Who Hires These People?

Apparently it doesn’t take much to become a columnist for the Calgary Sun newspaper. I mean, they hired this guy.

Paul Jackson has a lot of say about Richard Dawkins and The God Delusion. Unfortunately for him, it’s almost all wrong.

Dawkins is the author of The God Delusion, which has allegedly sold one-million copies, a pretty insignificant number considering how many copies of the Bible, Talmad, and Qur’an are sold each year.

Talk about a flea biting an elephant. Not even an irritation.

It’s actually a little more than 282,000. But maybe Jackson is rounding up…

And Quotations from Chairman Mao outsells the Qur’an. That’s besides the point. Dawkins’ book is relatively new, very popular, and has helped lead to more discussion about religion worldwide. To say it’s insignificant because it hasn’t sold more copies than the Bible is a horribly weak argument. By that standard, not a single non-Bible book has ever made a difference.

Perhaps he hasn’t read much about Albert Einstein — assessed by many to have had the greatest intellect of any human being ever born — who did believe in a God.

Einstein, whose theory of relatively changed the way we look at science, felt the universe had such a pattern of working against all odds there had to be an intelligent designer.

Perhaps Jackson should actually read Dawkins’ book.

If he had, he would’ve seen a full discussion about how Einstein was not a religious man. In Chapter 1. Beginning on page 13.

Does he think he is more intelligent than God?

Apparently so.

Has he ever been over to the Other Side?

I’ll bet you 1,000-to-1 he hasn’t.

Asking an atheist if he thinks he’s more intelligent than God is a moot point if he doesn’t believe God exists.

And I’m going to bet Jackson has never been to the “Other Side” either. Who wants to take me up on that?

Dawkins himself makes preposterous claims that God is non-existent — claims he can’t possible prove — and when someone challenges him starts thinking about a lawsuit.

And you can’t prove the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist. Therefore, he does. Checkmate.

(Does anyone know what lawsuit Jackson’s talking about? I can’t find any information on it…)

Dawkins is so strict in his views he considers it “child abuse” parents are allowed to supposedly indoctrinate their children with religious views when seemingly their children haven’t the intelligence to realize this is all a fraud.

So, parents can’t instill their children with values?

It’s child abuse, Dawkins says, only when the child has religion thrust upon him or her. Here’s what Dawkins is upset about (p.339):

Our society… has accepted the preposterous idea that it is normal and right to indoctrinate tiny children in the religion of their panrets, and to slap religious labels on them — “Catholic child,” “Protestant child,” “Jewish child,” “Muslim child,” etc. — although no other comparable labels: no conservative children, no liberal children, no Republican children, no Democrat children… A child is not a Christian child, not a Muslim child, but a child of Christian parents or a child of Muslim parents… A child who is told she is a “child of Muslim parents” will immediately realize that religion is something for her to choose — or reject — when she becomes old enough to do so.

Dawkins is not saying it is child abuse when children actually choose for themselves to be religious. He disagrees, yes, but he’s not calling that abuse.

And nowhere, ever, does he say parents should not instill values in the children. It’s irresponsible of Jackson to equate values with a religious upbringing.

Jackson’s full article is here. If you click on his name next to his picture, you can also send him a nice letter. I’ll get on that, too.

***Update: Jeremy kindly informed me that the “lawsuit” comment was in regards to a June 23 article in The Globe and Mail newspaper. The references in Jackson’s piece to Preston Manning and Stockwell Day are also from that article. You can read it here.***


[tags]atheist, atheism, Calgary Sun, Paul Jackson, Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Bible, Talmad, Qur’an, Quotations from Chairman Mao, Albert Einstein, God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Republican, Democrat, The Globe and Mail, Preston Manning, Stockwell Day[/tags]

  • http://steelwhitetable.org/blog Jody

    I’ll be emailing the editor, too. So sad to allow such ignorance being spewed. Thanks for the post.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    For what it’s worth, I sent him a link to this posting.

  • http://synapostasy.blogspot.com Aaron

    “It’s irresponsible of Jackson to equate values with a religious upbringing.”

    Irresponsible, yes, but unfortunately totally in the norm.

  • http://atheisthussy.blogspot.com/ Intergalactic Hussy

    “It’s irresponsible of Jackson to equate values with a religious upbringing.”

    Irresponsible, yes, but unfortunately totally in the norm.

    However, if he actually read the entirety of The God Delusion, he would have come across the part on how morals come from evolution and within ourselves…anywhere but from the agony of religious scripture. Theists still decide what is moral from what they read…clearly some things in the bible are just plan unethical and illegal. And for good reason.

  • http://atheisthussy.blogspot.com/ Intergalactic Hussy

    By “he” I meant the author of the article

  • Mriana

    This guy is a bit mistaken about Einstein. He did not believe in the Christian God. He believed in a god, but it had more to do with the universe and science than anything else, but not a typical religious god. He really needs to study up on Einstein.

  • http://psychodiva.blogspot.com/ Pam

    what is it with these people and spelling and grammar? does it fly out the window when they get indoctrinated? I felt like getting my red pen out.

    besides that- what an inane bandwagon article that was – he has nothing new to say- why did he not just print links to the articles he nicked his from?

  • http://nomorehornets.blogspot.com The Exterminator

    Hemant:

    This is not a comment on the post. It’s just a note that you’ve been tagged.

  • Richard Wade

    Talk about a flea biting an elephant. Not even an irritation.

    Who was talking about that? I must have come in late. Even so if it’s not even an irritation then why bother writing the article? I guess he’s not part of the elephant, or else he’s a very sensitive part of the elephant.

    Einstein, whose theory of relatively changed the way we look at science…

    “Theory of relatively”?? Of all his grammar and spelling screw-ups, with that one he ridicules himself.

    This article has remarkably poor arguments. An 8th grader could do a better job. He finishes the with:

    So here’s my little prayer right now, please stand with me alongside Preston, Stock, Bishop Fred Henry, Calgary evangelical Pastor Phil Nordin, and all other believers of many faiths of a Supreme Creator.

    In other words, please reassure me that my childish fantasies are true, so I can keep my fears and insecurities down just below my consciousness. Jackson’s wanting to see his pets Muffin and Dolly in heaven is so infantile it’s nauseating. He seems to be very fond of arguing from majority: More bibles are sold so they are true, he has a lot of believing friends he surrounds himself with, so they must be right.

  • Miko

    He seems to be very fond of arguing from majority: More bibles are sold so they are true, he has a lot of believing friends he surrounds himself with, so they must be right.

    Now, now. We could go on and on about why that argument is bad, or we could hit ourselves on the head until we start believing it’s good and then start using it in our favor. Don’t forget that Agatha Christie isn’t too far behind the Bible, so if we can just get a few more people interested in mystery novels, we should be able to get Christians everywhere to convert to Poirot-worship. :-)

  • Caleb

    Actually, I’ve heard the million books sold worldwide tossed around about The God Delusion recently, so maybe that PW article was US sales only. Here’s another article that gives the count at more than a million – http://richarddawkins.net/print.php?id=1324.


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