Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Encore

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Though people of my regional (New England) and ethnic (Irish/Italian) background are usually inclined towards Papism, I have, but for a brief moment, never been a 'believer.' Nor do I come from a family of pious, church-going Irish Catholics. And while greatly enjoying Christopher Hitchens' philippic God is Not Great, I've found most of the recent crop of hectoring anti-deist (and anti-fideist!) books to be either boring or needlessly sanctimonious. So after disproving the existence of god, and selling a trillion books in the process, what does one do for an encore? Richard Dawkins, author of the best-selling The God Delusion, tells the Daily Mail that it is time to investigate the potentially pernicious effects of wizardry:

The 67-year-old, who recently resigned from his position at Oxford University, says he intends to look at the effects of "bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards".

'I think it is anti-scientific—whether that has a pernicious effect, I don't know,' he told More4 News.

'Looking back to my own childhood, the fact that so many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes, whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality, I'm not sure. Perhaps it's something for research.'

However, the outspoken atheist said he hadn't even read Harry Potter and admitted he "didn't know what to think about magic and fairytales".

(via Peter Suderman)

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  1. The 67-year-old, who recently resigned from his position at Oxford University, says he intends to look at the effects of “bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards”.

    Does anyone really bring up their kids to believe in spells and wizards? I mean, c’mon, letting your kids read fantasy books about talking animals and wizards and what-not really isn’t bringing them up to believe its all real, is it?

  2. Is there any difference between this clown and evangelicals who demand that Harry Potter be banned because it endorses wichcraft?

  3. ‘Looking back to my own childhood, the fact that so many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes, whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality, I’m not sure.

    Look what it did to him!

  4. This is where didactic rationalism crosses the line into spiritual Bolshevism, unfortunately.

    Ms. Rand had a similar problem. Does Dawkins have kids?

  5. I, for one, endorse our new wizarding overlords.

  6. the potentially pernicious effects of wizardry:

    She turned me into a newt!

    I got better.

    (Ensuring your child realizes that there is no Santa Claus by the time they’re 13 or so is good parenting. Ensuring your child doesn’t believe in Santa Claus when they’re 5 or 6 is jerkoff-y)

  7. Next Dawkins will be demonizing the classic Warner Bros. cartoons for their depictions of egregious violations of the laws of Physics.

    I am no atheist, but their is difference between actual atheism (simple non-belief in any deity)and the “militant atheism” of the Dawkinites which is basically the anti-religious version of Islamofascism.

  8. R.C. Dean,

    Does anyone really bring up their kids to believe in spells and wizards?

    Some fundamentalist elements of every religion surely do. If one thinks that the devil works through human beings and human history then it isn’t much of a stretch to believe in spells, etc.

    Ben,

    A certain element of atheists/skeptics need to just realize that a significant portion of the population people will continue to believe in ESP, horoscopes, ghosts, etc. Indeed, such ideas are just plain downright attractive in many ways, though I myself don’t personally accept them.

  9. Novels are harmful because they contain fiction? Tell that to Dawkins’ fellow-atheists.

    The *Golden Compass* is fiction with talking animals, and it was written by one of Dawkins’ fellow atheists.

    Bertrand Russell wrote fiction, although it didn’t sell as well as his philosophical and (putatively) nonfictional work. Of course, his daughter ended up as a Christian, so maybe the fiction was a bad idea.

    Nikolai Chernyshevsky, the social-revolultionary Russian atheist, wrote a novel called *What is to be Done?* The novelists’ fictional protagonists sacrifice themselves – and others – for the sake of revolution. This novel was an inspiration to many Russian revolutionaries.

    Why is Dawkins dissing his own peeps?

  10. Paganism is on the rise. They call themselves witches (not sure if men go by wizards or warlocks) and dance naked in the moonlight. There’s quite a bit of hocus pocus involved but I’m not sure what the nature of the “spells” they think they can cast is.

    Anyway it’s close enough, we should be able to answer Mr. Dawkins question in ten or fifteen years.

    Dawkins like Randi, is too much of a dick to pull off all that self righteous. I recommend Letting Go of God. It’s theater not literature. A one act monologue by Julia Sweeney. I think she’s going to put it out on DVD soon.

  11. Nikolai Chernyshevsky…

    Positively one of the worst novels ever written. Of those revolutionaries Lenin being the most prominent.

  12. Mad Max,
    Hey don’t forget the hallucinogenic scribblings of Lewis Carol. Talking rabbits, disappearing cats, it hard to imagine anything more offensive to rationality. And yet Carol was a fine mathematician and put Alice to good use illustrating abstract principals encountered in set theory, rationality distilled to it’s purest form.

  13. Is there any difference between this clown and evangelicals who demand that Harry Potter be banned because it endorses wichcraft?

    Yes, because Dawkins isn’t advocating the banning of books. He’s saying that there might be negative effects associated with teaching children that magic exists, and that it might be worth studying. Personally I think it’s a waste of time, that nobody really believes in magic, and there’s no harm in fantasy. But he’s not calling for a ban on anything, just more research. As long as it’s not publicly funded, research on anything can’t do any harm.

  14. Personally, I just wanna punch Dawkins in the face for being a know it all jerk. At least I get use one of my favorite quotes two days in a row.

    “Deep in the psyche of every sophisticate is a superstitious peasant.”

  15. The 67-year-old, who recently resigned from his position at Oxford University, says he intends to look at the effects of “bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards”.

    As opposed to believing in things like holy spirits, omnipotence, omnipresence, immaculate conceptions, resurrections, raptures and judgment days and heaven for your “soul”.

    What does this guy have against the Chronicles of Narnia anyway? I thought C S Lewis was a pretty devout Christian.

  16. He’s saying that there might be negative effects associated with teaching children that magic exists, and that it might be worth studying.

    Harry Houdini, Harry Blackstone, David Copperfield, Sigfried and Roy, David Blaine and Chris Angel have been negatively affecting our children for years. Thank FSM someone finally decided to examine the extent of this prevasive threat.

  17. Ensuring your child doesn’t believe in Santa Claus when they’re 5 or 6 is jerkoff-y)

    I dunno man.
    I’m not real comfortable with teaching my kid that it’s normal for a husky fellow in a red velvet suit to sneak into our home during the winter him a “present”

  18. ChicagoTom,

    You don’t know the half of it. There was a comedy/hypnotist in my casino last month. No one wanted to serve him cuz we were terrified he would run up a huge tab and “convince” us he had already paid.

  19. Potter was okay, I guess, but the show was much funnier with Henry Blake.

  20. scratch my post at 5:55pm
    My reading comprehension skills failed me this time.

    I read it as he was a religious guy who was against belief in wizards and such.

    This guy is an athiest? Well fuck him even harder then. It’s called “fantasy” and “make believe” and there is nothing wrong with allowing your childrens’ imaginations to go free.

    At least the religious types who are against wizardry are defending their turf from competition — this guy is just being a dick for the sake of being a dick.

  21. In parts of the world, children are turned out of their homes because they are believed to be witches. Yeah, along with astrology believers, UFOs, troofers, et al you are always going to have a certain portion of the population believe this crap. I’m not going to even try to change believers in the occult or supernatural into thinking beings anymore.

    Nobody talked me into atheism. I think it just may be something you have to do on your own.

  22. ChicagoTom,

    Punching him in the face is a noteworthy endeavor. Just sayin’.

  23. It’s called “fantasy” and “make believe” and there is nothing wrong with allowing your childrens’ imaginations to go free.

    What are you basing that statement on? I agree that it’s probably true, but what if, for example, a scientific study were to show that reading fantasy books as a child causes your adult IQ to drop, on average, 10 points from what it otherwise would have been? For me that would be a strong incentive to encourage children not to read those types of books.

    Dawkins isn’t saying that children shouldn’t read fantasy, he’s saying he wants to study the effects of children reading fantasy. I don’t see how anyone can be against that.

  24. I’d love to see Dawkins visit a D&D convention.

  25. Dawkins really has become a worthless fuck.

    By the way I claim first dibs on pointing this out 3 or more years ago.

    Lets hope Hitchens does not follow this path. His book is worthless as well….and it is only Nick’s literary back ground that clouds his judgment towards Hitchens book.

  26. Well, that’s one place that sanctimonious Christians and sanctimonious atheists agree. They both Harry Potter is evil.

  27. As long as it’s not publicly funded, research on anything can’t do any harm.

    Wait, are you saying the truth can’t be harmful? Because that’s easily demonstrated to be *not always true*.

  28. Yes, I’m saying it’s always better to know the truth about something than to not know the truth. If you have a counter example to this, I’d be glad to hear it.

  29. Dawkins is an important figure. We need someone to throw a monkey wrench into mindless religious indoctrination that seems to be so popular in America.

    Personally, I find debating the existance of God to be like shooting fish in a barrel. The argument’s over for me, and it’s been over for me since my teens. We will always have weak minded people who hold irrational beliefs.

    Just look at this forum.

    Anyway, Dawkins seems to be exhibiting a degree of senility. He’s not advocating anything outright, but the fact that it’s even on his mind means that he might need to regain some of the gray matter that’s slowly being lost.

  30. “adult IQ to drop, on average, 10 points from what it otherwise would have been? For me that would be a strong incentive to encourage children not to read those types of books.”

    I would say that you should let go of your irrational belief in the validity of IQ tests.

  31. Yes, I’m saying it’s always better to know the truth about something than to not know the truth. If you have a counter example to this, I’d be glad to hear it.

    Suppose you were a conscientious European during WWII, and you sheltered a Jewish family in your home.

    A Nazi stormtrooper knocks on your door.

    “Are there any Jews here?”, he asks.

    Is it better for him to know, or not to know, the truth?
    ——–

    H. P. Lovecraft based almost the entirety of his fiction on the notion that the truth is so bizarre that it is actually hostile to human sanity.

    Sometimes it’s best not to know.

  32. The kids should all read more science fiction.

    I’ve long argued that “fantasy” is a subset of SF, either because those initials can stand for the much broader “speculative fiction,” or because, since parallel worlds are a perfectly cromulent SF device, and it is perfectly scientifictional to assume for the sake of the story that the laws of physics as we suppose them to be in our corner of this spiral arm of the Milky Way, may be a local phenomenon. Things may be a bit different in the universes where Middle Earth, Narnia, Oz, etc. “exist.” Various authors, from L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, to Bob Heinlein, to Rick Cook to Randall Garrett have had fun with this idea, and/or that of treating the “laws of magic” scientifically.

    I had no problem, as a kid, enjoying a Gardner Fox story, whether it was about the magical Dr. Fate or the supersciencefictional Justice League. There’s this thing in fiction called “suspension of disbelief.” It’s kinda necessary when an athist, like myself, reads fantasy, horror, space opera….

    Kevin

  33. Just to clarify –

    I don’t think Dawkins believes that kids will literally believe in witches and spells if they read fantasy. He seems to be talking about the effect on “rationality” in general.

    I have some sympathy for that argument. Maybe teaching kids that Santa Claus brings them presents magically makes them more likely to believe in the Santa Claus State when they grow up, who knows.

    The problem is that even if it’s true, you have to leave it alone anyway and just decide that you can’t do anything about it. Because trying to do something about it makes you, at best, a miserable shrew like Maureen O’Sullivan at the start of Miracle on 34th Street, and at worst it makes you a Bolshevik or Robespierre. Ya just gotta let it go and hope for the best.

  34. Elemenope,

    You asked for this…

    You can’t handle the truth!

    That being said, the bigger problem seems to me that a lot of issues are only resovable in a probablistic fashion.

  35. In my training to become a Waldorf teacher, I was asked to consider that parallel to mythology’s historical transformation into philosophy, imaginative narratives may prepare children for the reception of intellectual and moral truths addressed to their powers of abstraction at a later age. Stories metamorphose into arguments, images develop into principles, the ability to respond with strong feelings early in life can evolve into a mature fidelity to ideals. It may even be that some adults’ susceptibility to magical thinking in the spells cast by politicians and (other) cult leaders are signs of an arrested and deprived appetite for magic that a mythically rich pedagogy might fruitfully have served.

  36. The problem is that even if it’s true, you have to leave it alone anyway and just decide that you can’t do anything about it. Because trying to do something about it makes you, at best, a miserable shrew like Maureen O’Sullivan at the start of Miracle on 34th Street, and at worst it makes you a Bolshevik or Robespierre. Ya just gotta let it go and hope for the best.

    That’s kind of the crux of my more general point. Knowing (in this particular case) won’t really help anyone, since it is an enjoyable activity that people will want to indulge regardless of whether it is marginally helpful or harmful. And, beyond that, it hands ammunition to those who *do* want to *do something* about it; anything that keeps empirical ammo out of prohibitionist hands can’t be entirely bad.

    You asked for this…

    You can’t handle the truth!

    LOL.

    That being said, the bigger problem seems to me that a lot of issues are only resovable in a probablistic fashion.

    And the problem is that humans are notoriously bad at judging probabilities, delayed costs, and risks. So, tell people that an activity has a 5% chance of causing cancer and they’ll be all about banning it, regardless of incidental factors, such as the value of that activity (economically, aesthetically, emotionally, etc.).

  37. Suppose you were a conscientious European during WWII, and you sheltered a Jewish family in your home.

    A Nazi stormtrooper knocks on your door.

    “Are there any Jews here?”, he asks.

    Is it better for him to know, or not to know, the truth?

    If your the stormtrooper, yes.
    That wasn’t the question, and you needn’t have gone Godwin to make the lame point that it is sometimes better for you that others don’t know the truth.

    The question is when is it better for an individual to be wrong or ignorant about reality.

  38. “Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins a movie by telling you how it ends! Well I say there are some things we don’t want to know! Important things!”

  39. I would say that you should let go of your irrational belief in the validity of IQ tests.
    Fair enough, but what if you changed it to 10% less income earned over their lifetime? By whatever metric you care to use, isn’t it at least worth knowing the result?

    Is it better for [the Nazi stormtrooper] to know, or not to know, the truth?
    Well from the point of the stormtrooper, it is better for him to know the truth! But I’ll take that as a decent counterexample for the general case. In this particular instance (whether fantasy can have a negative effect on children) it would cause no harm for society to know the truth, and could possibly provide some slight benefit.

    Knowing (in this particular case) won’t really help anyone, since it is an enjoyable activity that people will want to indulge regardless of whether it is marginally helpful or harmful.
    I disagree. If it could be demonstrated that reading non-fiction, or historical fiction, or westerns or whatever, had an overall positive effect on children, but reading fantasy novels had a negative effect, it would help parents decide what sort of books to have around the house.

    And, beyond that, it hands ammunition to those who *do* want to *do something* about it; anything that keeps empirical ammo out of prohibitionist hands can’t be entirely bad.
    I’m opposed to this on principle. I don’t think it’s right to suppress an actual, empirical fact, just because it can be used for an argument whose results you don’t agree with. Prohibition or censorship is wrong on its face; there’s no need to discourage research about books, alcohol, drugs, or anything else.

  40. There’s a difference between encouraging children to read fiction and fantasy that is presented as such, and telling them outright lies that you know to be lies, with the intention that they believe them. Harry Potter falls into the first category, Santa Claus into the latter.

    My kids will never hear of Santa Claus from me. Unfortunately, our society seems to have a disconnect when it comes to Mr. Kringle, so they’ll probably hear it from other sources. We insist on teaching first graders about copulation in graphic detail in the interest of truth, but at the same time we tell them fibs about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny et cetera, because that’s part of being a kid or some similarly facile rationalization.

  41. If your the stormtrooper, yes.

    You’re, for christs sake! What else do you do, shelter Jews in your home?

  42. J sub D —

    No, it was not a Godwin, and it *was* the question. The question was not “given any individual, is it better for that individual to know ‘x’?”. The question was, in the specific context of *research* (which is a form of general knowing), is it better for *us* to know or not to know ‘x’?

    I would argue, concomitantly, that it is better both for the Jewish family and for the stormtrooper to not know the truth in the above situation. After all, it is reasonable to argue that at all times it is better than not that a person not be in a position where they are likely to kill someone, or have them killed? It is certainly better for the family and the people who hid them for the stormtrooper not to know. So even if the question was as you assert, it still holds true; there are cases in which it is better for all parties for at least one party to not know something.

    If you wish, you can generalize to *everyone* and assert fairly confidently that is better that nobody knows that a particular European family is hiding Jews. That lack of information is, likewise, better for everyone.

  43. Chrispy,

    The relationships you are positing are totally implausible. That’s like saying, if a study came out saying childhood masturbation decreases IQ by 20%, shouldn’t parents force their children to wear chastity belts? The premise is totally out of left field, so there’s no point addressing any conclusions that follow from it.

  44. The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

  45. Here’s a crazy and unconventional idea. How about we leave people alone and let them believe what they want to believe?

    What? No takers?

  46. The relationships you are positing are totally implausible.
    Yes, I exaggerated for effect in my hypothetical example. Personally, I suspect that reading any kind of book will in the long run be good for children. But that’s pure speculation on my part, and I have to allow for the possibility that I’m wrong.

    In your example, I’m not really interested in the chastity belt part, I’m interested in the study. If someone came out with a press release and had a story in the Daily Mail that said “I’m going to do a research project investigating the relationship between childhood masturbation and IQ,” I would be mildly interested in the result, if only because it would be an interesting bit of trivia. I don’t think it would be appropriate to call the researcher a “clown,” “jerk,” “dick,” to say “fuck him,” or try to prevent or discourage him from doing the research in the first place.

    I’m mostly responding to the people taking that position. Feel free to ignore Dawkins, don’t buy the book, do you own reasearch, etc. But to try to prevent or discourage the research to me is a kind of censorship, it’s anti-science, it’s bad for society and it’s wrong.

  47. Nemo, how ’bout just you do that if you want to, and why don’t you just leave the rest of us alone to not let people believe what we don’t want them to believe?

    Jeez, what a control-freak!

  48. Nemo wins the thread with the sanest comment.

  49. Well, Dawkins just shows that being an atheist does not mean you are not a joyless, puritanical busybody.

  50. “I’ve long argued that “fantasy” is a subset of SF, either because those initials can stand for the much broader “speculative fiction,” or because, since parallel worlds are a perfectly cromulent SF device, and …”

    Fantasy may be a subset of “speculative fiction” but it is NOT a subset of science fiction. Science Fiction requires some sort of scientific (or at least logical) explanation for the unusual actions taking place. There are some stories that merge the two genres such as Start Wars. But the one is not a subset of the other.

  51. Ironic, an nth dimensional Venn Diagram is called for in this situation and you seem to be the one best equipped to construct it.

    Good luck!

  52. Fluffy asked “Does Dawkins have kids?”

    He has a daughter – there’s a beautiful passage in one of his books about taking her out as a baby to watch Halley’s Comet, and hoping he can teach her to look in wonder at the natural world.

    Of course, that was before he turned into a monumental bore.

  53. I’m an avid fan of fantasy and science-fiction, but I don’t see the harm in looking into this as long as it’s privately funded.

    Dawkins is not:

    making judgments
    advocating force or
    telling people what they have to believe

    In fact, I find most of Richard Dawkins’ work to be in response to the effects of religion when backed up by force. Dawkins is essentially fighting the influence of religion on politics, something most of us here would find a worthy endeavor.

  54. Well perhaps the great Dawkins wasn’t so wise. Oh, he was intelligent, but, some of the most intelligent otters I’ve ever known were completely lacking in common sense. Maybe, some otters do need to believe in something. Who knows? Maybe, just believing in God makes God exist.

  55. Yes. Long ago we realized isms are great for those who are rational, but in the hands of irrational people, isms always lead to violence.

  56. However, the outspoken atheist said he hadn’t even read Harry Potter and admitted he “didn’t know what to think about magic and fairytales”.

    …although he frequently alludes to them while discussing the topic of religion.

  57. “Ironic, an nth dimensional Venn Diagram is called for in this situation and you seem to be the one best equipped to construct it.”

    Speculative fiction can include fantasy, science fiction, alternative history and any fictional stories with an ethical politician. Some consider Lovecraftian horror separate from fantasy, but in any case, it is still a subset of speculative fiction.

  58. However, the outspoken atheist said he hadn’t even read Harry Potter and admitted he “didn’t know what to think about magic and fairytales”.

    …although he frequently alludes to them while discussing the topic of religion.

    Usually when he’s alluding to them it’s in a different context. It’s talking about the Douglas Adams “fairies at the bottom of the garden” idea.

  59. Though people of my regional (New England) and ethnic (Irish/Italian) background are usually inclined towards Papism…

    I read this as “inclined towards Priapism,” and it made me think of the Kennedy clan. Funny!

  60. “Now Billy, when I read you this story about the little engine, I don’t want it to have any adverse impact on your rational mind, so I need you to understand that steam engines on trains don’t really talk. You see, this is called anthropomorphism and it’s really all part of a metaphor about hard work and persistence. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that machines can talk in real life, though, okay? Do you understand?”

  61. Did anyone bother to RTFA? Dawkins himself didn’t bring up the modern SF or fantasy genre. He’s going to write a book about “‘science thinking contrasted with mythical thinking’ and will talk about the ‘Judeo-Christian myth’.” This is exactly about those fundie types that bring up their kids to believe in witchcraft and ESP and the like. The Harry Potter angle was inserted by the Daily Mail, possibly to make the article “sexy” (or maybe just to make Dawkins look silly).

  62. There was a book about a child prodigy published a few years ago, and I can’t remember the title. Anyway, the kid’s father was an eastern european immigrant who was convinced that he had the perfect education system. One of the central ideas in the father’s system was that the child never be allowed to read any fiction or religious works because he thought it clouded the child’s mind.

    His kid did turn out to be a math and language genius, but as an adult the kid became a hermit and his greatest work was publishing a book about trolley schedules or something like that.

  63. The Wise One – Otters? Twice?

  64. Well perhaps the great Dawkins wasn’t so wise. Oh, he was intelligent, but, some of the most intelligent otters I’ve ever known were completely lacking in common sense. Maybe, some otters do need to believe in something. Who knows? Maybe, just believing in God makes God exist.

    Kill the Wise One!

  65. i want to be sympathetic to dawkins’ aims, but he’s just such a ridiculous guy sometimes.

  66. Remember, kids, the word “might” is semantically equivalent to the phrase “might or might not.” Its amazing how bringing this to light sucks the life out of bullshit artists like Dawkins.

    He’s saying that there might or might not be negative effects associated with teaching children that magic exists, and that it might or might not be worth studying.

  67. Gee, FM stopped in last night to be an unholy butthole again. Nice seein ya’ Morty!

  68. Agnosticism is the most rational outlook on religion that I can think of.

  69. Agnosticism is the most rational outlook on religion that I can think of.

    Let me guess: YOU’RE AGNOSTIC!

    I know, I know, I’m just good at these things.

    (BTW, I’m agnostic as well.)

  70. humans are notoriously bad at judging probabilities, delayed costs, and risks

    Humans…as opposed to…YOU?

  71. I know, I know

    @ the agnostic fyodor: No, you don’t; no, you don’t.

  72. Science H. Logic, you need to spend less time on this nonsense, Richard Dawkins, and more on settling the Great Question: what should we atheists call our movement?

    And it better be Allied Atheist Allegiance or by All-Mighty Science I will crush your skull like a clam on my tummy!

  73. “Agnosticism is the most rational outlook on religion that I can think of.”

    Jesus, not this shit again.

    Atheists, by default are Agnostic as well, in the original sense of the term. Agnosticism, and Atheism are not mutually exclusive.

    Atheism addresses belief. If you’re an Agnostic because you’re holding out on believing whether or not a God exists, then Agnosticism is just another level of faith. It’s not some intellectually secure position that is impenetrable.

    It reminds of the Libertarians who claim that they don’t have an opinion on abortion. How can you not have an opinion on abortion, or whether or not you believe in Creationism?

    Is the evidence really that compelling, or absent that it would make the decision that difficult?

    Is there anyway we can tie this discussion into taxation to arouse some conviction?

    Help me out here.

  74. Is there any difference between this clown and evangelicals who demand that Harry Potter be banned because it endorses wichcraft?

    Umm…yeah. Dawkins said “I don’t know.” and suggested that the topic is a good one for research. It’s the antithesis of what fundamentalists do and say.

  75. I am no atheist, but their is difference between actual atheism (simple non-belief in any deity)and the “militant atheism” of the Dawkinites which is basically the anti-religious version of Islamofascism.

    Riiiiiight… Osama bin Dawkins is leading a world-wide atheist conspiracy that plans to fly planes into skyscrapers in New York, destroy the Pentagon, plant bombs on public transportation in London, and attack US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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