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Whats your opinion of Richard Dawkins?

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 06:01 pm
is he a good scientist?
what do you think are his views on religion?
 
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 07:07 pm
@dazza 480,
Who's Richard Dawkins?

roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 07:09 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Well, you know, a good scientist but wobbly on religion
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 07:20 pm
@roger,
Hmm. I was kind'a guesing that. Also wondering, if he's a scientist, what possible difference his views on religion could make.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 08:48 pm
@dazza 480,
Hes ok but is more a "pop" scientist than an actual researcher. His entry into biology was predicated on proving that Gods dont exist and I find that a bit disengenuous. One's innate drive to understand something shouldnt be based on some stupid hang-up, I find his aetheistic preaching kind of tiring. Im an aetheist and I dont need constant reinforcement by the likes of DAwkins.
Also HE HAS NO SENSE OF HUMOR and is a bit of a primping narcissist.

Outside of that , I suppose hes a good guy.

Ken Miller is kind of the same way. Hes so busy making God a guardian partner in evolution that he sometimes begins to sound like a BAptist Minister.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 09:09 pm
@dazza 480,
dazza wrote:
is he a good scientist?

Yes he is -- judging by the publication list he accumulated before he became an ambassador of science to the general public.

dazza wrote:
what do you think are his views on religion?

I agree with about 99% of them. And the remaining percent isn't really worth talking about.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 10:12 pm
@Thomas,
Somehow I misread your question as "what do you think of his views on religion", when you really asked what his views are.

He states that on a scale from one to seven, where one is complete faith that god exist, and seven is complete faith that god does not exists, he's a six-and-a-half: He cannot prove that god doesn't exist, so absolute disbelief in him wouldn't make sense. But neither could you prove that witches, fairly, and unicorns don't exist, and we generally agree that they don't exist, because there is no evidence for him. Dawkins considers the existence of god(s) about as likely as the existence of unicorns.

Dawkins considers religions to be collective delusions, in the same sense as someone who thinks he's Napoleon is under an individual delusion.

As I said, I agree with all that.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 10:59 pm
He's a very clever man who wrote some good books on evolution.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 12:56 am
Dawkins has been discussed extensively on other threads. (See fresco topics if interested).
IMO Dawkins represents a "healthy" counter-movement against the evils of religious indoctrination, but tends to "throw out the baby with the bath water" when he refuses to consider the possibilities of non-theistic "spirituality". He is certainly a capable "scientist" but seems to be philosophically naive about the nature and limits of "scientific enquiry".
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:58 am
@dazza 480,
He's a man on a mission.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 12:47 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
but tends to "throw out the baby with the bath water" when he refuses to consider the possibilities of non-theistic "spirituality".

Does he? I remember a discussion in which Sam Harris dwelled extensively on his positive experiences with Eastern meditation techniques. Dawkins didn't seem to have a problem with that. Can you show me an example where Dawkins throws out the baby with the bathwater?
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 03:34 pm
I've only read his book The God Delusion and although I'm not an atheist, I found myself agreeing with much of what he wrote.

I enjoyed the book very much.

Can't have an opinion I suppose on anything else about him, since that's all I know of him.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
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Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 03:38 pm
@Thomas,
His opinions about natural selection are not based merely on the strengths and evidence of the theory and the implications and what recent research has disclosed. INSTEAD, he seem hell bent on destroying religion by labeling it as deviant or some other uncomplimentary title that does no good to the dialogue .
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:08 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas,

I googled "Dawkins Spirituality" and amazingly came across another Thomas (!) on this forum...

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=37519

...who uses the very same "baby/bathwater" metaphor (coincidence or what ? )

I would assume that his public discussions with Harris involve avoidance of potential problem areas in order to keep up mutual atheistic united front.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:11 pm
@fresco,
Well, but that's hearsay alleging that Dawkins is throwing out the spritual baby with the religious bath water. It isn't evidence of him actually doing it.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:14 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
INSTEAD, he seem hell bent on destroying religion by labeling it as deviant or some other uncomplimentary title that does no good to the dialogue.

He doesn't label it as deviant, he labels it as a delusion -- correctly in my opinion -- and gives arguments why he does that. What's the problem with this approach doing no good to the dialogue? Not all dialogues are worth doing good to. I, for instance, don't really care for a dialogue between chemists and alchemists, or between astronomers and astrologers, or between doctors and chiropractors, or .... Why should I care about doing good to the dialogue between skepticism and faith?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:21 pm
@Thomas,
Yes...but philosophically, Dawkins is a naive realist , not a paradigmatic relativist (Khun) interested in the sociological/hierarchical aspects of "knowledge". His label for religion as "a cognitive virus" implies a reductionist view of "thinking" which is prone to biologically causal factors, as opposed to metalogical/non-causal factors such as those suggested by the holistic biology of other writers such as Maturana.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:28 pm
@fresco,
So what?

... and, you still have provided no evidence for what your saying. All you provided is hearsay from a blog.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:35 pm
@Thomas,
...so Dawkins is not sympathetic to any arguments which question the "objectivity" of data or the non-dualism of "observer-observed" as advocated by holistic spirituality.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:48 pm
@fresco,
Do you consider this a problem?
 

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