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The Fullness of the Dawkobot Kool-Aid March 14, 2008

Posted by Administrator in Apologetics, atheism, Cultural Pessimism, philosophy.

(WordPress is being idiotic, so there are no links available for this post. I will either post actual URLs you can copy and paste, or you’ll have to Google particular names.

Not that you need to, you’ve seen them before)

I have actually mixed the Kool-Aid, took a good look at it, poured myself a glass, held it to my lips and taken a taste.

I cannot drink it. The lack of nutritional value, combined with the overwhelmingly bitter odor of almonds prevents me from swallowing the Dawkobot Kool-Aid.

I’ve watched Richard Dawkins lecture (http://www.glumbert.com/media/calltoarms). I’ve watched him debate with a liberal theologian from the Anglican Church (http://www.glumbert.com/media/dawkinsbishop). I’ve read some of his latest screed as presented at a speech in Wisconsin. (http://www.madison.com/tct/news/276768)

Without question, the man is a brilliant biologist like his fellow Kool-Aid imbibers PZ Myers and Larry Moran. He is also a witty, incisive speaker. There is much to be admired about the man in terms of scientific intellect. Much the same may be said about his fellow thinkers Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris. They are all bright men in their correct fashion.

But as philosophers, they are all frightfully and dangerously amateur and misled, and as proponents of public policy, they are as ominous in their idealism as the worst Torquemada or Hitler.

As for the realm of philosophy, I cite Dawkins from his most recent article listed above:

Dawkins joked that he’s not absolutely positive there is no God. “Only in the sense that I’m not absolutely positive there is no large china teapot in orbit in the solar system.”

No one can actually disprove the existence of a celestial teapot, he said, “which means we all technically have to be agnostic about the teapot. But in practice we are all ‘ateapotists,’ ” he said to laughter.

He is, in his snarky upper-class British twit fashion, poking fun at religion by reciting a variant on the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The short version of this long-useless argumend against the existence of God is that we an imagine any sort of nonsense -unicorns in our backyard, flying spaghetti monsters, teapots in orbit- and to simply imagine them, while perhaps difficult to disprove, is insufficient to prove that they DO exist. Since the likelihood is so minimal as to be non-existent, we are safe in assuming that they in fact do NOT exist.

The debunking of this argument however, is really quite simple. In each case of the unicorn, or the spaghetti monster, or the orbiting teapot, the creator of the myth in question is dealing with constructs already very familiar to the human psyche. Each is made up of ideas that we as humans have already experienced.

But in the case of the Creator, of an all-powerful, all-good, perfect being in God, we are talking about a construct that is alien to our experience. There is nothing in our experience that is all-powerful; certainly nothing that is all-good, and perfection doesn’t even exist in nature (ask the high-speed photographers if they can capture the perfect “King’s Coronet” that is possible at the instant after a drop of milk falls into a perfectly still bowl of milk. It is possible, but it has never been captured on film.). Despite this lack of experience, our collective souls yearn for it, and on some level therefore must have experienced it. When else but before the fall?

Dawkins himself in his talk with the Bishop of Oxford (which is, by the way, an almost absurdly polite and deferential conversation. Both antagonists hold to their native positions, but are unfailingly polite and understanding of the other) admits that there must be some form of “other”, similar to what Einstein hinted at, but he refuses to admit this is God, or that religion in any way leads to this “other.” I have suggested elsewhere that Dawkins was having second thoughts about his atheism. I wish I’d had access to his talk with Oxford at the time. I still believe I am correct, but as CS Lewis was too stubborn to admit to Catholicism due to his traumatic upbringing in Ulster, so too Dawkins out of stubborn habit will never admit to the existence of what even his ossified conscience is hinting at.

Regardless, Cambridge, Morris and Toronto biologists need to stick to what they know, and keep the hell out of philosophy. They have shown themselves to be abundantly unqualified.


As for acting as framers of public policy, the Dawkobots take their orders from Richard Dawkins, and those orders are disturbingly Orwellian.

There is no such thing as a Catholic child, there are only children of Catholic parents, Dawkins said. “I think it is a form of child abuse to speak of a 4-year-old child as a Catholic child or a Protestant child or a Muslim child. There is no such thing as a Protestant child. There is no such thing as a Muslim child.

Meaning, of course, that such horrible practices as forming the faith of one’s child ought to be outlawed. He has signed a petition at one point that advocated exactly this, but later repudiated it for fear of a backlash amongst the more rational of his sycophants (an oxymoron, I know. . .but let it lie for now).

Mark Shea has characterized Dawkins as evil, not just stupid. I have to disagree. Dawkins is stupid- dangerously so- in terms of philosophy and public policy.

But no man is inherently evil. He may believe in evil practices, but that does not make him the devil.

Though come to think of it, this sort of logic gives Hitler a pass as well.



1. grendelkhan - April 2, 2008

Oh, come on. The FSM, the Celestial Teapot, and the Invisible Pink Unicorn only exist as concepts because “well, you can’t disprove it!” is such a common argument that it has spawned a number of self-evidently ridiculous examples of what happens if you take it seriously. (I think it’s an example of “argument from ignorance”, though I could have sworn there’s a more specific name for it.)

I recall (though I don’t remember exactly where; if you doubt this, I can go look it up) seeing Dawkins wave away these ideas as not particularly useful… well, *except* that they make the point that “you can’t disprove it!” doesn’t prove anything. Which apparently

“There is nothing in our experience that is all-powerful; certainly nothing that is all-good, and perfection doesn’t even exist in nature […] Despite this lack of experience, our collective souls yearn for it, and on some level therefore must have experienced it. When else but before the fall?”

So… talking animals aren’t in our experience, but our collective souls apparently yearn for them, and on some level therefore must have experienced them? I don’t think your conclusion follows. Not everything in the human imagination must exist in fact; common sense is far from an infallible guide to the universe.

2. demolition65 - April 3, 2008

The key of your response is in the last paragraph.

Perhaps I was not clear enough. “Talking animals aren’t in our experience, but our collective souls yearn for them.” Your response conflates two things I stated, that we can imagine talking animals, and we yearn for perfection, rendering it into a confused mishmash on your part.

My point was that we experience talking, and we experience animals. It is then easy for us to imagine talking animals, as both concepts are common to our experience and we can readily unite the two ideas, even in fancy. Just because it is a flight of fancy driven by experience does not make them real.

However, we also strive to imagine the perfect, and that is NOT in our common experience. Yet, if we strive to imagine it, or to achieve it, philosophy (in the person either of Plato or Aquinas, I cannot remember which) then the concept must exist in some form of reality. We may call that perfect form “God.”

I hope this clarifies matters.

3. Charles Kinsley - June 29, 2008

You said that “perfection doesn’t even exist in nature”.

I’d like to know how you can know this. I think nature’s perfect just the way it is.

BTW, you have no argument for Dawkins et al. being “abundantly unqualified” for philopsophy. Are you qualified? If you are, explain please.

4. demolition65 - June 29, 2008

Find me the “perfect” organism/weather pattern/day-in-the-life. It doesn’t exist. Flaws abound.

However, you think nature is perfect? Excellent!! All my fears about how God must bless evil because of the horrors that nature inflicts upon us are unfounded. I may now rest easy.

Dawkins is a biologist, not a philosophy major. He has a “DPhil” (the English equivalent of a Ph.D), “The DPhil is an advanced research degree awarded on the basis of a thesis and oral examination (assessment of other work is not taken into consideration). The DPhil is of a higher standing than the MSc by Research or the MLitt.”. Presumably, this is in zoology, not in philosophy. His focus has been the hard sciences.

As for me, I fail to see why I need provide any credentials. I may presume to assume that you have already dismissed my position, and in that event, either my credentials will be incomplete or insignificant.

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