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Whats your opinion of Richard Dawkins?

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 09:45 am
@farmerman,
I beg to differ on this last point. It is not Dawkins' "atheism" which is "religious" but his "scientificism". By this I mean that Dawkins takes a logical positivist/naive reality stance on "science" and ignores or plays down (like Einstein) "uncertainties" which now play a major role in physics. Thus he unfoundedly lays claim to "authority" in a similar sense to that claimed by a chauvinist theist.
IMO it is perfectly possible to be atheistic on pragmatic sociological grounds without basing such atheism on simplistic concepts of "evidence". The fact that Dawkins' own atheism does so does not generally imply that "atheism" is a belief system.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 09:54 am
@ebrown p,
The above post is more properly addressed to your generalization about "atheism" than to Farmerman's specific point about Dawkins' atheism.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 10:09 am
I do not believe in any deity.

Yet because the word "atheist" has (thanks to people like Dawkins) come to mean anti-religion, I refuse to call myself atheist.

Whether or not there are any gods, religion has long part of the human experience. Attacks on religion are no more logical than attacks on any other part of human nature-- let's say music or poetry.



fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 10:46 am
@ebrown p,
Quote:
Attacks on religion are no more logical than attacks on any other part of human nature-- let's say music or poetry.


I don't think music or poetry have directly incited or justified war.
Smile
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 10:53 am
@fresco,
Oh come on fresco! Music has never been used to incite or justify war?

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 10:59 am
@ebrown p,
The key words are "directly used".
Jingoistic National Anthems etc are an adjunct to existing tribalism, not a justification for it.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 11:12 am
@fresco,
My point exactly. The key words are "directly used".
Religion is an adjunct to existing tribalism, not a justification for it.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 05:23 pm
@ebrown p,
You need to watch fresco eb. He likes to get points across with qualifiers in them so that he can escape being held to account if the points get challenged.

He hasn't said what you thought he had said. He hasn't actually said anything.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 05:41 pm
@ebrown p,
Are you arguing that music rather than religion has been a major historical factor in war ?...if so we can settle the matter at dawn with bagpipes at 10 paces ! Wink
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 06:22 pm
@fresco,
I am arguing that neither music nor religion has been a major historical factor in war.

Wars are about land, resources and cultural clashes. Music and religion are often used to rile up the troops or to provide the cultural narrative for war... but neither is a cause (and humans will happily kill each other without either).

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 02:35 am
@ebrown p,
...so you reject the Harris argument about the religious promise of "an afterlife" being a perniciously precipitative factor in the devaluation of "this life" ?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 04:34 am
@fresco,
Ken Miller, on the other hand, is an example of a scientist who is "of Faith". His argument , to me, is more an intellectual "copout" than is Dawkins meanspiritedness. WHile DAwkins will reach out to confront anyone who displays a religious base , Miller bifurcates his "Duplex worldviews", by having a scientific worldview that requires evidence and proofs, and then still maintaining a separate worldview in which all the needs for evidence is suspended.

Theistic evolution is still part of catechism, not science IMHO.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 06:18 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

I am arguing that neither music nor religion has been a major historical factor in war.

Wars are about land, resources and cultural clashes.

Cultural clashes often based on religious differences.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 07:20 am
@fresco,
Quote:
...so you reject the Harris argument about the religious promise of "an afterlife" being a perniciously precipitative factor in the devaluation of "this life" ?


Of course. This is a ridiculous argument.

First, the word "pernicious" implies that the "devaluation" of "this life" is a bad thing. Any valuation of life can only be compared in a social context-- science doesn't value life (or at least nature tolerates death pretty well as long as reproduction happens-- and you can't argue this without explaining baby turtles).

But the practical problem with this argument would say that more religious societies would "value life" more than others. You would need a quantitative way to determine religiosity and "valuing life".... but the way that Stalin valued life seems to go against your thesis.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 07:28 am
@rosborne979,
Last night, my daughter and I went to see fireworks celebrating the the residents of our city who 233 years ago started an armed Revolution.

There are Christians in my family who believe that this was a religious act... that their intention was to set up a society based on the precepts of Christianity. I have always felt the argument this war was based on religion was kind of silly.

I will find it funny if Atheist fundamentalists agree with the Christian fundamentalists.

((If this isn't a good war... we can talk about any of the recent wars. Iraq, WWII, Civil War; take your pick.))

0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 07:53 am
@ebrown p,
I wont labour the point, but other ideologies like communism and nazism qualify as "religions" in the sense of figurehead worship and submission of the individual to the "will" of that figurehead. Communism may have promised no afterlife as such but glorified sacrifice of the individual for the group. And nazism certainly promised Valhalla. IMO it is hard to dismiss Haris's argument when we think of the Crusades, the Inquisition, or suicide bombers.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:02 am
@fresco,
Quote:
I wont labour the point, but other ideologies like communism and nazism qualify as "religions" in the sense of figurehead worship and submission of the individual to the "will" of that figurehead.


Come on Fresco-- you get to make up the rules as you go along. You really think you can just define anyone you don't like as religious in order to attack religion? Come on.

But I will play along.... Were the following religious or non-religious.

- The American Revolution.
- Dr. Martin Luther King and his Civil Rights movement.
- The Allied war against Naziism.
- Barack Obama's election campaign.

It is a simplistic game you are playing-- and it is quite easy to dismiss Harrris' argument. Neither make sense.




0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:02 am
@fresco,
not to mention the second defenestration of Prague
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:27 am
@farmerman,
fm,
Hey, I forgot that one !

ebrown,
Finding counter examples is good fun, but if you Wiki "religious wars" you'll have plenty to read next time you are stuck in the long security line at the airport.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:52 am
@fresco,
Quote:

Finding counter examples is good fun, but if you Wiki "religious wars" you'll have plenty to read next time you are stuck in the long security line at the airport.


I bet you will get more to read if you Wiki "military music". But I don't know what that would prove.
0 Replies
 
 

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