Oh for the wings of a horse … Dawkins and Hasan

Right now twitter has a shit storm brewing over Dawkins not so much ridiculing the idea of a winged horse for the prophet to ascend on, but that Mehdir Hasan lacked credibility to be hired as a serious journalist for believing it to be true.



Usually I try to keep a belief separate from the believer – unless that belief is for example a call to increase suffering or to oppress others in the name of faith. So if you want to believe a man ascended towards heaven on a flying horse, fine, on your own count me out. As part of civil discourse I will not make fun of you for doing that, but I will ridicule the idea.

Richard is sadly digging in, while everyone jumps this way or that. Owen Jones made the comment that Dawkins did not speak for him as an atheist in response to the tweet.

Thing is, did anyone think Richard Dawkins was our spokesman? A champion over creationism yes. The star may be waning perhaps in light of recent tweets on other issues.


Thing is this was a classic ad hominem that we tried to be wary of on richard.dawkins.net/forum as moderators alert that this was leading to flaming that we may have to remind people to be civil before it went too far.

Oh irony …

UPDATE 5:25pm: if you had said it like that earlier Richard … (Goes into corner and weeps)


UPDATE 22 April in an article on paradoxes of belief and people Richard Dawkins has apologised for his ill choice of words:

None of those three meanings was well conveyed by my ill-judged words, and I withdraw them with apologies. I’m grateful to the many tweeters who came to my defence and saw no problem with my original formulation. Nevertheless, I cannot deny that my words were carelessly chosen.

UPDATE 14/6/2013 video context of Dawkins and Hasan talking about the winged horse …

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78


Filed under Dawkins, Richard Dawkins

5 responses to “Oh for the wings of a horse … Dawkins and Hasan

  1. I would have far more respect for Owen, if he bothered to issue just as much anger toward Mehdi for his anti-nonbeliever rhetoric, as he does with Dawkins. Owen Jones is great on social issues. He’s just another apologist for the Islamic superiority complex of people like Hasan.

    Yesterday, on my article on Republicans in 2013, I ridiculed Georgia’s 10th District Rep. Paul Broun for believing that Evolution is from “the pits of hell” and that the Earth is 6000 years old. I also subtly questioned his suitability as a Representative. I see Dawkins comment as being no different.

    • Sen Paul Roun has no place on the science committee because clearly he is anti-science.

      But I would not legally bar someone standing for office based on how they answer how old is the earth anymore than require of them a belief in god.

      We would both agree their anti science stance makes them unsuitable legislating on public policy, which is informed by science, and would campaign as such.

      Difference with Dawkins is he suggested you could not be a serious journalist if you took the winged horse literally. I don’t think that is a bar to winning a Pulitzer Prise for good journalism.

      Plenty to be critical about Mehdi though – as I was following Oxford debate he had with Richard.


      • Steve F

        I’d argue that politics, education and life are not just about the decision or story in hand but the 100 trades and back door deals around it. So if a politician comes to power believing that the word of their particular god or ancient book is sacred they will be trading power, enabling and blocking statutes, and filtering information based on their faith. I don’t much care if a man or woman who believes in winged horses reports on fashion or football but I’m concerned if they are involved with educating my kids, or deciding if we should go to war.

  2. Pingback: When Atheists Attack Each Other | Homo economicus' Weblog

  3. Pingback: When Atheists Fall Out | Speaker's Corner

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