Monday, January 23, 2006

Dawkins again...

From Answers in Genesis, found through Seeker:
Dawkins is not a man of patience. This was demonstrated by his visit to the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. In an extraordinary interview with its pastor, Ted Haggard, Dawkins’s opening gambit was to accuse Haggard of orchestrating a service like a ‘Nuremberg Rally’ (massive Nazi rallies in that German city held in the 1930s). ‘Dr Goebbels would be proud’ of churches like Haggard’s...was his offensive remark. Haggard came across as a man of warmth and humility. His warm demeanour seemed to enrage Dawkins, whose questions and comments became more and more angry. Haggard’s telling rebuke to Dawkins was: ‘You will find yourself wrong on some things and right on some things, but, please, in the process, don’t be arrogant.’ Haggard had, for me, summed up Dawkins quite well: his manner (witnessed so often on TV and in his writings) can only be described as exceptionally arrogant.
I do not have any problem with strongly stated views. In this postmodernist day and age people often mistake certainty about the truth or even some rather basic forms of knowledge for arrogance. But Dawkins's argument can only be true or close to the truth as a matter of historical facts if such celebrations comport with Social Darwinism of the sort where Haggard is the head of the social organism that decides who lives and dies in it, i.e. if the celebrations are about the deification of Haggard by his Herd. Somehow I doubt that's the case in the least if that fellow Haggard has any Scripturalist focus whatsoever, as biblically the Herd is not his own.

I wonder about Dawkins's arguments where he says that IDists are like Holocaust deniers or that some American evangelicals are like the Nazis of Nuremberg. It seems that he wants to try to learn lessons about good and evil from Nazism that apply to everyone but himself, while claiming that good and evil essentially don't really "exist" anyway. It's as if he senses his own proto-Nazi urge to merge and the mendacious type of scholarship that results from it, which is evil. I've already written of that many times here before. (E.g., Darwinism and proto-Nazism) That argument can be supported and has been in many ways, which may be why Dawkins tries to make Nazism about everyone but himself. As to the topic he brought up in his example, I'm not sure what Haggard's services look or "seem like" to the mentally retarded but here is part of a more accurate notion of what they'd have to be like to comport with Nazism.
[W]e hope to demonstrate that Nazi political ritual cannot just be understood as, for instance, the expression of the ‘irrational adulation and deification of Hitler’, but rather should be seen as a central component of an ideological system (weltanschauung)[i.e. worldview] which consciously sought expression in the ‘mysteries’ of myth and symbol. Second, an examination of the structure of National Socialist mythos and its symbol-world, suggests that the very nature of the Nazi weltanschauung led the NSDAP towards an increasing reliance upon political ritual as a means of ideological presentation.
[They note that various days of significance to the NSDAP were made into holidays.]
Conversely, important events which already had a strong cultural tradition in Germany, whether as expressions of the Christian churches’ influence or that of the Labour movement, were taken over by the propaganda machine of the party, emptied of their original content, and transformed into public expressions of the new National Socialist weltanschauung. Remembrance Day on the 16 March, for instance, traditionally a day of mourning for the dead of the First World War, was transformed under Hitler’s personal orders into an opportunity to reflect upon the heroic nature of the German soldiers’ sacrifice.
Other traditional celebration days, such as Easter, Whitsun, Mothers’ Day, the Harvest Thanksgiving and Christmas suffered a similar fate, with NSDAP worthies announcing that ‘authentic’ ceremonies and ancient Teutonic folk-customs must be revived in view of the onslaught against ‘traditional’ culture by the spirit of Jewish—Marxist materialism.
(Symbol and Ritual under National Socialism
By Simon Taylor
The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 32, No. 4. (Dec., 1981) :505-506) (Emphasis added)

I suppose Dawkins thinks that the Nazis were "fundamentalists" instead of a heretical branch of the socialists. Given the imaginations of Darwinists all our words lose their meaning to the point that there is no difference between fundamentalism, Nazism, Islamism, Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism and on the list could go.

If we are to abuse words and pollute our language to the extent that those with the urge to merge do then in the end we will not be able to mean anything that we say. When there is no meaning, it is not as if you can mean what you say. Yet since we are creatures of meaning we will not stop trying to mean what we say just as Darwinists cannot and instead we will misuse and abuse language more just as they do.

I mentioned Karl Kraus's thoughts on sapient creatures of words and thoughts of words before. It bears repeating.
His greatest concern was with the misuse of language and the resultant moral implications of such misuse. He showed that the imperfections of a person's language mirror the imperfections of his character...Kraus saw...'the connection between maltreated words and the maltreatment of human souls and bodies, and he avenged lives by restoring words to their state of integrity, health, and vigor in which, of their own accord, they could 'speak to the yet unknowing world how these things came about.'
...Kraus thus anticipated the insights--into the relationship between the control of language and of liberty, between the destruction of the human word and of the human soul, between semantics and politics--of the celebrated authors of our age who have sounded the alarm against the utopias of hell being readied for us....
(Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis
and Psychiatry
by Thomas Szasz) (Emphasis added)

Dawkins is not a man of his word, given what he writes he cannot be. His mind will not seem to let language definitively define principles that shape and define its thoughts. Instead it is constantly thinking of ways to blur things together, exchanging the conceptual for the perceptual. Such a mind is always percieving yet never conceiving and so almost always deceiving.

His claims about Nazism are a deception and not a very good one at that.

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