Richard Dawkins has a unique gift. Although, as his popularity spreads and his adherents increases the gift becomes less unique and spreads like a rabid meme. His gift (or curse?) is his ability to make clearly fallacious assertions based not on facts but merely excitement, emotion and prejudice.
Let us begin by granting that various qualifications must be assumed for each mention of a Gnostic tenet. This is because of the variety of doctrine amongst the various Gnostic schools such as the Syrian or Semitic, Hellenistic or Alexandrian, dualistic and antinomian-and phases such as the Basilides, Valentinus, Marcion, Docetae and Demiurge.
In the second century Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lyones in 180 AD, wrote a work entitled Adversus Haereses - Against Heresies. Chapter XXXI:1-3 of this text is subtitled Doctrines of the Cainites and states:
I thought that it may be of interest to glean some information from various Barna Group studies with regards to the lives of atheists and their views on various issues. Following will be other interesting tidbits. Note that the following categorizations are my own while the hyperlinks to the Barna Group updates are the titles given to the updates by the Barna Group.
As a metaphor let us mention that Roman Catholicism is a particular culture that is centered around the temporal, human, leadership of the Pope. It is a Pope-Culture, if you will. Yet, there are competing cultures that claim equal status and authority, one such faith is Pop-Culture. Both, Pope-Culture and Pop-Culture claim infallibility when speaking out officially on matters of faith and morals (or lack thereof).
In my essay To Lie, or Not To Lie: That is the Question I pointed out that three atheists - Dan Barker, Matthew Davis and Reginald Finley - have, in lockstep, promulgated the same logical fallacy, one that originated with Dan Barker. In the writings of Sam Harris we find that he too offers support for another logical fallacy, one originating with Bertrand Russell. Sam Harris writes that Bertrand Russell:
We quote here from J. E. Esslemont's Baha’u’llah and the New Era, a book published by the Baha’i Publishing Committee and copyrighted by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the USA. Originally the manuscript of Baha’u’llah and the New Era was revised and approved by `Abdu’l-Baha and after his death, by Shoghi Effendi as well as by a committee of the National Baha’i Assembly of England.1