Author Topic: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks  (Read 1610 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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http://www.examiner.com/article/chief-rabbi-slams-atheist-richard-dawkins-for-anti-semitic-remarks

Photo caption of Dawkins with photoedited devil horns asks: Richard Dawkins Anti-Semetic or Just Satanic?

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Noted biologist and author Richard Dawkins may be the world's best-known atheist, but in one rabbi's books, he's guilty of anti-semitic stereotyping for what he wrote in a book of his own, his best-seller, The God Delusion. And this is not the opinion of just any rabbi, but of Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth in the U.K.

The accusation was made Wednesday during a discussion between the two at the BBC's Re:Think religion festival in Salford. Lord Sacks took umbruge at a passage in The God Delusion where Dawkins describes the deity as the “most unpleasant character in all fiction... jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully". According to Sacks, this way of interpreting the Bible perpetuates a centuries-old kind of anti-semitism used against Jews by Christians. This, he said, made Dawkins a "Christian atheist" as opposed to a "Jewish atheist" or, one supposes, a plain old atheist-atheist.

From a Sept. 14 article in Christian Post:

"In Judaism we accept open argument and we do not rule people out at all. I was not concerned that Richard was anti-Semitic at all – I was concerned that he was using an anti-Semitic stereotype which has run through a certain strand of Christian reading of what is called the Old Testament, as a result of which thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Jews died in the Middle Ages, because that's how people spoke of the 'God of the Old Testament,'" Lord Sacks said on the program.

"It really terrifies me to see the power of these stereotypes persisting into atheism – it really bothers me," he added.

Professor Dawkins dismissed the charge as "ridiculous" and that he was not "anti-Jewish" but "anti-God" and that he saw the passage as humorous. Dawkins did add though

Lord Sacks replied that

“There are Christian atheists and Jewish atheists, you read the Bible in a Christian way. Christianity has an adversarial way of reading what it calls the Old Testament – it has to because it says 'we’ve gone one better, we have a New Testament’.

“So you come prejudiced against what you call the Old Testament and that’s why I did not read the opening to chapter two in your book as a joke, I read it as a profoundly anti-Semitic passage”

Prof Dawkins expressed incredulity. “How you can call that anti-Semitic?” he said. “It’s anti-God.”

Lord Sacks insisted: “It is anti the Jewish God, Richard.”

From Christian Post again:

"How do you decide which bits are symbolic and which bits are not?" Dawkins later asked.

"Very simple," the Chief Rabbi replied. "The rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: if a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific fact, it is not to be read literally."

Lord Sacks, who retires as Chief Rabbi next year, has had encounters with Prof Dawkins before and regards the atheist as more ignorant than ill-intentioned. During the program, in fact, he described Dawkins as a "really, really nice guy.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Garja

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 04:32:14 PM »
Thats just dumb.  I've read the book, its not anti-Semitic at all.... just like the man says "It's anti-god". 
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Online Fiji

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 01:11:40 AM »
This is basically the (slightly) more civilized version of all this violence we've seen over the Danish cartoons.
You want to act out and to do so on national TV, cause, hey, it's Dawkins ... big press, so you go looking for something to take offence at.
And there's not really anything there. So, like with the Danish cartoon you make stuff up and take offence at that.

... and if the UN blasphemy law ever becomes reality, it even becomes illegal to say this rabbi fellow is wrong.
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline stuffin

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 12:01:20 PM »
Jewish atheist vs Christian atheist? What will they thing of next.

If you "attack" the jewish god that makes you a christain atheist? Isn't the jewish god also the christian god? But since the christians have the (1-up) New Testesmint, that could mean he is an anti jewish atheist? Maybe I don't know my Holy Stuff real well?

Any help out there????????
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
 Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

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Offline Boots

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 12:35:21 PM »
Any help out there????????

Try prayer.
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

"Many of my ultra-conservative Republican friends...have trouble accepting the idea God is not a Republican. " ~OldChurchGuy

"We humans may never figure out the truth, but I prefer trying to find it over pretending we know it."  ~ParkingPlaces

Offline stuffin

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 02:17:54 PM »
Any help out there????????

Try prayer.

It didn't work last time, I must be doing it wrong. Thanks though, I'll try again.   ;)
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
 Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
Aristotle

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 02:28:24 PM »
Have I misunderstood Sacks, or is he suggesting that God is Jewish?
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline stuffin

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 02:36:11 PM »
Have I misunderstood Sacks, or is he suggesting that God is Jewish?

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Lord Sacks insisted: “It is anti the Jewish God, Richard.”

Well he feels at least one of the gods is Jewish.
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
 Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
Aristotle

Online Fiji

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 01:07:13 AM »
Jewish atheist vs Christian atheist? What will they thing of next.

Well, in the God Delusion, Dawkins does identify himself as an Anglican Atheist.
Meaning that while an Atheist, he does carry the Anglican cultural bagage with him.
By the same token, I'm a Catholic Atheist.

or better labels would be ... Culturally-Anglican Atheist and Culturally-Catholic Atheist
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline mrbiscoop

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When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
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Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Chief Rabbi slams atheist Richard Dawkins for 'anti-semitic' remarks
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 12:35:08 PM »
Two children are sat discussing how a TV works. One child exclaims its simply magic and that everything within the TV and it's programmes end when you turn the TV off. The other points out just because its turned off it doesn't mean that a programme isn't happening. Utterly dismayed at this realisation, the other kid leaves the room and approaches a near by adult and reports how their former friend is "being mean". The unsuspecting adult, swiftly responds and aims to resolve the problem by telling the other child "don't be mean to others".

Do excuse the fable, I think it was neccasary to point out; just how childish this whole situation actualy is.
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"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. ”
A. Einstein