Home » Atheism, News, Spirituality » Deepak Chopra at HuffPost on Richard Dawkins: “Flirts with intellectual dishonesty”

Deepak Chopra at HuffPost on Richard Dawkins: “Flirts with intellectual dishonesty”

But we’ve been saying that for months. In fact, we think that reasonable atheists should clamour for him to retire in favour of someone who is up to it. A champ who can defend his title and doesn’t need media sycophants.

Chopra (who published a book with Hawking’s collaborator Mlodinow, plus lots of vids) Here.

But Dawkins is on a mission to prove that all spirituality is the field of fools and knaves. Now, in a new book that is essentially a primer for young atheists, Dawkins continues to ignore his critics, and the result is shameless propaganda disguised as helpful, even avuncular popular science. In many places it flirts with intellectual dishonesty.

The Magic of Reality is a sunny title for a young adult book that suggests its real agenda in the subtitle: “How We Know What’s Really True.” The giveaway is “really,” because it implies that there are ways of knowing the truth that might seem valid but aren’t. For the good of our children’s minds, these false ways must be extirpated. In the book’s didactic introduction the reader is informed that reality consists of “everything that exists,” which is unarguable. To discover what is real, we use our five senses, Dawkins writes, and when things get too big or far away (distant galaxies) or too small (bacteria), our senses are augmented with devices like telescopes and microscopes.

One anticipates that Dawkins will add a caveat that the five senses aren’t always reliable, as when our eyes tell us that the sun rises in the sky at morning and sets at twilight. But no such caveat is offered; the reader is already being guided incorrectly. Quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity posed revolutionary challenges to what the five senses tell us, but Dawkins doesn’t mention them, even in passing. Perhaps this is forgivable in a book for young readers, but it falls short of the promise to tell us how we know what is really true. (Huffington Post, 10/10/11)

Well, in Dawkins’ world, we don’t know how it is really true. except for what Darwinism and similar court-ordered “sciences” tell us.

And this closes our religion coverage for the week.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

3 Responses to Deepak Chopra at HuffPost on Richard Dawkins: “Flirts with intellectual dishonesty”

  1. Relevant, classical study: the parable of Plato’s Cave.

  2. To answer the book’s subtitle, “How we know what’s really true”, I would suggest that we apply critical thinking skills and avoid five common logical fallacies:

    1. Attacking the person (ad hominem). “If you meet someone who doesn’t believe in evolution, that person is stupid, insane, or wicked (but I’d rather not consider that.” – Richard Dawkins

    2. Appealing to authority. “All scientists believe in evolution.”

    3. “Join the crowd” (appeal to emotions). But while others may think or do something, does that mean you should? Besides, popular opinion just isn’t a reliable barometer of truth. Over the centuries all kinds of ideas have been popularly accepted, only to be proved wrong later.

    4. Either/or reasoning. So when presented with either/or reasoning, ask yourself, ‘Are there really only two possible choices? Might there be others?’

    5. Oversimplification. Granted, there is nothing wrong in simplifying a complicated subject—good teachers do it all the time. But sometimes a matter is simplified to the point of distorting truth. For example, you may read: ‘Rapid population growth is the cause of poverty in developing countries.’ There’s an element of truth in that, but it ignores other important considerations, such as political mismanagement, commercial exploitation, and weather patterns.

  3. The assessment of Deepak Chopra is important, as it concludes that he stance taken by Dawkins is dangerous for science. Some of the comments are as follows:
    * Dawkins continues to ignore his critics, and the result is shameless propaganda disguised as helpful, even avuncular popular science. In many places it flirts with intellectual dishonesty.
    * One anticipates that Dawkins will add a caveat that the five senses aren’t always reliable, as when our eyes tell us that the sun rises in the sky at morning and sets at twilight. But no such caveat is offered; the reader is already being guided incorrectly.
    * Like any dogmatist, Dawkins maintains a merry arrogance about his ignorance.
    * It’s ironic that Dawkins is addressing “how we know what’s really true” when he is oblivious of the fact that we can never know the whole truth.
    * He is a one-man society for the suppression of curiosity.
    * Blinded by his atheistic certainty, Dawkins promulgates a notion of science that is already outmoded.
    * This book tries to kill the legacy of faith in human culture, but it winds up showing bad faith toward the science that Dawkins supposedly reveres.

    Is this another example of Darwinism’s universal acid eating away all that it contacts? Those who drink deeply from this fountain end up denying the very values they claim to be defending.

Leave a Reply