Why is Richard Dawkins so popular?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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StMonicaGuideMe
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Re: Why is Richard Dawkins so popular?

#46

Post by StMonicaGuideMe » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:11 pm

jakobp wrote:Not only Dawkins and the other militant atheists, but atheism in general?
i know that atheists are small compared to theists and deists, but if you go on Youtube and watch and video that speaks favorably to god, it has 90% thumbs down and a very little amount of thumbs up! it's like every theist video gets taken over by atheists!

Also, atheist videos, such as Dawkins and Hitchens have hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of thumbs up compared to the theist videos?
Sigh, tell me about it. It's simply "en vogue" to be a disbeliever. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's easier to deny a God who would hold you accountable for your actions? In a glowingly hedonistic world, it makes sense that people would generally not want to do anything they don't want to do. That's just my layman theory.

But you're right.

The ones who are worse are the ones who have "dissented" or been "enlightened", once Christians and now militant atheists. Check out the QualiaSoup guy...really dangerous presuppositions. He's not aggressive or insulting like most of the others, but still, dangerous.
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge".

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Re: Why is Richard Dawkins so popular?

#47

Post by Dudeacus97 » Wed May 29, 2013 6:42 pm

Well, I'm no sociologist, but I think I'll take a few guesses as to why Richard Dawkins and New Atheism. This is just coming from my friends at school along with propaganda I've analyzed on Facebook and other Social Media websites. I seem to notice an overarching theme that is not scholarly, but pretending to be scholarly. Somewhat like randomly quoting Nietzche or talking about the philosophical lessons of the Bioshock series, especially when it's the most high-brow thing you've seen. This is just speculation from things I've examined, so I'm not sure about overall accuracy.

Faux Intellectualism: This is something I've seen in almost any sort of atheist anything outside of the Khmer Rouge and Communist China. It will constantly be hammered down that Christianity is false. Very little, if any reasons God (properly understood) does not exist will be provided. This is common among New Atheist literature. Richard Dawkins seems to be the only one who tackles arguments for the existence of God. Their approach to the Bible is even worse. Rather than try to show the documents unreliable, they just go ahead and call the Bible an "overrated fantasy book" or compare it to Harry Potter. This is just inane and the use of the fallacy Appeal to Ridicule. The spreading of this fallacy and rejecting false images of Christianity makes people feel smarter, which has a vast level of appeal for young folks who want to make themselves feel like an individual. I can relate to this because the feeling of being an individual was what drove me to become a Progressive Creationist, but I changed when I honestly thought of the theological implications.

Sexual Freedom: This is something that makes atheism very appealing to many people. I don't have to explain much here. This can be related to many other things and generally being held accountable for their own actions.

Rebellion: Sometimes, rejection of Christianity can simply be a rebellion against their parents or against their society. Some atheists/agnostics I know call themselves "rebels" often. This is a rather silly way of thinking. Just because something is popular doesn't make it false, just as something being popular doesn't make it true. Ironically, the appeal to atheism and liberal ideas seems to be in "rebellion", but I often feel like a rebel in my school and area for being a Christian and having conservative views. It's gotten to the point where I cannot bring up homosexuality or abortion in my school for fear of stirring up controversy. To be fair, though, other students have this limit, including liberals.

Moral Outrage: This is a very common theme apparent throughout the New Atheist diatribes and the literature of their followers. Ironically, there is no grounding for Objective Morality in a naturalistic worldview, so their moral outrage is only opinion. So why should I trust their claims over, say, Ted Bundy's? Many of their claims are also vastly inaccurate, but even if they were true, they would be committing the logical fallacy Appeal to Results of a Belief, which is when says that a claim must be true/false because of the results. This would be like arguing that Nuclear Physics must be false because it led to the development of Nuclear Weapons.

Ignorance to Science and Theology: When dealing with common misconceptions dealing with the Bible and Christianity, this quote from the Screwtape Letters comes to my mind:
"Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him away from the Church. Don't waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think that it is strong or stark or courageous - that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about."
Okay, that could have been used earlier, but I didn't feel like digging through the profound quotes to look for the specific one. It was similar anyway. Keeping people away from basic knowledge relating to the Bible and theology is a very common thing I see being done in atheist sites. Some have even thought that the verse "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" to be a contradiction rather than referring to God's nature. To them, God is just an invisible man in the sky who wears a beard and smites people. This is a strawman argument, and if anybody uses it, I feel like I'm talking Geology with somebody from the Flat Earth Society. Trying to keep people from Biblical knowledge by making the Bible seem silly is a similar tactic used by cults. I could probably relate many Cult-like tactics to New Atheists, but that's another thread.

Rather than come as the beacon of truth and sharing of research, for many the Internet come like the biting fly of ignorance. Here, misinformation can spread and fool millions. Propaganda can simply be passed as a "joke". Bigotry and ignoring scientific advancement can be seen as "progressive." The bite may not hurt much, but it carries nasty diseases. However, this can be stopped. For every biting insect there are predatory insects, spiders, frogs, and bats that hunt them down.

TL;DR version:
-Richard Dawkins gains appeal among those who are not very familiar with theology or philosophy.
-Appeals to emotion and ridicule make people feel superior to others.
-Makes people feel like they're something different.
"Christianity has always embraced both reason and faith."
-Dinesh D'Souza

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-John Lennox

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Re: Why is Richard Dawkins so popular?

#48

Post by 1over137 » Fri May 31, 2013 12:30 pm

Because he is arrogant.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Why is Richard Dawkins so popular?

#49

Post by SnowDrops » Fri May 31, 2013 12:44 pm

I think radical positions in general tend to become more popular:
1. People avoid complex decisions. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_ask ... sions.html
2. Positions that are less radical are usually also more complex, so holding a less radical position requires making choices about various issues, rather than just saying yes or no to all of them
3. People gravitate towards more radical positions.

Simply put, Dawkins can easily market his views.
The first step to learning is to admit that you don't know.

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Re: Why is Richard Dawkins so popular?

#50

Post by Dudeacus97 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:53 pm

I found this blog by JP Holding about this:

http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/2011/1 ... ernet.html
"Christianity has always embraced both reason and faith."
-Dinesh D'Souza

"Stop listening to John Lennon and start listening to John Lennox! What about a world without the atheists? A word with no Stalin, no Mao, no Pol Pot? A world with no Gulag, no Cultural Revolution, no Killing Fields? Wouldn't that be a world worth dreaming about?"
-John Lennox

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