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← The Devil, the internet, Richard Dawkins and God

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Jos Gibbons

Stephen Bayley was once described as "the second most intelligent man in Britain"

Source? (Let me guess: the Telegraph.)

what is indisputable is that – as the author of more than ten books, nearly thirty exhibition catalogues, countless articles and broadcasts – he is one of the world's best known commentators on modern culture

Whoever wrote that has terrible criteria on which to base a judgement regarding who is indisputably one of the world’s best known commentators on modern culture. I’ve never even heard of this guy who, as this article of his shows, is an idiot.

[The internet], so far from being "clean", has destructively enlarged global demand for electricity.

I think you’ll find the main reasons electricity demand has exploded is that the world has an exponentially expanding population and its poorer nations are now catching up. A few per cent more hunger per person to run smartphones is comparatively irrelevant. Besides, this guy writes for the Telegraph, which doesn’t admit our electricity production causes climate change, so what does he mean by “destructively”?

Richard Dawkins, a fanatic disguised as a scientist

He had a PhD in a science, he was employed by the University of Oxford as a professor for decades, he has contributed numerous new ideas to his field since his PhD ended, he is a member of the Royal Society … Therefore, he’s a scientist. He’s also a non-fanatic, as shown by his formal discussions of probabilities in so many of his works.

[Dawkins is], in the powerful counterproductive sway of his noisy arguments, proof of the existence of God

A phenomenon can only prove a god if without a god that phenomenon wouldn’t occur. An atheist’s arguments are to be expected in the absence of a god. In any case, you can’t call his arguments noisy because they involve no shouting, and are only seen or heard after making a conscious choice to do so.


You know the rules: everyone has to take a drink.

Atheists seem to be very good at dogma. Dawkins seems not to understand that his own zealotry is itself a sort of religious quest.

Quests aren’t what define dogma or religiosity; for those he would have to believe without evidence some specific claims about reality.

he applies the "logic" of science, itself a fallible human construct, to a beautiful mystery

Fallibility isn’t bad enough to deserve a complaint here. Religion is not merely fallible; it has no error-correcting mechanism whatsoever. By contrast, science is defined by its error-correcting mechanism.

organised religion has … caused Michelangelo, Milton and Bach

There is no evidence that, had they grown up in a non-theocracy, they would have been less artistically productive. Indeed, the continued productivity of artists after theocracies waned in the West suggests otherwise.

Organised atheism has produced North Korea

Organised anything, if by organised you mean using the law to get people to think a certain metaphysical way, has produced horrible stuff. I don’t care whether it’s religion as in Nazi Germany or Marxism as in Stalinist Russia. Incidentally, it is Communism that makes North Korea the way it is; its people can hardly be called atheists, considering the way they revere the three Kim what-are-their-names.

There is really not much more that needs to be said

How about giving evidence for your assertions?

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 12:37:38 UTC | #918756