Richard Dawkins and anger

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Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins has encouraged his supporters to go beyond humorous ridicule.[1] He wrote, "I lately started to think that we need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt."[2] See: Atheism and mockery

Richard Dawkins is one of the principle founders of the New Atheism movement. Dawkins flip-flops between atheism and agnosticism as far as his public persona (see: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism).

New Atheism is a form of militant atheism/antitheism.

As far as their interactions with the religious, Dawkins has encouraged his supporters to go beyond humorous ridicule.[3] At the Reason Rally he exclaimed, "Mock them. Ridicule them! In public."[4] He also wrote, "I lately started to think that we need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt."[5] See: Richard Dawkins and intolerance and Atheism and mockery

Social science research indicates that antitheists score the highest among atheists when it comes to personality traits such as narcissism, dogmatism, and anger.[6][7] Furthermore, they scored lowest when it comes to agreeableness and positive relations with others.[8]

Using special text analysis software, the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt found that New Atheists very often wrote in dogmatic terms in their major works using words such as “always,” “never,” “certainly,” “every,” and “undeniable.”[9] Of the 75,000 words in Sam Harris's The End of Faith, 2.24% of them connote or are associated with certainty.[10] See also: Atheism and arrogance

The National reported concerning the agnostic and evolutionist Richard Dawkins:

There was a time when the British scientist Richard Dawkins was widely admired...

More recently, he has shifted his attention to religion and has become known as one of its fiercest opponents. His insistence on allowing for none of the shade and subtlety that characterise the works of scholars such as Karen Armstrong, author of acclaimed books on Islam and the history of the monotheistic religions, have offended and infuriated millions. But they also have thrilled his followers who wish all discussion of faith to be banished to the fringes of the public square.

Mr Dawkins has always been pugnacious. When I interviewed the philosopher Daniel Dennett, a professor at Tufts University and a fellow leading member of an atheist group that calls itself the Brights, he described himself as being the “good cop” to Mr Dawkins’s “bad cop”. Mr Dennett conceded: “Richard is so hostile and aggressive that he’s unsympathetic.”

But now, Mr Dawkins’s unwillingness to treat anyone who disagrees with him as though they had even half a functioning brain cell is putting off even his own supporters.

“Richard Dawkins, whatever happened to you?” read a recent headline in The Guardian, the British newspaper whose readers and staff are generally among the most sympathetic to him. What does it say when a home to some of the most ardent atheists wants Richard Dawkins, frankly, to put a sock in it?[11]

Christianity Today indicated about Richard Dawkins:

Some atheists have sought to distance themselves from Dawkins because they feel the combative way in which he argues against faith is doing more harm than good for the atheist cause.

Dawkins appears to care little about what others think about his approach, atheist or otherwise, as after all these years he's still gunning for the religious.

In his own eyes at least, "aggressive" would be too strong a term for his stinging attacks on faith.

"I'm not aggressive!" Dawkins exclaimed in last week's appearance at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (University of Connecticut), when Dean Jeremy Teitelbaum asked him why he had come to take "quite an aggressive stand against God and promote atheism".

On second thoughts, "Well, perhaps I'm angry," he admitted, before dropping the pretences altogether and making clear what he thinks about anyone who teaches children anything other than his beliefs on evolution.[12]

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins speaking at the 2010 Global Atheism Convention in Australia.

Oliver Burkeman wrote in The Guardina about Dawkins:

Why are atheists so angry? The question – regularly flung around in debates about religion – is a self-fulfilling one, since atheists get pretty irritated whenever they’re asked it. But it’s revealing, too, because it pinpoints a surprising zone of agreement between believers and non-believers: many on both sides accept the premise that atheists are angrier than average.

Naturally, their reasoning differs. Evangelical Christians sometimes assert that atheists secretly believe in God and fear he’s judging them; atheists retort that religion gives them plenty of things to be angry about. Either way, it’s difficult to examine Richard Dawkins’s Twitter feed (to pick the most unfairly obvious example) and fail to conclude that tetchiness and faithlessness go hand in hand...

But the “angry atheist” cliché is also another reminder of just how far the celebrity New Atheists have shortchanged the rest of us who identify, more broadly, with the causes of secularism and rationalism. Because the New Atheists really do seem unusually angry.[13]

Richard Dawkins and anger about the Christian doctrine of atonement through Jesus Christ

See also: Atheism and intolerance

In the British television talk show The Big Questions Dawkins becomes extremely angry at the doctrine that the death of Jesus Christ provides the way to heaven for sinful mankind, who could never get there on their own. And he also become angry when a minister defended the doctrine and various members of the audience applauded the minister.[14][15]

Please see the video: Richard Dawkins gets angry

Richard Dawkins, anger, chronic high blood pressure and his doctors medical advice

According to Glenn Gandelman, MD, "A recent study indicates that angry men have higher blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.[16]

As a result of the controversy relating to a Dawkins Twitter post about feminism/Islam, Dawkins was disinvited to speak at the 2016 Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NCSS) (See: Feminists cause Richard Dawkins to be disinvited to skeptic conference).[17]

Dawkins said he was very upset about being disinvited to the conference.[18] After his disinvitation, Dawkins gave some news about his health condition after suffering a minor stroke and he mentioned that his doctors advised avoiding controversies due to his chronic high blood pressure.[19] In recent times Dawkins has been embroiled in a number of controversies involving the topics of feminism/Islam and he has faced a significant amount of criticism from his fellow skeptics/liberals (see: Richard Dawkins and women and Richard Dawkins and Islamophobia accusations).

Atheist Hemant Mehta reported about Dawkins' stroke and Dawkins' report that he had been once again invited to the conference:

It was the result of stress-related higher blood pressure, which he says he may have had as a result of recent controversy, including being booted from the NECSS conference. He added, however, that on February 5, he received a letter from conference organizers apologizing for disinviting him and asking him back to the conference.[20]

Despite the medical advice of his doctors, Dawkins had a very active Twitter presence before his minor stroke (with a number of Twitter controversies) and numerous public controversies.[21] In short, Dawkins repeatedly ignored the medical advice of his doctors.

On the morning of Richard Dawkins' stroke, Dawkins received a letter from the NCSS apologizing to Dawkins for his disinvitation and once again inviting him to speak at the conference.[22]

The Guardian reported that Dawkins is expected to have a full recovery or near full recovery from his stroke.[23]

Anger of Richard Dawkins towards Rebecca Watson post Elevatorgate

See also: Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a scandal involving New Atheist Richard Dawkins' 2011 comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson which are perceived to have been inappropriate by a sizable portion of the atheist community and to the public at large.[24]

A post-Elevatorgate article by Sarah posted at Skepchick about a conversation between New Atheist Richard Dawkins and David Silverman (ex-president of the American Atheists organization):

Richard was standing behind the podium, and he asked Dave something along the lines of, “What exactly is the Reason Rally?” Dave started explaining it, and as he did, someone who was waiting in the line outside opened the door to peek inside and we could all hear a lot of noise. I rushed up the aisle and made frantic “shut the door” gestures at the people peeking inside, and they did. As I walked the ten feet back, I couldn’t hear everything Dave was saying, but I heard the name “Rebecca Watson.” Richard suddenly had a very angry look on his face and I heard him almost shout, “No, absolutely not! If she’s going to be there, I won’t be there. I don’t want her speaking.” and then Dave immediately replied, “You’re absolutely right, we’ll take her off the roster. It’s done.” Richard huffed for a moment, Dave continued to placate him, and then he made the video.

I was crushed.[25]

Theo Hobson on the angry demeanor of Richard Dawkins

See also: Atheism and anger

In an April 2013 article in The Spectator entitled Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists, Theo Hobson declared:

The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies.[26]

The film documentary The Atheist Delusion features a humorless Richard Dawkins who is the object of audience laughter

See also: Atheism and humor

The movie The Atheist Delusion features the new atheist Richard Dawkins being the object of audience laughter due to something unreasonable he said.[27] Dawkins indignantly asked the audience, "Why is that funny?".[28]

Dawkins has encouraged his supporters to ridicule religious believers and to go beyond humorous ridicule.[29] He wrote, "I lately started to think that we need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt."[30] See also: Richard Dawkins' cult of personality

Atheism, biblical fools and anger

The writers of the Bible considered the existence of God to be self-evident and Moses simply wrote: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).[31]

Accordingly, the psalmist David declared:

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." — Psalms 14:1 (KJV)

King Solomon declares in the book of Proverbs: "A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back." (Proverbs 29:11).

See also

Notes

  1. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  2. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  3. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  4. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  5. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  6. Science Shows New Atheists to be Mean and Closed-Minded
  7. Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind by JONATHAN HAIDT, February 3, 2014 8:36 pm
  8. Science Shows New Atheists to be Mean and Closed-Minded
  9. Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind by JONATHAN HAIDT, February 3, 2014 8:36 pm
  10. Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind by JONATHAN HAIDT, February 3, 2014 8:36 pm
  11. Richard Dawkins has gone so far, he’s lost even his atheist friends, The National
  12. Richard Dawkins: I'm not aggressive about God...perhaps just angry
  13. Are all atheists simply angry, or just the ones to whom you're listening? by Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian
  14. RICHARD DAWKINS GETS ANGRY
  15. RICHARD DAWKINS GETS ANGRY
  16. Anger, Stress and High Blood Pressure, Glenn Gandelman, MD, MPH
  17. An update on Richard Dawkins condition in his own words
  18. An update on Richard Dawkins condition in his own words
  19. An update on Richard Dawkins condition in his own words
  20. Richard Dawkins Gives Update on His Health in Audio Message
  21. Richard Dawkins Said He Was Stressed by Controversy Over Tweet Before Stroke, Christian Post
  22. Richard Dawkins stroke forces delay of Australia and New Zealand tour, The Guardian, February 11, 2016
  23. My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols) by Sarah at Skepchick, September 5, 2013
  24. Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists by Theo Hobson, The Spectator, April 13, 2013
  25. The Atheist Delusion Movie (2016) HD
  26. The Atheist Delusion Movie (2016) HD
  27. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  28. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  29. Harr, Ken and Lisle, Dr. Jason (August 9, 2007). "Chapter 1: Is there really a God?" The New Answers Book. Answers in Genesis.