The Myth of Dawkins as a Cult Figure.

This post is not fully concerned with a direct refutation of creationism. Instead I wish to comment on the types of anti-science implications made by religionists.

In a wordpress post titled The Cult of Dawkins, "Beastrabban" implies that (all? many? some?) atheists become atheists not through critical thinking but through hero-worship of Richard Dawkins as a cult figure.

The post consists mainly of quotes: from Thomas Carlyle and from a book entitled The Jung Cult: Origins of Charismatic Movement. The post is moderately interesting despite comprising an uncritical misappropriation of comments about un-scientific Jung onto biologist Dawkins.

[Max] Weber defined a charismatic group - a cult - as consisting of anywhere from a dozen or so to hundreds of thousands of followers, who have a shared belief system, a high level of social cohesiveness, are strongly influenced by the groups behavioural norms and impute charismatic or divine power to the group or its leadership.
(Sounds like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism etc.)

Charismatic cults tend to ossify into more bureaucratic structures as they grow and there develops a greater need to regulate their functioning, such as laying down basic standards of belief, and norms of practice and organisational structure. Weber called this process the ‘routinization of religion’.

(As I said, religion.)

Now Dawkins clearly is not a hermit, but his vocation as a biologist has given him the status of someone with a special connection and insight into nature and the cosmos.
Correct. An expert in the field of evolutionary biology.

Thus Dawkins also seems to partake of the role of a prophet, just as Sagan did when he was articulating his own unique pantheism in Cosmos back in the 1980s.
Here, B further loses credibility with this emotional tu quoque, ad hominem attack on expert knowledge.

Again, Dawkins and the contemporary cult surrounding him fits this pattern perfectly. He has money coming in from TV and radio appearances, lectures, books and newspaper articles, and even his own Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason to disseminate and routinise his ideas, and which clearly have provided him with a good living while recruiting yet more followers to his cause. So, rather than being a liberator, Dawkins has instead stopped people from thinking for themselves, if that was ever his gaol. Rather than teaching people to think critically for themselves, he is now acting as any other religious figure with a material interest in maintaining his hold over people’s minds and wallets. If there are atheists seriously concerned to think for themselves, I suggest they might make a good start by taking a very serious, sceptical look at Dawkins, and stop believing what he says.
B said, "Now there clearly is a distinct ‘Dawkins’ cult out there. He has a website and a forum, inhabited by his fans." What then B does make of the Pope, or of Dembski, or of Ken Ham and his misnamed "Answers in Genesis" website? My guess would be that B sees religionists as true prophets and their donation-soliciting websites as a service to the faithful.

B implies that atheism is a response to Dawkins' personality without reference to content, whereas the reality is more likely that the rational position comes first and accepting the personality comes second. In the prevailing atmosphere face of religious conviction, atheism RESULTS from critical thinking.

Practicing and understanding science is all about the application of critical thinking to empirical evidence, whereas religious belief actually precludes critical thinking. Dawkins writes popular science, creationists and intelligent design proponents publish pseudoscience and unfounded attacks on a strawman-misrepresentation of science. I am not a fan of popular science writing because I find science-for-the-layman to be tediously slow, under-stimulating reading. However, this is not to detract from the veracity of Dawkins' science.

As to Jung, he merely demonstrates that pseudo-philosophical mumbo jumbo with interesting content and a veneer of authority appeals to those who do not yet understand the subject matter (human psychology). In the absence of understanding, people gravitate toward the flashiest, most interesting pseudo-explanation. Woops, I just described the appeal of religions.

. . . discussion continued . . .

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