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The Stroumboulopouli

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Rebuttal re Richard Dawkins.

The Rebuttal against Richard Dawkins and his appearance on The Hour

"Science without Religion is Lame. Religion without Science is blind."

These words are my favorite quote from Albert Einstein. And while some can be critical of him for dropping out of high school, the man is considered a genius. He is one of the most intelligent people of the Twentieth Century.

From his quotes, he has an interesting take on religion. He does not accept a personal God, but he still believes in a mystical divinity, an order to the Universe. He can reject and accept religion at the same time. He understands the need for God, he discussed God in some of his most famous sayings.

Originally, I wished to look at Einstein as a way to refute Dawkins and his God Delusion book, because of Dawkins comments on the Hour. The alarming quote is: "It is beyond belief that every single member of the United States Senate, of the United States Congress, is Religious. Of course they're not. At least some of them are intelligent and educated."

George directly concluded that Dawkins had meant "intelligent people have to be atheists," and while Dawkins said that was what George read into the comment, he never refuted the statement. Dawkins remained one step shy of confirming George's interpretation. He never said "of course intelligent people can be religious." He let George's conclusion stand and moved on, statement made, and no apology for any offence it might cause.

I found it quite offensive. I am a non-denominational Christian. I believe in God, the basic tenants of the religion, but I do not attend a church. While I wish to read The God Delusion, if only to better understand the man before I can counter his argument against gods and religion, I wanted to hold up a beacon to show his comment was inappropriate.

Religious people can be intelligent. Many people who have achieved great things are considered highly intelligent and are religious on some level.

So I remembered the quote from Einstein. And I began to research the man, his work, his quotes… Yes, Albert was a physicist, but he has profound wisdom in every quote I have come across. He was a Jew in Germany, managed to be in America and remain there after Hitler passed the
Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service which removed Jewish people from any political office and started the dark road towards many bad things.

Of course, learning this information led me in a new direction. Political movements that excluded religion seemed like something else to view. As Einstein saw the dark shadows of war and escaped Nazi Germany, I was seeing something else in my pursuit of my position. A world where being religious, whether for a specific denomination or in any form, had been considered illegal.

Communist Russia is what comes to mind. The Soviet Union seems like a failed experiment now that it has passed, and one thing people were forbidden to have was religious freedom. This might be more extreme than what Dawkins suggests in not allowing religion to mingle with politics, but there is a history of religious exclusivity and religious exclusion throughout history.

To eliminate one (or several) religious group from political office, as was the state of Nazi Germany, or banning all religion in favor of the state, as we have seen in Communist Russia through the Twentieth Century, seems to indicate the removal of personal beliefs in any setting are signs of an oppressive regime.

But then, promotion of a specific Religion can be just as oppressive, which is also a hallmark of society. There are always small factions that shout so loud they seem like the only branch of a particular religion. It is easy to see why Dawkins would see the danger of organized religion or believing in a god when hatred and bloodshed can follow.

Dawkins has seen an America managed by Christianity, and he does not like it. He wishes to crusade against it. How strange that he has a crusade, something we associate with religion forcing itself into war. But what good things have come from leaders being religious? America had a civil war, as one leader, Abraham Lincoln, sought to abolish slavery. There was an ideal that everyone was equal. And while it is still something America has to work on, there is a religious morality behind it.

If we studied the issue, I am sure we could find as many good examples of religious inspired leadership as we could find the tragic conflicts Dawkins would side with. But ultimately, it comes back to his comment on intelligence. Einstein's articles and some quotes would almost seem to support Dawkins, through Einstein's belief that ethics are not indicative of religious belief.

Yet so many quotes from Einstein mention God, or mysticism, and he is quite upset with Atheists. It really makes me interested in Dawkins and his work to see if Einstein is ever mentioned. Why? Specifically, this quote from Albert Einstein is key:
"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human understanding, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."
— Prince Hubertus zu Löwenstein, Towards the Further Shore (Victor Gollancz, London, 1968), p. 156; quoted in
Jammer, p. 97
I do not have Dawkin's book, so I cannot see if he ever looks at Einstein to support his positions. I hope he does not. I did visit Dawkin's web site. It is quite self serving. All of the notable quotes are from Dawkins. The site plays out as a biologist's crusade to eliminate God from how the world is run.

However, that is Communism, isn't it? Elimination of religion from the state? Did we not see stories in the 1990s where people rejoiced at being able to go back to Church and worship openly in Russia? The downfall of Communism allowed their long secret beliefs to flourish once more. But if there was no God, and from 1917 until 1991 the Communist state suppressed religion, and did not allow it to rule, how could that religion survive through several generations unless there was true passion and desire for it?

I believe in God. It is not the same as most people do, but I know that despite everything biology and evolution can teach, for everything Science says "if you cannot prove this it is only theory and not fact," I have to go back to the quote that Einstein mentioned at the start.

And surely, if Science and Religion are supposed to work together, as was claimed by the most famous genius of the last century, why can't Politics and Religion come together?

For every atrocity we have seen perpetrated by a small group using religion for their own causes, can we not also see a good cause? Street ministries caring for the homeless, feeding the hungry, laws being passed to allow equality, freedom of belief, all stemming from morality that could be found without religion, but at the same time, working because someone was religious, and read words in a book we might call Bible that said "Love thy neighbour" or "So whatever you do to the least of my brothers…"

Atheist means without God. And yes, we see many bad things in the name of God, or whatever the religion might name the deity of power. But to imagine this universe is so random, so ordered and complex without any thought to organize it or start it running, and if so many can go out, build houses, schools, bridges, feed the hungry, irrigate fields crippled by drought, and care for the sick, the dying, and even the dead… because of religion, how can someone only focus on the bad?

Maybe we have seen the rise of certain religious denominations in political office and experienced the horror of it, as we have seen with Nazi Germany. But we have also experienced the removal of religion from government and even society, as we saw with Communism. Dawkins seeks one extreme. American politics seems like another right now. To find the true spirit of a free world, of an accepting and tolerant world, you cannot eliminate someone from holding a position based on having a religious belief or morals shaped by that belief.

Fascism, Communism, extremes of what can go wrong when we limit the rights to believe something and still be active in shaping society. Is America becoming another example of the extreme of Religious influence? Dawkins thinks so, and there is always that possibility. But to hint that people who are intelligent would be atheists, to call for the removal of all religion from politics is just another extreme position that excludes one group or another from participating. That is the true threat to freedom, and the true insult to people everywhere: the insult of exclusion because one person's belief is different. Not better, not worse, just different.

I thought morality and ethics were supposed to fix that little problem.

Guest blogger


Allan said...

This reads like the kind of thinking people do in their heads before writing an essay.
It's not at all clear what you propose or why.
If you're going to dispute Dawkins, it is him you should be reading first, not Einstein.
A more accessible book is that by Christopher Hitchens titled "God Is Not Great".
Any of these can be reserved at your local library.

Why do you call yourself a Christian, Lauren?
Your answer might be the better argument against Dawkins, but I wonder if you can really explain your beliefs in relation to Jesus and The Bible.

Do you not see the obvious dangers of using "religion" to control people?
It's basically a call to not think. To give up rational and intelligent thought in favour of someone else's rules.

Look at what religion has done to Iran and Iraq.
Last week one family allowed their daughter to be stoned to death over some "moral" issue.
Was this based on scientific or religious principles?
Another book, "Under The Banner Of Heaven", shows how murder is justified by applying religious laws right here in North America.
Have you read the book of Mormon?
One person who believes in this elaborate hoax is being taken seriously as a presidential candidate.
Does this not concern you?
What do you think the phrase "separation of church and state" means?

I'm not expecting you to respond seriously.
It's a pretty big issue for any of the people reading this blog, but it's interesting to hear the different points of view, and I thought I could at least weigh in to show that I read your post.

Barbara said...

there is a danger in either extreme...
On the one hand religion spread education far and wide on the other hand because they did that people can now read any side to this argument and chose what they want to believe...
I am spiritual but not religious but I went to catholic school yet think the the church and state should remain separate...
Dawkins is just too far to one side for me... but who am I to judge him? Oh I could vasilate on this point all day... how Canadian is that?

Lauren said...

Allan, you missed the point again.

You keep doing that. How you live with the shame is beyond me.
You didn't read my post, you used it to launch your diatribe.

My rebuttal is about the implied comment, and touches on the removal of religion from politics because of where Einstein fled from - Nazi Germany. My goal is not to refute Dawkins and change his view, and certainly not to fight against his position that there is nothing more to the Universe than what we see.

He can be an athiest and I am happy if that is what he chooses.

I only sought to lend an example that says "Hey, here is someone intelligent, smarter than you, smarter than me, and he talked about God a lot."

And then continue with saying that the extremes are wrong. Fundamentalist America is mentioned as being bad as much as non-religious Communism.

I wrote some random thoughts, did some research, it is not an essay, it is OPINION, but opinion with some basis, unlike anything you can write.

All you want to do is to attack me, defame me, ridicule me for believing in Jesus. That is what your response is.

I call myself Christian because I believe in the works of Christ. That is, there are accounts of what he did in this world, and I find great value in them.

Preaching about love, peace, acceptance, sharing, respect, making the world better? You only see the end result where man took things. I see the spark at the start.

I do not believe because I was raised to believe. I have faith because I studied the writings, learned about the culture, put in the effort to see how Christianity evolved over time.

And with all of the curtains pulled back and mirrors taken down, I still believe.

As for not needing religion to find morality, oh I don't know... Communist Russia seemed to lack a lot of morals. I am sure Christian America has done things just as bad, but the point is, people were fleeing Russia for America at the time, escaping the KGB, fearing for their lives...

There's your state without religion. Still want it?

Iran and Iraq? They aren't doing well. Suadi Arabia? U.A.E.? Muslim countries doing just fine, and we never really hear anything about them. They seem to be getting along with the world despite the religion. Heck, I work for a college that runs training schools in those countries. Grads go to work there. People rant and rave about how nice some of the communities are there. Sounds fine to me.

Japan? A lot of religion and tradition there, and I don't see them invading anyone these days. It might be expensive to live in Tokyo, but they are playing nicely with the world and giving us a lot of fun technology, oh, and some great cars, too.

Italy is pretty Catholic, but I don't see them running terrorist camps. I do see a lot of great food, though. Yes, there was that WW2 thing, but they overcame the facism and they are doing just fine. In fact, through the middle ages, Jewish communities could be quite welcome in Catholic Italy, home of the Vatican. Hrm...

The only thing we're going to agree on is the issues with the book of Mormon.

Nothing I wrote was meant to tell people to give up atheism and find a religion. But what you are coming back with is a ridicule of religion, asking how I can believe it and questioning my faith, my belief.

I never questioned anyone's atheism, why are you now questioning my Christianity?

That's quite offensive, which is your usual style. Before you reply again, maybe go for some sensitivity training?

Or MAYBE you can go answer my challenge on how to fix the Hour? I replied with my ideas, you hummed, hawed, and I waited for WEEKS and never saw a damn thing from you.

It's easy to shout down something you do not like. Do you have the skill to actually defend your own position? Don't tell me what is wrong with religion. Tell me what you think is right with atheism.

Until then, don't waste our time.

Allan said...

you're fun, lauren. You really are.
As a Christian you have to expet to be mocked for your beliefs.
Just as someone who claims to think for themselves and yet supports The Hour must know they will be equally ridiculed.
You know in your heart that The Hour is superficial fluff, using a string of brand names to appear important, and that George's fake idea of journalism is to use interview skills that are more appropriate on Sesame Street. We already know he would rather be hosting Canadian Idol.
The Hour does exactly the same show as the newsmagazine on the weekend with Evan and what's-her-name.
It's not some hip new show from a new generation.
It's just more of the same old same old.
The staff think they're hip because they have an iPod instead of an original thought.

here's what AZ had to say in today's Star

mass media filter the news through their ownership interests, advertiser concerns, the nature of their sources, the flak they get and the acceptable political ideology.


We still don't get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from the mass media.

The Hour has always claimed to give the news "straight up" when we all quickly realized that straight meant dumbed and up meant down.
Can you not see that the Hour is what we used to call The Establishment.
Do you know what it means to promote and re-inforce the status quo?
That's what your boyfriend with the black shirt and Berry does.
Had The One taken off George would be living next to Avril, reading motorcycle mags and feeling sorry for you up there in the snow.
It's obvious he only cares about getting through his contract and not offending his bosses.

The Hour I want to spend has me visiting Raymi at her apartment and then into the studio for 45 minutes with Christopher Hitchens taking questions from the audience and with a summary of clips from the internet and televison that are funny and telling like the Daily show and Davis Spade, etc.
And also, every ten minutes a hockey puck would hit George in the groin.
I never get tired of that. Not ever.
I wonder. Could it be used as a ringtone?

Allan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

Oh Allan
and who else thinks Ramyi the topless blogger should get time on The Hour?
I am not fond of anyone putting links in the comments...
To be fair we'll vote to see if we keep or delete them.

Barbara said...

Vote is in... sorry Allan no links on comments. This is why we are deleting them. You can give addresses just no live links.
Thank you for your understanding.

Allan said...

as you wish
'tis your blog

but maybe you could state why links are discouraged

As for darling Raymi, I of course avert my eyes whenever her nipples show up, and focus only on the food pictures and her fearlessly honest and ruthlessly funny diary entries.
(yipes, is it ok to say nipples?)

and don't you think George has a bit of a potty-mouth sometimes?

JonoVision said...

Religion is bunk. Deal with it, guys.

I wouldn't say that religious folk are unintelligent, but really... virgin birth? resurection? miracles? The fact that the Pope continues to beatify shows a lack of correlation between reason and faith.

Frankly, if you believe in the supernatural, you're stupid.

Deeal with it.

Michael Krahn said...


I'm a Christian who is working on a series on Dawkins' book "The God Delusion" at my blog at:

Join me there for some discussion.

Allan said...

still not clear why no live links allowed

Other blogs don't have this problem.
But, so be it.
Here's an address
It even has a picture of George.

For an excellent intro to Hitchens, here are two clips:

Allan said...

If you go to youtube and search for:



it'll take you there.

architect said...

I was thinking about this whole conversation and it dawned upon me that so many ebelive that values are just arbitrary. A new book that serves as a rebuttal to Richard Dawkin’s, The God Delusion, and other books against religion is Adults Only (Bernard Hanan and Co. Publishers). This book offers scientific proof to the fact that the human being has a distinct soul and thus has a special moral imperative and questions whether morality is possible without religion. It also proves that there is an absolute ethical standard. You can't make up your own values. I found the title to be provocative and realize that the point is to reinstate adulthood as a concept of morality. This book is very comprehensive and is exceedingly logical. It covers everything from scientifically disproving atheism to delving into themes of human sexuality. The author, IC Fingerer, is a rabbi and bioethicist. It can be ordered from Barnes and Noble or from

Allan said...

It's been said that humans are the only species which finds it necessary to create a religion.
Except for the Praying Mantis.

Allan said...

Speaking of things with small brains, do you realize that it's a scientific fact that people tune in to, read and watch things that they think are smarter than them.

To those who are fans of The Hour, have you come to realize yet that a hockey thug who thinks guns are cool is the smartest guy in your life?

Allan said...

George has been busy at his own web page.
There is a post on the subject lauren brought up.
Also one about model trains that's ... well, let's just say that if you like watching paint dry, you're in for some real excitement.
This will probably be voted The Best of The Hour.

When it comes to God stuff, George states that he doesn't know what he believes.
The mark of a true airhead.
Keep following him. The cliff should be coming up any time now.

Lauren said...


Are you ready to say what would make the Hour better yet, or are you still enamoured with your case of verbal incontinence?

It seems like you are desperate for someone to respond to you and give you attention, since you have THREE posts in a row about nothing. So consider this your pat on the head and kitty treat.

Feel better now? Aw that's swell. :)

Allan said...


replace George


Barbara said...

Allan did your mother raise you to be so mean?

Miss A said...

A child is gravely ill with cancer and numerous complications. A priest was called to administer last rites on two occasions. Devout believers, her family prayed for a miracle. Ten years later, the child has completely recovered. Her family considers it to be a miracle. Others may think that the doctors just got lucky. If having faith in God provided her family with hope and comfort during their darkest hours, I don’t think it should be so easily dismissed as “bunk”.

Lauren…I apologize for going off topic…

I think most who regularly visit this blog recognize that you often write things simply to bait people. To appease you, I’m going to take the bait. While reading your comments I try to keep in mind that you are older – I was raised to be respectful of everyone, particularly, my elders. However, respect is a two way street. I’m sure I am not the only one tired of being told how stupid I am because I watch The Hour. Personally, I question the intelligence of someone who claims to have nothing but abhorrence for something, but continues to focus on it with such mean-spirited verve.

I find it ironic that you have continued to criticize the lack of new content on, yet you haven’t added any new content to YOUR blog since April. I noticed that you quickly removed the link from your blogger profile, after I left a comment. See, as stupid as I am, I used that handy bookmark feature on my browser and can still access the link. Now I know that you’re super busy checking out the…um…”food” shots on Raymi’s blog, but really Allan, practice what you preach…

Allan said...

I had no idea that anyone saw that blog, let alone left a comment.
It was only linked to my profile for a few hours, because I was trying out something, and I haven't gone back to it since.
Good for you for catching it, and I'm sorry I let you down when you cared enough about me to bookmark it.
I'm writing a response to you and to all the innocent bystanders who read us both, but it's taking a long time.
I'd like to post it before you go to bed, but there's so much to cover. It's my own fault for getting involved here and opening up a can of worms that now can't be re-sealed. (there was a chance for you to say put a lid on it)
Here is part of it.

When someone reaches across to shake George's hand, they've already just made ten thousand dollars.
And let's pretend you don't know what I mean.
This is important because it speaks to the the agenda of the people who bring you The Hour, all of them.
The moment Dawkins appears on the screen in person he can now write off every dollar it cost him to get to there. From the moment he left his front door until he looks George straight in the eye is now a business expense. Tax deductible.
And the benefits to him don't end there because hopefully enough people will buy what he's selling to more than make up for what he spent on room service.
As long as he behaves properly that is.
He must get in front of enough people and make those people like him if he hopes to succeed and get wealthier.
The Hour represents one such opportunity to do so.
And it's Dawkins that pretty much controls this event from beginning to end.

When I read on Strombo that George is fumbling with his Blackberry to let everyone know that he's flying to meet Arnold (and you're not) then yes, I get jealous. And I'm impressed.
I see he's bragging about what a great life he has. I see it on his web page, on the Hour's blog and on his MySpace. And frankly, that's all I see.
There's no actual content. Almost nothing that he shares about his life, his thoughts or his experiences. Why is that?
Because he is a conceited asshole, an airhead, a hockey thug.
And he is, of course, none of those things.

But something is phony about all of it.
George has become part of the lie that pervades mass media and news.
And I abhor it and demand better.
If you're part of the audience for this show then you must share in the responsibility.

Well, there's some it.
I thought you wanted lively discussion, and I at least try to provide it.
Much of my attempt at humour does come off as mean-spirited to some people and I recognize that.
But I have to be free to express my thoughts as best I can, and that means I'll never be as popular as those who do nothing but kiss up to people they want to impress.
I'll spend hours on some comments, writing them and then staring at them asking "can I live with this?' Other times, it's just what you'd call being flippant.

You bring up so many issues that it would indeed take a separate blog to deal with all of them. I've struggled with this, and have yet to find the solution.
Like you, I have other things going on in my life, to the point that I'm surprised to still be here and participating. I didn't know it would last this long.
I chose to get involved because here was something that was important to me.
And it's been fascinating, and a lot like therapy.

I'd prefer you attack my ideas rather than me, but I'll take whatever you want to dish out.
And you're right, I wasn't born yesterday. So if you want, we can get into it about that too. What you need to know right off the bat is that I don't think I'm a better person than you, or even smarter.
I hope to still learn more by reading what you have to say, whoever you are and whatever age you are.
It's not my fault that I'm older than you, I didn't choose when to be born. It only means that I have more experiences to draw upon when trying to lay claim to understanding this confusing life. I may have lived a thousand years and you only one, but perhaps I've learned nothing as a result, whereas you've learned something profound that would benefit even me.
Tell me about it.

The existence of The Hour and blogs is an opportunity to discuss what matters in life, as well as what makes for good broadcasting.
We can share our values and hopes and maybe have some fun along the way.

This is where we are, so let's do it.
And knock it off trying to repress people and their opinions.
For those who want to censor and control others I have two words.

We do not really know each other at all, and any assumptions we make could be completely wrong. The only assumption we can all agree on is that anyone reading this must know the english language. Other than that, it's a crap-shoot.
Even if we used last names and photos, there's still more to each person than meets the eye.

This is all stuff that you already know.
I'm simply trying to pose ideas that you may not have thought about, and you will be the judge of that and my motives as well. As will I with the comments you make.

Allan said...

Have you noticed how your "boyfriend" thinks guns are cool?
And not the hunting kind, but the ones that kill people.
There he is at the top of his blog pointing whatever that thing is that sure looks like a misshaped rifle.
There he is wearing a favored T-shirt that reads "I [GUN] L.A."
There he is laughing at a video of someone shooting into a forest to kill people.
What a man. Let's all be like George.
And let's wear a poppy on Remembrance Day.

Just as George is bragging about his chance to meet The Terminator, I walk by the newsstand and see a headline in The National Post by Linda Frum that says "Exclusive Interview With Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger"
Wow. What a coincidence.
What do you think might explain that?

Miss A said...


After reading everything you wrote, the following is what stuck out the most: "knock it off trying to repress people and their opinions."

I'm not trying to repress your opinions. You can be as critical as you want of The Hour and the host, as it relates to the PROGRAM.
But sometimes you cross the line. Here's a recent example: "When it comes to God stuff, George states that he doesn't know what he believes. The mark of a true airhead". His religious beliefs, or lack thereof, have nothing to do with his job. Often, you choose to make it personal and it's not right and this is primarily what I take issue with.

Barbara said...

You know it's a guitar Allan.. we have had this discusion before...

Allan said...

I'm not entirely happy with calling him an airhead, especially since the word agnostic could apply
perhaps the upcoming interview will cause me to take that back completely that notion.

show that graphic to anyone in the world and ask them if they see a guitar

Lauren said...

I see a guitar! Pretty obvious.

Didn't Johnny Cash do that same move with his guitar at times? I seem to remember something about that.

Hrm... seems quite normal for a music junkie to have on his site.

Allan said...

I met Johnny Cash and, no, he didn't.
He held the guitar up to his ear. And Hendrix held it up to his teeth.
But yes, it's a guitar.
That thing's not loaded is it?

Allan said...

So now explain the uber subliminal message on his T-shirt.
How would you feel wearing one?

Miss A said...

I know a couple of things about weapons - my father was a police officer. It's not a firearm.

Brooksie said...

The I "gun" LA t-shirt? I see it as satirical social comment. Would I wear one? Nope. I am a cute girl and only wear things with bunnies and rainbows.

Lauren said...

Maybe it is the picture of the guy at

Allan, how about this. Say something good about George. Something you like about him, and not a dumb ass token comment, something insightful and honest.

Allan said...

Want insight and honesty?

Go to this link

and get some

Then offer up some of yours
and give the world a good dose

Allan said...

Something nice?

Was this not good enough for you?

(sorry but you'll have to paste these lines together as one continuous URL or re-type it. I don't make the rules around here)

Lauren said...

Post your answer here, type it out.

Don't go 0 for 3. Get typing!

Allan said...

re-type what appears on those two web pages?
I'd rather strike out.

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