Richard Dawkins

ramonmercado

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Stillil's recent comment about moderates.
But moderates mat be closer to the original message of their religion especially in Christianity. Jesus never condemned gays, he associated with the marginalised. His New Covenant superseded the Old Testament.
 

Squiddy

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Is she an actual atheist, or just someone who doesn't follow any religion?
I suspect an atheist would be rather more critical of their partner's beliefs (well, speaking for myself, I would be).
She doesn't beleive in God, but she's not a strict rationalist, but historically there are all sorts of atheists, predating materialism and rationalism, but our beliefs aren't the point, what's more important is our respect for each other as people. After all, views are just a way of getting through life and it's difficulties, a place to stand, and the best place to stand is in a position of respect and fellowship with others, of give and take. No society is secure without that maturity, and differing beliefs and views give us the chance to exercise it, and that is more valuable than any specific worldveiw :) that's what we do agree on lol
 

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Plenty of intelligent religious people around but I think Dawkins and Aquinas would come up with opposing world views. The supporters in each camp would feel that their Idol won.

I'm an agnostic and much as I like Dawkins he is rather intolerant of Agnostics as well.
Which is weird because his hero Darwin was to his deathbed an agnostic not an atheist :)
 

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Agnostics are just atheists with a lack of faith in their lack of faith. Atheists have complete faith in their lack of faith.

Note that Dawkins shouldn't be labelled atheist: he's an evangelical antitheist, from the charismatic sect of the churlish. He uses his Ipod headphones as a rosary, and regularly confesses his sins to the creator god Ye-hew-tube (pbuh). Like all proper dog-fearing creatures, he means no-one no harm....his bark is better than his byte.
 

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I'd describe myself as agnostic but I wouldn't say I had a lack of faith in my lack of faith.

I take the agnostic position to be that it's simply impossible for us to attain true knowledge of the existence, nature, or motivations of any God.

Also it's clearly possible to contemplate the existence of God without subscribing to traditional religious beliefs.

I can believe in a creative force underlying the universe without assuming that it wants me to sing hymns to it, or abstain from eating pigs, or go to war on its behalf.
 

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I'd describe myself as agnostic but I wouldn't say I had a lack of faith in my lack of faith.

I take the agnostic position to be that it's simply impossible for us to attain true knowledge of the existence, nature, or motivations of any God.

Also it's clearly possible to contemplate the existence of God without subscribing to traditional religious beliefs.

I can believe in a creative force underlying the universe without assuming that it wants me to sing hymns to it, or abstain from eating pigs, or go to war on its behalf.
Yes, I'd go with all of that: I'm an agnostic too - and it's about time we became as vocal about our beliefs as the Positive atheist camp is. there's a whole lot more to agnosticism than just being a weak-kneed half-way house between theism and atheism, as all too many assume it to be.

* Agnosticism sees uncertainty as a positive and creative attitude.
* Agnosticism sees itself as the natural default position from which to begin, not atheism.
* Agnosticism does not see theism - in the sense of there being a creative force underlying the universe -as being incompatible with modern science.
* Agnosticism questions whether the debate around the existence or non-existence of a God is really so central to our moral values or place in the universe as many imagine it to be.

Bertrand Russell was also an (intermittent) Agnostic, but, like Darwin he has been falsely claimed by the Atheist community as one of their own.

For those who wish for a good introduction to Agnosticism let me recommend the following primer: Agnosticism A Very Short Introduction by Robin Le Poidevin. This is current, and is a part of the Oxford university Press Short introductions series so should be easy to get hold of (or order) in somewhere like Waterstones.
 

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Yes, I'd go with all of that: I'm an agnostic too - and it's about time we became as vocal about our beliefs as the Positive atheist camp is. there's a whole lot more to agnosticism than just being a weak-kneed half-way house between theism and atheism, as all too many assume it to be.

* Agnosticism sees uncertainty as a positive and creative attitude.
* Agnosticism sees itself as the natural default position from which to begin, not atheism.
* Agnosticism does not see theism - in the sense of there being a creative force underlying the universe -as being incompatible with modern science.
* Agnosticism questions whether the debate around the existence or non-existence of a God is really so central to our moral values or place in the universe as many imagine it to be.

Bertrand Russell was also an (intermittent) Agnostic, but, like Darwin he has been falsely claimed by the Atheist community as one of their own.

For those who wish for a good introduction to Agnosticism let me recommend the following primer: Agnosticism A Very Short Introduction by Robin Le Poidevin. This is current, and is a part of the Oxford university Press Short introductions series so should be easy to get hold of (or order) in somewhere like Waterstones.
It should be pointed out here that the New Atheist community will insist that atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief. They would say that they lack a belief in divinity, rather than believing that divinity doesn't exist. They will do so dogmatically (and never use the word "dogma" with reference to the New Atheists around one of their own, unless you want to become embroiled in a semantic discussion) to the point that they will accuse a person identifying as an atheist who claims to believe that God does not exist of not knowing what an atheist is (because New Atheists own the word "atheist" now). They also claim to begin from a position of agnosticism, becoming atheists only from a balance of evidence and logic. It would probably come as a surprise to many people that atheism is not a belief, not least to those many people who have long existed and continue to exist who simply believe God doesn't exist, and have always assumed that that meant they were atheists.
 

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There have been smart people through history with religious views. However it seems more difficult to find smart people who held religious views for smart reasons. Often it appears to be about the typical emotional need.
 

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There have been smart people through history with religious views. However it seems more difficult to find smart people who held religious views for smart reasons. Often it appears to be about the typical emotional need.
It's hard for even the greatest thinkers to discard an idea with which they've been assaulted from a young age, especially if that idea is reinforced by its acceptance in our community. People don't want the emotional trauma of changing such beliefs, which is one of the reasons why many with shared convictions find frequent sanctuary from challenge by surrounding themselves with the like minded as often as possible. It seems to me we largely accept, or even just find more than logically probable, those things generally regarded as true by many within our own culture. Perhaps this is for evolutionary reasons, part of our system for quickly adopting an understanding of the world without having to experience every pertinent situation for ourselves. In spite of my many criticisms of New Atheism, I support the core of Dawkins' aim. He has stated that his goal is to raise consciousness of rationalistic views, because people are more likely to consider a viewpoint as legitimate if they perceive it as existing among others. Inevitably, however, it often becomes a tit-for-tat between the Atheist community and the religious one.
 

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What is there to respect about someone doing a half-assed job of their religion?
Not 100% sure what you are trying to say . Are you saying that it's all or nothing when it comes to religion and you have no time for the moderates?
 

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There have been smart people through history with religious views. However it seems more difficult to find smart people who held religious views for smart reasons. Often it appears to be about the typical emotional need.
Usually, those smart people have been brought up in the faith and never sought to question it. It (and its associated rituals) became such a part of their daily life that it became a part of them.
I look at my sister and my nephews and I see 3 smart people who've been indoctrinated and never questioned it.
 

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There have been smart people through history with religious views. However it seems more difficult to find smart people who held religious views for smart reasons. Often it appears to be about the typical emotional need.
All reasons are emotional underneath, ask a psychologist. Nobody holds an opinion for intellectual reasons, though they may pretend to themselves they do, those who thinks they do are simply out of touch with their feelings :)
 

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Mytho, can you say who falls into which of your divisions here?
 

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I meant smart people like Newton, not just your man on the street. As for moderates, it's a lack of respect. You can respect a fundamentalist.
 

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Mytho, can you say who falls into which of your divisions here?
Not really. I don't know anybody here that well.
Also, trying to categorise people into little boxes is often a pointless task (and people may object to it).
 

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I meant smart people like Newton, not just your man on the street. As for moderates, it's a lack of respect. You can respect a fundamentalist.
I have no respect at all for fundamentalists.
 

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Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 41s41 seconds ago
Even if Hitler's professed Catholicism was insincere, he inherited, and publicly exploited, centuries of Lutheran & Catholic anti-Semitism.
But the Nazi's did not phrase their anti Semitism in religious terms, nor did they look to religion to justify it. They took their justification from the mainstream science of the time, which argued for the significance of race and the superiority of certain races over others.
It's a myth that a worldveiw must be religious to cause suffering, all it needs is authority. The kind of authority fascists like Dawkins attempted to use to persuade the western world of the moral necessity of exterminating down syndrome babies in-utero.
 

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The kind of authority fascists like Dawkins attempted to use to persuade the western world of the moral necessity of exterminating down syndrome babies in-utero.
Are you saying that people shouldn't be allowed the option of aborting a foetus if it has Down Syndrome? That they should be forced to bear and bring up that child, even though it will never have a 'normal' life?
Wouldn't that also be a form of fascism?
 

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Are you saying that people shouldn't be allowed the option of aborting a foetus if it has Down Syndrome? That they should be forced to bear and bring up that child, even though it will never have a 'normal' life?
Wouldn't that also be a form of fascism?
The right to abort a child that parents do not wish to raise exists, and I consider it perfectly reasonable. Never having been in that position I certainly make no judgement on the decisions of parents in that position.
Dawkins argued that it was IMMORAL to bear and raise a down syndrome child!
 

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Dawkins argued that it was IMMORAL to bear and raise a down syndrome child!
I can't remember exactly what he wrote/said (I did read about this a while ago), but perhaps he was arguing that it would be an infliction upon the child, causing unnecessary suffering? Just guessing.
 

Squiddy

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I can't remember exactly what he wrote/said (I did read about this a while ago), but perhaps he was arguing that it would be an infliction upon the child, causing unnecessary suffering? Just guessing.
His comments were irresponsible, dangerous, and callous, but typical of his arrogant overreaching.
If I want to know if somebody's life is worth living, I'll go ask them. Who gave Dawkins the right to say who has a right to live, or tell people they're wrong to love and protect their own children?
Shouldnt be surprised though, since he's spent so much of his career loudly voicing crass and ill educated assumptions about the reasons why people have formed the opinions they have about their lives, the world in which they live, and what they feel is important to them.
 

rynner2

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Shouldnt be surprised though, since he's spent so much of his career loudly voicing crass and ill educated assumptions about the reasons why people have formed the opinions they have about their lives, the world in which they live, and what they feel is important to them.
Just because you don't agree with his ideas doesn't give you the right to inflict a rant like this on us. It makes you sound rather crass and ill educated yourself. By comparison Dawkins is educated. and much more logical than you seem to think.

Perhaps you sound so angry because you realise you cannot debate his ideas on the same level that he can expound them, so in effect you respond by name-calling.

Reasoned debate is better. Pick something he's actually said (with references) and analyse it, but just shouting the odds about what you think he said (and why) doesn't work.
 

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Squiddy: If someone with Down's syndrome then say their life isn't worth living what will you do then? Retroactively abort them?
 

Squiddy

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Squiddy: If someone with Down's syndrome then say their life isn't worth living what will you do then? Retroactively abort them?
I see no reason to be obtuse about my statement, the inference is clear, what person is going to tell you they'd rather not be born?
 

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Someone who was born with a disease that made their life miserable.
 

Squiddy

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Just because you don't agree with his ideas doesn't give you the right to inflict a rant like this on us. It makes you sound rather crass and ill educated yourself. By comparison Dawkins is educated. and much more logical than you seem to think.

Perhaps you sound so angry because you realise you cannot debate his ideas on the same level that he can expound them, so in effect you respond by name-calling.

Reasoned debate is better. Pick something he's actually said (with references) and analyse it, but just shouting the odds about what you think he said (and why) doesn't work.
With respect Mr Rynner, his statement on this matter was widely publicised, the simplest search will lead you to it, so a reference does not need posting. I find it disturbing that nobody on this forum bats an eye when members further up this thread speak about shooting people for their beliefs, and yet when I share heartfelt outrage at the fascistic ravings of Mr Dawkins, I am upbraided.
I fear I have poked a sacred cow, I may or may not have a swollen intellect, but I have a heart, and nobody with a heart should stand by and listen to such things without being moved to speak.
 

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Someone who was born with a disease that made their life miserable.
And what makes you think that people with down's syndrome are miserable? The inference is insulting to those born different. I don't know any people with down's syndrome, but my nephew is quite profoundly autistic, and yet he has a good life, he enjoys, many fine qualities including a cracking sense of humour? Would you and your friends here have forced his Mum and Dad to abort him? Who exactly do you think you are?
 

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My niece has Down's syndrome. Besides, nobody was talking about force.
 

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With respect Mr Rynner, his statement on this matter was widely publicised, the simplest search will lead you to it, so a reference does not need posting. I find it disturbing that nobody on this forum bats an eye when members further up this thread speak about shooting people for their beliefs, and yet when I share heartfelt outrage at the fascistic ravings of Mr Dawkins, I am upbraided.
I fear I have poked a sacred cow, I may or may not have a swollen intellect, but I have a heart, and nobody with a heart should stand by and listen to such things without being moved to speak.
What, you mean that throwaway, jokey comment I made completely in jest?
Reality check.
 
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