At risk of being dismissed as a "troll", may I submit this Paper for discussion. I've bought & read Jesse Bering's "The God Instinct", and it was a waste of money & a waste of time.
"JESSE BERING - SON OF DAWKINS"
A Short Paper by Richard W. Symonds. Member of International Society For Philosophers (ISFP) - December 31 2010
"GOD IS...A SOPHISTICATED COGNITIVE ILLUSION"
('The God Instinct' by Jesse Bering - NB Publishing 2011)
.1 This Paper seeks to show it is not the vast majority of people Jesse Bering believes to be living an "illusion" - but Bering himself.
.2 I mean "illusion" in the sense that, say, the clever people in Galileo's time - who built a vast, monolithic body of knowledge on the (false) assumption the Sun went round the Earth - were living an illusion...and (unintentionally) deluded countless millions of the not-so-clever in that false belief.
.3 Jesse Bering ("Son of Dawkins") and Richard Dawkins ("The God Delusion") - both committed 'Blind Faith' Evolutionists & Moral Relativists - have built a vast, monolithic body of knowledge on the (false) belief that Human Beings are just Animals - not unique Moral Beings - and are deluding countless millions of the not-so-clever in that false belief.
.4 70 years ago, Philosopher & Moral Realist 'Professor' CEM Joad (1891-1953) pleaded with his colleagues to mend their newly-found philosophical ways (eg Moral Relativism, Logical Positivism & Animal Behaviourism), predicting that failure to do so would render Philosophy (& Psychology) increasingly irrelevant – and increasingly vulnerable to totalitarian thought.
.5 CEMJ’s warning ‘fell on deaf ears’ in his time – and continues to do so….except for a few readers of Cambridge University’s Alumni Magazine (”Essay : In Defence Of Moral Philosophy” by Professor Simon Blackburn – Michaelmas 2009 Edition), and adherents to Mega Theory.
.6 Totalitarianism, which George Orwell – a contemporary of Joad – was warning against in 1949, was already prevalent within the social and economic culture of the time – primarily due to the ‘false teachers’ of philosophical relativism (eg Wittgenstein & The Vienna Circle). Times have not changed. 'False teachers', like Bering & Dawkins, continue to successfully peddle this increasingly-obsolete, biologically-rooted-only, Darwinian Evolutionary Psychology.
.7 Cyril Joad, as a Moral Philosopher, was warning against Moral Relativism 9 years earlier than Orwell :
In 1940, Joad warned his profession of the dangers in rejecting its ‘Classical’ tradition (eg Plato’s ‘Forms’ of Truth, Beauty & Goodness), and pleaded for a return to that tradition (”Appeal To Philosophers”, University of London Aristotelian Society – XL 1940).
Dr. CEM Joad continued to warn – but nobody was listening….except a few debaters at Oxford University:
.8 In June 1950, 5 months after Orwell’s death (and 3 years before his own), Cyril Joad won an Oxford Union Debate : “That This House Regrets The Influence Exercised By The U.S. As The Dominant Power Among The Democratic Nations” – resulting in Randolph Churchill accusing him of being a “Third Class Socrates”.
.9 ‘Professional Outcast’ Joad, also a celebrity wartime BBC Brains Trust panellist, was treated with ridicule, contempt and disdain by most professional philosophers of the time – especially Bertrand Russell – and his warnings were ignored and dismissed within his profession, and beyond – and remain so.
.10 CEMJ was a Moral Realist – in direct opposition to Moral Relativists – and later developed his “Transcendence-Immanence” ideas in his last book: “Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian Philosophy” (Faber & Faber 1952)
.11 Today, we can’t say we were not warned of this ‘totalitarian’ danger – now more prevalent than ever – and we can’t say moral philosophy (& philosophers) have had nothing to say in dealing with the problems which continue to haunt us.
.12 Joad is still ’shouting from the rooftops’ – through his many books – but we need to understand (and deal with) the unpalatable reasons why such clear warnings are still loudly ‘falling on deaf ears’.
.13 One 'deaf ear' is Bering - the other 'loud mouth' is Dawkins. They are the deluded ones. Be warned.
.14 A greater understanding of Moral Realism (especially through the work of Moral Philosopher CEM Joad) – and an unequivocal rejection of Evolutionists & Moral Relativists (especially Bering & Dawkins) - will be two critical pre-conditions for Humanity’s survival in the early 21st century.
Richard W. Symonds MCIPD is a Member of the International Society For Philosophers ( http://www.isfp.co.uk ),
Founder Member of The Cyril Joad Society (CJS) & Gatwick City of Ideas (GCI)
Author of “The Mega Instinct : Mega Theory & The Moral Revolution"
He can be contacted by Email : firstname.lastname@example.org or at GCI :
Justin - I personally don't think you're well enough informed to criticise Mega Theory after reading parts of your Dawkins nonsense ;)
Doone, Dawkins is "bunk", not because he DISAGREES with my ideas (I'm sure he doesn't give a s### about my ideas), but because there are BETTER ideas than his - Mega Theory being just one.
In the same way there are BETTER ideas than Darwin's Evolution Theory (based on Competition), such as Lamarck's & Kropotkin's (eg based on Co-operation)...
It seems I am not alone in fundamentally disagreeing with the "Dawkins Gang" (aka "New Atheists") - but from a slightly different angle than my own.
I can't see many of you agreeing with this analysis below - and a few of you may seek to distract from the critical questions raised, by making personal attacks. That is to be expected - a leopard cannot change its spots.
But here it is - thrown into the 'melting pot of ideas' :
"The Real Delusion of New Atheists"
http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/07/the-n ... ghtenment/
The New Atheists, Political Narratives, and the Betrayal of the Enlightenment
The Real Delusion: Part 1
by Bo Winegard and Ben Winegard / July 27th, 2011
The New Atheists and the real faith
Since 2001, a group of scholars and intellectuals (for simplicity, and in line with current labels, we will call them the “New Atheists”) have become college campus celebrities for assailing the “irrationalism” of religious belief; some, like Daniel Dennett,1 Christopher Hitchens,2 and Richard Dawkins,3 already possessed laudable resumes, and some, like Sam Harris,4 rose in fame primarily because of their passionate pleas against faith in the immediate post 9-11 milieu. Although these thinkers differ in their analyses, their main theme is similar: religious faith is irrational and should eventually be discarded like a child’s toy by mature citizens in a modern, secular era. Although their arguments have not gone without criticism (see Atran5,6; also, see Hedges7 ), a healthy number of self-designated “free thinkers” have praised their work and continue to impugn the supposed benefits of belief. At times, this criticism can be healthy and productive; at others, it can be destructive and can devolve into ugly and uninformed attacks against Islamic civilization. At bottom, however, the most egregious problem with such attacks is that they ignore the real veil that distorts most people’s perceptions of reality, diverting attention from real political issues that affect millions of lives and convincing many intelligent college students that the chief problem in the world today is irrational religious conviction.
The New Atheists believe that they are carrying out the once stalled project of the enlightenment (See Richard Dawkins Foundation For Reason and Science Mission.8 ), of freeing minds from the shackles of religious fundamentalism and superstition so that they can perceive the unadulterated “scientific” truth about the nature of reality. This is a noble desideratum; the problem is that the real shackles of the mind–at least in the Western world–are not chained to religion but rather to mainstream political narratives. During the enlightenment, thinkers like Jefferson, Diderot, and Voltaire assailed religion and the churches that propagated it precisely because it was a dense and powerful curtain that was drawn over the eyes of humans. In the contemporary United States, however, the church is no longer an inordinately powerful institution and religion, even among believers, is not the most potent mythology. The most potent mythology is neoliberal nationalism9,10 and the most powerful institution is the corporation. In other words, the New Atheists have retained the outdated substance of the enlightenment but have left its vital spirit behind, have, as it were, mistakenly dragged a 200 year old corpse into the modern world. This would not be lamentable were it not for the profound influence that the New Atheists wield among intelligent and open minded students and intellectuals, the very students and intellectuals that progressives require to form a broad and effective coalition that can challenge the unprecedented power of corporations.
In this article, we will argue that that New Atheists are not heirs of the enlightenment and do not fundamentally challenge existing power structures and narratives in modern American society; instead they distract attention from important issues and scurrilously attack narratives that provide meaning for millions of people.11 We will first look at the interaction between human nature and political structures and how that necessitates the development and propagation of political/religious narratives. We will then trace the decline of religious narratives and the rise of secular narratives, focusing on the modern American political narrative. We will end by criticizing the New Atheists–particularly Sam Harris–for contributing to the West’s growing Islamophobia while ignoring issue of much greater political significance. In part II, we will examine the true legacy of the Enlightenment and those who continue its mission....