Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Trouble with Atheists

Did anyone see this programme on Channel 4 the other evening. I only caught the last 15/20 minutes of it but was able to see Richard Dawkins talk about the religious meme. Apparently our fear of death causes us to have a meme which helps us to cope by telling us we live on after death. The best bit though was when the presenter asked if there was a connection between atheism and serial killing giving the examples of Stalin, Hitler and Chairman Mao. One 'Professor' said Stalin wasn't an atheist because he was Confucian (sp?) and Dawkins said it was pure coincidence. How do these people get their chairs? The trouble with atheists is they don't have one brain cell between them!


Mac McLernon said...

Actually, they have lots of brain cells...'s just that they are not being used according to the Manufacturer's instructions!


I really must stop laughing at my own jokes!!

Londiniensis said...

A generation ago, the chief public atheist "foes" of religion were the philosophers Bertrand Russell and Alfred Ayer. Into the lists came Father Frederick Copleston, SJ: in a series of broadcast debates he gave as good as he got, and preserved the intellectual respectability of religious belief in front of the public.

Where is our Copleston today, who can act as our "public defender" and visibly go twenty rounds with Dawkins?

Christopher said...

I did see a report of an American radio interview Dawkins had given in which a Catholic commentator really dragged him over the coals and made him look like a hysterical, ranting fool(unfortunately can't seem to find the link now). I did like one review of his TV series last year (from the Times, I think) which compared him to the very irrational, fundamentalists Dawkins professes to hate, posing the question, "If He doesn't exist, Richard, why are you still shouting at Him?"

P.S. Don't forget Pol Pot in your list of irreligious dictators!

P.P.S. Love the blog! Best of luck with your studies.

Anonymous said...

Try the following link for a fascinating exploration of the "Theology" of Richard Dawkins. He really does not know what he is talking about!

Ttony said...

I think the Dawkins interview might be the one referred to by Mary kenny in the Catholic Herald a week ago. Apparently he appeared on an RTE chat show and was "outargued senseless".

Fr Stephen said...

There's a link to that interview on the Southwark Vocations blog. It's well worth listening to. You can get it from the post for Nov 17th entitled The Dawkins Delusion at

Fr Stephen said...

Incidentally, A.J.Ayer ended up a theist after having a near death experience.

Londiniensis said...

If I may comment again - the Irish interview was indeed good, but it helps to make my point: this interview was broadcast in Ireland and then written up in a Catholic newspaper in the UK. The Copleston/Russell and Copleston/Ayer debates were not just an occasion of self-congratulation, they were discussed positively in the mainstream media - they were "an event", which reached out beyond Catholic circles into public discourse.

Perhaps there is a TV producer reading this blog who gets the germ of an idea? Please God!

Paulinus said...

Where is our Copleston today, who can act as our "public defender" and visibly go twenty rounds with Dawkins?

Fr Aidan Nichols OP could knock the stuffing out of Richard "The Most Boring Man in the World" Dawkins.

I heard Dawkins on "In Our Time" contributing to a debate about Altruism and whether evolutionary biology can explain it.

You can listen to it here:

What struck me was that he has the manner of a minor character in Trollope novels - a rather unctious vicar, keen for recognition and preferment.

The other striking thing was the way he prefaced everything with "Well, as a Darwinian...." or "Well if one takes a Darwinian stance on these matters". The man is a theologian in search of a theology and thinks he's found it in Darwinism.

He's the very embodiment of the modern disconnection of faith from reason. Rationality has very little to do with what Dawkins has to say - blind hatred has an awful lot to do with his beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I've never liked Dawkins; I've always found him to be discourteous. And here he proved himself facetious beyond belief.

Though, what concerned me more on that programme, was one of the other male guests. He was so rude, and at first I mistook him for Dawkins (because of it *blushes*). Does anyone know who he was?

Histor the Wise said...

Do remember that atheists are brainy, in a sea-lawyerly way.

They have to argue pretty hard to convince themselves there is no God.