Why won't Richard Dawkins debate William Lane Craig?

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Why won't Richard Dawkins debate William Lane Craig?

I noticed a bunch of stupid videos on youtube with William Lane Craig misquoting Dawkins and pretty much regurgitating the God Delusion in a watered down ass backwards fashion. I know it would be feeding this fools ego but I really would like to see Dawkins put an end to this. Hitchens already destroyed him but its Dawkins that the crowd is calling for to take him out!!! Just got through watching Hitch vs Craig this was the best part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL-m1yuEyNE&feature=related


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Because it would do more for

Because it would do more for Craig's resume than for Dawkins' CV?

His view is that debating them lends them credibility that they don't merit.

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jcgadfly wrote:Because it

jcgadfly wrote:

Because it would do more for Craig's resume than for Dawkins' CV?

His view is that debating them lends them credibility that they don't merit.

Dawkins renege on it then. He debated McGrath and has lent his opinion in various forums and media.

Any one that refuses to debate over credibility issues loses credibility imho.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:jcgadfly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Because it would do more for Craig's resume than for Dawkins' CV?

His view is that debating them lends them credibility that they don't merit.

Dawkins renege on it then. He debated McGrath and has lent his opinion in various forums and media.

Any one that refuses to debate over credibility issues loses credibility imho.

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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funknotik wrote:I noticed a

funknotik wrote:

I noticed a bunch of stupid videos on youtube with William Lane Craig misquoting Dawkins and pretty much regurgitating the God Delusion in a watered down ass backwards fashion.

It should be semi-obvious why he doesn't debate him: it's a waste of time.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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jcgadfly wrote:I'll borrow

jcgadfly wrote:

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

Nail-on-the-fucking-head!

I personally don't understand why other Atheists take Craig so seriously...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:jcgadfly

Kapkao wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

Nail-on-the-fucking-head!

I personally don't understand why other Atheists take Craig so seriously...

Who takes him seriously? I find it impossible to take anyone seriously who can't pull a tangible fact from their arsenal of faith. There is only one solid fact about the guy, that the religious take him seriously. I do see why Dawkins should debate him and I see why he shouldn't. But I would actually prefer to see him go ahead and destroy the faith breathing man.

It plants a seed of doubt amongst the religious when Dawkins will not debate their hero just as it is quite understandable to someone of fact that he will not. But who are we trying to convince, the religious or those who are already aware of reality?

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
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jcgadfly wrote:I'll borrow

jcgadfly wrote:

 

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

I suppose that cuts both ways: should a theologian debate an biologist about theology or laugh at them?

Sorry for my cynicism, but I think Dawkins is a poor theologian...embarrassingly so. Perhaps this is why most theologians write off his books as sophmoric.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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Kapkao

Kapkao wrote:
Nail-on-the-fucking-head!

I personally don't understand why other Atheists take Craig so seriously...

I suppose one could ask why theists take Dawkins so seriously.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:jcgadfly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

 

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

I suppose that cuts both ways: should a theologian debate an biologist about theology or laugh at them?

Sorry for my cynicism, but I think Dawkins is a poor theologian...embarrassingly so. Perhaps this is why most theologians write off his books as sophmoric.

Dawkins treats Theology as not a serious discipline, and Harris is even more dismissive (see my sig), and I basically agree. The comparison to the Flat Earth Society is quite relevant. Theology, by its definition, is no longer worthy of taking seriously, and the reaction of Theologians is both understandable and irrelevant. They are on the losing side of the progress of understanding, so it is not a symmetrical situation, regardless of what you or theologians might think. I am embarrassed for you, if you take them seriously.

No matter how much you elaborate arguments based on, and even apply rigorous logic to, a set of deeply flawed assumptions, whatever you come up with is crap, and deserves to be laughed at or ignored.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:jcgadfly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

 

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

I suppose that cuts both ways: should a theologian debate an biologist about theology or laugh at them?

Sorry for my cynicism, but I think Dawkins is a poor theologian...embarrassingly so. Perhaps this is why most theologians write off his books as sophmoric.

The difference here is that biology is actually useful to learn about the nature of the world around us where. Theology is a branch of human ignorance about as important as tarot card readings. Being a theologian is basically knowing alot about christian lore, it's like specializing in Lord of The Rings.

 


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funknotik wrote:The

funknotik wrote:

The difference here is that biology is actually useful to learn about the nature of the world around us where. Theology is a branch of human ignorance about as important as tarot card readings. Being a theologian is basically knowing alot about christian lore, it's like specializing in Lord of The Rings.

A theologian is not necessarily committed to a particular religion, per se. As I wrote previously, theologians don't share your sentiment and would probably offer that if they are right, they are studying that which is of the utmost importance.

Even if they're wrong, that's no excuse to be lazy and sloppy like Dawkins as he is embarrassingly ignorant about theology.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Dawkins treats Theology as not a serious discipline, and Harris is even more dismissive (see my sig), and I basically agree. The comparison to the Flat Earth Society is quite relevant. Theology, by its definition, is no longer worthy of taking seriously, and the reaction of Theologians is both understandable and irrelevant. They are on the losing side of the progress of understanding, so it is not a symmetrical situation, regardless of what you or theologians might think. I am embarrassed for you, if you take them seriously.

No matter how much you elaborate arguments based on, and even apply rigorous logic to, a set of deeply flawed assumptions, whatever you come up with is crap, and deserves to be laughed at or ignored.

Obviously, theologians don't share your sentiment. I'm sure they'd go as far as to say that if what they say is true, then what they study is of utmost importance. The only thing it can't be is of moderate importance.

Yeah, and if what Scientologists say is true, it would be just as important. If any nutty idea about what we should be doing to avoid disaster was true, then it laso would be of 'utmost importance'. That is an utterly vacuous statement.

So, based on the premises they start from, that Theism of some form is fundamentally true, their conclusions, no matter how rigorously argued, are of negligible importance.

Quote:

Do I write off theologians? Not prima facie, as I like to read philosophy. The subject of religion is the elephant in the living room when one begins to talk about philosophy. The difference I think is giving credence to what they have to say versus appreciating what they have to say. I think it is the difference between Kent Hovind and Alister McGrath. Hovind is a douche, while McGrath's writings are intellectually stimulating, even if it is hogwash.

If I were Dawkins and I thought that such things weren't worthy of consideration, I'd privately ignore. Yet he makes a living as an atheologian in his own right. If he's going to make a living bashing religion, I think he needs to study it a little more than he has. If he wishes to win the minds of those who build "elaborate arguments" and apply "rigorous logic", he's got a long way to go. I think it is even more disingenuous to bash such things and then not lend one ear or even dialogue over such things. But his writing on religion sound like something I might hear on Oprah or read like something I might find in a tabloid. I'm not impressed. Considering the other "Four Horsemen' I much feel the same about Sam Harris too. Christopher Hitchens is a little better, but I have an appreciation for Daniel Dennett.

Interesting. I consider Hitchens the least credible of the four, but I do share a strong regard for Dennett.

I used to read Philosophy, but I now find Science is becoming far more credible and informative as it progresses, especially into the study of cognitive and neuro science. One the things I like about Dennett is that he bases his arguments very much on the best current science.

Dawkins is solid on biological science, less rigorous on other issues. Harris is much more informed in most of his statements - he has a degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, which gives him a broader base to address these questions.

[ Sorry - I accidently hit 'edit' instead of 'quote' - as a mod I can do that - so this post appeared for a time as from ubuntuAnyone ] 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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I'll say this much. If

Edit:

If you've read The God Delusion, you can probably agree that Dawkins' philosophy is often...poor. He's a respectable biologist, and a very smart guy, but he has so little respect for theistic arguments that he ends up not adequatedly understanding and/or addressing them.    

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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In the format for most of

In the format for most of these theist/atheist debates, Craig would more than likely have the upper hand.  Some examples:

Craig vs Atkins 

 Craig vs Zindler

Craig can spew off soundbites which sound credible to most people, while the refutations thereof must be more verbose, and therefore likely more cumbersome.  Craig can say  "I still haven't seen any evidence god doesn't exist" to a roomfull of applause, while Zindler is met with blank stares when trying to explain it's the theist's burden to prove the existence of god, not the atheist's to prove a negative.  Craig's always reaches for his beloved kalam argument.  A physicist could probably chop up his "universe began to exist" line, but not perhaps not in terminology accessible to the layperson.  Atkins, for one, looked flustered when responding to Craig.  

 

 

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BobSpence1 wrote:Yeah, and

BobSpence1 wrote:

Yeah, and if what Scientologists say is true, it would be just as important. If any nutty idea about what we should be doing to avoid disaster was true, then it laso would be of 'utmost importance'. That is an utterly vacuous statement.

So, based on the premises they start from, that Theism of some form is fundamentally true, their conclusions, no matter how rigorously argued, are of negligible importance.

True, if the assumptions are false.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Interesting. I consider Hitchens the least credible of the four, but I do share a strong regard for Dennett.

I used to read Philosophy, but I now find Science is becoming far more credible and informative as it progresses, especially into the study of cognitive and neuro science. One the things I like about Dennett is that he bases his arguments very much on the best current science.

Dawkins is solid on biological science, less rigorous on other issues. Harris is much more informed in most of his statements - he has a degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, which gives him a broader base to address these questions.

butterbattle wrote:

If you've read The God Delusion, you can probably agree that Dawkins' philosophy is often...poor. He's a respectable biologist, and a very smart guy, but he has so little respect for theistic arguments that he ends up not adequatedly understanding and/or addressing them.    

I too think Dawkins is a brilliant biologist. I just wish he'd shut up about religion.

Even with Harris' degree's I think his premises are fallacious. I wasn't impressed. But yeah, he is probably better equipped than to handle such things.

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RE: the underlined

butterbattle wrote:

Edit:

If you've read The God Delusion, you can probably agree that Dawkins' philosophy is often...poor. He's a respectable biologist, and a very smart guy, but he has so little respect for theistic arguments that he ends up not adequatedly understanding and/or addressing them.    

Oh... that makes two of us then!

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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funknotik wrote:I noticed a


funknotik wrote:

I noticed a bunch of stupid videos on youtube with William Lane Craig misquoting Dawkins and pretty much regurgitating the God Delusion in a watered down ass backwards fashion. I know it would be feeding this fools ego but I really would like to see Dawkins put an end to this. Hitchens already destroyed him but its Dawkins that the crowd is calling for to take him out!!! Just got through watching Hitch vs Craig this was the best part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL-m1yuEyNE&feature=related

this is awesome! I don't like William Lane Craig either... he barely fits on its ego.  Hitch is a very good speaker, I like him. I've watched a bit of the debate. At some point  Hitch said: "I would be very depressed if it was true" (God's existence). It made me think... I would also be very depressed if the afterlife didn't exist. 

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"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Well, let me start by

Well, let me start by observing that Dawkins has already made his position clear.

 

First, it may create the impression that such a debate has some merit because Craig and/or his ilk are worth paying attention to. They simply are not.

 

Second, it would be a huge waste of time. Such a debate is not just the two hours on stage. It is also the thirty or so hours spent reading the recent writings of the other person to get a feel for what they might do and as much time as it takes to be able to reply to whatever comes up.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well, let me start by observing that Dawkins has already made his position clear.

First, it may create the impression that such a debate has some merit because Craig and/or his ilk are worth paying attention to. They simply are not.

Dawkins must contradict himself as He debated McGrath. Also, according to Craig, Craig offered to debate Dawkins, but Dawkins refused saying that he'd debate a theist only if such was a bishop. Using that as a reason for not debating someone is lame, I think....really a sort of genetic fallacy.

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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Dawkins treats Theology as not a serious discipline, and Harris is even more dismissive (see my sig), and I basically agree. The comparison to the Flat Earth Society is quite relevant. Theology, by its definition, is no longer worthy of taking seriously, and the reaction of Theologians is both understandable and irrelevant. They are on the losing side of the progress of understanding, so it is not a symmetrical situation, regardless of what you or theologians might think. I am embarrassed for you, if you take them seriously.

No matter how much you elaborate arguments based on, and even apply rigorous logic to, a set of deeply flawed assumptions, whatever you come up with is crap, and deserves to be laughed at or ignored.

Obviously, theologians don't share your sentiment. I'm sure they'd go as far as to say that if what they say is true, then what they study is of utmost importance. The only thing it can't be is of moderate importance.

Yeah, and if what Scientologists say is true, it would be just as important. If any nutty idea about what we should be doing to avoid disaster was true, then it laso would be of 'utmost importance'. That is an utterly vacuous statement.

So, based on the premises they start from, that Theism of some form is fundamentally true, their conclusions, no matter how rigorously argued, are of negligible importance.

Quote:

+1 Exactly what I wanted to say you phrased it much better than I could have. 

 


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Teralek wrote:funknotik

Teralek wrote:


funknotik wrote:

I noticed a bunch of stupid videos on youtube with William Lane Craig misquoting Dawkins and pretty much regurgitating the God Delusion in a watered down ass backwards fashion. I know it would be feeding this fools ego but I really would like to see Dawkins put an end to this. Hitchens already destroyed him but its Dawkins that the crowd is calling for to take him out!!! Just got through watching Hitch vs Craig this was the best part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL-m1yuEyNE&feature=related

this is awesome! I don't like William Lane Craig either... he barely fits on its ego.  Hitch is a very good speaker, I like him. I've watched a bit of the debate. At some point  Hitch said: "I would be very depressed if it was true" (God's existence). It made me think... I would also be very depressed if the afterlife didn't exist. 

 

If the after life of Christian lore where real I would be much more depressed than if nothing happened. It would be an eternity of slavery and ass kissing in a Christian theme park in another dimension, with NO SEX!!! Now that's fucking depressing suddenly the thought of oblivion doesn't seem so bad. LOL!


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funknotik wrote:Teralek

funknotik wrote:

Teralek wrote:


funknotik wrote:

I noticed a bunch of stupid videos on youtube with William Lane Craig misquoting Dawkins and pretty much regurgitating the God Delusion in a watered down ass backwards fashion. I know it would be feeding this fools ego but I really would like to see Dawkins put an end to this. Hitchens already destroyed him but its Dawkins that the crowd is calling for to take him out!!! Just got through watching Hitch vs Craig this was the best part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL-m1yuEyNE&feature=related

this is awesome! I don't like William Lane Craig either... he barely fits on its ego.  Hitch is a very good speaker, I like him. I've watched a bit of the debate. At some point  Hitch said: "I would be very depressed if it was true" (God's existence). It made me think... I would also be very depressed if the afterlife didn't exist. 

 

If the after life of Christian lore where real I would be much more depressed than if nothing happened. It would be an eternity of slavery and ass kissing in a Christian theme park in another dimension, with NO SEX!!! Now that's fucking depressing suddenly the thought of oblivion doesn't seem so bad. LOL!

I don't believe in the afterlife of tradicional Christian interpretation... thank God!

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:I don't

Teralek wrote:


I don't believe in the afterlife of tradicional Christian interpretation...

  That statement reminds me soooo much of ciarin.  ( hello if you're lurking )

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:jcgadfly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

 

I'll borrow Dawkins' example.

Should geologists debate flat earthers or just laugh at them?

Should astronomers debate geocentrists or simply mock them?

Should we take obviously ludicrous ideas seriously by debating their apologists? If they don't pay attention to the facts, their minds won't change because Dawkins debates them.

I suppose that cuts both ways: should a theologian debate an biologist about theology or laugh at them?

Sorry for my cynicism, but I think Dawkins is a poor theologian...embarrassingly so. Perhaps this is why most theologians write off his books as sophmoric.

Dawkins isn't a theologian so arguing theology (which is WLC's area) would be pointless. Same for Craig arguing biology. If you can find me an atheist theologian...

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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ubuntuAnyone

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Yeah, and if what Scientologists say is true, it would be just as important. If any nutty idea about what we should be doing to avoid disaster was true, then it laso would be of 'utmost importance'. That is an utterly vacuous statement.

So, based on the premises they start from, that Theism of some form is fundamentally true, their conclusions, no matter how rigorously argued, are of negligible importance.

True, if the assumptions are false.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Interesting. I consider Hitchens the least credible of the four, but I do share a strong regard for Dennett.

I used to read Philosophy, but I now find Science is becoming far more credible and informative as it progresses, especially into the study of cognitive and neuro science. One the things I like about Dennett is that he bases his arguments very much on the best current science.

Dawkins is solid on biological science, less rigorous on other issues. Harris is much more informed in most of his statements - he has a degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, which gives him a broader base to address these questions.

butterbattle wrote:

If you've read The God Delusion, you can probably agree that Dawkins' philosophy is often...poor. He's a respectable biologist, and a very smart guy, but he has so little respect for theistic arguments that he ends up not adequatedly understanding and/or addressing them.    

I too think Dawkins is a brilliant biologist. I just wish he'd shut up about religion.

Even with Harris' degree's I think his premises are fallacious. I wasn't impressed. But yeah, he is probably better equipped than to handle such things.

Oh look, someone who thinks people aren't allowed to have opinions about religion unless they are experts in that field.

Should laypeople ask your permission as well or is it limited to specialists?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:ubuntuAnyone

jcgadfly wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Yeah, and if what Scientologists say is true, it would be just as important. If any nutty idea about what we should be doing to avoid disaster was true, then it laso would be of 'utmost importance'. That is an utterly vacuous statement.

So, based on the premises they start from, that Theism of some form is fundamentally true, their conclusions, no matter how rigorously argued, are of negligible importance.

True, if the assumptions are false.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Interesting. I consider Hitchens the least credible of the four, but I do share a strong regard for Dennett.

I used to read Philosophy, but I now find Science is becoming far more credible and informative as it progresses, especially into the study of cognitive and neuro science. One the things I like about Dennett is that he bases his arguments very much on the best current science.

Dawkins is solid on biological science, less rigorous on other issues. Harris is much more informed in most of his statements - he has a degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, which gives him a broader base to address these questions.

butterbattle wrote:

If you've read The God Delusion, you can probably agree that Dawkins' philosophy is often...poor. He's a respectable biologist, and a very smart guy, but he has so little respect for theistic arguments that he ends up not adequatedly understanding and/or addressing them.    

I too think Dawkins is a brilliant biologist. I just wish he'd shut up about religion.

Even with Harris' degree's I think his premises are fallacious. I wasn't impressed. But yeah, he is probably better equipped than to handle such things.

Oh look, someone who thinks people aren't allowed to have opinions about religion unless they are experts in that field.

Should laypeople ask your permission as well or is it limited to specialists?

^ I agree with the above statement. I'm not sure wtf it is we are supposed to know in order to say religion is bullshit. You could read the wikipedia about any given religion and that's all the theology you need to know it's utterly deranged. I could give a rats ass about the particularities of a poorly written story book from the bronze age, I'm sure Dawkins cares even less.


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jcgadfly wrote:Oh look,

jcgadfly wrote:

Oh look, someone who thinks people aren't allowed to have opinions about religion unless they are experts in that field.

Should laypeople ask your permission as well or is it limited to specialists?

That's a false dichotomy, nor did I say that.

I said if Dawkins wants to make a living out of bashing religion, especially as high profile as he is, it'd do him some good to get an education about religion. It's pretty apparent he doesn't...is this not similar to the indictments made against quacks like Hovind? He thinks evolution is utter bullshit and apparently has not read much about it in order to appear educated about it.

 

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funknotik wrote:^ I agree

funknotik wrote:

^ I agree with the above statement. I'm not sure wtf it is we are supposed to know in order to say religion is bullshit. You could read the wikipedia about any given religion and that's all the theology you need to know it's utterly deranged. I could give a rats ass about the particularities of a poorly written story book from the bronze age, I'm sure Dawkins cares even less.

It may be utter bullshit, but that's not the point. I figured some like Dawkins might do a little more than a Wikipedia's articles worth of research if he's going to write a book, but from the sounds of it, he didn't even bother to do that. The God Delusion read like a like the National Inquirer or some other toilet paper worthy material. Its not just "poorly written story book from the bronze age" that he writes about either.

 

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:jcgadfly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Oh look, someone who thinks people aren't allowed to have opinions about religion unless they are experts in that field.

Should laypeople ask your permission as well or is it limited to specialists?

That's a false dichotomy, nor did I say that.

I said if Dawkins wants to make a living out of bashing religion, especially as high profile as he is, it'd do him some good to get an education about religion. It's pretty apparent he doesn't...is this not similar to the indictments made against quacks like Hovind? He thinks evolution is utter bullshit and apparently has not read much about it in order to appear educated about it.

 

Now you're backing off from how Dawkins should "shut up" about religion? I don't agree with Dawkins on everything but it only takes a cursory examination of the Bible to see that Christianity is a blood cult and God is a death fanatic.

Or should I shut up as well? By the way, how's the search going for the atheist theologian you want to have debate religion? Harris wouldn't qualify - he's only a philosopher, right?

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:That's a

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

That's a false dichotomy, nor did I say that.

I said if Dawkins wants to make a living out of bashing religion, especially as high profile as he is, it'd do him some good to get an education about religion. It's pretty apparent he doesn't...is this not similar to the indictments made against quacks like Hovind? He thinks evolution is utter bullshit and apparently has not read much about it in order to appear educated about it.

 

Among the nonsense science teacher Kent Hovind has said in his "lectures":

  1. Theoretically, you could cover the entire earth with one drop of water, if you spread it thin enough.
  2. Reproduction involves wrapping half a strand of your dad's DNA with half a strand of your mom's, and wrapping them together to make a new strand (which is of course impossible, since the strands would not be complimentary).

What statements on religion has Dawkins or anyone else made that you find similarly egregious?

 

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zarathustra

zarathustra wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

That's a false dichotomy, nor did I say that.

I said if Dawkins wants to make a living out of bashing religion, especially as high profile as he is, it'd do him some good to get an education about religion. It's pretty apparent he doesn't...is this not similar to the indictments made against quacks like Hovind? He thinks evolution is utter bullshit and apparently has not read much about it in order to appear educated about it.

 

Among the nonsense science teacher Kent Hovind has said in his "lectures":

  1. Theoretically, you could cover the entire earth with one drop of water, if you spread it thin enough.
  2. Reproduction involves wrapping half a strand of your dad's DNA with half a strand of your mom's, and wrapping them together to make a new strand (which is of course impossible, since the strands would not be complimentary).

What statements on religion has Dawkins or anyone else made that you find similarly egregious?

 

Hovind is simply a mouthpiece for the ignorant and uninformed, for people who don't want to know about evolution. He is "the sky is falling" kind of guy.

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:funknotik

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

funknotik wrote:

^ I agree with the above statement. I'm not sure wtf it is we are supposed to know in order to say religion is bullshit. You could read the wikipedia about any given religion and that's all the theology you need to know it's utterly deranged. I could give a rats ass about the particularities of a poorly written story book from the bronze age, I'm sure Dawkins cares even less.

It may be utter bullshit, but that's not the point. I figured some like Dawkins might do a little more than a Wikipedia's articles worth of research if he's going to write a book, but from the sounds of it, he didn't even bother to do that. The God Delusion read like a like the National Inquirer or some other toilet paper worthy material. Its not just "poorly written story book from the bronze age" that he writes about either.

 

What exactly do we or does Dawkins have to know about religion in order to say it's not true? I really don't understand your point, where talking about a fucking fairy tale here?


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jcgadfly wrote:Now you're

jcgadfly wrote:

Now you're backing off from how Dawkins should "shut up" about religion? I don't agree with Dawkins on everything but it only takes a cursory examination of the Bible to see that Christianity is a blood cult and God is a death fanatic.

Do you always bifurcate?

I'd wish he'd shut up about religion because is obviously uneducated about it. He's damaging his credibility as an intellect by publishing junk.

jcgadfly wrote:

Or should I shut up as well? By the way, how's the search going for the atheist theologian you want to have debate religion? Harris wouldn't qualify - he's only a philosopher, right?

Are you writing books for mass markets or being ask to speak at high-profile engagement on religion?


 

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funknotik wrote:What exactly

funknotik wrote:

What exactly do we or does Dawkins have to know about religion in order to say it's not true? I really don't understand your point, where talking about a fucking fairy tale here?

Fairytale or no fairytale, he lacks understanding about the issues that he addresses in the book. Even some harsh critics of creationism read his book and weren't impressed. He has been labeled an atheist "fundamentalist" because he sounds like a fundamentalist (ie. the likeness of someone likeness Kent Hovind)

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robj101 wrote:Hovind is

robj101 wrote:

Hovind is simply a mouthpiece for the ignorant and uninformed, for people who don't want to know about evolution. He is "the sky is falling" kind of guy.

Which is precisely the way many people on both sides of the debate feel about Dawkins.

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zarathustra wrote:What

zarathustra wrote:

What statements on religion has Dawkins or anyone else made that you find similarly egregious?

The critique was not that Dawkins makes statements about religion..the problem is that he doesn't. In fact, he ignores (that is, he "cherry picks" ) what he wants to address and then does a poor job handling it. This was mine and other impression of The God Delusion at least.

H. Allen Orr: "The most disappointing feature of 'The God Delusion,' is Dawkins' failure to engage religious thought in any serious way...You will find no serious examination of Christian or Jewish theology...no attempt to follow philosophical debates about the nature of religious propositions."

Alister McGrath: “Dawkins simply offers the atheist equivalent of slick hellfire preaching, substituting turbocharged rhetoric and highly selective manipulation of facts for careful, evidence-based thinking.”
 

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:The

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

The critique was not that Dawkins makes statements about religion..the problem is that he doesn't. In fact, he ignores (that is, he "cherry picks" ) what he wants to address and then does a poor job handling it. This was mine and other impression of The God Delusion at least.

 

So your complaint is in fact not "similar to the indictments made against quacks like Hovind" as you previously insinuated.  Your problem isn't that Dawkins speaks on matters about which he's unfamiliar (as does Hovind), it's that he doesn't speak on matters about which he's unfamiliar.

 

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zarathustra

zarathustra wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

The critique was not that Dawkins makes statements about religion..the problem is that he doesn't. In fact, he ignores (that is, he "cherry picks" ) what he wants to address and then does a poor job handling it. This was mine and other impression of The God Delusion at least.

 

So your complaint is in fact not "similar to the indictments made against quacks like Hovind" as you previously insinuated.  Your problem isn't that Dawkins speaks on matters about which he's unfamiliar (as does Hovind), it's that he doesn't speak on matters about which he's unfamiliar.

 

Kent Hovind not only does as you described (misrepresents evolution) but also that he ignores  the mountains of evidence in favor of evolution...This is the indictment to which I was alluding. Whether he does so willfully or not, I don't know...but If I had to guess, it is because he hasn't bothered to actually crack a book on the subject. If you follow the thread, this is what I'm talking about. The things he does address I think are poorly done, which I believe is his lack of knowledge concerning the debates surrounding the issues.

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:funknotik

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

funknotik wrote:

What exactly do we or does Dawkins have to know about religion in order to say it's not true? I really don't understand your point, where talking about a fucking fairy tale here?

Fairytale or no fairytale, he lacks understanding about the issues that he addresses in the book. Even some harsh critics of creationism read his book and weren't impressed. He has been labeled an atheist "fundamentalist" because he sounds like a fundamentalist (ie. the likeness of someone likeness Kent Hovind)

Ok can you site a specific instance where this is the case? What specifically do you think he should be more knowledgeable about, and which harsh critics of creationism where not impressed with his book? As far as the fundamentalist bit that word gets tossed around a little to much when referring to people who are trying to make a difference. In that sense all the four horsemen and pretty much everyone on this message board with an atheist badge qualifies as a "fundamentalist."


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funknotik wrote:ubuntuAnyone

funknotik wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

funknotik wrote:

What exactly do we or does Dawkins have to know about religion in order to say it's not true? I really don't understand your point, where talking about a fucking fairy tale here?

Fairytale or no fairytale, he lacks understanding about the issues that he addresses in the book. Even some harsh critics of creationism read his book and weren't impressed. He has been labeled an atheist "fundamentalist" because he sounds like a fundamentalist (ie. the likeness of someone likeness Kent Hovind)

Ok can you site a specific instance where this is the case? What specifically do you think he should be more knowledgeable about, and which harsh critics of creationism where not impressed with his book? As far as the fundamentalist bit that word gets tossed around a little to much when referring to people who are trying to make a difference. In that sense all the four horsemen and pretty much everyone on this message board with an atheist badge qualifies as a "fundamentalist."

Consider this:

Quote:
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully"

I mean...this and its context is hardly a rigorous treatment of the OT, even generally speaking. This sounds more like a rant than it does an evaluation. Second, I don' think you'll meet a Christian or Jew  that feels this way about the OT...maybe you know one, but I never have. He seems to ignore or not even address the apolegetic material that has been produced to answer these claims.

Or something like this: 

Quote:
"By contrast, what I, as a scientist, believe...I believe not because of reading a holy book but because I have studied the evidence... Books about evolution are believed because they present overwhelming quantities of mutually buttressed evidence."
This sounds like he's bifurcating, as there are biologist who are also theists who weigh evidence. Orr, whom I quoted earlier and who is a critic of creationism, says that at least Behe cites evidence even if he's wrong.

Or how about this one:

Quote:
"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."

I've met numerous theist who don't think this way about faith...I really think he's misinformed about the notion of faith in general.

So, if I don't have an atheist badge, I'm not of the fundamentalist variety? Dang.

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So, in essence, debating

So, in essence, debating with William Lane Craig is like teaching Planck's Constant to someone's cat, and an inherently inefficient expense of time and (on Dawkins' behalf) credibility.

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:funknotik

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

funknotik wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

funknotik wrote:

What exactly do we or does Dawkins have to know about religion in order to say it's not true? I really don't understand your point, where talking about a fucking fairy tale here?

Fairytale or no fairytale, he lacks understanding about the issues that he addresses in the book. Even some harsh critics of creationism read his book and weren't impressed. He has been labeled an atheist "fundamentalist" because he sounds like a fundamentalist (ie. the likeness of someone likeness Kent Hovind)

Ok can you site a specific instance where this is the case? What specifically do you think he should be more knowledgeable about, and which harsh critics of creationism where not impressed with his book? As far as the fundamentalist bit that word gets tossed around a little to much when referring to people who are trying to make a difference. In that sense all the four horsemen and pretty much everyone on this message board with an atheist badge qualifies as a "fundamentalist."

Consider this:

Quote:
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully"

I mean...this and its context is hardly a rigorous treatment of the OT, even generally speaking. This sounds more like a rant than it does an evaluation. Second, I don' think you'll meet a Christian or Jew  that feels this way about the OT...maybe you know one, but I never have. He seems to ignore or not even address the apolegetic material that has been produced to answer these claims.

Don't have much time but I'll address this part above. I want to clarify here, you are proposing that Richard Dawkins should learn about the possible reasons that apologists have made for god being an asshole in the old testament instead of simply reading the text and making an interpretation from what he read? Considering that there are probably thousands of different interpretation of the same text, what need do we have for apologists? All they are doing is coming up with a reason why some absurd claim was made in a text written 2000 years ago in bronze age palestine. By this same logic couldn't there be Scientologist apologists, unicorn apologists, etc. I just don't understand whats the point when the original claims being made in the text are clearly ridiculous. Also the reason I won't meet a christian or jew that believes the statement Dawkins made is because they probably haven't read the their own holy texts and the only interpretation they have of them is regurgitated and watered down by a priest or rabbi. Most churches and religious organizations probably don't focus on the evil things it sais in the bible if they did it wouldn't be a very profitable business. The only time i've ever heard anyone quote from the OT is in Pulp Fiction before Jules shoots everyone in the room. What I am proposing is that a christian apologist could argue his point incredibly but ultimately it's all bullshit, I don't understand how anyone could take it seriously. Where are the Greek god apologists?


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funknotik wrote:Don't have

funknotik wrote:

Don't have much time but I'll address this part above. I want to clarify here, you are proposing that Richard Dawkins should learn about the possible reasons that apologists have made for god being an asshole in the old testament instead of simply reading the text and making an interpretation from what he read? Considering that there are probably thousands of different interpretation of the same text, what need do we have for apologists? All they are doing is coming up with a reason why some absurd claim was made in a text written 2000 years ago in bronze age palestine.

There very well may be thousands of them, but he doesn't even attempt to deal with such things categorically or even the more popular understandings of the text. It would be no different from a scientist making a boldface claim about  something while not reading alternative theories about a given area of science. Generally speaking, there is usually a widely accepted explanation for a given phenomenon and several less accepted ones. I would say the same is true for O.T. understandings or any other discipline. One reason I appreciate Dennett's work more than Dawkins is because he isn't trying to kill an elephant on the ground from 20,000ft with a single shell and sawed off shotgun. His work is more focused, well thought out, and deals with oppositions.

funknotik wrote:

By this same logic couldn't there be Scientologist apologists, unicorn apologists, etc. I just don't understand whats the point when the original claims being made in the text are clearly ridiculous.

There are Scientology apologist, and apologist from other confessions deal with these guys in other spheres.

funknotik wrote:

Also the reason I won't meet a christian or jew that believes the statement Dawkins made is because they probably haven't read the their own holy texts and the only interpretation they have of them is regurgitated and watered down by a priest or rabbi.

I suppose that could be said of anyone about anything. But I think it is a hasty generalization--the most well read people on the matter (OT scholars) are almost likely to disagree. I'm not saying one has to be an OT scholar to understand the OT, but if I wanted to learn about it, I might read what they have to say first before making such statements. If Dawkins did, there is no evidence of this.

funknotik wrote:

Most churches and religious organizations probably don't focus on the evil things it sais in the bible if they did it wouldn't be a very profitable business.

This is a sort of red herring.

Nowadays though, bashing religion seems to be profitable too.

funknotik wrote:

The only time i've ever heard anyone quote from the OT is in Pulp Fiction before Jules shoots everyone in the room. What I am proposing is that a christian apologist could argue his point incredibly but ultimately it's all bullshit, I don't understand how anyone could take it seriously. Where are the Greek god apologists?

Maybe it is bullshit, but I think some of it is really good bullshit. Even if  I don't agree with it, it does not mean I can't appreciate or even entertain an idea that opposes my own, especially if it seems well informed and logically valid, but not necessarily sound.

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Dawkins wrote:"The God of

Dawkins wrote:
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully"

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
This sounds more like a rant than it does an evaluation.

It is a rant, essentially, and it is not conducive to intelligent discussion at all. But, nevertheless, I agree with most if not all of it. Don't you agree with it?

Dawkins wrote:
"By contrast, what I, as a scientist, believe...I believe not because of reading a holy book but because I have studied the evidence... Books about evolution are believed because they present overwhelming quantities of mutually buttressed evidence."

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
This sounds like he's bifurcating, as there are biologist who are also theists who weigh evidence. Orr, whom I quoted earlier and who is a critic of creationism, says that at least Behe cites evidence even if he's wrong.

He could simply be distinguishing between scripture and the scientific method rather than people. Biologists who are also theists use evidence for biology and their scripture for their religion. 

Dawkins wrote:
"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
I've met numerous theist who don't think this way about faith...I really think he's misinformed about the notion of faith in general.

I agree with that statement too. I still think it is a good definition for faith because it is precisely how the average Christian defines their faith. Rarely would any Christian admit to Dawkins' scathing definition, but that's just because it sounds bad and that level of doublethink is hard to handle. So, instead, they resort to euphemisms and analogies instead, such as, "Following my heart." or "Putting all my trust in Jesus." And, they show that this is how they define faith by how they use it; at the end of an argument about evidence for Christianity, they'll chirp, "Well, I have faith."

Obviously, there are theologians who will supply seven-part definitions for faith that are densely obfuscated and filled with philosophical jargon, but that is not something you really need to get into when you're writing a book directed to an average theist. Furthermore, those long obfuscated definitions just hide the fact that the definition is bull**** anyways. People should believe things because they are supported by reason and evidence. If faith suggests believing anything without sufficient evidence or holding any sort of bias, it is garbage. If not, then the term is useless.

I don't think any of these are good examples of Dawkins not understanding religion. I thought you were going to quote something from the beginning of The God Delusion, where Dawkins responds to arguments for the existence of God.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:It is a

butterbattle wrote:

It is a rant, essentially, and it is not conducive to intelligent discussion at all. But, nevertheless, I agree with most if not all of it. Don't you agree with it?

I'm ambivalent, I suppose. I think discussions about the claims of a particular religion are really subsequential to the the existence of a deity. For this reason, you won't see me making arguments on threads about the Analects, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, the Bible, the Tanakh, the Talmud,  the Tao-te-ching, the Vedas, The Pali Canon, the Book or Mormon, or any other religious text. Arguments against a particular religion seems to do little for the case for atheism. If one religion isn't true, there are plenty to choose from, or perhaps another version of the given religion.

butterbattle wrote:

He could simply be distinguishing between scripture and the scientific method rather than people. Biologists who are also theists use evidence for biology and their scripture for their religion. 

I think he's couching everyone that is religious as being a fideist which, after reading his material, I think he believes to be the case. This is consistent with the third quote I gave.

butterbattle wrote:

I agree with that statement too. I still think it is a good definition for faith because it is precisely how the average Christian defines their faith. Rarely would any Christian admit to Dawkins' scathing definition, but that's just because it sounds bad and that level of doublethink is hard to handle. So, instead, they resort to euphemisms and analogies instead, such as, "Following my heart." or "Putting all my trust in Jesus." And, they show that this is how they define faith by how they use it; at the end of an argument about evidence for Christianity, they'll chirp, "Well, I have faith."

Average believers -- perhaps. But certainly not all believers.

butterbattle wrote:

Obviously, there are theologians who will supply seven-part definitions for faith that are densely obfuscated and filled with philosophical jargon, but that is not something you really need to get into when you're writing a book directed to an average theist. Furthermore, those long obfuscated definitions just hide the fact that the definition is bull**** anyways. People should believe things because they are supported by reason and evidence. If faith suggests believing anything without sufficient evidence or holding any sort of bias, it is garbage. If not, then the term is useless.

Categorically speaking, I think there are three categories of faith: belief with no evidence (a.k.a. fideism), belief coupled with evidence, and belief in spite of evidence (a.k.a stupidity Laughing out loud ). The second one is often the one cited by some can be divided into two sub categories-- that is belief about a god's existence and belief about a god's action. The former is the concern of apologists, and the latter is the concern on matters of eschatology--that is they suppose that their particular god has established a precedent in the past thereby they can trust that the god will deliver on its promises. I think Dawkins is largely ignoring or confused about the second category as it seems he think that faith is exclusively the first, yet addresses teleological arguments which theists tout as evidence. This and other things goes to show that I think Dawkins is ignorant on matters of religion.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Arguments

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
Arguments against a particular religion seems to do little for the case for atheism. If one religion isn't true, there are plenty to choose from, or perhaps another version of the given religion.

I'm not sure I agree with that. There are countless religions, but most people would only ever consider the largest few or any others they are personally acquainted with. In practice, I think individuals who become disillusioned with their own religion are very likely, perhaps even more likely than not, to become non-religious rather than choose another religion.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
Categorically speaking, I think there are three categories of faith: belief with no evidence (a.k.a. fideism), belief coupled with evidence, and belief in spite of evidence (a.k.a stupidity Laughing out loud ). The second one is often the one cited by some can be divided into two sub categories-- that is belief about a god's existence and belief about a god's action. The former is the concern of apologists, and the latter is the concern on matters of eschatology--that is they suppose that their particular god has established a precedent in the past thereby they can trust that the god will deliver on its promises.

Imho, Dawkins ignores the second category because he doesn't even think it is worth addressing. Or, he may have briefly addressed just the idea of alternative definitions of faith in his God Delusion; I don't remember. But, honestly, I wouldn't have treated the subject of faith much differently than Dawkins treated it. Either all of your beliefs about reality are based on sound reasoning and evidence or they are not. That's where we stop because we do not see any reason to pursue the subject further. I do not believe he thinks that all religious people are professedly fideists. He simply doesn't care about the people that aren't.

He gives you his definition of faith. Then, he attacks the definition. If your faith fits his definition, then he is talking about you. If you don't, then he's not.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
I think Dawkins is largely ignoring or confused about the second category as it seems he think that faith is exclusively the first, yet addresses teleological arguments which theists tout as evidence.

I do not think that is an inconsistency, for several reasons. For one, Dawkins could simply not care about the definition of faith from the second category, but he does care about and respond to the arguments and evidence that they submit (albeit often poorly).

Also, theists frequently contradict themselves by professing to have the belief without evidence type of faith, but then attempting to provide evidence for their belief, so Dawkins could certainly simultaneously believe that they profess to have faith but also provide evidence for their beliefs. In fact, I've never a theist who I knew really didn't care about evidence, who "really" had faith. They use faith as a tool to protect their beliefs, and they grasp at any straws that they think are evidence to go on the offensive. They have their cake and eat it too. So, Dawkins response to that wouldn't be an inconsistency. It is a response to an inconsistency; he is going after the "having cake" and the "eating it."

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
Arguments against a particular religion seems to do little for the case for atheism. If one religion isn't true, there are plenty to choose from, or perhaps another version of the given religion.

I'm not sure I agree with that. There are countless religions, but most people would only ever consider the largest few or any others they are personally acquainted with. In practice, I think individuals who become disillusioned with their own religion are very likely, perhaps even more likely than not, to become non-religious rather than choose another religion.

This may be true in Western countries, as the trend over the last 20 years has been the rise of a "non-religious" group, but this group is not exclusively for atheists. In other parts of the world such as Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, I think people convert to other religions and even from atheism to religions. But in any case, picking out a certain religion is like a single sniper fighting an army--its just not feasible. But if one wanted to wipe out the army, one could use a bigger weapon. I generally like to discuss the more generic arguments for theism than I do any particular religion because theism categorically is a the counterposition to atheism.

butterbattle wrote:

Imho, Dawkins ignores the second category because he doesn't even think it is worth addressing. Or, he may have briefly addressed just the idea of alternative definitions of faith in his God Delusion; I don't remember. But, honestly, I wouldn't have treated the subject of faith much differently than Dawkins treated it. Either all of your beliefs about reality are based on sound reasoning and evidence or they are not. That's where we stop because we do not see any reason to pursue the subject further. I do not believe he thinks that all religious people are professedly fideists. He simply doesn't care about the people that aren't.

He gives you his definition of faith. Then, he attacks the definition. If your faith fits his definition, then he is talking about you. If you don't, then he's not.

I didn't get that impression when I read his stuff. His indictments of religion seem to be to the whole of that which could be called religion, which I think that this is because of his either-or thinking. The conclusion would be different otherwise such as belief with reason and evidence, but that does not seem to be the case.

But if this is not his intent, then I think he needs to clarify his intent.

butterbattle wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
I think Dawkins is largely ignoring or confused about the second category as it seems he think that faith is exclusively the first, yet addresses teleological arguments which theists tout as evidence.

I do not think that is an inconsistency, for several reasons. For one, Dawkins could simply not care about the definition of faith from the second category, but he does care about and respond to the arguments and evidence that they submit (albeit often poorly).

If theist are submitting evidence based arguments no matter how absurd the arguments may be, they are still attempting undergirding their beliefs with reason and evidence. Dawkins cannot treat the second category as the first category if this is the case, which is one reason why I was not impressed.

butterbattle wrote:

Also, theists frequently contradict themselves by professing to have the belief without evidence type of faith, but then attempting to provide evidence for their belief...

Sure...but some is not all...If Dawkins is treating all believers as such, then he's making hasty generalizations. But I don't think that's what he's doing at all.

butterbattle wrote:

...so Dawkins could certainly simultaneously believe that they profess to have faith but also provide evidence for their beliefs. In fact, I've never a theist who I knew really didn't care about evidence, who "really" had faith. They use faith as a tool to protect their beliefs, and they grasp at any straws that they think are evidence to go on the offensive. They have their cake and eat it too. So, Dawkins response to that wouldn't be an inconsistency. It is a response to an inconsistency; he is going after the "having cake" and the "eating it."

The first and third category are those that don't care about evidence...that is those who believe with no evidence and those who believe in spite of evidence. In either case, they don't consider evidence. But again, this fails to address the second category, and I don't think we can pigeon hole the second category in one of the other two.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”