Thursday, May 15, 2008

Professor Dawkins, Rabbi Boteach, and Adolf Hitler

Updated 5-19-08
The communication between Oxford professor Richard Dawkins( and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach( is heating up! Dawkins began this exchange with an open letter to Rabbi Boteach comparing his speaking style to none other than Adolf Hitler!

See that letter here:
You may also head over to Rabbi Boteach's site if you would like to watch the discussion/presentation that Dawkins refers to in his letter.

Let us try to set aside the fact that Rabbi Boteach is obviously Jewish and attempt to try to understand what exactly Professor Dawkins was thinking. We have only two options: 1) Dawkins intentionally wanted to insult Boteach in the worst possible manner he could think of 2) Dawkins is completely naive regarding the relationship between Hilter, the Jewish community, and it's history. Admittedly, option two seems hard to believe.

Regardless of Professor Dawkins' intentions, this debate is worth following if for no other reason than to learn how to respond and how NOT to respond to those who do not believe.

Upon recieving the "open letter" from Dawkins, Boteach replied with the following:

Boteach offers a point by point refuting of many of the claims Dawkins made, of course, the main focus being the Hitler charge brought against him. As you read this article, you sense that the Rabbi is clearly offended, but doing his best to remain cordial and respectful.

Not to be out done, Dawkins replied, once again confirming that he believes Boteach "shrieks" like Hitler did:

I was disappointed with Mr. Dawkins' reply here. He did not address any of the points made by Boteach and provided nothing more than ad hominen argumentation. The debate challenge was also left unaddressed. Much to their credit, many of the atheists/nonbelievers at who commented on this article agreed that Professor Dawkins' reply was "disappointing."

Boteach replied with the following:

Although I could do without Rabbi Boteach continually reminding us of his credentials and accomplishments, here he stresses that he believes that science and religion "need not be enemies" and also encourages the reader to investigate both his comments and those of Professor Dawkins and come to their own conclusion. He also points out that Dawkins has yet to accept or reject his challenge to debate.
Dawkins continues what now has become "mud-slingin" with this:

Dawkins once again ignores the debate challenge, however, provides a bit more for the reader to think about regarding the Rabbi's position. At this point, I would say that these two need to go head-to-head and debate or discontinue their dialogs.

Closing Thoughts

As this exchange continues (if it does), I will do my best to keep up with it. However, here I must encourage both the theist and the atheist to present their arguments with reason and evidence. Arrogance and name calling are unnecessary and not a very wise manner in which to present an argument you want to be heard. Whether an atheist or a theist, if you have come to believe what is true, then you should not only welcome, but encourage, inquiry, critique, and healthy skepticism from the questioner.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross


pinkunicorn said...

Actually, when it comes to homosexuality, Boteach and Hitler are indeed like minded...

Chad said...


Thank you for leaving a comment and visiting our blog.

I'm sure that you are well aware of the fact that it was Nazi policy to imprison those caught in homosexual relations/relationships and thousands died in concentration camps. Clearly, Hitler was aware of this and allowed this, yes?

Are you suggesting that Rabbi Boteach would advocate this as well?

I do not feel the need to defend Rabbi Boteach and while I don't agree with all his views in the link you provided via your blog, I fail to see the correlation between Hitler's views on homosexuality vs. Boteachs.

If you could explain further it would be greatly appreciated.


pinkunicorn said...

Of course I do not think that Boteach would advocate such things; However, Hitler viewed homosexuality as a plague that prevented men from doing their duty of 'breeding the pure aryan race'. In one of his articles, Boteach has expressed similar ideas, saying that allowing gay marriage would hinder gay men from making families with women. In his view, it is better to have gay men married to women in a troublesome relationships rather than the gay man living with his partner of choice, because it is "god's plan".

This suggestion is a huge insult not only to LGBT people, but also heterosexual women as well. Revolting people like Boteach would rather have countless LGBT people driven into misery and suicide than reconsider the idiocy in their religious beliefs.