Over at Salon.com there’s an article up about Richard Dawkins claiming that what he calls “mild pedophilia” (in his case, when a teacher put his hands down his shorts and fondled him) does no lasting harm to children. Is that your professional opinion there, Professor?
Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.
Oh, molesting children has a continuum that begins with “mild touching up.” He didn’t offer up the gradations beyond that, or at which point his extensive research into the area has shown that it does cause harm. I suppose it’s when the pedophile enjoys it too much. Oh, but wait, what’s that, Professor?
“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.
So for the record, Dawkins and the rest of us are in no position to “condemn” people of earlier eras by the standard of ours. I suppose he has changed the position he took in The God Delusion:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
I suppose he would have been okay had there been more “mild touching up” in the Old Testament. His position however is consistent with his worldview. With no objective grounding of morality we can justify whatever suits us at present. The only advice I offer him is: stay away from my son.
Here’s a good primer on what the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God consists of. (By William Lane Craig’s Resonable Faith)
This just in: Peer reviewed journal articles are not immune from human nature.
If you spend any time familiarizing yourself with the latest scientific study, then sooner or later the issue of peer review pops up. Especially any time you raise an up an idea contrary to the holy church of neo-Darwinian evolution.
The crucible of peer review is intended to be a way to weed out bad or questionable or unclear conclusions about the world we live in.
Which would be great if time and money were unlimited and politics and bias were nonexistent. But that simply isn’t the case, as this article by Denise O’Leary on the truth behind peer review points out.
The very first post on Twitter I came across this morning was about the passing of Christopher Hitchens.
Hitch was my favorite of the “new atheists” and I have discovered that I’m not alone. Every Christian I know (who knew who he was) expressed sadness over his death, even though we disagreed with him on the most profound of issues.
There’s no evidence that he repented at the end. Indeed he went to great lengths while still in reasonably good health to state that if he uttered such words on his death bed that the chemo or cancer had gotten into his brain. I hope he repented all the same.
This video is long, but worth watching. Christian philosopher and theologian (he has doctorates in both) William Lane Craig debates one of the “four horsemen” of the “new atheists”, Christopher Hitchens.
After watching the whole thing my opinion is that Craig is the more logical and Hitchens the more charismatic. Craig lays out his logical arguments and Hitchens never really dismantles them, or even attempts to. Logically speaking, I think Craig wins. But if you’re more swayed by quips and charisma, you’ll come away with the impression that Hitchens did.
I like Christopher Hitchens even though I think his worldview is wrong and utterly bankrupt. On the other hand, I’m not a fan at all of Richard Dawkins who comes across as an arrogant bully whose arguments contain little argument and lots of name calling. (He also refuses to debate Craig, claiming that the only reason Craig wants to debate him is because he’s an egomaniac who’s hungry for fame. Talk about projecting yourself on others.)
This kind of debate is perfect to put on and listen while you’re working.
I’m always interested in the stories of adult converts to Christianity. Especially those who held to a materialist, Darwinist worldview. The video below is the story of Richard Morgan who became a Christian in his 60’s and his experience in the Richard Dawkins message boards.
Morgan has been a Christian for 3 years (at the time of this video at least) and recounts here how he found Christ and how a forum full of atheists turned on him as a result.
An interesting part of the story (at least to me) is how the author of “The Dawkins Letters”, David Robertson, visited the forum to defend his critique of Richard Dawkins work and kept doing so in spite of the verbal abuse. One of the indirect consequences of this was Morgan’s conversion.