Friday, March 8, 2013

"Well, um, the God of the Koran I don't know so much about."

From The Jewish Chronicle Online:

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of "the Old Testament" is "hideous" and "a monster", and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character "in fiction".

As you can see, Dawkins has no trouble attacking the Hebrew God in a most direct and uncompromising manner. No atheist wallflower he.

Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: "Well, um, the God of the Koran I don't know so much about." 
How can it be that the world's most fearless atheist, celebrated for his strident opinions on the Christian and Jewish Gods, could profess to know so little about the God of the Koran? Has he not had the time? Or is Professor Dawkins simply demonstrating that most crucial trait of his species: survival instinct.

Dawkins is a sniveling coward.  


  1. Well, Richard Dawkins has revealed in 'the God Delusion' why he concentrates on the Christian God. It's the one he was brought up on, and the one he's most familiar with.

    Fear of batshit crazy Muslims hasn't stopped other writers who have studied Islam from making strongly negative comments.

    Such as Islam was originally a Christian sect. 'There is but one God' means that the Trinity is bunkum. Mohammed means 'he who is to be blessed'. So 'Mohammed is his messenger' means 'he who is to be blessed (ie Jesus) is his messenger', going along with the Muslim belief that Jesus is just a prophet. Year zero on the Muslim calendar, supposedly the year Mohammed went from Mecca to Medina, was the year the Byzantine Empire defeated the Persian Empire giving the Arabs in Syria and Palestine autonomy. And then about a hundred years, the ruling dynasty was toppled by another, moved its centre of power to Arabia and had the Qur'an written to justify the military expansion of the rulers (religion is very useful to the rulers when it justifies their rule).

    Islam isn't novel. It's just a slight more crazy batshit crazy version of Christianity, of which there were many different brands at the time. Including the Nestorians, who were kicked out and forced to seek refuge with the Arabs and Persians, eventually even managing to reach China as traders.

    1. Bachfiend, you said: "Christians vary widely, ranging from the sane to the batshit crazy, like you."

      Now you say:

      "Islam isn't novel. It's just a slight more crazy batshit crazy version of Christianity..."

      How can someone follow a batshit crazy religion and not himself be batshit crazy?

      I think you were being very dishonest in your first statement. Actually, you think that we're all wacky. I think you were only saying that there are sane Christians in the world as a means of showing that your belief that Dr. Egnor is crazy isn't some kind of prejudice against his religion. I run into this kind of thinking all the time, people who are basically anti-Christian/anti-Catholic hatemongers who excuse themselves because they like Catholics who don't actually believe in/practice Catholicism, which means that they're off the hook. It usually goes something like this: How can you accuse me of being anti-Catholic when I voted for Nancy Pelosi and I read Maureen Dowd's columns in the newspaper? Yeah...

      I've defended you in the past as a more reasonable man than some of the other detractors on this blog. You're making it difficult.


    2. Joey,

      I've just finished reading Robert Asher's 'Evolution and Belief. Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist'. Robert Asher did his PhD at Stony Brook University and is currently Curator of Vertebrates in the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge University.

      He argues that Darwinian natural selection is the cause of the considerable number and diversity of species, but says nothing about 'agency' which he ascribes to God. I don't have any problem with that.

      I deliberately used 'batshit crazy' to stir up Egnor, because he is batshit crazy. He has serious problems with reading comprehension, making incorrect assessments of what he has read, which blatantly contradicts logical thought, makes the same incorrect arguments, which he repeats on multiple occasions, despite being corrected, is prone to paranoid conspiracy theories, and is prone to make definite assertions of fact on subjects he admits he knows little about.

      Just look at his comments on the previous thread. He is batshit crazy.

      I'm not anti-Catholic. I quite admire Ken Miller, who is a practicing Catholic, and also a professor of biology at Brown University.

      Anyway, Islam being a slightly more batshit crazy version of Christianity doesn't say how batshit crazy I regard Islam or Christianity. Islam could be just slightly batshit crazy.

    3. I agree with Joey. What secularists mean by "batshit crazy Chrisitan" is "actual Christian". Faith in Christ is a radical choice (as Kierkegaard observed), and faithful Christians do not accomodate themselves to the world.

      By "sane Christians" secularists usually mean cultural Christians who fight against actual Christian faith any chance they get.

      Pelosi, Biden, Dowd are prime examples of sane Christians who show no sign of being actual disciples of the Lord.

    4. Hoo, I made no pronouncement on the relative wackiness of Muslims. I just want to know how sane people can follow an insane religion. If Christianity is insane than so too are all of its adherents.

      I recall reading a few days ago, in the post about stamp collecting, Bachfiend explain that he didn't think that all Christians are crazy. Some are crazy, he contended, like Egnor. But not all.

      Some members of any group are crazy but not all. I can agree with that. But now he's contradicting himself and I think I know why.

      Bachfiend, I know that when you say that Islam is only slightly more batshit crazy than Christianity, you don't mean that Christianity is not batshit crazy at all. Come on.

      Take this sentence for example: Blacks are only slightly more absurdly prone to crime than Hispanics. But I'm not saying that either are absurdly prone to crime, just that one is slightly more absurdly prone than the other.

      I may read Ken Miller's book in the near future. I've been compiling a wishlist on Amazon that is now eighty books long. Miller's book is on the list.


    5. @Hoo:

      The issue here is not whether believers of a particular faith are "crazy".

      If one is to ascribe "crazy" to a set of beliefs, atheism wins hands down. Everything just happened, no purpose, living things manifest no design, no transcendent right or wrong, etc. Padded-room-locked-ward crazy.

      Compared to atheist beliefs, the Muslim belief that Mohammed rode to heaven on a winged horse is utterly sane and sober.

      But the issue is not really the "craziness" of a belief. Existence is a very strange thing, and we all are perplexed by it. Any answer is going to sound a bit crazy, in some context, to someone.

      The real issue is: what is the truth? We Christians believe that we have a much better handle on truth, in part because our metaphysics makes the most sense, and even more because we have met Truth, personally.

  2. This Dawkins post reminds me of something else. A local charter (public) school in my area is putting on a play based on the book of Genesis. Yes, Genesis.

    Before you anti-theist censors get your buns all in an uproar, rest assured that it's COMPLETELY BLASPHEMOUS! Yes, the characters are all "gay." Crisis has been narrowly averted. Doing a play based on the Bible would normally be a violation of the separation clause of the Constitution. I've never been able to locate that clause in my pocket Constitution but the "liberals" assure me that it's there and that I hate America if I insist that it isn't. But Bible-based plays WITH HOMOSEXUALS? Now that's different.

    They're already playing the victim because some Christians don't like the local public school to mock them. I've heard that blacks, Jews, and Puerto Ricans don't like to be mocked either, but they're on the official list of victim groups. We're not.

    I'm not impressed with these cowards. If they want to impress me with their commitment to free expression, they'll do a production of the Pink Triangle Koran.


    1. Yo, TRISH:

      I read the article.

      I've been in debates before with nonreligious people about God in government. We always seem to be talking past each other because we don't frame the issue in the same way.

      Here's the way that I think they see it. They think of public schools as religiously neutral places. They believe that this is the way things should be because our Constitution stipulates it. (It doesn't, by the way.) But those dastardly Christians can't stomach neutrality and so they're always trying to use the public schools to push their faith.

      That's not the way we see it at all. Public schools are anything but neutral in regard to religion. Religion in general in denigrated and none more so than mine. Censorship is used to enforce a God-free zone. Students are made to feel that talking about their religion is somehow dirty or wrong. It has to be hidden. You're right--a play based on the Bible would not normally be allowed in a public school. Any school that stepped out of line would be hearing from the ACLU and FFRF. The school made a narrow exception in this case because they understand that this play is anti-religion. If it were pro-religion it would never see the light of day.


    2. I've been looking for the separation clause for a long time too. It's not there. It wasn't approved by a two thirds vote of a constitutional convention or ratified by three quarters of the state legislatures. It's a mythical creature much like unicorns and leprechauns, but the anti-God crowd takes it on faith--yes, faith--that it exists. Never let it be said that these hard-nosed scientific types accept nothing on faith. They most certainly do.


    3. Well, Genesis is myth, metaphor at best. It can't be made blasphemous because it's fiction.

      It mightn't be in good taste. I wouldn't bother going to it. I once walked out of a performance of Haydn's 'Creation' (I suppose I should have been warned by the title when I'd subscribed to the season of concerts) because it was performed in English not the original German, and I'm a purist, preferring works to be in the original form if possible (although I do prefer Mozart's 'der Messias' over Handel's original, because Handel never quite got the rhythm of the English right).

      It does raise the question. Do you think that 'Genesis' is literally true? If so, how do you reconcile the different versions of creation in the first two chapters? A recent translation replaces the past tense in the 2nd chapter with the past pluperfect, to give the impression that it's just a just a reformulated version of the first chapter, but the King James version has the same tense, as does the Hebrew.

      If its not literally true, then how is it blasphemous to Christians? Many Christians claim that the New Testament has superseded the Old Testament, and the occasions in which God appears to behave in a vindictive manner are just the old God, in some way.

      Actually, some early Christian sects made exactly this claim. It was part of their dogma. The orthodox (aka 'the winners') declared them heretics and they no longer exist.

    4. "Much of the oppression Christians will face in the next several decades in the West will come from homosexual activists, who will try to outlaw speech critical of the gay agenda."

      No need for the future tense. It's here.


    5. Joey;

      I agree. And it's going to get much worse, I think.

    6. Michael,

      Do you mean to say that homosexuals are fairly treated by the Catholic Church? Some homosexuals want to be part of the church community, and it's my impression that they're not made comfortable within the church.

      In the same way that there were several groups of homosexual Republicans who openly attended the Republican convention in Florida last year and were also made to feel not wanted.

      I agree that a homosexual 'Genesis' is bad taste, but I think it can't be blasphemous, because it's fiction.

    7. JQ: Your formulation of how religious and nonreligious people see church vs. state debates is spot on.

      Non-religious people seem to ask why we can't accept that public schools are for everyone, and therefor shouldn't be used by one religion to proselytize. That's a straw man if I've ever heard one. Our public schools are not neutral and they are not for "everyone."

      Every time we complain about the hostility of public schools to people of faith we're told that we have a choice: we can enroll our kids in a religious school. As if that's an option for most parents! Here's what I say to clueless people who say that we have a choice: if sending kids to private schools were a choice for most people, there wouldn't be anybody left in the public schools. They'd all be empty.

      What they really mean is that they intend to mock and ostracize students of faith, and if they don't like it their parents have to shell out money to find them a suitable environment in which they can learn. Why should anyone have to pay extra money just to avoid a hostile environment? This is insane!

      --Francisca S.

    8. Bachfiend:

      I don't think that the story of creation in Genesis is literally true, though I don't understand where you're going with this.

      Here are my points. There are two.

      1. No public school in America would normally be allowed to do a play based on the book of Genesis. There are issues of church and state here. But somehow Genesis is okay because the characters are homosexuals? Whether you think it's bad taste or not is irrelevant. Why is it being allowed?

      2. No public school in America would allow a similar play in which the holy book of Muslims were adapted with homosexual themes. A play about "gay" characters from Genesis is fine, but not a play about gay characters from the Koran. Why is being allowed?


    9. @bach:

      [Do you mean to say that homosexuals are fairly treated by the Catholic Church?]

      They are treated with love and deep respect. They are sinners, as we all are, and the Church is here to heal all of us.

      [Some homosexuals want to be part of the church community, and it's my impression that they're not made comfortable within the church.]

      "Comfort within the Church" means repentance and turning away from sin. If you want to arrogantly persist in sin, you will be uncomfortable as a member of Christ's Body.

      If you want comfort, turn away from sin and toward the Lord.

      [In the same way that there were several groups of homosexual Republicans who openly attended the Republican convention in Florida last year and were also made to feel not wanted]

      There are many gay Republicans. I have friends who are gay Republicans. The Republican Party generally opposes the leftist gay agenda, but welcomes people of all orientations who ascribe to tenets of the Republican Platform.

  3. We have a word for people like Richard Dawkins where I come from. It's called chickenshit.

    The Torch

    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 8, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Pithy. I like it. You da man, Torch.

  4. Prof Dawkins?
    The JK Rowling of science literature.
    1 cup of New age based, poorly researched, inane metaphysical and broadly philosophical arguments mixed with mouldy cherry picked and interpreted data, with a dash of shoddy 19th century blue cheese to add the aroma.
    Dawkins is a recipe for an almost pure form pseudo academic cods-wallop.
    A coward as well?
    No surprise there.

    1. fake machos make me pukeMarch 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      It's the macho Canadian soldier again. Why should we take your opinion about science seriously? How do we know you are not a coward? Do you have a silver star or equivalent?

  5. Yeah, a real tough guy.

    Remember, this is the same guy who called atheists to "ridicule and show contempt" for faith. He used, as an example, Catholics and our belief in the transubstantiation of bread and wine. Yes, mock them (us) for this belief.

    "I don't despise religious people. I despise what they stand for..."

    Yes, well "what we stand for" is kind of what defines us. Belief is what unites people of the same religion. Nothing else does, actually. So why doesn't he just admit that he hates us? Cop out.

    Now, when it comes to Islam, he just says that he doesn't know enough about the God of the Qur'an to speak on the subject. He doesn't? Doesn't he know enough that it's a "delusion?" How much does he need to know before he can pronounce on the subject? My guess is that he needs to know enough about a particular religion to know that his physical safety won't be jeopardized if he ridicules and shows contempt for them. He knows as much about Christians. He's the Grand Wizard of anti-Christian bigotry and yet he knows that he will never be murdered for it.


  6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Yeah, he did. In 2010, I believe.

    There are a lot of Islamists in the UK.

    And now he's dancin' to a different tune. It's called "I don't know nothin' 'bout that".

    But I wouldn't call him a coward. Chickenshit seems to fit better. Da Torch nailed it.

  7. the admiral is lowe than a chickenshitMarch 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I guess that makes you even less than chickenshit.