House Rules Re: [FoRK] The drum beat continues

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar < drernie at > on > Thu Nov 16 15:48:14 PST 2006

Hi Stephen,

On Nov 16, 2006, at 1:03 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> The ones that I might come closest to despising are those that  
> secretly are Atheists but find themselves promulgating religion for  
> their own or their group's own gain.  Being a hypocrite is just a  
> sign of weakness.  Being a hypocrite that forces a known error on  
> others is one of the ultimate sins.

>> See, from where I sit the immorality and narcissism of religious  
>> leaders is indistinguishable from that of Dawkins and his ilk. I'm  
>> sure it is very comforting for him -- or them -- to think that all  
>> the evil in the world is because of "those other people".
> I can't see that Dawkins benefits like religious leaders benefit.   
> I can't really see them as equal but opposite.
> From:

Um, I think we're talking about different things (and not just  
because Dawkins also benefits, in ways important to him <http://> :-)

Maybe I'm misreading you, but it sounds like you think that religious  
leaders who oppose various are (perhaps like Ted Haggard) pure  
hypocrites who pretend belief in order to acquire or retain the  
symbols of power.

I disagree.  In fact, I think the (shared) problem is quite different  
than that, but still within the definition of narcissism:

>> The terms Narcissism, Narcissistic and Narcissist are often used  
>> as pejoratives, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple  
>> selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to  
>> denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
> I fail to see how Dawkins is displaying immorality or narcissism.   
> He's speaking out precisely to help people by freeing them from one  
> belief through understanding of his belief and the scientific  
> method itself.

The sad truth is that most of the most inflammatory and hurtful  
statements by Christian leaders are from those who  sincerely think  
they are "speaking out precisely to help people by freeing them from  
one belief through understanding of [their] belief."

You might respond that because Dawkins does it on behalf of "the  
scientific method" rather than "God" that makes him "better", but I  
really don't see how.  From where I sit, they (like me) fall prey to  
the elitist assumption that *we* are the ones who think clearly and  
understand all truth, and those who disagree with us are immoral,  
unenlightened, and need wiser people (like us) to smack them around  
until they wake up.

Kinda like House. Yeah, sometimes it is what people need. But  
sometimes he uses and abuses people just to satisfy his own ego,  
regardless of "truth" or "right."  And I don't think he always knows  
which is which.

If you don't think House or Dawkins is susceptible to that, I bet you  
don't think you are either.

"There is one vice [Pride] of which no man in the world is free;  
which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else;  
and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that  
they are guilty themselves. There is no fault which makes a man more  
unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in  
ourselves. And the more we have it in ourselves, the more we dislike  
it in others.”  -- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

-- Ernie "Humble, and Proud of It!" Prabhakar

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