Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lucia Ten thousand atheists get together to listen to Richard Dawkins tell them to mock and ridicule Catholics

His interviewer seems somewhat perturbed by this.

In insisting that he does not insult people who believe in God, only their beliefs, Dawkins tries for a distinction I find problematic.

On his blog last year, Dawkins called a person named Minor Vidal a "fool" for his expression of thanks to God after surviving a deadly plane crash. (To be fair, Dawkins called "billions" of other people fools, too, in the same post.)

Dawkins told me that if he insulted any person, he regrets it. But this example shows how hard it is, in practice rather than theory, to aim harsh language only at a person's belief, and not at the person.

Another example comes from Saturday's rally. There, Dawkins noted his incredulity when meeting people who believe a Communion wafer turns into the body of Christ during the Eucharist. He then urged his followers to "mock" and "ridicule" that. (He says this 13 minutes into the video, though it's best to watch the whole thing.) His exact words after describing the Catholic ritual, were "Mock them. Ridicule them." So by "them" did he intend to refer to Catholic beliefs, not Catholic people? In context, it doesn't seem so to me.

It's obvious to me. Ridicule of this nature is straight from the pits of Hell which will use any means at it's disposal. Dawkins also lies, he pretends that he is a good guy who doesn't insult people and then does so. No big deal, most people won't pick up on that, and the few that do he doesn't care about. It's the masses he wants to reach.

As for us Catholics (and Orthodox) who believe that Jesus is truly present the Eucharist - his ridicule just makes us stronger. Bring it on!

Related link: Interview: Richard Dawkins Celebrates Reason, Ridicules Faith ~ NPR

42 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

Richard Dawkins is busy telling people that if you leave a worm long enough it turns into Richard Dawkins.

We can observe Richard Dawkins and see that the theory is indeed quite plausible.

However, we have to learn quite a bit before we can also use "science" to suggest a theory to support the proposition that Richard is basically an evolved worm.

What Richard fails to comprehend is that with a bit more learning, he might find the idea of God is not as far fetched as his wormness.

JJ said...

Dawkins just can't stand it that there is competition to his own religion, evolution. This guy believes humans evolved from primordial slime, I think thats absurd.

leftrightout said...

ZenTiger said...
Richard Dawkins is busy telling people that if you leave a worm long enough it turns into Richard Dawkins.


Perhaps you could provide a citation for that?

What Richard fails to comprehend is that with a bit more learning, he might find the idea of God is not as far fetched as his wormness.

Oh do tell, please do tell. What "learning" is there to prove a myth is actaully just a fairytale is actually a parabe is "the truth"?

You have faith, ie, believing a propostion regardless of the evidence. Dawkins has sciecne, ie seeing where the evidence leads.

leftrightout said...

JJ said...
Dawkins just can't stand it that there is competition to his own religion, evolution. This guy believes humans evolved from primordial slime, I think thats absurd.


Evolution is not "a religion".

dawkins does not "believe" anything in the way you believe nonsense.

Perhaps you could do a post analysing all the ways dawkins is wrong about the science.

leftrightout said...

As for us Catholics (and Orthodox) who believe that Jesus is truly present the Eucharist...



I believe P Z Myers laid this one to rest some time ago. He obtained a wafer that had had the incantaion said over it and compared it to anther wafer that had not heard the magic words. Identical. No magic jesus in either.

Sometimes a belief is so ridiculous that ridicule is the only appropriate response.

But that does not mean ridicule of the person holding the ridiculous belief.

Lucia Maria said...

LRO,

Belief in the Eucharist cannot be proved by holding up consecrated vs an unconsecrated host. They both look the same. That's the whole idea of Transubstantiation - it still looks and tastes like bread, but it's a whole lot more than that.

For a Being that created the entire universe, transforming bread into part of Himself would be dead easy, don't you think?

100wordblog said...

I don't see the point in mocking the Catholic Church. Much better to just point to the many incidents of it not being able to tell right from wrong.

Another typical example today. http://news.yahoo.com/forced-adoptions-for-unwed-mothers-around-the-globe.html

William Stout said...

Atheism is just another shade of cowardice. If it were not, then where are the exhortations against Muhammad and Allah? Are not Muslims fools as well for their beliefs? Is not Al Islam more dangerous than Christianity? Does it not force conversions into their faith by the sword which is far more odious than the Christian method of evangelism? Then there is how Islam treats women as chattel. Does not the atheist revere feminism?

But the trouble is that Islam will hunt you down and kill you for criticizing or mocking it. Christianity hasn't done that in centuries. Remember Salmon Rushdie and his Satanic Verses? Remember how he had a fatwa placed him and how he had to go underground? Recall Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch politician who spoke out against Islam and was forced out of Parliament and expelled from the nation with Islamist assassins gunning for her? Or Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh who begged for his life as he was stabbed to death by an enraged Muslim because he was critical of Islam? Islam kills people nearly every day for speaking against it.

But I have never heard an atheist speaking out against Islam. What I do hear is the endless tirade against Christendom. When the left targeted places of worship for their wrath after gay marriage was shot down in California, not a single Mosque was targeted despite being vehemently opposed to gay marriage and actively working against it.

The atheist is so proud of his peculiar dysfunction that he actively works to destroy what he perceives to be the false belief in Deity. Yet, when he finds himself staring into the face of death in a foxhole, he turns to that he ridicules out of dread and fear. This fear is why he needs to attach himself to others. Rather than to walk alone by the cemetery at night, he gathers his friends to walk with him while he mocks those who do possess the courage to do so.

Cowards, all of them.

James Stephenson said...

Sheesh William, that's a long self-contradictory and fact-free diatribe.

Had it escaped your notice that Salman Rushdie is, in fact, and Atheist? Kind of destroys your "Atheists never criticise Islam" argument doesn't it, let alone the fact you missed the famous argument Dawkins had with a Jewish convert to Islam and Pat Condell's entire Youtube channel.

It just so happens that the most contentious Reason v god-bothering nutbar battle lines happen to be drawn in the US with such nonsense as the "Intelligent Design" crowd meddling in science education.

You may wish to educate yourself on the reality around Atheists in foxholes - looking up Justin Griffith, American Atheists Military spokesman, would be a good start.

100wordblog said...

William says he has never heard an atheist speak out against Islam. Perhaps he should listen to what Dawkins, Hitchens, Myers and all the others say about Islam. But I suppose listening might not reinforce his uninformed prejudices.

leftrightout said...

Well said, james, but I feel like we are casting our pearls before swine at times.

Perhaps william could also google Jessica Alquist, and see the love and compassion showered on her by xtians threatening to rape and kill her, her local representative calling her "an evil little thing" and no florist within 50 miles of her home prepared to deliver flowers. Why? Because she insisted her school adide by the rule of law, that it abide by the constitution.

How about Maryam Namazie? One of the bravest women I know, an apostate from and opponent of Islam.

Of course, if we criticse the xtian variant of the god myth more than any other, that is not out of feaer about the other, rather it is the xtian that poses the bigger threat to our secular society.

leftrightout said...

LRO,

Belief in the Eucharist cannot be proved by holding up consecrated vs an unconsecrated host. They both look the same. That's the whole idea of Transubstantiation - it still looks and tastes like bread, but it's a whole lot more than that.


No argument from me on that score, as belief ignores truth. But the truth is, no matter how many spells and incantations are cast, the wafer is a wafer is a wafer, nothing more.

For a Being that created the entire universe, transforming bread into part of Himself would be dead easy, don't you think?

Magic? is that all you've got?

Anyway, why did your god bother to create "the entire universe" when all he needed was the "garden of eden"?

I.M Fletcher said...

There have been many Eucharistic Miracles down through the ages in which the host has changed into real flesh, and has been tested as being flesh, or in which the host has bled.

http://www.acfp2000.com/Miracles/eucharistic.html

In the end though, it comes down to faith of course.

leftrightout said...

Fletch, you're kidding, of course. No independent verifications have ever been done of these so called "miracles".

In the end though, it comes down to faith of course.

Ah, I see you were kidding, because what is faith but a belief either in the absence of evidence or in contradiction of evidence. Where there is evidence, there is no need of faith.

Why do you paint you god so puny that he cannot have a conversation with me,but he thinks a few conjouring tricks will amke me believe?

And I thought he wanted a "personal relationship" with me.

100wordblog said...

There have been miracles attributed to every religion nine of which possess any solid evidence of supernatural intervention. Perhaps Fletch could identify the evidential differences between his miracles and all the others?

Back to the eucharist, I had always thought it was symbolic. I was flabbergasted to find out the belief was literal and was left even more aghast at the mental gymnastics applied to try and justify this belief.

Lucia Maria said...

100wordblog,

Yes, the belief is literal.

Without it (the Eucharist) we would not have the strength to do what we do despite so much opposition from the world - today and all the days stretching back 2000 years ago. When I've gone through periods not receiving it, I notice a hardness creeps in to me. It really does feel like a hardness of heart, and it's surprised me every time that this has happened.

You might like to read Sine Dominico non Possumus, the link to which is at the top of the blog.

Christians have died rather than renounce this belief.

LRO,

Yes, of course God wants a personal relationship with you, but you have to want it too.

100wordblog said...

LM: There have been martyrs for every religion and beliefs of all sorts. I don't see how dying for a belief proves anything other than that the dead person believed. I don't doubt without your weekly fix of ceremony you feel different, I've friends who get twitchy if they don't go mountain biking enough. Without doubt we could find non-Catholics who'd claim similar things about their ceremonies. I'm sure you'll agree that the similar experiences of Hindus and Buddhists don't validate beliefs in Vishnu or Buddha.

As for that post you've referred me to, I not sure what it says other than that the bible says things.

You also forgot to mention to LRO that you believe your God will torture him for eternity if he doesn't become a Catholic (which seems a rather hardhearted approach to dealing with non-believers - I'd just give them proof to resolve the issue.)

Lucia Maria said...

100,

True, feelings do not prove anything, nor does the willingness to die for your beliefs. Death is easy. You do narrow the number of martyrs down, though, when you eliminate those who were tortured and given the chance to live if they renounced, and yet chose not to.

Anyway, I didn't put the link into my comment to prove anything, more to show just how far we will take this particular belief. It's not just a symbol.

Furthermore, my "weekly fix of ceremony" occurs regards of whether or not I receive the Eucharist - I have to go if I am able - but I don't have to receive the Eucharist.

As for being tortured for all of eternity, that is a personal choice that each person makes. Because God is the source of all goodness, and because that person rejects God, he also rejects goodness, therefore eternity is spent far from God. Because we were made for eternity with God, spending eternity without God is unnatural and this is tortuous for us. What makes it far, far, far worse is the guilt of all the sins our our life that we refuse to let God remove from our souls. That's what tortures us - not God. That is what Hell is, an eternity in one's own, unforgiven company as far away from God as possible. God doesn't choose that for us - we do.

Psycho Milt said...

You do narrow the number of martyrs down, though, when you eliminate those who were tortured and given the chance to live if they renounced, and yet chose not to.

True, but given that an unknown but undoubtedly significant proportion of such martyrs were martyred by other Christians, it's a dubious measure.

ZenTiger said...

I thought my opening comment on this post was fairly much on the mark, and humourous to boot.

LRO is a little stuck:

Perhaps you could provide a citation for that?

Perhaps LRO, you could instead show me where Richard Dawkins said the jump right after single celled organism was "monkey, then man".

I thought the essense of his theory relies on billions of tiny progressive and selctively advantageous changes. But if you think Richard is a closet creationist, cite away.

ZenTiger said...

LRO said:

Oh do tell, please do tell. What "learning" is there to prove a myth is actaully just a fairytale is actually a parabe is "the truth"?

A brief comment is unlikely to cover off your question, so let's try it a different way.

Entertain the thought that you are dismissing the idea of x-rays because you are sitting several hundred years in the past without the possession of an x-ray detector. Note that the possession of an x-ray detector doesn't create x-rays though - they exist wether or not you can detect them.

The other problem with your approach suggests that people who trust science is the only path to answers have to remember that science can come up with the wrong answers on the path to trying to find any sort of answer. Some humility would be an important attribute for such people. Dawkins is promoting the opposite with his hateful approach.

ZenTiger said...

--"I don't see the point in mocking the Catholic Church. Much better to just point to the many incidents of it not being able to tell right from wrong."--

Most of the examples presented by people who make these arguments have the same logic as "I don't see the point in mocking state run orphanges and mental institutions, when I can point to cases of extreme abuse carried out by their staff.

A couple of cases of corruption in democracy, and time to revert to dictatorship no doubt.

Kill off the scout movement because some pedophiles infected the association, and so on.

It is sad to see cases of abuse or corruption by staff of any institution, but that does not negate the value of the institution as a whole. It was the Catholic Church who established orphanges back in the 1st century, and those institutions have been run by many where their motivation of love and faith have been proven in their works.

ZenTiger said...

--True, but given that an unknown but undoubtedly significant proportion of such martyrs were martyred by other Christians, it's a dubious measure.--

You are off message PM. Middle aged white males were the culprits.

David Winter said...

I thought the essense of his theory relies on billions of tiny progressive and selctively advantageous changes.

No, neither of your statements really bear much relation to evolutionary biology.

The difference, of course, I could explain what Richard Dawkins actually says, and provide the evidence for it using facts that are acessable to anyone.

As the religious commenters above have said - you can't do the same for regligous claims, for those you need faith.

ZenTiger said...

Great example David, of where a gross generalisation is countered by your insistence that evolutionary biology is a totally different proposition, if only I care to learn about it.

I could say the same of most of the run of the mill anti-Christian atheist rants in discussing Philosophy and Theology. Dawkins himself proves such ignorance in his writings.

Your final line takes the position that science trumps faith because of what science is...misses the point.

You appear to have an undelying belief that science therefore trumps philosophy and theology because of what science is. The key thing to know about science though, is that it isn't the answer to everything.

As for trying to convince me that evolutionary biology doesn't suggest that Dawkins didn't evolve from a worm or some similar simplistic common ancestor, I checked the wiki and I can see how maybe he comes from the lizard side, rather than theb worm side, but ultimately, single common ancestor?

Where did Dawkins first arise?

leftrightout said...

Lucia Maria said...
100,

True, feelings do not prove anything, nor does the willingness to die for your beliefs. Death is easy.


Sort of negates that whole "sacrifice of Jesus" stuff, then doesn't it?

Of course, for Jesus, death was easy. I am sure it is far easier to face up to death, knowing that it's only for a few hours, then you get a free ride to heaven, a comfy seat on the lounge at Big daddy's right hand, 72 virgins and non-stop Sky than it is to face death knowing you are about to lose the only life you'll ever have.

leftrightout said...

ZenTiger said...
Entertain the thought that you are dismissing the idea of x-rays because you are sitting several hundred years in the past without the possession of an x-ray detector. Note that the possession of an x-ray detector doesn't create x-rays though - they exist wether or not you can detect them.


It would be quite a fair assumption to dismiss X-Rays PRIOR to mheir discovery, but I am unaware of anyone who now dismisses the existence of X-Rays.

But this is what the religious do all the time They dismiss out of hand any science that contradicts their "faith", that is their clinging to wish thinking, running away from reality.

Now, if you come up with a god detector, I may recosnsider my positiion, but so far, god's continaual absence is far more proof for his non-existence than his supposed existence.

Lucia says that God does want a personal relationship with me, and yet the personal bit is missing. A relationship with god is just like the relationship some men have with "Russian Brides" on the interweb.

leftrightout said...

ZenTiger said...
Entertain the thought that you are dismissing the idea of x-rays because you are sitting several hundred years in the past without the possession of an x-ray detector. Note that the possession of an x-ray detector doesn't create x-rays though - they exist wether or not you can detect them.


It would be quite a fair assumption to dismiss X-Rays PRIOR to mheir discovery, but I am unaware of anyone who now dismisses the existence of X-Rays.

But this is what the religious do all the time They dismiss out of hand any science that contradicts their "faith", that is their clinging to wish thinking, running away from reality.

Now, if you come up with a god detector, I may recosnsider my positiion, but so far, god's continaual absence is far more proof for his non-existence than his supposed existence.

Lucia says that God does want a personal relationship with me, and yet the personal bit is missing. A relationship with god is just like the relationship some men have with "Russian Brides" on the interweb.

ZenTiger said...

--It would be quite a fair assumption to dismiss X-Rays PRIOR to mheir discovery,--

God has been discovered, you are dismissing it because you can't use a God Detector as built by science at this point in time. Science has failed you, but you have so much faith in science you would rather say it's fair and reasonable not to believe (in X-Rays, or God) if science doesn't have the answer at that time.

But this is what the religious do all the time They dismiss out of hand any science that contradicts their "faith"

Not all swans are white LRO. Surely, this was taught in science 101?

I am religious, and I find not conflict between science and God. As have many scientists that were also religious.

David Winter said...

You don't need to know any evolutionary biology to know

"if you leave a worm long enough it turns into Richard Dawkins"

and

"richard dawkins descends from a worm"

are very different statements.


I don't think science "trumps" philosophy and I don' think theology is worth a jot (since I'm an atheists). But I think when someone says "Jesus is in this wafer" the first thing a reaonsable person would ask is "how do you know" and that if the answer is "well, first you have faith..." then I don't see why anyone should "respect" that view.

leftrightout said...

ZT -
I am religious, and I find not conflict between science and God. As have many scientists that were also religious.

Well, going back more that a few hundred years ago, to be religious was the default position, but that does nothing to prove either the value of religion to science, or that gods exist. It is simply a cultural explanation of the times.

Step forward to today, and according to Sam Harris, if all the atheists were to leave the USA it would lose 93% of the National Academy of the Sciences and 1% of the prison population.

Pretty good argument to stick with science and dismiss religion, eh?

leftrightout said...

ZT -

God has been discovered,

No, millions of gods have been invented by Man. What proof do you offer that your particular god is any more real than all the others? Why should I believe in Jehovah but not Allah or Shiva or Mars or Neptune or Zorosta or any of the "Nine Billion Names of God"?

Faith? TOSH!

If your god was real, he would show himself, not hide in a burning bush or a tortilla!

ZenTiger said...

@David - please read my very first comment again. You are worried about the theory of evolution, when you should be more worried about your sense of humour.

As for transubstantiation (from the wiki): Consider the classic example of the human body. All of the separate chemical compounds, minerals and water—which when piled together constitute the sum total of the actual physical matter of the human body—are not of themselves a human body, however much they may be physically compounded and mixed and rearranged in the laboratory, since they are still only a pile of organic chemicals, minerals and water in a particular complex configuration. If this has never been alive it is not a human body. If they are participant in the integral physical expression of a living human being who has absorbed and metabolized them, or if they are now the physical remains of a once-living human being, the substance of what they actually are is human, hence, a human body. The substantial reality of what is before us is human. The substance (substantial reality) of what is seen is not solely that of a complex organization of organic chemical compounds, but is (or has been) someone. The chemical elements of the food a person eats become in a few hours part of that person's human body and are no longer food but have been turned into the human flesh and blood and bone of that person, yet the physical chemical elements of what was once food remain the same (calcium, copper, salt, protein, sugars, fats, water, etc.). The substance of any matter that has become an integral part of any human being has ceased to be the substance or reality of food and has become incorporated as an integral part of the physical manifestation or expression of that human person. To touch that matter now is not to touch a batch of chemical compounds or food but to touch that person.

ZenTiger said...

LRO, you and Sam Harris need to study a little more and examine words like causation, correlation, and "lies, lies, lies and damn statistics."

No, millions of gods have been invented by Man.

And just because there are a lot of fiction books in a library, does not mean all non-fiction books are therefore fiction.

If your god was real,....he wouldn't think and act like LRO. Therefore, LRO telling me what God would or should do may be interesting, but is ultimately irrelevant.

ZenTiger said...

I don' think theology is worth a jot (since I'm an atheists)

Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion. You might not think the target is worth a jot, but I would have thought systematic and rational study on topics is at least a good start. You say you don't think science trumps philosophy. What I'm seeing in many conversations (not necessarily yours) is the proposition that all questions are only answerable if it can be answered by science. Maybe the AGW debate will spur on sciences own "reformation". A new age of Mann perhaps?

Psycho Milt said...

Atheism is just another shade of cowardice. If it were not, then where are the exhortations against Muhammad and Allah? Are not Muslims fools as well for their beliefs?

I doubt very many Muslims read this blog. But for what it's worth, the idea that God thought one of the five most important things to tell the people of Earth was that it's vital they keep Mecca's tourist trade in business, or that He/She cares one way or the other whether you eat bacon or not, makes Christianity look like hard-core rationalism. On the other hand, Islam has no end of miracles and martyrs, so what fools we all are to disbelieve...

ZenTiger said...

Indeed, two different questions - does God exist, and how accurate is man's interpretation of God?

Even prophets like Mohammed may have got his wires crossed. Of course, one distinctive claim of Chritianity is that Jesus is a most authoritative source.

Aside from that, the existence of God can be considered a seperate question from other parts of religion in a general sense. LRO seems to think if he disproves one religious statement, he therefore disproves God, and that is not the case.

leftrightout said...

LRO seems to think if he disproves one religious statement, he therefore disproves God, and that is not the case.

No, that is not the case.

The disproof for gods is all around us, in his/her/it.their continuing absence. We do not have a single proof of any god's existence, simply Man's suppositions about that existence.

Disproving religious statements is as easy as disproving god. Look for the truth.

ZT, can you provide any proof of any god's existence that is not reliant on faith?

Even your very own Bible disporoves your god's divinity. he is, as Richard Dawkins said, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

100wordblog said...

Of course, one distinctive claim of Chritianity is that Jesus is a most authoritative source.

Of course, the only God is Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX-Aldx-LM0

While ZT is correct that the existence question can be considered separately from other parts of religion, what's the point. If there's no God the question's less relevant than Kirk vs. Picard.

Of course as LM and ZT do not appear to have any arguments to support their position on existence other than repeating dogma, unsubstantiated 'miracles' and describing how they feel personally. Oh yes, and the assertion that there are no institutional issues in the Catholic church because, like Enron and North Korea, it's just a few bad apples here and there.

JJ said...

Theory of evolution will be abandoned eventually. Science itself will disprove it. Thats nothing more than my opinion of course. As regards the eucharist we regard it as a mystery. We don't know how it becomes Christ but we know it does because HE said it would. In the end for me at least I would rather be wrong with Christ than right with a fool like Dawkins.

ZenTiger said...

100wordblog, I have no intention of transfering the entire blog into this one comment thread, you'll have to try clicking on the various links we provide.

This post was about the worminess of Richard Dawkins, and LRO continues to find quotes from Dawkins that highlight this worminess (sorry David, we'll have to resort to DNA to settle this).

Richard Dawkins is again showing his ignorance in reducing the OT down to this interpretation. Again, his opinion, whilst it might be amusing at some level, is irrelevant. He needs to stick to explaining how worms grow eyes, a pancreas and an appendix. It's a worthwhile endeavour as it may lead to increase our understanding of the amazing works of God.

Lucia Maria said...

Mr 100,

Of course there are "institutional issues"; any institution the age and size of the Catholic Church is in constant need of reform. However, lying and stealing have never been sanctioned by the Church, even if various institutions engaged in it with regards to unmarried mothers and their babies. Too many times Catholics have forgotten the core tenants of the Faith and acted in reprehensible ways, normally in the way that the society itself acts. Rather than holding society up to a higher standard, we've sunk down to your level. Just like we are not going to react with complete patience and charity to every single comment here, even though ideally we should.

So, I'm not going to defend the actions of various Catholic and Catholic agencies in the first link you gave on this thread. However, it looks to me as if the Church is being scape-goated in the article, when the way the babies of unmarried mothers were adopted out despite how the women and girls themselves were feeling was a society-wide policy supported by the various Governments of the countries involved.

As for proof, God has proved Himself totally to me, but the proofs he has given me will not necessarily work for you, possibly because you most likely have different moral sticking points that I had when I reverted back to the Faith five years ago or for some other reason. I don't know.

Fletch did link to Eucharistic miracles, some of which have been scientifically verified, however, to someone who doesn't believe in God, that proof is basically meaningless.

As ZenTiger has said, it's pretty difficult to put a whole blog into a series of comments. Maybe you'll find these posts interesting:

Pope says science can unite humans with God
The Existence of God - at least listen to the first one.

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