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← The power of nonsense

Zamboro's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Zamboro

At the risk of appearing contrarian and in spite of Prof. Dawkins' view on the matter, I agree with Steve Zara's original sentiment.

Anyone who has discussed the Professor's books with moderate theists knows that many persist in the belief that he's a venom spitting ideologue, and that none of his arguments have any merit. How did they come to this conclusion? Most often it turns out that rather than actually read The God Delusion, River Out of Eden or An Ancestor's Tale themselves, they read books like The Dawkins Delusion or The Irrational Atheist. They're uncomfortable reading 'bare arguments' directed against their beliefs as they may not be able to answer them without the aid of an apologist narrator who can refute* those arguments paragraph by paragraph. (* their satisfaction of course, and it doesn't take much of a rebuttal to satisfy a theist hungry for validation)

When we've reached the point where our only exposure to the opposition's arguments is by proxy, we run the risk of dismissing arguments simply because "our guy's" rebuttal seems witty and well reasoned. At what point did we read the argument by itself, without an atheist's commentary? Has the opposition's argument really been dispensed with objectively, or just to the atheist's satisfaction?

Imagine how we'd appear if we allowed our enemies to define us. We all know how our arguments appear when mangled and misrepresented by creationists, for instance. Shouldn't we aspire to greater objectivity?

Wed, 08 Jul 2009 16:31:00 UTC | #377258