21 June 2006

Yes, it does.

Apart from Pascal's Wager — which is at best a caution to cover your derrière — this has got to be one of the worst arguments in the Great Theism Debates:

What is Dawkins’s response to those for whom his popularization of evolution causes so much pain? Essentially it is this: “Keep a stiff upper lip.” If “something is true,” he responds, “no amount of wishful thinking can undo it.” No doubt this is correct. But we might with as much propriety ask Dawkins: “If something is painful, does its truth justify inflicting it on people who find it disturbing?” Let us grant — only, to be sure, for the sake of argument — that Dawkins’s Darwinian explanation of Life, the Universe, and Everything is true. Does this in itself justify his strident shoving of it into our public discourse, knowing full well the emotional distress it will cause the spiritually sensitive? [full article]

How patronizing. "Oh, the poor, sensitive dears, leave them their comforts, even if false." Further, it is not wild-eyed idealism to believe that having more true information allows you to make better decisions in life, both practical and ethical. Mollycoddling the spiritually sensitive (whatever the hell that actually means) corrupts their decision-making process.

People are under no obligation to accept Dawkin's arguments. To suggest that they need to be protected from even hearing them due to their sensitive constitutions is manipulative emotional coercion.

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