Tom Gilson

To Put It Charitably

I suppose the charitable thing to say about this would be that it’s quite untrue:

Richard Dawkins:
It has been obvious since the publication of The God Delusion in 2006 that many supporters of religion have preferred to ignore its arguments and just repeatedly claim that it’s full of rage and hatred, fundamentalism and intolerance instead – traits that are not recognised by most people who have actually read it. The less-than-subtle message is: “He’s strident and shrill so you can ignore what he says.” Yet this alleged stridency consists in nothing more than clearly and reasonably challenging religious claims in the same straightforward way that no one bats an eyelid over when the subject is anything other than religion.

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10 thoughts on “To Put It Charitably

  1. “clearly and reasonably challenging religious claims” — the man clearly speaks his own language — these words could not possibly be accurately applied to The God Delusion in the English that the rest of us speak!

    And is his head buried in the sand while the air teems with responses to the actual arguments of the book?

    Unbelievable that this man claims to be the voice of reason!

  2. What would you expect Dawkins to say about himself. Even here we’ve had numerous athiest drive-by posters (vel and Patrick the latest) who toss around some half witted arguments and then pat themselves on the back for being so smart. Dawkins is the great high priest of the barely informed new athiest movemment. He makes his living on easy to digest half truths and outright falsehoods. We should expect any less back-patting from him. It’s what he does best.

  3. It has been a while since I read the God Delusion, but I remember the arguments within seeming pretty reasonable at the time.

    What he says about the critics of the book has been true in my limited experience, most of the time it seems that people have not read it and are just upset at the title.

    Do you have a link to some place where someone has done a reasoned deconstruction of his arguments? I’d be interested in reading that.

  4. “…I remember the arguments within seeming pretty reasonable at the time.”

    You might be the only one. The book created an entire cottege industry of refutations. The one below is chapter by chapter. Pretty succinct.

    BTW, if you would like to vet one of those “pretty reasonable” arguments, I’m sure there are many here who can illuminate its shortcommings.

  5. If Dawkins has been misunderstood, he only himself to blame. He had a golden opportunity last fall to debate and explain his book before a large international, mainly Christian, audience (via internet podcasts). Who was it he refused to debate?

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