The center-left UK Independent explains how one person who cannot ground morality rationally defrauded an organization of people who cannot ground morality rationally. (H/T Lex Communis)
Josh Timonen was one of a small coterie of young protégés around Richard Dawkins, sharing his boss’s zealous atheism. But now he and the evolutionary theorist have fallen out spectacularly. Professor Dawkins’s charity has accused Mr Timonen of embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The two atheists had become close in recent years, with Dawkins, the best-selling author and Emeritus Professor of Biology at Oxford University, even dedicating his latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, to him. But Mr Timonen and the Dawkins foundation are now preparing for a legal wrangle.
The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, has filed four lawsuits in a Californian court alleging that Mr Timonen, who ran its online operation in America, stole $375,000 (£239,000) over three years. It is claiming $950,000 in damages, while Mr Dawkins is suing him for $14,000 owed to him personally. Mr Timonen strongly denies the allegations.
[…]In documents filed at the court, the foundation says it spotted the alleged embezzlement this year when books were found detailing $500 meals, trips to Malibu Beach Inn and $314,000 in salaries paid to Mr Timonen and his girlfriend.
Beside his work for Professor Dawkins, Mr Timonen has been employed by fellow atheist Christopher Hitchens and the British Humanist Foundation, according to his website.
I actually wrote an entire series of posts on how atheists cannot rationally ground objective moral standards, free will, moral accountability, moral obligations and moral significance. If it turns out that Timonen is guilty, it would be interesting to hear what he thinks about the question “Why should I be moral?” from his atheist perspective.