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Whats your opinion of Richard Dawkins?

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 05:48 pm
@fresco,
....further googling reveals that he has gone on record as saying that the only "spirituality" he understands ("like Einstein") is " a concept of wonder at the complexity of the universe"...this is a far cry from Harris's leanings towards Buddhist meditation.

This could be "a problem" in the sense that it weakens his argument in the eyes of the more influential or academic theists, who are content to let their "flocks" cling to their pragmatic simplistic concepts "God".
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 06:00 pm
@fresco,
So it's a just a political problem. You don't have any epistemological problem with it.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 06:32 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
I agree with about 99% of them. And the remaining percent isn't really worth talking about.


Oh--I think that remaining 1% is the only thing worth talking about.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 12:27 am
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

Hmm. I was kind'a guesing that. Also wondering, if he's a scientist, what possible difference his views on religion could make.


He's fighting BACK, Andrew.


He's taking the war to the religious.

He's writing a BEST-SELLER attacking religion.


he's our shock-troop in the great propaganda war waged by the religious right.




Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 01:09 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
Merry Andrew wrote:

Quote:
Hmm. I was kind'a guesing that. Also wondering, if he's a scientist, what possible difference his views on religion could make.



He's fighting BACK, Andrew.


He's taking the war to the religious.

He's writing a BEST-SELLER attacking religion.


he's our shock-troop in the great propaganda war waged by the religious right.


Isn't that rarher sinking to the level of the rabid religionists?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 01:33 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
So it's a just a political problem. You don't have any epistemological problem with it.


It is a political "problem" in the sense that religionism, like nationalism can tend to be a pernicious form of tribalism. That is a separate issue from Dawkins' naive epistemology which the more "intelligent" religionists quite rightly reject. The difference between them and atheists like Harris (and perhaps myself) is that religionists tend to interpret transcendental/holistic experience as "union of self with a deity" whereas Harris would see it as "dissolution of boundaries of self and not-self". Dawkins appears to classify all such experiences as "delusional" thereby assuming that a particular view of reality is a standard against which "delusion" can be measured.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 01:47 am
@fresco,
Quote:
Dawkins appears to classify all such experiences as "delusional" thereby assuming that a particular view of reality is a standard against which "delusion" can be measured.

Yes - and that attitude seems surprisingly childlike cognitively for someone who seems to be in other ways so intelligent and astute- I've read and listened to him quite extensively and find him very reasonable except on that point.

It always makes me think of children and in fact infants who developmentally cannot grasp the concept of 'object permanence' until a certain age and who really believe that if they can't see it - it doesn't exist- for them or for anyone else.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 02:02 am
@aidan,
Quote:
if they can't see it - it doesn't exist- for them or for anyone else.

and in Dawkin's case I mean 'see' figuratively - not literally.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 02:07 am
@aidan,
Quote:
It always makes me think of children and in fact infants who developmentally cannot grasp the concept of 'object permanence' until a certain age and who really believe that if they can't see it - it doesn't exist- for them or for anyone else.


An interesting double barrelled analogy !

On the one hand Dawkins is childlike refusing to "believe" in unobserved entities..."belief" being predictions about the persistence of "reality".
On the other hand, nondualists might argue that "existence" or "reality" itself depends on observational co-relationships. Deists would argue (after Berkeley) that "God is the ultimate observer".
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 02:19 am
@Merry Andrew,
Not when he uses reason, no.

Not when he gets the debate into the public sphere in a way that actually challenges the drivel on creationism, homophobia, denial of education about birth control, cessation of funding for international clinics offering anything but ******* abstinence, no.

Have you READ the damn book?

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 05:56 am
@fresco,
Show me where Dawkins classifies Sam Harris's kind of spiritualism as delusional. So far, as I pointed out several times, you have only provided hearsay from some blogger who said, "it is my perception that Dawkins is throwing out the [spiritual] baby with the [religionist] bath water. (emphasis and clarifying adjectives added, T.)" You still have not shown me any evidence of Dawkins actually doing so.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 06:06 am
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:
Hmm. I was kind'a guesing that. Also wondering, if he's a scientist, what possible difference his views on religion could make.

I'm wondering, how it could possibly not make a difference. Religion and science are diametric opposites in the way they view the world.

It is a fact of life that people are full of ****. Science approach this fact by being skeptical of what people -- including themselves -- are full of, and by checking it for things like internal consistency, falsifiability, and consistency with empirical evidence. The religious approach, on the other hand, is to unconditionally believe in, and even deify, the **** that particular people in history have been full of. There couldn't be a starker contrast between the two world views.

So how, to repeat the question, can anyone's attitudes about science and religion not make a difference to one another?
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 06:21 am
@Thomas,
That which today calls itself science
gives us more and more information,
and indigestible glut of information,
and less and less understanding.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 08:33 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
Quote:
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
. If you notice the title of the thread , it asks MY opinion. I find that Dawkins does no good to science because his arguments of his critiques of people of faith are totally arrogant and not too well reasoned IMHO. He argues for the genetic mind-set and then just as quickly dismisses those that are of"Faith". His arguments could as easily been constructed to stay on a logical path and not turn on those who disagree. This is very similar to A2K where someone is arguing from a logical base of fact and then someone on the other side merely calls him an "Asshole".

ANYWAY, Dawkins actual credentials as a researcher are limited. Hes more of a "Huckster" and as such, he wont allow dialogue to interfere. Thats why he is always (IMHO) at the losing end of his debates that hes had with some of the ID crowd.I am not impressed with his arguments because they are attacks rather than arguments, thats pretty much my own feeling in summation.

I actually find his focus on religion somewhat boring. Its as much a non-topic to science as is mixing the chemical origin of life with evolution. While there are a select group working on lifes origins, they are a small select group of propeller heads.

PS "delusional" is usually manifest by some kind of deviancy. I chose the words more for extension of his popular topics.
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 08:35 am
@Thomas,
You may feel that you dont have to respect anothers views if they are counter to yours. I feel differently. I feel that your argument has to win the day, not your attitude and snottiness.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 08:41 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
he's our shock-troop in the great propaganda war waged by the religious right.
I could not disagree more. By accepting his arguments as valid, we merely dump all the evidence and data that exists which factually argue the point quite beautifully.
Recently the religious right has walked itself into a scientific corner by revealing how much evolution they are forced to accept.This is a shock to their flocks who dont have the time or capacity to fully understand the "Thinness " of their arguments. Most Evangelicals merely cut and paste and hope something sticks. WHEN THEIR OWN GURUS start dicing the data to accept that evolution ( maybe a little more tha n mere "micro adaptation") is the accurate model and creation is in need of major modifications. ALl this is done by their own folks and is preached to themselves.

SCience didnt have to do anything.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 08:43 am
@fresco,
Quote:
Dawkins appears to classify all such experiences as "delusional" thereby assuming that a particular view of reality is a standard against which "delusion" can be measured.
Now youre talking at my level of understanding
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 08:50 am
@Thomas,
"Evidence in this 2005 article".
http://www.albertmohler.com/commentary_read.php?cdate=2005-09-09
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 09:09 am
I agree with Farmerman.

There has long been a debate about whether Atheism is a religion or not.

Dawkin's, with his judgmental attacks on other religions and arguments positing a universal truth that is beyond science, proves without question that it is.

Dawkins is more than religious in his Atheism. He is a fundamentalist.

((I think he damages both religion and science.))

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 09:11 am
@ebrown p,
Yep, the argument gets more difficult to carry out when, in public, someone is always quoting the most simplistic of DAwkins quotes. DAwkins gave up his cred as a "Scientist" three decades ago. Hes a Fundamentalist Huckster as E brown has said.
 

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