Richard Dawkins blurts again

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
faithinware
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#16

Post by faithinware » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:59 pm

I don't disagree. Education and the lack of it is a real problem. A broad education of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Genetics, and general science would be a positive affect on society as a whole. And most people don't get even the basics here in America. Hell some have problems with reading.

Education of Music, Natural History, Psychology, Sociology, Art, Language, Computer Science, Anthropology,Medicine and Philosophy are lacking for many. College helps with this. Some can self educate.

Dawkins is absolutely correct in that people as a whole don't have a well rounded education. And I think its more of a problem here in the US than it is in the UK. And to say people without education are morons is in and of itself slightly moronic. The appropriate word is ignorant.

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#17

Post by godslanguage » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:06 pm

So what your saying is that we must all be Neo-darwinists? We must all conform to the standards that Dawkins abides by? Including ruling out all other possibilities that science may not "agree" on. Should we accept multiple parallel universes so that the chance factor can be sealed and leave God out of the equation?

And you didn't answer any of my previous questions, I really don't care because Dawkins speaks for himself, and you know it.

I would say that I agree that education is one thing, but you have to wonder when scientists who HAVE THE EDUCATION in biology have reached differant conclusions in they're studies. Are they not educated enough, do they need to be taught by Richard Dawkins to tell them HOW THEY SHOULD INTERPRET THE DATA?

Overall, the problem is for Dawkins is that religion is not compatible with science, that has been shown to be false. Science and relgion are looking out the exact same window, but looking at it from two differant perspective.

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#18

Post by Turgonian » Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:05 am

faithinware wrote:I understand what you mean. We can trust what he says.
Is there anything he has said, that is not true?
No. We can trust him completely.

Hearsay isn't a problem. About 90% of ancient and modern history is hearsay. And back then, oral reports were much more reliable than written reports.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#19

Post by faithinware » Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:48 pm

History is written by the winners.

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#20

Post by godslanguage » Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:04 pm

faithinware wrote:History is written by the winners.
And Hitler almost succeeded too

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#21

Post by hetfield » Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:42 am

godslanguage wrote:
faithinware wrote:History is written by the winners.
And Hitler almost succeeded too
Battle of the Bulge was his demise, from then on he was at a downhill fall. He was crazy, somewhat intelligent, he actually tried to build a new city of Germania, it would've been the capital of the world. His life was interesting, screwed up, but interesting.
"The greatest feeling is looking at something, and wondering how it works-"Albert Einstien.

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#22

Post by Turgonian » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:08 pm

faithinware wrote:History is written by the winners.
Do you believe there is anything in the Bible that was made up to show Israel or Christ more favourably than it or He actually deserved?
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#23

Post by faithinware » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:48 pm

Yes, Hitler was a prime example of modern day Catholic.

I think lots of things were made up. I also think each and every one of us has a personal concept of God, which is different for each and everyone.

I think that we take God personally for many reasons, one of the biggest is the time and effort we put into understanding and forming our own understanding of God creates an emotional cost that we defend our own ideas of God in some points too far.

I think the use of Fear or some other form of Control is ethically wrong when it comes to religion, and people who do this are performing evil actions.

Since we really pick and choose what the Bible says as official doctrine and ethical way to live our life, we should choose love. Not hate, not violence, and not harm.
And lastly, I think the main way to help people and society, is to educate them with well rounded information (information that is useful).

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#24

Post by faithinware » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:50 pm

Also, the fact that history is written by the winners, is something for you to ponder, not something for me to ponder. Consider it for your own edification.

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#25

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:37 pm

faithinware wrote:Yes, Hitler was a prime example of modern day Catholic.

I think lots of things were made up. I also think each and every one of us has a personal concept of God, which is different for each and everyone.

I think that we take God personally for many reasons, one of the biggest is the time and effort we put into understanding and forming our own understanding of God creates an emotional cost that we defend our own ideas of God in some points too far.

I think the use of Fear or some other form of Control is ethically wrong when it comes to religion, and people who do this are performing evil actions.

Since we really pick and choose what the Bible says as official doctrine and ethical way to live our life, we should choose love. Not hate, not violence, and not harm.
And lastly, I think the main way to help people and society, is to educate them with well rounded information (information that is useful).
So Hitler was a prime example of a modern day Catholic? Please demonstrate the validity of that statement.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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#26

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:08 pm

Interesting article with regard to Mr Dawkins in the Gaurdian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Co ... 35,00.html

No wonder atheists are angry: they seem ready to believe anything


Richard Dawkins's latest attack on religion is an intellectually lazy polemic not worthy of a great scientist

Madeleine Bunting
Saturday January 7, 2006
The Guardian

On Monday, it's Richard Dawkins's turn (yet again) to take up the cudgels against religious faith in a two-part Channel 4 programme, The Root of All Evil? His voice is one of the loudest in an increasingly shrill chorus of atheist humanists; something has got them badly rattled. They even turned their bitter invective on Narnia. By all means, let's have a serious debate about religious belief, one of the most complex and fascinating phenomena on the planet, but the suspicion is that it's not what this chorus wants. Behind unsubstantiated assertions, sweeping generalisations and random anecdotal evidence, there's the unmistakable whiff of panic; they fear religion is on the march again.

There's an aggrieved frustration that they've been short-changed by history; we were supposed to be all atheist rationalists by now. Secularisation was supposed to be an inextricable part of progress. Even more grating, what secularisation there has been is accompanied by the growth of weird irrationalities from crystals to ley lines. As GK Chesterton pointed out, the problem when people don't believe in God is not that they believe nothing, it is that they believe anything.

There's an underlying anxiety that atheist humanism has failed. Over the 20th century, atheist political regimes racked up an appalling (and unmatched) record for violence. Atheist humanism hasn't generated a compelling popular narrative and ethic of what it is to be human and our place in the cosmos; where religion has retreated, the gap has been filled with consumerism, football, Strictly Come Dancing and a mindless absorption in passing desires. Not knowing how to answer the big questions of life, we shelve them - we certainly don't develop the awe towards and reverence for the natural world that Dawkins would want. So the atheist humanists have been betrayed by the irrational, credulous nature of human beings; a misanthropy is increasingly evident in Dawkins's anti-religious polemic and among his many admirers.

This is the only context that can explain Dawkins's programme, a piece of intellectually lazy polemic which is not worthy of a great scientist. He uses his authority as a scientist to claim certainty where he himself knows, all too well, that there is none; for example, our sense of morality cannot simply be explained as a product of our genetic struggle for evolutionary advantage. More irritatingly, he doesn't apply to religion - the object of his repeated attacks - a fraction of the intellectual rigour or curiosity that he has applied to evolution (to deserved applause). Where is the grasp of the sociological or anthropological explanations of the centrality of religion? Sadly, there is no evolution of thought in Dawkins's position; he has been saying much the same thing about religion for a long time.

There are three areas in his programmes where the lack of rigour is most striking. First, Dawkins is featured in Jerusalem; the point is that religion causes violence and most of the world's conflicts can be traced back to faith. If only they didn't have segregated schooling in Israel and Palestine then peace could emerge. Likewise in Northern Ireland.

Let's leave the political scientists to point out the absurd simplification of these political struggles over land, rights and resources, but take a wider point. Human beings develop collective identities - ethnic, nationalist, religious or political - and find in them a sense of belonging, of personal identity and solidarity; the problem is how, at points of competition and threat, those identities flare up into horrible violence. Pinning all the blame on religion blindly ignores the evidence; the Rwandan tragedy was about ethnicity, the Holocaust about a racist political ideology. Crucially it fails to grasp the modern phenomenon of fundamentalism and how religious identity is being mobilised in an attempt to carve out positions of power within a rapidly globalising world; this kind of violent religion is a political product of rapid social and economic change.

Second, Dawkins mounts a charge of "child abuse" against religious education; it manipulates childish minds, inculcating in them a terror of hell and damnation. On this argument, I'm with Dawkins for a while; he's right that many religions have a horrible habit of using fear to shore up their authority. But that's only part of the story - religion can also provide children with a deep sense of confidence from the teaching that they are each precious in the eyes of God, of reverence for their gift of life and of ethical bearings.

His conclusion is that no children should be exposed to religion until they are old enough to make a choice; anything else is indoctrination. But this is quixotic; how can they ever make any choice without knowledge and how can they ever have knowledge without running into Dawkins's allegation of indoctrination? Furthermore, the concept of a child to be kept a blank slate, free from parental influence, is absurd - or does it just apply to religion, and if so, why? What about the many ways in which parents shape children (so constraining many choices) for both good and ill? Isn't the point that children should be encouraged to develop thoughtful, inquiring minds and a strong ethical framework - and that this is possible both with, or without, religious belief?

Finally, Dawkins returns to the old complaint that religion "cuts off a source of wonder"; he once famously described the medieval view of the cosmos as "little" and "pokey". It's a revealing comment because it exposes a remarkable lack of empathy for how people in other ages or cultures imagine the world. That seems a terrible poverty of his imagination. Just think: when most people's radius of experience was a few miles, the world must have seemed a vast, deeply mysterious entity.

That lack of empathy also lies behind Dawkins's reference to a "process of non-thinking called faith". For thousands of years, religious belief has been accompanied by thought and intellectual discovery, whether Islamic astronomy or the Renaissance. But his contempt is so profound that he can't be bothered to even find out (in an interview he dismissed Christian theology in exactly these terms). If this isn't the "hidebound certainty" of which he accuses believers, I'm not sure what is.

Let's be clear: it's absolutely right that religion should be subjected to a vigorous critique, but let's have one that doesn't waste time knocking down straw men. It's also right for religion to concede ground to science to explain natural processes; but at the same time, science has to concede that despite its huge advances it still cannot answer questions about the nature of the universe - such as whether we are freak chances of evolution in an indifferent cosmos (Dawkins does finally acknowledge this point in the programmes).

Dawkins seems to want to magic religion away. It's a silly delusion comparable to one of another great atheist humanist thinker, JS Mill. He wanted to magic away another inescapable part of human experience - sex; using not dissimilar arguments to Dawkins's, he pointed out the violence and suffering caused by sexual desire, and dreamt of a day when all human beings would no longer be infantilised by the need for sexual gratification, and an alternative way would be found to reproduce the human species. As true of Mill as it is of Dawkins: dream on.
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#27

Post by Turgonian » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:19 am

faithinware wrote:Yes, Hitler was a prime example of modern day Catholic.
I see. Modern-day Catholics are bloodthirsty racists. Incidentally, did you know Hitler wanted to replace the Cross with the swastika, and forced the churches to depict Hitler as the Messiah?

Hitler said, as quoted here:
Adolf Hitler wrote:National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things.

(and:)

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.
Yep, that really sounds like a modern-day Catholic.
faithinware wrote:I think lots of things were made up. I also think each and every one of us has a personal concept of God, which is different for each and everyone.
If the Resurrection is true, Jesus's claims are true, including His claims about who God is. Do you think the Resurrection was made up?
faithinware wrote:I think that we take God personally for many reasons, one of the biggest is the time and effort we put into understanding and forming our own understanding of God creates an emotional cost that we defend our own ideas of God in some points too far.
Yeah, let's take God impersonally, like the Eastern religions.
faithinware wrote:I think the use of Fear or some other form of Control is ethically wrong when it comes to religion, and people who do this are performing evil actions.
Why can the state exercise a lot of control, but not the church? Especially when it comes to morality?
faithinware wrote:Since we really pick and choose what the Bible says as official doctrine and ethical way to live our life, we should choose love. Not hate, not violence, and not harm.
Can you prove that we 'pick and choose what the Bible says as official doctrine'? It looks like an unsubstantiated statement.

Biblical love is not 'a mushy sentimentality that never says a harsh word and never steps on the toes of others'.
JP Holding wrote:The question at issue: how is all of this actually worked out in practice? Does agape [biblical love] mean not confronting others with error or sin? Do we need a deep relationship (a "25 ton bridge" as one friend calls it) to relate to a person and to correct them? On the surface this is an obvious no-brainer, since of course the writers of the NT were constantly confronting others on various errors, even people they obviously could not have known well (even if we assume, wrongly, that they related on modern, individualist terms!). It takes a "politically correct" stretch to argue otherwise. But there is a more moderate view: We can confront, but can only do so politely. Well, that too is a no-brainer on the surface, given the many abrasive comments given by Jesus and by Paul to their opponents (i.e., Pharisees, the Galatian "Judaizers") and even to fellow believers (like Peter and the "Satan" quote) who went awry. Indeed, rhetorical analysis of Paul's letters indicates that he used some very sharp rhetorical tactics which would have seriously shamed his opponents and even his readers.

[...]

Given the definition of "group attachment" above, it may be best to understand agape as a parallel to another known concept of today -- not love, but tough love. For the sake of popular culture awareness I will allude to perhaps the most famous example of such "tough love" known today -- the New Jersey high school principal Joe Clark (whose story was told in the movie Lean on Me) who cleaned out his high school and made it a safe place for those who wanted to learn.

Clark was no soft sentimentalist! He kicked those out of school who disrupted the learning of others. He used physical compulsion to do it as needed. He used a bullhorn to get people's attention. Is this agape? Yes, it is! It is the Biblical form of agape in which Clark valued what was best for his students as a whole versus what the individual wanted.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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