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All hail Dawkins, high priest of rationality - Comments

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 1 by Rob Schneider

How DARE he go against the central humanist tenet of "relaxed tolerance"???

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:21:02 UTC | #503905

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 2 by Rich Wiltshir

AA Gill's comments tie in so well with "Are We Phalluses?" that I recommend you view that post =, too.

In that context it's all the more interesting to see what Gill says here, and the way he decides to do it. I view the programme in a different light; Dawkins makes a few relevant observations, asks a few pertinent questions and allows the audience (this time, Gill) to express an opinion.

Good, stuff (on several levels, when you read both posts).

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:21:15 UTC | #503906

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 3 by RichardofYork

I never quite understood the concept of an A.A Gill, couldnt he stick to writing Winnie the Pooh stories? they were much nearer reality

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:31:01 UTC | #503915

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 4 by NewEnglandBob

Does AA GILL know about monkeys with typewriters due to being one? His opening statement killed any interest by me in reading his article.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:32:30 UTC | #503917

Quivered's Avatar Comment 5 by Quivered

Ugh - how many more times do we have to hear this tired old "atheists are just like fundamentalists" comparison? And why do so many of these TV critics write about the TV shows that Professor Dawkins does without having a clue about any of the rest of his work? I think they've seen the front cover of The God Delusion in a bookshop and thought to themselves "he's obviously very angry and strident".

Also, I'd be interested to know where the tenets of humanism are set down? Were they written on the back of the ten commandents? Was there a bit in the corner that chipped off saying "PTO" ? If only Moses had seen it he would've seen the biro scrbbles on the back of the tablet that said "FAO Humanists - Relaxed Tolerance. That is all. Over and out."

Has anyone ever been excommunicated by the humanist society for not being relaxed or tolerant? (Do you have to be both or will one do?)

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:40:51 UTC | #503922

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 6 by Neodarwinian

Seems to have a basic misunderstanding of natural selection, but the '' faith schools are a blight and biblical curse '' was interesting alliteration.

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:40:09 UTC | #503923

jaytee_555's Avatar Comment 7 by jaytee_555

Another condescending prat shoots his mouth off. Why must these second-rate commentators always have to criticise something or other about Dawkins which they never actually specify, yet praise his skills and rationality on the particular piece they are reviewing? Do they think it makes interesting copy? Or perhaps they think it will demonstrate their dicriminatory powers

At least this one admits that he can finally believe in Dawkins (even if he has arrived a bit late to the party).

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:42:43 UTC | #503925

ridelo's Avatar Comment 8 by ridelo

There was also the sorry sight of a Muslim headmaster muttering into his beard that evolution, as far as he knew, was simply a theory among theories and that all his pupils and their science teacher, through freedom of choice, had chosen to believe in the Garden of Eden instead.

But have you seen what a beautiful school that was? Is that the norm in the UK? It almost looked like the Garden of Eden with those splendid fountains.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:54:15 UTC | #503930

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 9 by Mr DArcy

From the article:

But last week the Oliver Cromwell of evolution took his rational fatwa to faith schools, and watching Faith School Menace? I had the odd, not altogether unpleasant experience of agreeing with everything he said. Finally, I could believe in Dawkins.

What are you guys bitching about? The author agreed with Richard, and so did I largely.

BTW, Winnie the Pooh was written by A.A. Milne.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:57:00 UTC | #503933

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 10 by cheesedoff17

If British Humanists are still in the relaxed tolerant mode after the events of the past decade then they need a doG damn shaking!

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:00:10 UTC | #503935

1Derek's Avatar Comment 11 by 1Derek

Surely the standard of journalism should be higher than this. Are there any editors / lecturers out there who would like to mark with comments, “A.A, Gill’s” article?

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:09:54 UTC | #503941

The Plc's Avatar Comment 12 by The Plc

The writer mistakes tolerance for tolerating the intolerable.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:11:47 UTC | #503946

bltkitsap's Avatar Comment 13 by bltkitsap

Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." Political beliefs depend most strongly on the political beliefs most common in the community where we live. Most individuals believe the religion they were taught in childhood. I personally think it becomes a Delusional belief into adulthood. Faith schools is pure brainwashing children, developing into a delusional state of mind.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:14:48 UTC | #503948

AndersO's Avatar Comment 14 by AndersO

So which imaginary Dawkins book did this idiot read before seeing Faith School Menace? That show didnt deviate at all from the kind of stuff Dawkins has written and said over and over. I'd really like to read this mysterious text that shows Dawkins thinking like an intolerant, evangelical fundamentalist atheist, because I've read most of his books, seen most of his shows and read alot of his articles and comments, and I just cant seem to find it anywhere.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:16:21 UTC | #503950

1Derek's Avatar Comment 15 by 1Derek

To, Comment 13 by bltkitsap

Consider the slow hardwiring of the mind from neonate onwards and its complexity, how easy would it be to untangle such an accumulation of neurological connections which arguably resemble pathology.

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:31:18 UTC | #503953

beanson's Avatar Comment 16 by beanson

Ah.. my comment was removed, are we not allowed to swear on RD net no more- sorry about that

Oh yeah... from wikipedia, gives a flavour of the man

In October 2009, Gill sparked controversy by reporting in his Sunday Times column that he shot a baboon dead. His column averred that he knew "perfectly well there [was] absolutely no excuse for [the shooting]", and that he killed the animal in order to "get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone".[10][11] He went on to state that "[t]hey die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out."

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:26:48 UTC | #503955

Logicel's Avatar Comment 17 by Logicel

"His atheist inquisition is an embarrassment to humanists. It’s the behaviour and tone of evangelical belief. When it comes to the spiritual, he denies the central tenet of humanism, which is a relaxed tolerance."

Back in the day, when many women felt that feminism was a bit over the top, one woman from the Midwest of America who encountered a raging sexist (apparently there were no sexists in the Midwest at the time!) in NYC, looked at me wide-eyed and said if this is the norm here, no wonder many women are strongly feminist!

Gill, in his habitually sloppy journalistic and loose cannon (thanks to Richard, who used that to describe Gill in a book of his which aptly wraps up what the essence of Gill is) way, can't connect the dots and not grasp why activist atheists are challenging the very concept of faith and its deference to it? Just like sexism was, faith is entrenched in our society and our institutions. As just as activist feminists were labeled strident, this loose cannon is doing the same to activist atheists. If spirituality was kept private, Gill, you would not be hearing a peep from us. Maybe now, silly Gill will realize what is at stake here, when the societal deference to faith results in the awful things he witnessed in Richard's coverage. Such dangerous deference will not be weakened without solidly challenging the status-quo by solidly criticizing faith, that is, that non-evidential beliefs, be they be religious ones, need to be held up to the light of reason.

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:43:53 UTC | #503960

Econolicious's Avatar Comment 18 by Econolicious

So..... AA Gill offends you....? That's how he makes his living.... The whole monkey typewriter thing, had to have been irresistible to him... How could he not use it...? I thought that it was funny and witty, and I have nothing but great respect for RD"s work.....

AA's conclusion kinda says it all....

"........... As if knowledge were a matter of taste and preference, like ice-cream flavours. Dawkins presented with admirable restraint, allowing the opposition to say their dim, dark, ignorant pieces, without braining them into extinction with a dinosaur bone or even just laughing in their faces......"

Best regards,

Econolicious

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:40:55 UTC | #503965

JumpinJackFlash's Avatar Comment 19 by JumpinJackFlash

Stupid picture of Dawkins. The whole point of his criticism of religion is that he, unlike the religious themselves, does not do it from a pulpit and with lots of nasty symbols, but in a proper, academic manner with a reasoned approach. The reason they had to photoplast his head onto the picture of that fake minister figure is that he never would actually do anything remotely like that. Foolish, foolish man AA Gill is with that introduction.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:53:23 UTC | #503966

bltkitsap's Avatar Comment 20 by bltkitsap

To Comment 16 by 1Derek

ARG!!!!!!!

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 21:05:13 UTC | #503970

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Comment 21 by Daniel Schealler

Comment 20 by JumpinJackFlash :

Stupid picture of Dawkins. The whole point of his criticism of religion is that he, unlike the religious themselves, does not do it from a pulpit and with lots of nasty symbols, but in a proper, academic manner with a reasoned approach. The reason they had to photoplast his head onto the picture of that fake minister figure is that he never would actually do anything remotely like that. Foolish, foolish man AA Gill is with that introduction.

Don't get me wrong - I disagree with the tone and the message, etc, etc, etc, of the first paragraph as much as the rest of the people commenting here.

But I have to say: That picture is absolutely fucking brilliantly done. It's fantastic! Sure - I disagree with the message it conveys, but... C'mon, just look at it. That's fucking hilarious! I don't have to respect the message in order to respect the delivery, and that image is really, really well delivered, and funny to boot. It cracked me the hell up - made my day. A good start to the week.

Is the full article linked anywhere? Or is that the full article in its entirety?

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 21:06:41 UTC | #503972

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 22 by TIKI AL

I agree the picture is offensive. They should have matched the draperies to the purple scarfy thing.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 21:08:58 UTC | #503974

1Derek's Avatar Comment 23 by 1Derek

Comment 21 by bltkitsap

To Comment 16 by 1Derek

ARG!!!!!!!

Sorry “bltkitsap”, too big a jump (only kidding). I was trying to relate to your abstract explanation “delusion, from childhood to adulthood” with a biological one. I can explain my comments with research, it’s just sometimes I work on the assumption others get it / know. Not too bright myself sometimes. Is the ARG!!!!!!... dropped.
Derek

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:17:48 UTC | #503999

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 24 by Mark Jones

The full article's behind a pay wall - evil Murdoch empire and all that. But this is all that it has to say on the program.

I quite like the picture too - better than the usual; in the paper it's credited to 'Meeson, HitandRunMedia.com'.

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:13:03 UTC | #504002

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 25 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 25 by Mark Jones :

I quite like the picture too - better than the usual; in the paper it's credited to 'Meeson, HitandRunMedia.com'.

+1

It made me laugh.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:14:22 UTC | #504004

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 26 by Ivan The Not So Bad

AA Gill once shot a baboon "to get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone".

Amongst other crimes against common decency, he has also called Welsh people "loquacious, dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls" and referred to a well-respected female sports reporter as "a dyke on a bike".

He is a self-important, self-loathing attention seeker.

A little man. Do not satisfy his needs. Ignore him.

Comment 22 by Daniel Schealler:

Is the full article linked anywhere? Or is that the full article in its entirety?

The Sunday Times now resides behind a Rupert Murdoch pay wall. For the future of all humanity, don't contribute.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:22:51 UTC | #504010

bltkitsap's Avatar Comment 27 by bltkitsap

Comment 24 by 1Derek

Yes, I did understand what you where saying. I was talking about delusional disorder as a psychiatric diagnosis not biologic disorder. You can untangle some delusions with proper teaching.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:29:14 UTC | #504013

1Derek's Avatar Comment 28 by 1Derek

"I was talking about delusional disorder as a psychiatric diagnosis not biologic disorder.", soz mate but they are the same thing within psychiatry.

"You can untangle some delusions with proper teaching.", Yes I agree but you discussed childhood to adulthood which is progressive and thereby more biologically entrenched.

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:47:01 UTC | #504018

Numberwang's Avatar Comment 29 by Numberwang

Sorry, wrong thread.

Updated: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:55:44 UTC | #504023

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 30 by huzonfurst

Killing an animal to "see what it feels like" is so disgusting I have no words to express the contempt I feel for this excuse for a biped. And he calls himself a "humanist"!

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:58:10 UTC | #504028