Proddie bastards, I had to be a UDA supporter. Stupid, arrogant and nasty. Thankfully they were also liars and cowards.
    One of them worked as a legal advisor to a political party: “The I.R.A. has a right to kill anyone it wants”.

    In my whole life (I am now 52) I have met only only one church-going christian who I would call a friend.

    • Stewart Cowan says:

      “The accepted theory is that Humans and apes have a common ancestor.”

      I should have written this to avoid pedantic comments. Would the alleged ancestor have been ape-like, by any chance?

      “Most of the religious people I know are downright nasty.”

      Ditto.

      Most of the ones I know are the least likely to help you out. Most are sickening hypocrites. I have recently learned this harsh reality from personal experiences.

      I had a Catholic workmate insist I was an “Orange bar steward” before spraying some aerosol air freshener (or whatever it was) in my face. I suppose I was fortunate as he stuck a fork into somebody’s arm in the canteen. He didn’t last in the job very long.

      Was he “religious”? I wouldn’t say so and neither are your IRA-loving ex-flatmates. Well, maybe religious, but not Christian.

      At one of the meetings I attended at the local branch of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster (founded by the late Ian Paisley) the preacher told us of the banner he saw a young man holding up at some UDA/UVF or whatever rally which read, “For God and Ulster”.

      Asked if the young man believed in God, he replied that he didn’t.

      This accounts for the bad behaviour of some “religious” people. In the church I used to go to, everyone thinks they are “saved” already. It would appear that this dangerous philosophy makes them believe they can do whatever they want and they’ll be fine. A bit like Catholic confessions.

      “In my whole life (I am now 52) I have met only only one church-going christian who I would call a friend.”

      I’m a year behind you and I have one church-going Christian I consider a friend.

      Like the rest of the world, they seem to be going to pot.

      But then times are challenging, the road is narrow and few there be that find it.

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