Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Very, very good diary. Thankyou for taking the time to write it.

WHAT a surprise - considering that it supports your original diary - which I went to some lengths to criticise - on the basis of what DAWKINS actually says he's doing and supporting evidence for this. The result ? In comments you simply reiterated your opinions and when I pointed out that these ignored the evidence I'd presented (and, yet again, you fail to provide evidence for your own case) - you failed to respond.

Now we have another rerun of your general opinions and we just get blanket assertions that Dawkins fails to understand - just about everything - if ONLY he'd consulted you, the poor man could have been spared all these supposed areas of ignorance:

Yes, Dawkins doesn't understand mythology, and he doesn't understand social dynamics. He certainly doesn't understand politics and he completely fails to understand that the rise of the Religious Right in the US is an interesting piece of applied social engineering, and not, in any way, a religious phenomenon. The fact that it happens to use religious symbolism is a matter of political convenience and expediency.

Of course, not a shred of evidence for any of this - the value of  which is evident from the absurd and simplistic "the Religious Right in the US is an interesting piece of applied social engineering, and not, in any way, a religious phenomenon."

Well, that will be news to a lot of people, and not just Dawkins, Hitchens et al, also, here, it will be news to rdf and Millman, and to the many ex-religious people who've written or spoken to Dawkins to thank him for helping to free them from RELIGIOUS groups.

Of course religion and politics interact in complex ways and of course some politicians try to exploit such groups - but it works both ways. Part of the reason for the criticisms from Dawkins et al is that religious groups have become very active in politics. They are not active just about general political issues,  but also about issues specific to their religious beliefs - cf. the comment from rdf. Their advocacy for creationism in schools is very obviously motivated by their religious beliefs, not just general political ones, as with other policies they campaign for.

The dominant mythology of today isn't Christianity, it's Neo-liberal fundamentalism.

Dawkins et al are arguing against religion, not just Christianity, and they don't claim that it is THE most important thing, just an important and influential thing - cf rdf's comment again - which they want to write about - not what you think they ought to write about.

If he wants a target to rail against, he should attack the organ grinder, not the monkey. Because without funding and a supportive media climate, the Religious Right would fade away within a decade or two, especially if distracted with a few scandals - not hard to find, I'd guess - and some competing narratives.

The religious give very generously to their churches' campaigns, many of which are specifically based on religious beliefs. THEY are influencing politicians, it's not just one-way, and some of their campaigns cause really suffering and death.

Full-on assault just gives the fundies more PR coverage, which seems unhelpful - although I guess Dawkins' agent might not agree.

Over-simplification again: it doesn't JUST do that - as I've pointed out to you, repeatedly -  their books provide support and ammunition for wavering religious people, agnostics and closet atheists, as is evident from the sales of the books, feedback to Dawkins' site, feedback he and Hitchens got on their book tours in the US and the testimonies on sites such as

http://exchristian.net e.g.:

I grew up in a Christian Fundamentalist home, where the Bible was law and nobody questioned its authority.
I am now 33. For the first time I have found enough courage to REALLY question the things that I have held dear for so long. I found a website last night listing the similarities between Jesus and Horus. Scary. Everything matches. I found another site where a certain Rev Pete disproves the Bible by using the Bible. Even more scary. No argument I ever had for Christianity holds water any more. I am now convinced that God is not affiliated to any religion. He does not care where in the world you live. And He certainly does not want to throw us into a lake of fire!

I am not entirely sure where that leaves me, but I refuse to call myself a Christian anymore. I am still looking for answers, testing what I have been taught against true evidence. Till then, I remain pissed off.


Some of one and a half million people who have already bought Dawkins' book are people like this person "still looking for answers". Cf.:

It's been a long hard fought road, but worth every tear, frustration and sleepless nights. I have a few close friends who are supportive of what I believe and I cannot stress how important that is to anyone who has left the fold. It is also extremely important to keep reading material that questions Christianity and it's dogma. Education is a constant process since believers will use every trick in the book to bring one back to church.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 01:13:22 PM EST
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