Richard Dawkins’s Atheist Cult

The British biologist Richard Dawkins has, in the past decade, made himself an outspoken crusader for atheism. Andrew Brown notes something akin to blind religious devotion among his most dedicated followers, some of whom are willing to pay membership dues:

[T]he Richard Dawkins website offers followers the chance to join the “Reason Circle,” which, like Dante’s Hell, is itself arranged in concentric circles. For $85 a month, you get discounts on his merchandise, and the chance to meet “Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science personalities.” . . . After the neophyte passes through the successively more expensive “Darwin Circle” and then the “Evolution Circle,” he attains the innermost circle, where for $100,000 a year or more he gets to have a private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins. . . . At this point, it is obvious to everyone except the participants that what we have here is a religion without the good bits. . . .

Like all scriptures, the Books of Dawkins contain numerous contradictions: in The God Delusion itself he moves within fifteen pages from condemning a pope who had baptized children taken away from Jewish parents to commending [the] suggestion that the children of creationists be taken away because teaching your children religion is comparable to child abuse.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Atheism, New Atheists, Religion & Holidays, Richard Dawkins

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy