31 January 2012

Journalism gone wild (and not in a good way)

The rag known as the Mail published a piece in favour of Alain de Botton's atheist religion and taking a swipe at Richard Dawkins.  It's cheap and ridiculous.  I've already written about de Botton, but this tripe in the Mail deserves special comment.

Starting with a statement by David Attenborough in which he accepts the possibility of a "supreme being," the witless Rev. George Pitcher (obviously deep in a conflict of interest) builds a house of cards favouring some kind of accommodationism.

Pitcher writes, "There does seem to be a growing tolerance of faith among the faithless."  Really?  Where? In the UK?  Nonsense!  The government there is kowtowing to religious groups, but that doesn't mean atheists are becoming tolerant.  They may be gaining a tolerance of different cultures - not that they have much choice, since cultural tolerance is the only path to a truly unified human race, but that implies a tolerance of neither the abuse of human rights nor religious zealotry.

"Those of us of religious faith need to concede that atheists might be right, however much we believe that they are not," the noodle-headed Pitcher writes. "And, by the same token, unbelievers, such as Attenborough and de Botton, need to affirm that we might be right - and they variously and increasingly are, by their words and deeds."

In other words, the last 2,000 years aren't enough for the religious.  They want to control the next 2,000 years too.  And let's not forget that de Botton's so-called Atheism 2.0 excludes supreme beings.

And then there's the surreal accusations that Dawkins is shrill.

Shrill?  I've rarely heard a man less shrill than Richard Dawkins.

And the photo of Dawkins, sporting a rather dour expression, was clearly selected to emphasize this personal attack, especially when juxtaposed with the gently smiling de Botton right beside it.

This is so typical of the religious.  Unable to produce anything remotely resembling a proper counterargument to those of atheist scholars like Dawkins, they get right down into the gutter and launch pathetic ad hominem assaults.  Yet another example of the laughably inept strategy of fundiots everywhere: atheists must be lying because they're "bad people."

That Pitcher would stoop to this level of misinformation is typical of religions.  That the Mail would print it is a pathetic commentary on the state of journalism.


  1. I find it comical when the religious say that we have to agree that they might be right because science has not exactly nailed down the creation of the universe. Nonsense.

  2. Your observations speak to the main problem that we secularists have. It is usually not possible to have a meaningful dialogue with believers. They never often meaningful arguments to me (I grant that I do not speak with educated theologians and just other "common" people like myself). The conversation usually lands in the gutter pretty quickly.

  3. Thanks.
    You're right, it's like theists & atheists speak fundamentally different languages.
    The problem is that theists largely cannot argue meaningfully; they use bald assertions, depend on fallacies, and insist on ridiculous metaphors. This is no way to communicate meaningfully.

    However, I would also note that there are MANY religious people who are quite rational, level-headed, peaceful, fair, egalitarian, etc. in virtually any other regard. I think the religulous fundiots are the common enemy of both atheists and moderate theists.

  4. I would agree with your last paragraph completely. All I really want to see is meaningful discourse. I am in no way bothered if someone chooses to believe in god. What bothers me is when it enters the political sphere in all of its irrationality.

    1. Again, we're in agreement.
      My problem with religulous fundiots is that they're fairy tales cause them to act in immoral and reprehensible ways towards other humans. They put their fairy tales ahead of reality.

      The moderates are usually easily recognized because they want to reduce hunger, improve education, improve equality, maintain individual freedoms, etc. for EVERYONE. The religulous fundiots are perfectly happy to discriminate, insult, demean, and even harm or kill those who disagree with their fairy tales. That sort of behaviour should be just as revolting to the moderates as it is to atheists.