Thread: On Atheist Quote Mining
May 7th 2012, 06:09 PM #1
On Atheist Quote Mining
Is that quote accurate?
The link can be found here
The text is as follows:
Is that really an accurate quote? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
I woke up this morning to find on my Facebook a request from a friend of mine concerning a debate she was in on the Unbelievable page asking if I would know the correct source for a quote an atheist had given. I’m going to use one as an example.
“There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn.”
— St. Augustine (354 – 430), one of the “great” church fathers, Confessions
Okay. Confessions is a big book. It has several chapters to it. It’s not feasible to just pick it up and start reading, so the best thing to do is to do a search for the quote, although one can go to google books and look for some quotes there. What I do in this case is to take the first sentence, go to google, put it in quotes, and search.
Interestingly, the search comes up with several atheist web sites that have that same quote along with several others. Even Richard Dawkins has it in his book “The God Delusion” on page 159 and his source is Freeman. This tells me that Richard Dawkins has not even bothered to check the original quote.
So is the quote accurate?
Not really, for not too long in our search we find this:
Keep in mind that was not found on the 23rd page of a search. That was on the very first page. How many atheists then have even bothered to check the original quote? Considering how Dawkins can complain about creationists taking him out of context, it seems he doesn’t mind checking to see if he’s doing the same thing to Christians.
So I thought I’d take the last part that had “great” in quotations as if to make fun of Augustine. Let’s put this through the google search. How did the search results start off?
With the exact same links that the other one started off with.
This little exercise provides us with two pieces of information. The first is that we get a better understanding of what Augustine said. The second is that we understand better that too many atheists don’t bother to do any checking and simply just puke out what their cohorts have told them. Sad that a technique meant to show how blind Christians are reveals that instead of atheists.
This is a simple exercise anyone can do when given a quote. Now you won’t find every quote, but you can find some and if you can’t find the quote, ask for a clear reference, and for that you will need book and page number. If they don’t have one, I wouldn’t take it seriously then as they haven’t bothered to look it up themselves.
There’s no need to be fooled by this and you don’t need to be a person who mindlessly repeats as it seems too many atheists online are.
Nick PetersCheck the blog of Apologiaphoenix!
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