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Should Richard Dawkins be arrested for incitement to religious hatred? - Comments

Mitch Kahle's Avatar Comment 2 by Mitch Kahle

Is this another piece from the Onion?

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 03:50:00 UTC | #437320

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 1 by Bernard Hurley

With apologies to Job, is there a man on earth more obsessed with establishing beyond doubt the non-existence of that which does not exist than Professor Richard Dawkins?


This is absurd. I'm sure Richard knows that provided belief in something is logically consistent (I.e. doesn't lead to a contradiction in the predicate calculus), then you can't PROOVE its non-existence. I don't think he would waste his time trying.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 03:50:00 UTC | #437319

Opisthokont's Avatar Comment 3 by Opisthokont

Wow: that is impressively vile. It also continues the unfortunate trend of criticising Dawkins without actually having read him. Yuck.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 03:53:00 UTC | #437322

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 4 by Bernard Hurley

Bin Laden may spout evil nonsense, but he is a mere amateur at that game. Just read your own Qur’an. Bin Laden is true to it. But you?


Actually, that's quite a reasonable point!

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 03:55:00 UTC | #437325

retep57's Avatar Comment 5 by retep57

Should Richard Dawkins be arrested for incitement to religious hatred?

What a stupid question! 1st it commits the error of the complex question. IE it implies ( nb implies contains LIES ) that RD does incite religious hatred and then 2nd part asks the question should he be arrested? - terms should be specified.

Correct answer of course is MORE than NO!


RD "incites" people to think. or better put:
Should RD be praised for inviting people to think, to learn, to despise lies, to hate hatred, to not tolerate intolerance.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:01:00 UTC | #437329

bethe123's Avatar Comment 6 by bethe123

Retep57 is correct.

However, equally important is to question the correctness of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006, which I believe the Archbishop is referring to.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:09:00 UTC | #437331

RobiFerentz's Avatar Comment 7 by RobiFerentz

I don't get the point about Dawkins "having a sub-GCSE understanding of Theology".

Why would anyone need to understand Theology beyond knowing it's based on something that is completely illogical and irrational to dismiss it?

Do I need a complete understanding of ghosts, vampires, werewolves and fairies to dismiss them as non-existent? All I need is the overwhelming lack of evidence!

I don't need to "believe" in science. Science provides us with evidence and rigorous proof and most importantly, a mechanism for self-correction. What more do I need?

On a side note:

Poor little Christianity, being attacked by Dawkins the Big Meanie! How sad and unfair!

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:14:00 UTC | #437334

He-man Daunted World's Avatar Comment 8 by He-man Daunted World

Just like James Randi, Dawkins is (in the best possible way) "obsessed with reality".

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:19:00 UTC | #437335

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 9 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Yes, Richard should be arrested for stating his opinion. ::rolls eyes::

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:33:00 UTC | #437338

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 10 by Alternative Carpark

The good professor is not religious, so how could he be arrested for "religious hatred"?

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:52:00 UTC | #437343

Cents's Avatar Comment 11 by Cents

My guess is they just can't take the heat. My view is we need to turn it up a notch.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:54:00 UTC | #437344

Mitch Kahle's Avatar Comment 12 by Mitch Kahle

I recently watched the "Root of all Evil?" DVD (again) where in Richard confronts an Imam and criticizes Islam right to his face (all while visiting the lions' den in the Middle East). Richard's work, while focusing mainly on Christianity, is chock full of criticism for Islam.

Cranmer doesn't know jack about Dawkins' work, or he'd know better than to make such baseless accusations. What an ass!

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:54:00 UTC | #437345

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 15 by Steven Mading

Here's a verbatim copy of the comment I posted to that blog:


If you're a Christian who is a better human being than Pat Robertson, then good for you. But if you pretend that your good morals are biblical when you know perfectly well how you had to throw out vast parts of the bible to get that way, then shame on you for lying. There's nothing wrong with throwing away large parts of the bible and only cherry picking a few bits out you like to follow, but there is something very wrong with giving credit to the bible for a philosophy that requires rejecting large portions of it. So tell me, have you killed people who come to your town and are of a different religion? My guess would be no. But this is exactly the sort of vile behavior the Bible not only condones, but in fact actively commands.

The point of Dawkins' article was not that Christians are bad people, but that they lie about the source of their nice morality, and that lie causes harm when a doofus like Pat Robertson comes along and actually tries to follow the more vile teachings that exist within the writings of your religious book that you thankfully don't follow but unfortunately pretend to.

You can be an honest person.
You can call the Bible the "good book".
Too bad you can't do both.

The Bible has some small number of good teachings, wrapped up in a large package of bad ones. The good teachings don't make up the majority of the text, even by the most conservative person's concept of "good teachings", and yet they lie constantly about this and pretend it's crystal clear within the text which parts its telling you to follow and which parts it's telling you not to.

Well, it's NOT crystal clear, which is why people like Pat Robertson exist.

We're very glad modern Christians are nice people instead of the people they'd be if they attempted to actually follow all the contradictory commands within the bible. We just wish they were more honest about that fact. This is the point you have missed, and most commentators to this blog have missed.

Just like most muslims are good people, unlike the sort of people they'd be if they followed all the commands in the Qu'ran and Hadiths

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:01:00 UTC | #437348

Quine's Avatar Comment 13 by Quine

Oh yes, please arrest him! It would be an even better show than the Dover and Scopes trials put together.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:01:00 UTC | #437346

jamiso's Avatar Comment 14 by jamiso

Am I missing something...or why does this Cranmer guy keep talking about himself in the 3rd person?

'Cranmer was asked', 'what fate would befall Cranmer if...', 'Frankly Cranmer is agast'....
-Posted by Archbishop Cranmer.

Does he have some sort of weird mental disorder?

"If God is simply an imaginary being somewhere up there with Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, why does he get himself so worked up about it?"

Because people like you actually believe it is real....and that belief is having/has had a major impact on the world we live in....Dummy.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:01:00 UTC | #437347

jamiso's Avatar Comment 16 by jamiso

"But Professor Dawkins prefers the two-dimensional spirituality of Pat Robertson and his one-dimensional god because it is easier for him to shred."

Hay, sounds like a certain archbishop is inciting religious hatred against Pat Robertson....What gives him the right to make fun of Robertson for his beliefs...hmmmmmm? I mean, since his feelings are so hurt and all.

You know what is amazing...read the comments:
His people refer to him as 'Your Grace'. Seriously KooKoo.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:06:00 UTC | #437350

Tim Hendrix's Avatar Comment 17 by Tim Hendrix

Thank you Steven Mading, for re-stating the point of Richard's article again for those who have missed it, which seems to be everyone who has spoken out against it. The point, once again, is that Pat Robertson IS being a true Christian (as is, I would hypothesise, Fred Phelps!)

In the article the author says "What fate would befall Cranmer if he equated all Muslims with the ‘obnoxious’ Osama Bin Laden?". Osama Bin Laden IS a true Muslim - anyone else is cherry-picking.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:39:00 UTC | #437353

DanDare's Avatar Comment 18 by DanDare

Uh, I think they call him "your grace" because that is his title when roleplaying as Archbishop Cranmer?

Anyway, yes, a bullshit article chock with strawmen. I posted a comment. What would be cool is one of Cali's complete dissections on the site itself.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:45:00 UTC | #437355

superatheist's Avatar Comment 19 by superatheist

Just out of curiosity, and I hope nobody takes this question personally.
And I hate to sound rude, but can Cranmer be arrested for stupidity ?

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:47:00 UTC | #437356

Roy_H's Avatar Comment 20 by Roy_H

"Cranmer" reminds me of a rat caught in a trap, biting the wires of the cage in anger and frustration because there is no way out for him.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:57:00 UTC | #437359

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 21 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Well, there's a simple way to make this all look absurd.

Bertrand Russell said pretty much everything Dawkins has ever said about religion, and he said it 50 years ago, and many times over. And though he was castigated and spurned for his unbelief, this whole "fundamentalist atheist" meme wasn't around to use to deflect the brunt of the criticisms.

There may be some brusque, rude, emotionally agitated folk at this website, but that is the law of averages. Dawkins certainly isn't one of them, and the things Dawkins has said aren't "New Atheism", they're old-hat, it's just someone is finally getting noticed saying these things.

Perhaps people were simply much more afraid to challenge the author of the Principia Mathematica (or The Principles of Mathematics, or any of hundreds of articles of brilliant work in the foundations of mathematics and logic) than the author of the far more accessible (but nonetheless quite brilliant in its own right) Selfish Gene, or The Ancestor's Tale?

Typical. lol

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 06:11:00 UTC | #437361

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 22 by glenister_m

Reading the comments on the original article is an annoying read, especially from the few comments that aren't quoting scripture...

On the other hand, I thought his paraphrasing Richard to criticize the Koran was actually funny in that its effect is the reverse of what he hopes. He thinks it makes Richard look like a religious bigot when it actually presents a valid criticism of the Koran. Cranmer might end up getting some hate mail/threats...

Oh poor Christianity, being picked on all the time, and wishing someone would pick on big brother Islam instead. Some of us do.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 06:19:00 UTC | #437363

Philster61's Avatar Comment 23 by Philster61

Incitement to hatred of religion is a free choice.It equates with incitement to hatred of PC by Mac users for example.Or hatred of Levi jeans over Armani.
However to my knowledge not once has Richard ever incited violence.Nor incited intolerance which would lead to physical abuse or even in an extreme case, possible death. Unlike Islam which blatantly incites decapitation whenever somebody insults their lame prophet. Or of Christianity which incites mental abuse upon children. I think Bishop Cranmer needs to remove the plank etc.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 06:19:00 UTC | #437364

sbooder's Avatar Comment 24 by sbooder

The comment section after the article is, as far as I can see 100% pro the Archbishop. As usual with articles of this nature, censorship of critique is in play on the publishing website.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 06:32:00 UTC | #437369

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 25 by Jos Gibbons

The very fact that the question of whether to arrest someone is being treated as the topic of an op-ed piece rather than lawyers' or police officers' deliberations reveals this is likely just a character assassination. For now, I'm only responding to the part of the article I can read without going to his awful website. The fallacies in the opening reveal there's probably no point in continuing. It's just as well, considering anything I do write will never be read by those who really need to (see #456919).

is there a man on earth more obsessed with establishing beyond doubt the non-existence of that which does not exist than Professor Richard Dawkins?
Given that he explicitly stated on many occasions that his view is that God PROBABLY does not exist, he's not even a candidate for the award. "Doubt" is actually what he's promoting, something that the Archbishop will never tolerate with regards to his own religion. Incidentally, what's so weird about arguing that a nonexistent thing is nonexistent? Whether something exists or not isn't just important if it does; falsely believing it does can be bad, especially in the case of religion.
He displays a sub-GCSE level of comprehension of theology
This claim is made ad nauseum by Dawkins's critics, but they NEVER prove it, EVER, certainly not in this case. In fact it can be disproven very easily. We are talking about a man who has rebutted arguments by Aquinas, Swinburne, Pascal, Lewis etc. and has even used Bonhoeffer's arguments to bolster his case against rival views on theology.
What fate would befall Cranmer if he equated all Muslims with the ‘obnoxious’ Osama Bin Laden?
Christians act in a less evil way when insulted than do Muslims, therefore they mustn't be criticised. That's nonsense.
What persecution and injustice would he endure of [sic] he criticised the Qur’an ... Might he find himself in court, like Geert Wilders, accused of inciting hatred for daring to articulate a religious opinion?
He has done that, but this wasn't the time for it. The Washington Times wanted a spectrum of views on Pat Robertson's comments about Haiti. Similarly, when the media wants reactions to terrorist attacks, e.g. 9/11, RD rips Islam to shreds. But there is no equating Dawkins's approach to religion - saying it's irrationality with terrible consequences that receives undeserved privileges - with that of Geert Wilders. You know it. Stop lying, or you will deserve to be the one who is sued.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:37:00 UTC | #437377

Communist's Avatar Comment 26 by Communist

I am not a native speaker of English. Can someone please explain to me what this Cranmer character is trying to say? I think I detect attempts at sarcasm in there somewhere, but I am not sure. I suspect that Cranmer thinks that his/her views would end up looking too idiotic if she/he stated them openly and plainly.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:48:00 UTC | #437381

vijay_krishnan's Avatar Comment 27 by vijay_krishnan

I partly sympathize with people like Cranmer when they talk about the fact that few people have the balls to criticize Islam in the same way as they manage to criticize Christianity. I could relate to Bill Donohue as well when he had the following to say about the South Park creators.

"The ultimate hypocrite is not Comedy Central — that's their decision not to show the image of Muhammad or not — it's Parker and Stone," he said. "Like little whores, they'll sit there and grab the bucks. They'll sit there and they'll whine and they'll take their shot at Jesus. That's their stock in trade."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12303873/

To be fair I have seen Richard criticize the Islamic law of death for Apostasy etc at time. There is an excellent chance that he would be subject to very real death threats like Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ehsan Jami, Taslima Nasrin if he were to spend the same amount of time attacking Islam as he does attacking Christianity.

It is indeed very sad that we can't talk about the elephant in the room as openly and forcefully as we should, due to fear for our lives. At the very least we should throw as much resources as we can supporting the brave men and women who have dared to risk their lives just doing that.

And we should appreciate the fact that Christianity and many other religions for all their vices have one big virtue going for them; it is very unlikely that you'll be murdered for criticizing any of them.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:55:00 UTC | #437383

NiceMrSmith's Avatar Comment 28 by NiceMrSmith

Bring it on....arrest him. We'd probably win the case and strike a blow against the moronic "Don't make religious folk feel slightly angry" law or we'd lose but the hoohah would generate such a vast moral victory if there's even 10% of people in this country who could see how plain stupid this would be.

Of course maybe Richard doesn't feel like being arrested. He may have better things to do with his time than be a martyr. In which case I wish him luck in not being arrested.

Incidentally I don't think he will be arrested seeing as a careful five year old could work out that he actually hasn't said anything to incite hatred.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:13:00 UTC | #437388

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 29 by Stafford Gordon

Another whinge, or the Onion?

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:26:00 UTC | #437389

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 30 by robotaholic

It's the whole 'Dawkins in his lack of biblical education doesn't really understand that OUR Christianity is much more sophisticated and nuanced"-bla bla bla

He was raised as a Christian from birth. He takes the religion on it's own terms - and I mean the CORE beliefs- like the scapegoat Jesus sacrifice, original sin (of the fictitious Adam & Eve story) etc...

They're just upset because Dawkins struck them on the face with their own theology. He caught the moderates in some seriously embarrassing hypocrisy.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:33:00 UTC | #437393