Sample clip of my debate with an
atheist on the issue of morality.
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Richard Dawkins – “Outraged atheists lose faith in Dawkins as he censors website”
[FYI: this post was just moved over from its previous cyber home]
This may be occasion for presenting Richard Dawkins with the Can Dish it Out But Cannot Take it award.
Except that Phillip Pullman has already deserved it as shown here.
Indeed, following on Phillip Pullman’s steps, Richard Dawkins suddenly turned into the prim and proper English gentleman and reacts towards disparaging remarks made towards him with a Oh, my! attitude.
Richard Dawkins is accustomed to provoking the wrath of religious communities, but now a schism seems to have opened up within the atheist community who make up his fan-base.
The split occurred after he announced that a discussion section on his website, considered one of the busiest online atheist forums, would in future be tightly moderated and “irrelevant postings and frivolous gossip” would no longer be allowed.
This is utterly fascinating since if you read The God Delusion (that funny and amusing book) you will note that if you remove the personal anecdotes from it—the irrelevant asides and frivolous gossip—you are left with about enough material to fill a pamphlet (a pocket sized one; that little pocket above the big pocket on the right hand side of your jeans).
Writing on RichardDawkins.net yesterday, in a posting entitled “Outrage”, he said that there was “something rotten” in internet culture and pledged to rid his website of its abusive element.
“Imagine seeing your face described by an anonymous poster, as ‘a slack-jawed turd-in-the-mouth mug’,” he wrote. “Surely there has to be something wrong with people who can resort to such over-the-top language, overreacting so spectacularly to something so trivial.
“Even some of those with more temperate language are responding to the proposed changes in a way that is little short of hysterical.”
The cloak of anonymity under which many people contributed to discussions had led to a culture of extreme language that would not be possible if people wrote under their name.
Also, fascinating; Richard Dawkins has literally built the New Atheist movement upon vociferously pouring down abusive language based derision upon anyone who dares to disagree with him and now…the monster which he created, nurtured and let lose upon the word has come home to roost. Actually, it has come home to burn down the laboratory of its creator.
Dawkins promulgates the mere that I, a Jew, am to be likened to a Holocaust denier because I doubt that human beings are related to “bananas and turnips” and he takes offence at an admittedly uncalled for description of his visage. Please get over yourself professor.
Unwilling to be silenced, however, the members of the website and the 15 moderators, some of whom worked unpaid, vented their own outrage elsewhere.
“A lot of people have lost respect for Dawkins after this, although I do still support the work that he does,” said Peter Harrison, a former moderator.
“Thousands of loyal, intelligent, rational forum members have been misrepresented as a bunch of foul-mouthed, vitriolic thugs by the man who so inspired them.”
Another former fan said: “It may sound ridiculous to those not involved with online communities, but I feel hurt and displaced. It was like coming home to find the locks have been changed. My respect for Richard’s work is still intact but my respect for him as a person is in tatters.”
In short, Richard Dawkins is upset at experiencing the very same things that those of us who critique his views have been dealing with for decades. How do you like the taste of your own porridge professor?
Professor Dawkins now faces a confrontation with his adversaries at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne in two weeks.
No shortage of fascination for me with regards to this issue as Dawkins now faces a confrontation with his adversaries at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne even whilst he refused to face a confrontation with Creation Ministries International—he refused to debate them; he specifically selected to reject their debate challenge (see here).
He denied that the forum was closing but said that it was being improved. “The forum is going to be more tightly controlled and will be under more central control. So it won’t be available for anyone who wants to sound off freely,” he said.
He conceded that there was a good case for anonymity for some contributors and such contributions would still be allowed.
“I can see why people in America who lost their faith and do not want their families to know, or perhaps people of an Islamic background who have lost their faith or become Christian, have every reason to be anonymous,” he said.
The forum’s implosion has been jumped on by Christian groups as a sign that the Dawkins community is not as free-thinking as it is claimed.
He makes a good point about improvement and control; perhaps his next book, lecture, TV/radio appearance, article, etc. will be subject to the same improvement and control that will keep him from spewing forth his usual brand of malicious statements.
Now, I do not know about “slack-jawed…” and all of that but…is it just me or does his photo from The Times bare a striking resemblance to the video game that is being advertised right along side of it?—you be the judge.
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