Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins featured in newsweek article!!!

LeftofLarry
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Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins featured in newsweek article!!!

MattShizzle
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Good for them!

Good for them!


Shaitian
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Msnbc article

LeftofLarry
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; ) I moved your post here.

; ) I moved your post here. Smiling


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excellent article. i think

excellent article. i think this is a major cue to strengthen our activism, and raise a voice to show that this goes far beyond just a few crackpot scientists (because that's how the uninformed theist sees it, and easily brushes it aside), before it gets brushed aside.

Fear is the mindkiller.


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The key here is to now

The key here is to now attack with the facts while questions are forming in the minds of the theists. If this article made them think or question anything at all, now is when they are most vulnerable to our logical thinking. Perhaps even this vulnerability will open the floodgates to their own rational thinking!

"I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough - I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race." -


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Can't wait for Sam HArris's

Can't wait for Sam HArris's new book.


reason_passion
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interesting

from article: But Dawkins, brilliant as he is, overlooks something any storefront Baptist preacher might have told him. "If there is no God, why be good?" he asks rhetorically, and responds: "Do you really mean the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward? That's not morality, that's just sucking up." That's clever. But millions of Christians and Muslims believe that it was precisely God who turned them away from a life of immorality. Dawkins, of course, thinks they are deluding themselves. He is correct that the social utility of religion doesn't prove anything about the existence of God. But for all his erudition, he seems not to have spent much time among ordinary Christians, who could have told him what God has meant to them.

thought I would present this particular paragraph as it goes to the heart of the problem we all have with discussing theology and such with the believers. If people were to honestly believe things based on rational efficacy, there'd be little difficulty in getting rid of the belief in god, it would simply go the way of santa claus and the easter bunny. But those mythical creatures have little of the social impact that god has in the mind of his follower.

It was often a lament of mine in my fundamentalist days that so many christians were persuaded or adherents not because they knew what they were talkign about, but because it gave them social cohesion and a sense of belonging. There is a certain sense of purpose in one's devotion to truth and living an authentic life, but it has little of the, albeit superficial, power that belonging to an omnipotent deity has.

We atheists/humanists/agnostics need to not follow the error of the democratic party in forgetting the power of religion in society. While putting forth arguments against the particular belief structure of the supernaturalists is well and good, there is an ethic and social need that must also be addressed.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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reason_passion wrote: We

reason_passion wrote:

We atheists/humanists/agnostics need to not follow the error of the democratic party in forgetting the power of religion in society. While putting forth arguments against the particular belief structure of the supernaturalists is well and good, there is an ethic and social need that must also be addressed.

Indeed I agree here. But I do not think that an ethic or social argument is particularly hard to make from a secularist point of view. For example, name one person that has killed in the name of secularism alone. I'm not talking about communist dictators either. Even though they may have been secularists, they were not killin in the NAME of secularism. However, we see people killing in the NAME of god....almost daily.

So the moral argument from a secularist point of view can be one that can be made fairly easily. I think the bigger problem is not morality and ethics, it is fear and thousands of years of conditinioning.

The question needs to be hammered in..can we have morality without god? of course we can....give me one reason why it wouldn't be? Any theist, I think, would have a logically flawed argument if they try to answer that you cannot. Secular scientists and doctors try to save lives everyday without believing in god.

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fear

leftoflarry wrote: I think the bigger problem is not morality and ethics, it is fear and thousands of years of conditinioning.

While I agree to a point, the question that comes up here is why fear has been around for so long and what is it fear of? This is where psychology/sociology come into play and, to put in a plug, Erich Fromm has an excellent exposition on the essential needs of humanity from an existential point of view.

In saying the social need of people has to be addressed, I am pointing out that religion serves that need currently, we simply need to show that it can be filled otherwise. But that desire for social belonging is neither religious or non-religious, it simply exists. The fear is one of being forgotten, of being inconsequential.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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Interesting article, if

Interesting article, if somewhat biased.....Pretty cool stuff.

I found this telling:
"Harris says he has turned down requests for the rights to translate "The End of Faith" into Arabic or Urdu. "I think it would be a death sentence for any translator," he says."

The fact that he's right should makle people angry. It should make people demand an end to the "my tribe is better than your tribe" caveperson mentality. It should, and yet the majority of theist people(as he pointed out) just want to see him burn in hell.
*shakes head sadly*
There are too many good people that theists denounce just for the "sin" of being rational.


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reason_passion wrote:from

reason_passion wrote:
from article: But Dawkins, brilliant as he is, overlooks something any storefront Baptist preacher might have told him. "If there is no God, why be good?" he asks rhetorically, and responds: "Do you really mean the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward? That's not morality, that's just sucking up." That's clever. But millions of Christians and Muslims believe that it was precisely God who turned them away from a life of immorality. Dawkins, of course, thinks they are deluding themselves. He is correct that the social utility of religion doesn't prove anything about the existence of God. But for all his erudition, he seems not to have spent much time among ordinary Christians, who could have told him what God has meant to them.

The idea that Dawkins wouldn't know about these claims from theists is just silly. You know it, I know it. The writer was able to transmit the idea in a paragraph... but he thinks Dawkins doesn't know it?

Silly.

The reality is that religion itself is not the modality of improvement... it's the social network it offers, combined with the cheap pop psychology it provides, the helps these people deal with their problems.....

Quote:

I thought I would present this particular paragraph as it goes to the heart of the problem we all have with discussing theology and such with the believers. If people were to honestly believe things based on rational efficacy, there'd be little difficulty in getting rid of the belief in god, it would simply go the way of santa claus and the easter bunny

Yes.

Quote:
But those mythical creatures have little of the social impact that god has in the mind of his follower.

It was often a lament of mine in my fundamentalist days that so many christians were persuaded or adherents not because they knew what they were talkign about, but because it gave them social cohesion and a sense of belonging. There is a certain sense of purpose in one's devotion to truth and living an authentic life, but it has little of the, albeit superficial, power that belonging to an omnipotent deity has.

We atheists/humanists/agnostics need to not follow the error of the democratic party in forgetting the power of religion in society. While putting forth arguments against the particular belief structure of the supernaturalists is well and good, there is an ethic and social need that must also be addressed.

Yes... this is why attempting to rationally examine theism alone will not work..... we're trying to yank away someone sotorial device - their security blanket - away....

And the reaction to that is always the same.... you pull back.

Religion works because of its social utility, as both the author and Dawkins fully realize. It's inculcated into us before we're trusted to go to the bathroom on our own... so it's really not a surprise that people fall back to it during emotional difficulties... this is very basic human psychology - when in trouble, you return to the things that soothed you in the past....

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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reason_passion

reason_passion wrote:
leftoflarry wrote: I think the bigger problem is not morality and ethics, it is fear and thousands of years of conditinioning.

While I agree to a point, the question that comes up here is why fear has been around for so long and what is it fear of? This is where psychology/sociology come into play and, to put in a plug, Erich Fromm has an excellent exposition on the essential needs of humanity from an existential point of view.

I've written on this very subject, in depth, in regards to Calvinism.... nice obseration.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Interesting read, more then

Interesting read, more then just a little biased tho Eye-wink

But thats ok let them think no is listening, let them think a few people can't change the world, we all know better.