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What do you think of this view of Richard Dawkins?

 
 
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 03:39 am
Dawkins does not claim to disprove God with absolute certainty. Instead, he suggests as a general principle that simpler explanations are preferable (see Occam's razor), and that an omniscient and omnipotent God must be extremely complex. As such he argues that the theory of a universe without a God is preferable to the theory of a universe with a God.
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TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 04:19 am
@Andarius1,
much more reasonable then the usually " theist are all stupid. Stop being stupid!" argument.
0 Replies
 
richard mcnair
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 04:32 am
@Andarius1,
Dawkins argues what you've just said, yes. But he presupposes materialism. All religions, full stop, as far as I'm aware deny materialism, and the abrahamic faiths believe in a transcendent God, and not a material one. And yet dawkins still argues as if people believe in a material God, which not only makes everything he says an argument from ignorance, but also misleads those he read him who don't know much about these subtleties themselves.

If you want to use the occams razor approach, then if we believe in materialism, we have to cut away all ideas of a subjective experience or 'inner world' a la dennet, skinner etc. I'm afraid however I do have have a subjective experience (I'm subjectively experiencing right now), and an 'inner world' (which I'm also experiencing right now), so I really don't think it's just a case of 'occams razor' to suggest that all that exists is observable matter in motion, I think it's just plain craziness.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 05:26 am
@richard mcnair,
richard_mcnair;171671 wrote:
If you want to use the occams razor approach, then if we believe in materialism, we have to cut away all ideas of a subjective experience or 'inner world' a la dennet, skinner etc. I'm afraid however I do have have a subjective experience (I'm subjectively experiencing right now), and an 'inner world' (which I'm also experiencing right now), so I really don't think it's just a case of 'occams razor' to suggest that all that exists is observable matter in motion, I think it's just plain craziness.


Occams razor has absolutely nothing to do with materialism. As far as what you mean by "inner world", I assume you mean thoughts or emotions? If you mean something else, perhaps you need to further define what you mean by it otherwise I'll have to stick with this next argument.

Thoughts and emotions do follow occums razor for the most part. They are not outside the issue of using the most likely explanation. Thoughts and emotions are easily explanable. We know how emotions arise and their effects. So what exactly are you referring to that can't follow occums razor?

If you are referring to something like a soul, then you are in error. There is absolutely nothing substantial that points to a soul existing. So if you are trying to claim that the soul can not be explained using occams razor, you have been mistaken. In fact occums razor is the tool by which we would deduce that the soul is probably nothing more than other human attributes substituted to be the soul, ie, the mind.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 05:57 am
@Andarius1,
Andarius1;171659 wrote:
God must be extremely complex.


But theology insists that God is perfectly simple.
richard mcnair
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 06:03 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;171678 wrote:
Occams razor has absolutely nothing to do with materialism. As far as what you mean by "inner world", I assume you mean thoughts or emotions? If you mean something else, perhaps you need to further define what you mean by it otherwise I'll have to stick with this next argument.

Thoughts and emotions do follow occums razor for the most part. They are not outside the issue of using the most likely explanation. Thoughts and emotions are easily explanable. We know how emotions arise and their effects. So what exactly are you referring to that can't follow occums razor?

If you are referring to something like a soul, then you are in error. There is absolutely nothing substantial that points to a soul existing. So if you are trying to claim that the soul can not be explained using occams razor, you have been mistaken. In fact occums razor is the tool by which we would deduce that the soul is probably nothing more than other human attributes substituted to be the soul, ie, the mind.

Yes, I know occams razor has nothing to do with materialism. I meant that IF all that exists is matter, then things like subjective experience have to be cut out of the equation, becuase you can't explain this with matter in motion - read skinner, dennet etc. Dawkins as far as I know never once touches upon the subject of his materialism, and all of the arguments throughout the centuries against it, and so he argues on the assumption that all that exists is matter. But all religions disagree with this, hence all his rants against religion have no relevance, and not only that, they mislead his readership into thinking that religious people believe in a material god rather than a transcendent one.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 06:58 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;171681 wrote:
But theology insists that God is perfectly simple.

This is basic argumentation. If one argue for 'if x, then y', he is not at committed to x being true.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 10:58 am
@TuringEquivalent,
The prominent issue between the two set fo people is that one is material one isn't. Given a singular god and the presupposition of the non-material perfect upon which it is often built, the singular perfect god is much simpler than humanity coming from a material source given the materialist presupposition. A singular perfect god is only more complex in a presupposed materialist tradition.
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 12:18 pm
@Andarius1,
Andarius1;171659 wrote:
Dawkins does not claim to disprove God with absolute certainty. Instead, he suggests as a general principle that simpler explanations are preferable (see Occam's razor), and that an omniscient and omnipotent God must be extremely complex. As such he argues that the theory of a universe without a God is preferable to the theory of a universe with a God.

Ockham embraced fideism (the view that belief in God is a matter of faith alone) in part because that was the only option left after a reductionism exemplified by Ockham's razor cut away all other possible supports for belief such as complex theological proofs.

Dawkins turning the razor around on faith is somewhat ironic but then perhaps fideism is ironic to begin with. If Ockham's razor left something other than faith for belief to be based on then we would not have to believe by faith alone (i.e. no more fideism).

For Ockham, the razor made room for, and elevated faith to supreme importance rather than cut it away.
0 Replies
 
stevecook172001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 02:02 am
@richard mcnair,
richard_mcnair;171682 wrote:
Yes, I know occams razor has nothing to do with materialism. I meant that IF all that exists is matter, then things like subjective experience have to be cut out of the equation, becuase you can't explain this with matter in motion - read skinner, dennet etc. Dawkins as far as I know never once touches upon the subject of his materialism, and all of the arguments throughout the centuries against it, and so he argues on the assumption that all that exists is matter. But all religions disagree with this, hence all his rants against religion have no relevance, and not only that, they mislead his readership into thinking that religious people believe in a material god rather than a transcendent one.

It's funny, isn't it, how believers in a so-called non-material god nevertheless tend to have a particularly unpleasant penchant for imposing extremely material consequences of their belief in his existence on everyone else.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 02:42 am
@stevecook172001,
stevecook172001;172872 wrote:
extremely material consequences


such as?.........
qualia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:57 am
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:
Thoughts and emotions are easily explanable. We know how emotions arise and their effects.

I don't want to derail this thread, but this stood out a little too much. Even tryng to get clear about just what an emotion is, is a very controversial area of enquiry in today's philosophy. And, as you'll appreciate there is no singular answer. On passing (I haven't looked into this issue beyond a level superficiality) there are some thinkers (Rorty, for example) who consider that emotions may not even form a natural class. That's quite radical. Some theorists maintain that all emotions are socially constructed whilst others maintain that this make be so for emotions like cowardice, or envy, but there are other more fundamental responses like anger which seem to be biologically triggered across the species, whilst there are others who understand emotions as complex state of affairs that always require some kind of evaluative judgement, and so on. This is not a criticism of you, Krumple, just to acknowledge that as thinkers we should demand more from ourselves than any quick generalisation, no matter how persuasive they may seem on first inspection.
0 Replies
 
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 05:03 am
@Andarius1,
Andarius1;171659 wrote:
Dawkins does not claim to disprove God with absolute certainty. Instead, he suggests as a general principle that simpler explanations are preferable (see Occam's razor), and that an omniscient and omnipotent God must be extremely complex. As such he argues that the theory of a universe without a God is preferable to the theory of a universe with a God.


Yes, Occam's razor seeks for the simplest possibility within a given state of affairs. But the error is that this principle rationalizes the possibility of physical systems, therefore it is a principle that is applicable to the physical universe not an omniscient and omnipotent God as suggested. I do not know who this Dawkins is, but what I do not know to a further extent is as to why he would assume that principles as such that apply to the physical universe must also apply to such a God.

This "view" of Dawkins is not even wrong.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 05:44 am
@Andarius1,
As I have remarked, Dawkins shows no evidence of understanding of the conventional description of God. This is quite different to arguing about whether God exists or not. Whether He exists or not, if someone is to write a book about the fact that the belief in God is a delusion, it would be appropriate to provide some evidence that he knows what 'belief in God' actually means.
0 Replies
 
pshingle
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 07:15 am
@stevecook172001,
stevecook172001;172872 wrote:
It's funny, isn't it, how believers in a so-called non-material god nevertheless tend to have a particularly unpleasant penchant for imposing extremely material consequences of their belief in his existence on everyone else.


Exactly!! The belief in a non-material god only furthers the idea that possessions on earth should be disregarded. So many theists strive throughout their entire life to become wealthy that they don't even remember the eternal life they are trying to obtain.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:06 am
@pshingle,
Hi All,

Richard Dawkins is an out-and-out Atheist of the highest degree, on a mission to annihilate any and all concepts of God (Any God). I smile when he confronts religious figures (from all walks), attempts to convince them of the rational and then quivers in shock, spitting blood almost, when they inevitably and conclusively, not only, disagree, but attempt to convince him that he is irrational. Brilliant!
Have a great day, all.

Mark...
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:41 am
@mark noble,
mark noble;172985 wrote:
Hi All,

Richard Dawkins is an out-and-out Atheist of the highest degree, on a mission to annihilate any and all concepts of God (Any God). I smile when he confronts religious figures (from all walks), attempts to convince them of the rational and then quivers in shock, spitting blood almost, when they inevitably and conclusively, not only, disagree, but attempt to convince him that he is irrational. Brilliant!


You are a little bit of a sensationalist?

I find it interesting how you put it without considering it from his point of view. Why is it that his talks generate death threats against him? I mean if theists were all loving and god fearing people why do they always insist on death threats to silence their opposition?

Not to mention that he is constantly quote mind and has to spend a large portion of his time correcting statements made against him from things that he said which were taken out of context or bent in ways in which he did not say them.

When you sit in a room and try to have a rational discussion with a bunch of irrational people, eventually things are going to get heated. That an apologetic will keep rehashing the same argument over and over even after they have been clearly proven wrong.

The final thing that annoys him and many of the people within the scientific community is that religion an religious people are trying to undermine science all together. They want to infuse the science class rooms with dogma and things that are not scientific. They want to retard the education system to spread their theocracy. When they oppose these actions they get branded as being inconsiderate to religious views when clearly it is the other way around.

I don't even like dawkins but I am here defending him because you are clearly a lopsided sensationalist.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:52 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;172994 wrote:
You are a little bit of a sensationalist?

I find it interesting how you put it without considering it from his point of view. Why is it that his talks generate death threats against him? I mean if theists were all loving and god fearing people why do they always insist on death threats to silence their opposition?

Not to mention that he is constantly quote mind and has to spend a large portion of his time correcting statements made against him from things that he said which were taken out of context or bent in ways in which he did not say them.

When you sit in a room and try to have a rational discussion with a bunch of irrational people, eventually things are going to get heated. That an apologetic will keep rehashing the same argument over and over even after they have been clearly proven wrong.

The final thing that annoys him and many of the people within the scientific community is that religion an religious people are trying to undermine science all together. They want to infuse the science class rooms with dogma and things that are not scientific. They want to retard the education system to spread their theocracy. When they oppose these actions they get branded as being inconsiderate to religious views when clearly it is the other way around.

I don't even like dawkins but I am here defending him because you are clearly a lopsided sensationalist.


Hi Krumple,

I do like Richard Dawkins, and I agree with nearly everything he says. I do, nevertheless, believe it would be wiser of him to ignore what he so openly attacks, on the principle that - he is wasting his wisdom on fools.

You don't know me well enough to insult me, but do so, if you wish, I value your opinion in equal quantity to your value of mine.

"One man's clearly lopsided sensationalist is another man's vaguely centred normalist"

Thank you, Krumple, and have a splendid day.

Mark...
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 01:13 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble;172998 wrote:
I do, nevertheless, believe it would be wiser of him to ignore what he so openly attacks, on the principle that - he is wasting his wisdom on fools.


Yeah that would seem reasonable, however he says that by saying nothing and not trying to correct the errors, then it is as if you are allowing errors to continue. You in fact are helping to perpetuate errors if you do not speak up.

I am not a theist, and many call me anti theistic. I have my views but I am not opposed to someone having their religious beliefs. However; when it comes to political or social issues, I feel that religion has absolutely no authority to impose it's doctrine onto others. In my opinion the best religious people are the one's that keep it to themselves and not try to impose their beliefs onto others.

You could say I am being hypocritical by making the claim that they shouldn't be allowed to state their opinion. I would agree with you, however stating an opinion is one thing, but forcing laws based on beliefs in which I do not hold is completely another. We need to have a neutral position to base society upon, weather you agree with it or not, is not up to any religion to decide. It should be a secular decision not a religious one.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 01:22 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;171681 wrote:
But theology insists that God is perfectly simple.


Either God is simple or God is all knowing. You can't have it both ways.
0 Replies
 
 

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