Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Socrates meets "Hector" Dawkins

And questions him about the nature of science.

20 comments:

Ilíon said...

James Hoskins: "As a fairly reasonable person, I am repeatedly astonished by dogmatists who voice their opinions on amoral issues so loudly and adamantly, that they seem to imply a moral indignation toward anyone who would disagree, thereby encouraging the discrimination of those people of differing views."

Richard Dawkins: "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet someone who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that)."

There is no "seem" in that infamous Dawkins quote (any more than there is in the one about a religious upbringing being morally equivalent to child abuse); the man really does make moral assertions about DarwinDoubt.

Victor Reppert said...

In fairness to Dawkins (kumbayah and all that), Dawkins is very explicit about not making moral charges against most who don't believe in evolution.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_21_3.html

Ilíon said...

VR: "In fairness to Dawkins (kumbayah and all that), Dawkins is very explicit about not making moral charges against most who don't believe in evolution."

But the man's a liar; he's not only unreasonable, he's dishonest.

Moreover, who is he (or anyone else) to pass a moral judgement on *anyone* "who claims not to believe in evolution" or any other pronouncement of scientists? 'Science' isn't even *about* truth, and it is utterly amoral.

Being "fair" (i.e. lying to yourself, and then to others) is indeed "kumbayah and all that."

Now, were Dawkins to begin to publically repudiate so many of the false and falsely moralistic assertions he has made over the years, then, of course, *real* fairness require that we acknowledge that he has done so, and to just the degree that he has. But, the URL you gave just goes here; and so far as I know, Dawkins is still the irrational, illogical, intellectually dishonest shill for irrational, illogical materialism/atheism that he has always been.

Victor Reppert said...

Defending the intellectual honesty of Richard Dawkins is above my pay grade. I was simply pointing out that he explicitly stated that he was not impugning the moral character of most of the people who don't believe in evolution. It's important to get things right, even when your opponents can't be bothered to get things right. (Two wrongs don't make a right, even if three do.)

Blue Devil Knight said...

Ilion, you're one to talk.

Blue Devil Knight said...

That essay is a bit too paint-by-numbers for my tastes.

Victor Reppert said...

Dawkins in some ways simplifies the task of Christian apologetics too much. He's such a juicy target, but you must never confuse Dawkins-bashing with a real defense of Christianity.

Matthew said...

Isn't "Hector Dawkins" a hybrid of Hector Avalos and Richard Dawkins, both outspoken critics of ID and creationism?

Anonymous said...

"Dawkins is very explicit about not making moral charges against most who don't believe in evolution."

Yea...most. The article you reference, though, does not help the statement one bit. Everything he says is simply entailed by original (so-called "dishonest" by Dawkins) quote. The article didn't except add a fifth derogatory term.

_ben z

legodesi said...

I think Plato-Socrates was a bit more subtle, and didn't give away a position on the matter until he had his opponent say it first. But good points were made nonetheless. I liked the part about philosophy being logically prior to science. I wish someone would expand on that idea.

Ilíon said...
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Ilíon said...
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Ilíon said...

VR: "Defending the intellectual honesty of Richard Dawkins is above my pay grade. I was simply pointing out that he explicitly stated that he was not impugning the moral character of most of the people who don't believe in evolution."

Ah! As it was displayed to me by the comm-box, the the URL address you gave appeared to be "http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_21" which took me nowhere when I entered that in my browser. I now have noticed (when the blog is viewed in this manner) that the URL you gave was actually http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_21_3.html(And, now that I see the URL address correctly, I think that I have long ago read this particular defence of his infamous categorization of those who disbelieve "Darwinism" as "... ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked ...)")

Nevertheless, as I said, and as 'Anonymous/Ben Z' emphasized: so what? By what rationale and based upon what valid moral standard does he justify making any moral assertion at all about anyone at all on the basis of that person's rejection (or non-rejection) of "evolution?"Even if "evolution" were indeed 'scientific' (to which lofty state it doesn't even come close), the question remains and his intellectual dishonesty in making the moral assertion remains.


VR: "It's important to get things right, even when your opponents can't be bothered to get things right."

Of course. That's why I don't shy away from stating the blunt truth of the matter: Richard Dawkin is intellectually dishonest; he's a worse than a mere liar, for he lies about the very nature of reason ... and of truth.

Blue Devil Knight said...

legodesi said:
"I liked the part about philosophy being logically prior to science. I wish someone would expand on that idea."

That drove much of philosophy from Descartes to Husserl. Unfortunately, it is false, and was a dead end.

Quine, Sellars, and recently Penelope Maddy do a good job articulating an alternative view of philosophy. Descartes has his "first" philosophy. For the alternative, see Maddy's book 'Second Philosophy' which is a synoptic vision of noncartesian epistemology.

Ilíon said...

Isn't is vastly amusing to see people "doing philosophy" to philospohize that philosophy is *not* logically prior to 'science?'

Now, it must be borne in mind that the term 'science' as it is being used in this thread does not refer to (unqualified) 'knowledge,' but rather to what we call "modern science," that is to say, to what our ancestors not so long ago called "natural philosophy."

Victor Reppert said...

So do you think philosophy should just be a janitor in the halls of the sciences?

Ilíon said...

VR, I know you can't be addressing that question to me. And, at the same time, most 'atheists' profess to have not even that much use for philosophy ... most of the 'atheists' one encounters still haven't gotten the memo about positivism's failure.

Ilíon said...

At the same time, *nothing* in the human world could long continue to function without janitors.

Victor Reppert said...

Sorry, I meant to address this question to BDK.

Gordon Knight said...

I wish morepeople would read Husserl. I real deep thinker and also (especially in the Logical Investigations) very much of an analytic stripe.

What is a dead end in philosophy? I think the criteria of "dead-endness" is determined by what one believes SHOULD be the result. Witness the dismissal of skepticism, absent arguments