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Desc:'I don't communicate an air of superiority'
Category:Educational, Humor
Tags:Richard Dawkins, horrible, Haggard
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Comment count is 47
Albuquerque Halsey - 2007-12-10
those are some high-larious compession artifacts.
ihounokyaku - 2007-12-10
woah. I misspelled "air".
theFlu - 2007-12-10
and "of?"

takewithfood - 2007-12-10
You can correct that stuff, you know.

ihounokyaku - 2007-12-14
done and done.

Scynne - 2007-12-10
Never put two assholes in a room together.
cognitivedissonance - 2007-12-10
Dawkins is an adorable, wonderful British man whose vocal cords are made out of cucumber sandwiches and tweed.

Haggard is a Southern American fundamentalist.

Please to be pointing out which is the asshole by dearth of the evidence shown on this video.

Baldr - 2007-12-10
Making a documentary on organized religion where you scour the world for the craziest fundamentalists you can find; while stating that they're representative of religion in general, is the sort of thing an asshole would do.

That said, he does have a real talent for finding the absolute worst advocates for their position, which is pretty entertaining. Getting in a piss-fest with Haggard a few months before his breakdown is spectacular timing.

EvilHomer - 2007-12-10
Well, yeah, Dawkins is a bit of an asshole at times, especially when you get him on the subject of religion and stick him in a room with a hostile audience, but his adorableness more than makes up for it.

If it were me, I probably would have punched Haggard the moment he said "Or maybe you haven't met the people I have!" And admonishing Dawkins for being arrogant? Well, maybe, but it's still a big fat heaping of ad hominem, especially when the real problem is Haggard being full of shit.

coprolalia - 2007-12-10
Where are all these enlightened religious institutions people like to talk about whenever they want to bash Dawkins or other outspoken atheists? You think your local Unitarians have anything on the Evangelical megachurches or Catholics, or even countless neo-fundie bible study groups and Sunday schools?
Look the hell around. This stuff is a disease, and it's holding the entire species back.

Adramelech - 2007-12-10
Good lord, seriously. Calling Dawkins an asshole for his views on religion, especially in the context of this video, is a few steps away from complaining about "them fancy scientists with their book learnin".

Hey guys, you're allowed to be arrogant when you're trying to intelligently communicate with willfully ignorant, borderline subhuman functionally retarded people who are fucking up the entire world because they can't get over a primitive bug in their brain.

Ludo Smell Bad - 2010-05-07
I really need to get out of the South.

takewithfood - 2007-12-10
David Attenborough is an adorable, wonderful British man; Dawkins, while not quite an asshole in my books, can be pretty petty/cranky/superior.

Given that he actually bothers to talk to people like Ted Haggard, I think he has a solid defense on the counts of cranky and superior, but when he says "You want to bet?" like that, it really pisses on his integrity. It saddens me that he actually seems to feel threatened and angered by such an ignorant moron.
Knuckles - 2007-12-10
Dawkins' anger is legitimate. He's dedicated his entire life to this field, and when idiots like Haggard try to debunk it with half-baked "creationism science," it's understandable that he'd be galled by it.

I don't see any evidence that he feels threatened, but that would be understandable, too. He's in the middle of Haggard's mega-church during this segment, and that is certainly a hostile environment for someone like him. No matter how much evidence or confidence Dawkins has on his side, being surrounded by hundreds of people who hate you can be daunting. It doesn't help that Haggard made actual physical threats against him after the interview.

Hugo Gorilla - 2007-12-10
In Dawkins' defense, you try keeping a calm demeanor while trying to reason with Ted Haggard while he spews out the typical fundamentalist trite.

Bone_Vulture - 2007-12-10
Dawkins might be a bit of a snob and increasingly agitated, but he's still leagues above the fundie douche who preaches against homosexuality while doing crystal meth and male prostitutes on the side.

TeenerTot - 2007-12-10
I'm gonna start a cult that deifies Dawkins.
Frank Rizzo - 2007-12-10
and this cult will be called "wrong"

so hows Haggards gayness coming along? Has he been "cured"?

bang to buck ratio - 2007-12-10
What, like... Christianity?

bang to buck ratio - 2007-12-10
Haggard's shit-eating grin and windy lecturing don't come off as superior. No sir.
Ursa_minor - 2007-12-10
It was probably just the crystal meth talkin'.

Aubrey McFate - 2007-12-10
It's like a fight between two Bond villains.
Feyd - 2007-12-10
You know, if you guys would spend less time rationalizing why it's okay Dawkins totally blew this encounter, you might realize why so many people find Haggard's argument here sympathetic. He and those like him really do think that their detractors think things like "the eye just formed itself." Instead of offering to explain the nuance, Dawkins just sputtered something snide about "not the scientists I know!" Haggard's comment about arrogance extends further than creationists vs. those who find the theory of evolution credible.
yeahjim - 2007-12-10
Maybe. Ideally, yes.

But how many times can can a scientist philosopher be expected to reiterate high school science to grown men as part of debate? Debate against men who consider themselves to be scholars, no less? Withstanding the endless, specious, and repetitive stymieing efforts of those knuckleheads would try the patience of a saint.

EvilHomer - 2007-12-10
But the detractors do explain the nuances, and folks like Haggard just ignore it, citing "credible experts" that "they believe in" who "beg to differ". Of course, none of these credible experts can offer anything even vaguely resembling a rational, scientific alternative to the "mainstream view", and they don't have to- all people like Haggard, or JDR, or Otherkin Q Internetkook, need to do is accuse the rest of the world of being blind, arrogant, and closed-minded, and they've won. They get to feel like their beliefs have been vindicated ("I'm just like Galileo! You'll see!") and they have neither the ability nor the desire to get into anything more detailed than that.

Now it's certainly possible that fencesitters watching this would have benefitted had Dawkins taken the time to explain what scientists think and how the scientific community explains stuff like the evolution of the eye, but would he have the time? And besides, he already has explained it, at great length in numerous essays and books, as have literally thousands of other qualified (or not so qualified) individuals. I mean, it's not like it's some kind of arcane knowledge that the scientific community is keeping locked up for fear the masses might learn something; if people find Haggard's argument "sympathetic" solely because Dawkins didn't fully explain his position in the twenty seconds or so he had available (not that either of them did, mind you), then they've got to head down to the library and get better informed.

Feyd - 2007-12-11
The point is not to convince Haggard that the observations you belief in are the correct ones, the point, in your 20-second chunks, is to let his supporters know that he is incorrect about your attitude. The strength in Haggard's position is not in manipulation of or disregarding evidence, it is in the contempt that 'evolutionists' have for the beliefs of creationists and for creationists themselves. It is a strong position because it is, for the most part, accurate, and this is exactly what Dawkins walked chin-first into.

EvilHomer - 2007-12-11
But it's also irrelevant. Now yes, ad hominem can generate a "strong position" in the sense that many people don't take the time to stop and process whether or not the "convincing argument" they just heard actually matters, but Dawkins' attitude (or lack thereof) shouldn't be an issue. The important question isn't "which one of us is the big meanie-pants" or "who thinks the other's a git", it's "who has the better information" and "who has the most compelling argument". Now I'm guessing we agree on this, and it's a matter of whether you'd rather focus on sophistry (which, shitty as it is to admit, is important, especially on TV) or on content (which is even more important). Just so long as you understand that the argument Haggard and our friends from PoE Proper are trying to make ("those stupid munades are a bunch of insensitive assholes") is nonsense, and anyone with a lick of critical sense should be able to see through it and recognize that Dawkins' attitude is (in this particular case) a non-issue.

Besides, Haggard was showing just as much of an attitude as Dawkins was. We come away from the video thinking Dawkins is a foul-tempered jerk (which is true), and Haggard is a smug, condescending choad (which is also true). That makes the two of them pretty much even, don't you think?

Feyd - 2007-12-11
"Attitude shouldn't be important."

Welcome to television, visitor from a distant planet. Here on Earth we consider attitude and even yes, appearance, important in how you present yourself on television!

The problem is Haggard's argument is valid. Dawkins and some like him come across as arrogant. Haggard and his ilk's argument is against scientific arrogance, not against science. To most people, even those more attuned to Dawkin's 'content,' Haggard's presentation was much better. He only comes across badly to you because you disagree with his content. You're judging him based on his supposed failure to address Dawkin's content, of which there was little for Haggard to address, other than the attitude.

You could easily compare this to the liberal/conservative divide in the U.S. currently. Many liberals wonder why conservatives still exist--"if only those people knew better, or if they only knew what I know!"

EvilHomer - 2007-12-11
Yes, I noted your peculiar "television habits" last time I visted your planet. Like I said before: "sophistry (which, shitty as it is to admit, is important, especially on TV)". You earthlings sure are amusingly illogical sometimes!

But it's NOT a valid argument, it's an irrelevant one. It's an effective one and it plays well to it's audience, but it's also a crock and (I hope) you're shrewd enough to see through it. Now, as for this being like the conservative/liberal divide, in a way, yes. I agree with you totally. Haggard's comment: "Or maybe you haven't met the people I have!" does indeed closely parallel a liberal saying "if only those people knew better, or if they only knew what I know!" Both arguments are counter-productive and futile; they might "work" in the sense that a receptive audience will lap up that sort of non-reasoning ("Yeah! Dawkins doesn't know the Professor of Biblical Science who said bananas were proof that God exists!" or "Yeah! Dumb conservatives don't read enough Ward Churchill and Chomsky!") but they're not "valid" in the least. How can you say they are?

You do know that not all effective arguments are valid, right?

Feyd - 2007-12-12
This isn't an argument, it's a confrontation. Dawkins doesn't present evidence or purport an argument, he reacts, and Haggard steps in to give him one in the nuts. If you strip out agreement and disagreement with the parties, it's an extremely one-sided outcome. Haggard scores a point against 'scientific arrogance' and Dawkins loses one, even with the like-minded, by retreating and relying on the audience's assumed prior agreement with his position. This doc "The Root of All Evil" is where a lot of the idea "Richard Dawkins is kind of an arrogant dick" comes from.

EvilHomer - 2007-12-12
And I agree, Dawkins IS a dick. But calling him a dick isn't a "valid argument", and whatever guy happens to walk away looking cleaner after the pissing contest is irrelevant when the plain fact is Dawkins is *right*. "Evolutionists" don't think the eye formed by accident- this is a straw man. The earth did form roughly four and a half billion years ago, or at the very least we know it's far, far more plausible than the alternative being offered (the Earth formed a few tens of thousands of years ago at the most). And the only thing Haggard actually offered was what? Ad hominem. Accusing the mainstream of being arrogant in lieu of putting up a good alternative of your own may fly in some circles, but you can't claim it's "valid".

And besides, like I said before, even IF you ignore content, the plain fact of the matter is that they both walked away looking like shmucks. If Haggard's shit-eating grin and condescending tone didn't get to you as much as Dawkin's bristling indignation, then you need to watch the video again.

EvilHomer - 2007-12-12
Damn, do you remember back when we had a one-line limit to comments?

DrVital - 2007-12-10
All I can think of is South Park:

"Don't be gay Sparky. Don't be gay!"
glasseye - 2007-12-10
Dawkins is a billion times better than that barely sentient buffoon Haggard. I cackled with glee when he "fell from grace." God damn fascist fundamentalist asshole.
Hooker - 2007-12-10
Agreeing with someone (or even just being right) doesn't prevent you from being a cockbite, which is what Dawkins is.
coprolalia - 2007-12-10

I have never wanted to punch anything more than Haggard's sneering, pinched mouth, and hopefully never will.

And hands up: how many of you who don't like Dawkins got your first or largest impression of him from South Park? Because they couldn't have missed the mark more if they had made him a magic flying donkey that farted talking spiders.
Baldr - 2007-12-11
I got my first and largest impression from reading his books on biology. I remember being assigned "The Blind Watchmaker" back in a college evolution and ecology class, and I thought he did an excellent job explaining a difficult and confusing topic.

After I escape from graduate school, my long-term career goal is to teach biology at a liberal arts or community college. It's a shame that, if I teach a class on evolution, I'll never assign my students the same book that I found so useful. Dawkins' recent polemical work on religion makes him a poor candidate for convincing a sub-section of the students that their religious beliefs aren't a barrier to learning about evolution.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2007-12-11
I want to punch Haggard so hard that his grandchildren will feel it, years from now when they look back on tapes of his ass beating and laugh at him.
Rodents of Unusual Size - 2007-12-11
I should add that currently he's been asked to seek "secular employment" after his severance package and the donations that he pulled after begging shamelessly from the public.

futurebot - 2007-12-11
I'm astonished that anyone can walk away from this video with anything but sympathy for Dawkins. To talk about these insanely ideal standards of civility and rhetorical efficacy is one thing; to actually scold him for not conducting some kind of flawless damage control operation in response to Haggard's parade of ad hominem and condescension is quite another. All fence-sitters are going to remember about this is Haggard claiming that Dawkins is going to be laughed at by his grandchildren, and the noble restraint Dawkins showed in not laying him out with a roundhouse then and there.
Hooker - 2007-12-11
I don't hate people because they're religious. I hate people because they're dicks. I've never been religious in my entire life, but the power of Jesus Christ or Muhammad or any of the other foundations of any of the other religions brings real happiness and real comfort to many people's lives. As with anything that gives people happiness, some people go way overboard. But we're not going to start banning sex, unhealthy food, or Star Wars.

Dawkins seems like he has a problem with anyone believing in any religion, which makes him a huge dick. Haggard's obviously a dick as well, probably moreso. But Haggard being a bigger dick doesn't cancel out Dawkins. They're both assholes. Although, Dawkins gets some extra credit for getting up in Haggard's face, then running home and editing the footage together to serve his own purpose, in what is basically just some cheap smear against religion.

futurebot - 2007-12-11
Dawkins doesn't have a "problem" with people simply "believing" in religion. The man is a tireless advocate for freedom of speech and expression - unless your position is something like HE CRITICIZES RELIGION, HOW DARE HE, I have no idea who you're actually talking about. Dawkins also has a "problem" with intellectual dishonesty, and rightly so. Your moral "don't be a dick" paradigm seems very similar to "never disagree with people or call them on lies."

Hooker - 2007-12-11
This is a guy that has described all religious people as "know-nothings, know it alls, and no contests." And that's just a random sample of his comments; they all underscore the same theme and message. He's picking fights and getting down into the mud and creating controversy, and he's far too smart to fail to realize he's doing it.

I don't have a problem with criticizing religion. Lots of people do it, not the least of which being myself (and, for the record, I don't pretend I'm not often a dick when I do it). But to child Dawkins, presumably because you share his belief and probably his conviction, and claim he's done no wrong in his life is, I would argue, being willfully ignorant at best.

Spastic Avenger - 2007-12-14
I like Dawkins as a science writer but so much of the god Delusion was meant to be a slap in the face to anthropologists. He even talked about Foucault in a derisive way.
yoyo1 - 2007-12-15
With such a finely articulated and yet strong mouth, haggard can probably suck two cocks at once.
bac - 2008-01-02

bac - 2008-01-02
even if I didn't know jack shit about Haggard, I'd still hate him after watching this because of him saying

"if you only read the books I've read and know the scientists I know you could be great like me" then later followed by "...on the way don't be arrogent."

thats complete and utter bullshit on all levels. incidentally what video\movie thing is this from?
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