Re: [asa] Expelled

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Apr 26 2008 - 18:52:19 EDT

There's a very good article by John Haught in one of the February issues of Christian Century that makes the same point about Dawkins and other recent "soft atheists" (to use his language) in detail that David makes here. His argument goes deeper, however, than just the superficial character of the critique of the soft atheists. Haught compares Dawkins et al. with hard atheists like Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Haught arugues that they (and especially Nietzsche) really tried to face the fact that with the elimination of God there is also removed any basis for morality or claims for lasting truth. They were willing to look into the abyss. Dawkins et al. on the other hand seem to imagine that once the ideas of God &/or transcendence have been done away with the human race can just go on to practice good liberal virtues without any problems.

The soft atheists of coursel argue, with a good deal of truth, that religious people in general aren't a lot more moral than atheists. But there is no reason for athiests like Dawkins to follow any particular syatem of morality or ethics. OTOH, religious people have a moral standard by which they can be judged. The point is not that atheists are more immoral than believers but that they are unwilling or afraid to face up to the consequences of their position.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Heddle
  To: PvM
  Cc: David Campbell ;
  Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2008 5:10 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled

  I'll take a stab--the answer is twofold. One is that his statements are so outrageous. His claims of child abuse will not resonate except with his own choir. The other is that his arguments against theism are so childish and primitive--boiling down to "religious people are dumb" and "if God mad everything, who made God?" Compared to intellectual atheists of the past, such as Bertrand Russel, Dawkins is (when it comes to theology) a lightweight. PZ tried to rescue him with the "Courtiers Reply" but that is little more than a justification and a rationalization to make a simpleminded response instead of doing your homework.

  In my opinion, Dawkins is to atheism what Benny Hinn is to theism.

  David Heddle
  Associate Professor of Physics
  Christopher Newport University, &
  The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

  On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 2:51 PM, PvM <> wrote:

    How is Dawkins one of the best arguments against atheism?

    On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 11:37 AM, David Campbell <> wrote:

> By accepting the claim that evolution entails scientism and by doing a
> poor critique, the movie to me does more to endorse scientism than to
> counter it. Of course, conversely Dawkins is one of the best
> arguments against atheism.
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

    To unsubscribe, send a message to with
    "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sat Apr 26 18:55:40 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Apr 26 2008 - 18:55:40 EDT