Friday, October 06, 2006

God Delusion #5 - The Fallacy of Suppressed Evidence

In GD ch. 2, p, 45, Dawkins argues as follows:

1) Atheists are hated and misunderstood in America.
2) It is "virtually impossible for an honest atheist to win a public election in America."
3) There are 535 elected leaders in the House and Senate.
4) Therefore, "it is statistically all but inevitable that a substantial number of them must be atheists."

Huh? Dawkins' conclusion does not follow from Premises 1-3. Dawkins "reasoning" commits the fallacy of suppressed evidence.

Atheists AND agnostics comprise 12% of the American population. The cited article says that such statistics are hard to come by.

It's precisely such evidence that is suppressed by Dawkins. And such evidence may be hard to obtain especially if, as Dawkins suggests so far in his book, there are atheists in America hiding in the closet out of fear of hatred and misunderstanding.

At most all I can ascertain from this kind of "logic" is that Dawkins himself has a psychological certainty that such must be the case. He "feels" it is "all but inevitable."