I don’t care for what the man says generally and he steps out on a big limb by making this kind of strange comparison to prove his point. But his point about “context” has some truth; what is unacceptable today, was mildly tolerated in the past. He certainly picked an unexpected example, and his stretching it out to say, “compared to psychological harm of indoctrination…” is a tad much.
Yet, even though it’s a bit much, he does have a point if its decontextualized from his specific example of his perception of roman catholic indoctrination:
I think similarly regarding the cultural indoctrination of the public school system, which to me is a far more powerful force than any Sunday teachings.
So, removed from his specific context, I can see the point he’s making. I still can’t stand the man though generally.
*I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST DEFENDED SOMETHING DAWKINS SAID*… but I did. Shoot me.
I’m agnostic. I could never be atheist precisely because its priests are simply abhorrent and their followers are worse generally.
lol – I grew up with Carl Sagan on TV (with his awesomely nutty biologist wife) who was agnostic [although some atheist groups want to claim him as their own]. While I didn’t agree 100% with Sagan on everything, I did on most things. Very influential on me.
But the growth of New Atheism … and I watched it creep and throw up all over the Internet since the late 90s… really wrecked a lot of intellectual discussion because people were given pat answers they could just copy from each other, memes and such, and the magic word:
“That’s a sin!” = “That’s a logical fallacy”
Different religion, same phenomenon.
Well that’s the thing; he was OPEN. He was against crackpot scientists, politicians and religious alike. His main thing was, “BE REASONABLE PPL”.. and that didn’t mean adhering strictly to some Formal Logic system. Just… be human and not an idiot.
He’s become a Jesus Freak of the Dawkins kind – except instead of littering every conversation with Jesus this and that, he litters every conversation with… well, standard boilerplate mental copy and paste sayings against religion and stuff.
I didn’t read it, but I remember hearing about him through the years. That book is from the 70s, and I seem to remember he was ok back in the 80s + early 90s when his name would crop up from time to time.
I probably even quoted him once or twice.
But then he became an old man, no longer really a scientist anymore – and decided to go out with a BANG and just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.
I mean I don’t blame him; he obviously wants a legacy. He started a MOVEMENT – and yes, it’s a religious movement [religious in the general sense] – and, well, people get addicted to power. I have no doubt he’s addicted to it.
I’m just a wannabe hippie I suppose. Live and let live. Que sera, sera. I don’t understand the need for people to create warring factions.