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Brilliant Article on Secularism vs Religion

post #1 of 258
Thread Starter 
Just finished reading a Guardian Article from February this year on "Faith".

The article is fascinating and raises many points of interest in the debate that is being 'championed' by Dawkins and the like. In fact, many of the arguments in the article are arguments and areas that Dawkins [i]should[/b] be addressing deeply (if he aspires to be something more than a populist 'thinker' that is) but somehow never does.

It starts off with a brilliant quote from Mencken which seems to me to be the perfect position on these matters if one wishes t avoid a bar-room brawl:

Quote:
"We must accept the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

Of course it may be that people on both sides of the debate do not actually want to avoid a ruck. This point is beautifully made in the article by Rabbi Julia Neuberger:

Quote:
Neuberger is to take on Hitchens, Dawkins and Grayling when she speaks at a debate against the motion We'd Be Better Off Without Religion next month. The debate has been moved to a bigger venue. "What I find really distasteful is not just the tone of their rhetoric, but their lack of doubt," she says. "No scientific method says that there is no doubt. If you don't accept there's doubt in all things, you're being intellectually dishonest. "

And amplified by Azzim Tamimi (himself a brilliant thinker and philosopher who is nothing like the 'crazed believer' Dawkins and Hitchens claim religion invariably produces):

Quote:
"I refer to secular fundamentalism. The problem is that these people believe that they have the absolute truth. That means you have no room to talk to others so you end up having a physical fight. They want to close the door and ignore religion, but this will provoke a violent religiosity. If someone seeks to deny my existence, I will fight to assert it."

Tamimi's words also resonate with what the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said last November: "The aggressive secularists pervert and abuse any notion of diversity for the sake of promoting a narrow agenda." They also parallel the chilling remarks of Richard Chartres, Bishop of London: "If you exile religious communities to the margins, then they will start to speak the words of fire among consenting adults, and the threat to public order and the public arena, I think, will grow and grow."

There also seems to be an element of frustration amongst atheists and secularists that, after centuries of rationalism, religion is getting stronger and has not died out. It seems to make them annoyed.

But why can they not co-exist? The evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould famously saw religion and sceince as two areas that need not ever overlap - two distinct and non-intersecting entities. I would agree with this but people like Dawkins deny it.

That's ok - he has the right to deny it. But he does not have the right to portray his belief as the 'only true one'. That makes him what he despises. It's Nietzche's 'gazing into the abyss' in all its horrendous clarity.

Another brillinat - and highly relevant point worth discussing - is the following, again from Tamimi. It touches on the whole issue of east/west relations and misunderstanding as well as the current global political perspective:

Quote:
[Tamimi] suggests that Christians were complicit in their marginalisation from power. "Christians did that to themselves - they allowed religion to move to the private sphere. That would be intolerable for Muslims." Why? "Partly because secularism doesn't mean the same for Muslims from the Middle East. The story of secularism in the Middle East is not one of democracy, as we are always told it was in the west. Instead, it is associated with tyranny - with Ataturk in Turkey, for instance. Islam is compatible with democracy, but not with this secular fundamentalism we are witnessing."

Any thoughts on the points raised in this article? On the article itself I mean - not on the secular/relgious debate as we are discussing interminably in almost every other thread....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #2 of 258
I apologize, I'm drunk.

But, I look forward to reading this article and commenting in the morning
post #3 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

I apologize, I'm drunk.

But, I look forward to reading this article and commenting in the morning

Great! I shall look forward to it!

Two other factors strike me as noteworthy meanwhile; first, Dawkins saying this woman looked stupid seems to me a very irrational remark.

I mean he did not say she was stupid and adduce some evidence to support it but judged purely by her face. This is surely very un-scientific - it is almost as if he was back in the days of phrenomenology (the belief that criminality could be deduced from skull shape) in medieval times....which in a way he is.

Secondly; Hitchens. He is a dork. I recently claimed he was more palatable than Dawkins. After a brief and nauseous encounter with the execrable "God Is Not Great" I recant. He is far, far worse.....because he is a winger (one tends to forget this as he posesses a sense of humour). Dawkins at least is apolitical.

This is his 'point' the war in Iraq was justified and the occupation is a 'success'. All 'men of faith' are morons - with one notable exception: George Bush.

Enough said. Not really worthy of further consideration.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #4 of 258
I think one of the reasons religion is getting stronger is because religious people simply have more children. Parents have a great influence on what their children believe. It's sad when I hear liberals and generally smart, good, non religious people say they don't want kids for one reason or another.
post #5 of 258
Sorry I posted this in the wrong thread...we now return you to whatever this is about...
post #6 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I think one of the reasons religion is getting stronger is because religious people simply have more children. Parents have a great influence on what their children believe. It's sad when I hear liberals and generally smart, good, non religious people say they don't want kids for one reason or another.

Do you think so?

Don't most kids brought up religious rebel? And if this were the case then surely religion would be expanding in numbers (I would argue it isn't but is diminishing and because of that becoming more extreme) ?

Interesting idea....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #7 of 258
I'm enjoying the current crop of popular anti-religion books, like Harris' and Dawkins' and Hitchens'. It seems to me that, even a few years ago, it was almost unheard of to so publicly condemn religion and promote atheism.
post #8 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I'm enjoying the current crop of popular anti-religion books, like Harris' and Dawkins' and Hitchens'. It seems to me that, even a few years ago, it was almost unheard of to so publicly condemn religion and promote atheism.

Maybe in the US...Europe it is pretty much par for the course.

And that really hits at a central hub of the issue doesn't it? A lot of the agenda is defined in relation to US Chritianity and Creationism. Even radicalism in response to the (American) 'WOT'.

Certainly Dawkins' and Hitchens' main targets are US excesses - fair enough. I agree with them. I just wish they would stop lying and extrapolating these things to religion as a whole phenomena and claiming they are evidence of religion's 'worthlessness'.

They are merely examples of stupidity and bias - and as I say, so is Hitchens.

I agree though, such books are healthy. I just wish they were written better, argued properly and that the people writing them would actually be people with a solution rather than a hollow and fragmentary agenda that is essentially reductionist preaching to a choir clad in suspiciously woolen garb.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #9 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Do you think so?

Don't most kids brought up religious rebel? And if this were the case then surely religion would be expanding in numbers (I would argue it isn't but is diminishing and because of that becoming more extreme) ?

Interesting idea....

Yes. And some kids do rebel. But that's a relative minority, and of those, many come back later in life and revert to what they were taught as kids. You see, they are brought up in a restrictive environment. When they get to be teenagers they rebel and over indulge in stuff they were taught was bad, like premarital sex, drugs, etc. So they get into lots of trouble and there's a void in their life because they're just doing all that stuff because they couldn't before and were attracted to it because it looked 'cool'. So they think back to when was the last time they were truly happy and get 'born again'. But this time with a vengeance.

Children who are raised moderately, either religious or non-religious, tend to have a balanced view on stuff like sex, drugs, drinking, smoking, that they rarely over-indulge. I know this is anecdotal but I've seen it all too often with personal acquaintances.
post #10 of 258
Look at this interesting link: Teachers rebel over atheism promotion

God(s) forbid you show atheist or other parents this pamphlet for their kids. How will you ever get them to convert otherwise? I wonder if they would do the same thing if it was in connection with a Jewish or Muslim camp? Hmm?
post #11 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Look at this interesting link: Teachers rebel over atheism promotion

God(s) forbid you show atheist or other parents this pamphlet for their kids. How will you ever get them to convert otherwise? I wonder if they would do the same thing if it was in connection with a Jewish or Muslim camp? Hmm?

This pamplet and 'camp' is (imo) indistinguishable from the fundie equivalent we all know and hate.

It is basically indoctrination.

In my view there should be available Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Xian fundie or atheist summer schools or whatever and those so inclined should be able to attend them.

What they should never ever ever be allowed to do (again imho) is to attempt to move a child, or anyone actually, from position A to postion B - ie 'convert'. This pamphlet clearly does that as it is obviously addressed to people who know little of 'free-thinking' (now a laughable term really these days) and aims to 'educate' them.

It's prostletysing - that's what fundies do.

It's also hypocrisy. Does not Dawkins himself rant on interminably about how children of 'Christians' should not be assumed to be Christians? So what's all this crap about 'children of atheists'?

That Pagan pamphlet is propaganda too....why can people not celebrate their own schtick? Why do they have to 'inform and educate' anyone else at all?

That's the problem here......
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #12 of 258
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

~Thomas Jefferson

Unfortunately, there are many people today who could learn from that.
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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post #13 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I think one of the reasons religion is getting stronger is because religious people simply have more children. Parents have a great influence on what their children believe. It's sad when I hear liberals and generally smart, good, non religious people say they don't want kids for one reason or another.

I think religion is getting stronger if thats true because the world is in a deepening state of shit* and everyone knows it. You either embrace the shit, in which case you willingly become a part of the problem, or you reject it, in which case religion promises to offer solace and relief from the shit. In most cases that is complete shit in itself and in itself it is the crafted safety net of the people wielding the shit to keep the 'rejecters' as part of the mechanism that produces shit - to their own aganda and benefit.

Nothing has really changed since the dark ages, the methods of control have changed from violence to psychology and violent psychology!, and our tech level has advanced some, so they can use psychology effectively. Really it is still the same cunts running the world as it always was, and always will be.

*define shit as - corruption, greed, immorality, lies, deceit, deception, powermongering, wars, oil, wmd, fraud, out of control capatalism, advertising etc.
post #14 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

It starts off with a brilliant quote from Mencken which seems to me to be the perfect position on these matters if one wishes t avoid a bar-room brawl:
Quote:
"We must accept the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

If you think Mencken was advocating gentle diplomacy or keeping all objections to religion quietly to yourself, you're not exactly understanding the man. Other Mencken quotes on the subject of religion:

Quote:
"Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing."

"The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians."

"A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass; he is actually ill. Worse, he is incurable."

"Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell."

"Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents."

"The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

"It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money."

"The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails."

"It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities."

Dawkins is gentle and diplomatic compared to Mencken.

Quote:
Rabbi Julia Neuberger: "What I find really distasteful is not just the tone of their rhetoric, but their lack of doubt."

Exactly how is one supposed to express doubt about the need for doubt? For most atheists, saying "there is no God" is no more dogmatic than saying "there are no invisible unicorns". Most atheists will admit at a certain rarefied, abstract level of discourse that neither gods nor invisible unicorns can be absolutely, completely ruled out. What, however, apart from popularity, makes religious notions of God any less doubtful than invisible unicorns?

Quote:
And amplified by Azzim Tamimi (himself a brilliant thinker and philosopher who is nothing like the 'crazed believer' Dawkins and Hitchens claim religion invariably produces)...

Having not read Hitchens yet, I'll have to refrain from comment there. But Dawkins has said no such thing, certainly not in regards to the effect of religion on individuals. The closest thing he's said to what you're implying is that the same lax intellectual environment which supports moderate religion, and deems belief in a particular variety of invisible friends not merely plausible, but actually commendable, also supports and enables the "crazed believers" as well.

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There also seems to be an element of frustration amongst atheists and secularists that, after centuries of rationalism, religion is getting stronger and has not died out. It seems to make them annoyed.

Part of that annoyance is with themselves. They're now realizing that always being quiet and diplomatic about their objections to religion has not served atheism and secularism well at all.

Quote:
But why can they not co-exist? The evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould famously saw religion and sceince as two areas that need not ever overlap - two distinct and non-intersecting entities. I would agree with this but people like Dawkins deny it.

Gould's "non-overlapping magisteria" is more of a diplomatic maneuver than a defensible intellectual stance. If you really think about it, the "magisterium" left for religion, after science has staked its claims, is a pretty feeble and paltry realm, consisting of little more than baroque imaginings and comforting delusions projected into the unknown.

Quote:
That's ok - he has the right to deny it. But he does not have the right to portray his belief as the 'only true one'.

Atheism is a "belief" only in the sense that bald is a hair color, and not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Again, explain to me how anything Dawkins has said is any more dogmatic, any more of a claim on the "only true one [belief]", than saying "there are no invisible unicorns"?
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #15 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

If you think Mencken was advocating gentle diplomacy or keeping all objections to religion quietly to yourself, you're not exactly understanding the man. Other Mencken quotes on the subject of religion:

Dawkins is gentle and diplomatic compared to Mencken.

[sniiiiiiip]

Again, explain to me how anything Dawkins has said is any more dogmatic, any more of a claim on the "only true one [belief]", than saying "there are no invisible unicorns"?

Brilliant post.
post #16 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

I think religion is getting stronger if thats true because the world is in a deepening state of shit* and everyone knows it. You either embrace the shit, in which case you willingly become a part of the problem, or you reject it, in which case religion promises to offer solace and relief from the shit. In most cases that is complete shit in itself and in itself it is the crafted safety net of the people wielding the shit to keep the 'rejecters' as part of the mechanism that produces shit - to their own aganda and benefit.

Nothing has really changed since the dark ages, the methods of control have changed from violence to psychology and violent psychology!, and our tech level has advanced some, so they can use psychology effectively. Really it is still the same cunts running the world as it always was, and always will be.

*define shit as - corruption, greed, immorality, lies, deceit, deception, powermongering, wars, oil, wmd, fraud, out of control capatalism, advertising etc.

Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #17 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

If you think Mencken was advocating gentle diplomacy or keeping all objections to religion quietly to yourself, you're not exactly understanding the man. Other Mencken quotes on the subject of religion:

Or perhaps you aren't understanding Mencken ....oh wait...the rules say that's not possible don't they.

As it happens I am familiar with the man and his work and agree more or less with the quotes you provide in my understanding.

All that really remains is for you to tell me how my understanding must be wrong and yours correct. For now we'll just say I do not see a contradiction.

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Dawkins is gentle and diplomatic compared to Mencken.

In your view.

From my pov he is not in the same league.

Quote:
Exactly how is one supposed to express doubt about the need for doubt? For most atheists, saying "there is no God" is no more dogmatic than saying "there are no invisible unicorns".

Not so. And Dawkins himself when pressed will admit there may be a God. He has to admit this because otherwise the mask would slip and he wpuld stand exposed as a jackass - for even he knows that it is a theoretical possibility.

When Dawkins claims 'there is no God' - what he is actually saying is there is no God as described in the Bible and other Scripture and that 'God' should He exist, could not have the qualities we ascribe to Him.

I would (more or less) agree with this but Dawkins actually never puts it this way - he just says 'there is no God'.

So your analogy is invalid. Dawkins is not saying 'there are no invisible unicorns' - he means to say this but what he says instead is 'there are no invisible entities'.

Sloppy.

Quote:
Most atheists will admit at a certain rarefied, abstract level of discourse that neither gods nor invisible unicorns can be absolutely, completely ruled out. What, however, apart from popularity, makes religious notions of God any less doubtful than invisible unicorns?

See above.

Human ideas of God must - in a philosophical sense - be a construct to a certain degree and therefore 'not the whole truth'. ie 'false'.

That is different to saying 'there is no God'. There are two seperate propositions:

1) God as described in human religions may or may not exist

2) A being possessing intelligence higher than humanity may or may not exist

Dawkins often conflates these two notions: I would tend to deny the first and accept the latter. Dawkins is not even bothered about the distinction.

But the real crime (imho) is not in this area at all but in a further proposition which Dawkins both equates with 'God' and also denies. Actually this is an area in which I believe it is possible to have direct experience (unlike with God) and as such is far more interesting.

3) Something that may be called 'the spiritual realm' may or may not exist.

I would say it does and it does not requirte the existence or belief in a deity and is accessible to consciousness. Again, Dawkins does not address this.

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Having not read Hitchens yet, I'll have to refrain from comment there

Well, you do not need to read the book to know he is a rabid right-wing Bush supporter.

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But Dawkins has said no such thing, certainly not in regards to the effect of religion on individuals. The closest thing he's said to what you're implying is that the same lax intellectual environment which supports moderate religion, and deems belief in a particular variety of invisible friends not merely plausible, but actually commendable, also supports and enables the "crazed believers" as well.

Try this quote:

Quote:
If subtle, nuanced religion predominated, the world would be a better place and I would have written a different book. The melancholy truth is that decent, understated religion is numerically negligible. Most believers echo Robertson, Falwell or Haggard, Osama bin Laden or Ayatollah Khomeini. These are not straw men. The world needs to face them, and my book does so.

My bold. Linky.

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Part of that annoyance is with themselves. They're now realizing that always being quiet and diplomatic about their objections to religion has not served atheism and secularism well at all.

That could well be the case. I don't know.

Quote:
Gould's "non-overlapping magisteria" is more of a diplomatic maneuver than a defensible intellectual stance. If you really think about it, the "magisterium" left for religion, after science has staked its claims, is a pretty feeble and paltry realm, consisting of little more than baroque imaginings and comforting delusions projected into the unknown.

Yes..I agree but this is what 'spirtuality' most probably is.....

It may be rubbish, we don't know. But that is all I am saying; we should be examining it and debating it not making blanket assumptions.

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Atheism is a "belief" only in the sense that bald is a hair color, and not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Perhaps. I am more interested in it as a 'reaction'.

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Again, explain to me how anything Dawkins has said is any more dogmatic, any more of a claim on the "only true one [belief]", than saying "there are no invisible unicorns"?

Again? Do I have to?

Actually I don't because true religion - in my view - does not ever claim that there is 'one true belief'. Some followers of relgions obviously do but original religion does not.

Now Dawkins claims it does - and so do fundamentalists...so we need to debate whether this contention is true. It may be but then again it may not. I feel pretty confident that it is proved (to anyone but a fundamentalist) that religions in the original form of their founders were inclusive.

Islam for example accepts Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.
Christianity as preached by Paul can be shown to be in opposition to the doctrines of the Jeruslam Church of Jesus's brother.
Buddhism accepts many ways and paths...and on.......

So essentially again, Dawkins is addressing fundamentalism but using the word 'religion'. He is either being vague and thinking in a wooly way or is being disingenous.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #18 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post


it goes much deeper than him, it is everywhere 24/7. most of us are so brainwashed on it we never notice it.
post #19 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

As it happens I am familiar with the man and his work and agree more or less with the quotes you provide in my understanding.

Ah. This would be your "special" understanding?

Quote:
I would (more or less) agree with this but Dawkins actually never puts it this way - he just says 'there is no God'.

So your analogy is invalid. Dawkins is not saying 'there are no invisible unicorns' - he means to say this but what he says instead is 'there are no invisible entities'.

Sloppy.

So your big problem with Dawkins, which has you acting like he's some vile and nasty hate monger, is that he isn't quite careful enough in the way he phrases the things he says? Doesn't do quite good enough job of carefully qualify the meaning and scope of his remarks to suit you?

I no longer have "The God Delusion" in hand to refer to it (I borrowed it from the library), but I recall plenty of careful qualification on Dawkins part before he cuts to the shorthand of simply saying "There is no God." But I guess that's just my understanding of his work, which of course it would be terribly gauche of me to put forth without pages of caveats to that effect, carefully making sure I don't come across as invading your special, private space to disagree.

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That is different to saying 'there is no God'. There are two seperate propositions:

1) God as described in human religions may or may not exist

2) A being possessing intelligence higher than humanity may or may not exist

Dawkins often conflates these two notions: I would tend to deny the first and accept the latter. Dawkins is not even bothered about the distinction.

If people aren't pushing weird, irrational political agendas because of (2), aren't denying children medical care because of (2), aren't proclaming that specific unprovable instances of (2) exist, like Dave from Planet Sprorq who's really, really smart and visits every night to help with homework and tax returns, then that's clearly ("CLEARLY" ONLY IN MY HUMBLE UNDERSTANDING!!! DON'T WORRY!! I'M NOT TRYING TO OPRESSS YOU WITH MY MERE HUMBLE OPINIONS!!! OMG! ARE YOU STILL OKAY!? DID I HURT YOU!?) outside of the scope of Dawkins atheism promotion.

Let's make a deal... You see these bits of punctuation? . ! ?

Anytime you see one of those, it's my little signal to you that the preceding sentence comes from the only perspective I happen to possess, my own, that I recognize the possibility that I can and do make errors, and that even when I disagree with you, I'm not going to launch my army of neural nanobots to attack you, dig into your brain, and deny you your right to hold an opposing viewpoint by rewiring your brain into compliance. Each little mark comes with it's own built-in IMHO.

M'kay?

Quote:
But the real crime (imho) is not in this area at all but in a further proposition which Dawkins both equates with 'God' and also denies. Actually this is an area in which I believe it is possible to have direct experience (unlike with God) and as such is far more interesting.

3) Something that may be called 'the spiritual realm' may or may not exist.

I would say it does and it does not requirte the existence or belief in a deity and is accessible to consciousness. Again, Dawkins does not address this.

So Dawkins is a bad, bad man because the scope of his work hasn't sufficiently satisfied you yet?

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Yes..I agree but this is what 'spirtuality' most probably is.....

It may be rubbish, we don't know. But that is all I am saying; we should be examining it and debating it not making blanket assumptions.

There are lots and lots of things "we don't know". "Spirituality" may not carry the same burdens of hierarchy and orthodoxy that often come with the deal in religion, but to the extent that "spirituality" consists of projecting fanciful and wishing thinking onto the unknown, acting as if "Well, you can't prove me wrong!" is sufficient reason to act as if some particular fancy is right, then it's just more invisible unicorns.

To the extent that some versions and flavors of "spirituality" lead to things like trusting the Healing Power of Crystals more than the Big, Bad Medical Establishment -- while never, ever holding the crystals up to anything close to the same standards of suspicion, accountability and clearly demonstrable effectiveness -- it can be dangerous too.

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Actually I don't because true religion - in my view - does not ever claim that there is 'one true belief'. Some followers of relgions obviously do but original religion does not.

"Original religion"? Something from the deep past, the Pure Religion of Our Wise Ancestors, before modern times corrupted it? Or just "original" in the sense, "Hey! Look at me! I bet you no else has ever tried to believe THIS before!"?

Further down you say of Dawkins, "He is either being vague and thinking in a wooly way or is being disingenous", which seems odd complaint considering that the above strikes me as indicative of a love of wooly thinking.

I'm beginning to get the impression that your notion of "true religion" is one I've seen elsewhere before: a vapid feel-good embrace of all sorts of mutually contradictory beliefs, powered by the diplomatically appealing but intellectually hollow notion that "it's all good", that all these lovely, wildly different spiritual practices and beliefs are simply "different aspects of the same Truth" -- whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.
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post #20 of 258
Quote:
But why can they not co-exist?

Who said they cannot?
I own The God Delusion. I own God Is Not Great. I own The End of Faith. I own Breaking The Spell. The books being referenced actually exist to be read, and at no point do any of them ever advocate anything at all like the silencing or subjugation of the religious. At no point do they wish to deny anyone the right to believe what they like. At no point.

Quote:
That's ok - he has the right to deny it. But he does not have the right to portray his belief as the 'only true one'.

Of course he has that right.
Not only does he have the legal right, but since his arguments have a mountain of scientific evidence behind them, he has the rational and moral right as well.

Quote:
Two other factors strike me as noteworthy meanwhile; first, Dawkins saying this woman looked stupid seems to me a very irrational remark.

You have never seen someone that looked stupid? It is the vacant expression and the eyes that betray a fundamental ignorance of what is going on outside that person's sphere of perception.



I do not think this woman has the most stupid face I have ever seen, but Dawkins was not schooled in East Texas. I know exactly what someone means when they mention a "stupid face". And one can certainly forgive Dawkins given how amazingly stupid this woman actually showed herself to be (she said, "Christians should be allowed to work for British Airways.")

Quote:
I mean he did not say she was stupid and adduce some evidence to support it but judged purely by her face. This is surely very un-scientific - it is almost as if he was back in the days of phrenomenology (the belief that criminality could be deduced from skull shape) in medieval times....which in a way he is.

Reading facial expressions is something that even lower mammals can do. There is nothing unscientific about judging character from physical looks. It is not a perfect (or even reliable) measure, but it is not completely disconnected.

Quote:
Secondly; Hitchens. He is a dork.

What irony. You excoriate Dawkins for seeing a simpering fat-face as a "stupid face" yet your first swing at Hitchens is that he is a dork? A drunk and a misanthrope, perhaps, but a dork?

Quote:
Don't most kids brought up religious rebel?

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "rebel". They might not have the same fervor as their parents, but it is not as if legions are signing up for the Secular Humanist newsletter, they just become disenchanted with the fumbling duperies of organized faith.

Quote:
I just wish they were written better, argued properly and that the people writing them would actually be people with a solution rather than a hollow and fragmentary agenda that is essentially reductionist preaching to a choir clad in suspiciously woolen garb.

Yes, I wish those who screamed about these books actually read them and paid attention to them while reading and provided more thoughtful analysis than to accuse the authors of advocating abrogation of civil rights when the books are perfectly clear on the matter.

There are entire chapters on the good/bad results of religion, but that does not stop the crybabies from saying that only the "bad" is discussed.

Quote:
And Dawkins himself when pressed will admit there may be a God.

When "pressed"? When has Dawkins not said this?

Why the hell are you so dishonest? Does it profit your argument to so maliciously misrepresent the statements and views of others?

Quote:
I would (more or less) agree with this but Dawkins actually never puts it this way - he just says 'there is no God'.

Either you have never read his statements and writings on the matter or you are a liar. Which is it?

You really should make an effort to be honest. I do not think being a liar will actually help anything.
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post #21 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Why the hell are you so dishonest? Does it profit your argument to so maliciously misrepresent the statements and views of others?

He's not being dishonest ! He just has a different point of view about what Dawkins has said! What are you going to do now? Tell segovius how his understanding must be wrong and and how yours must be correct!?

Bloody intellectual tyrant!!!
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post #22 of 258
Damn that Dawkins! He and his ideological belief! I guess it hadn't crossed his mind that there just may be a 'deeper' TWIN polarity energy force that is not of this 'biological' or material world.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2..._get_email.php
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post #23 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Yes, I wish those who screamed about these books actually read them and paid attention to them while reading and provided more thoughtful analysis than to accuse the authors of advocating abrogation of civil rights when the books are perfectly clear on the matter.

How do you know I haven't read the books?

Is it some psychic power? And if so does that not constitute proof of the numinous? The spiritual even?

Or perhaps you 'just know' because I can't have as my opinion is different to yours?

Actually I think this is a text-book example of the problem and is why Dawkins et al can see only the bad in religion and nothing else; that's what they see and because they are fundies they cannot make the leap to accept someone may see something else.

Let's transpose for clarity; Groverat reads the Bible and sees it as a man-made myth. Mr Xian Fundie cannot accept this as he sees it literally: the Bible is 'innerant truth' ergo Groverat has not read the Bible.

But you know what is really funny? to discuss these things usefully one needs to not only have read some of the Scriptures but also to have read some theology and philosophy too - preferably to have a degree of training in these issues.

Dawkins - and certainly Hitchens - freely admits he has none. ANd that does not seem to bother him at all. Which again is quite odd because he would no doubt be dismissive of any creationist who tried to argue against evolution with no scientific background and having read nothing of the literature.

Another criticism; Dawkins speaks mainly in the abstract. He rarely provides examples from actual theological praxis (and especially not in Islam's case as he is a little scared I think which tells us something else) - Imo, this is for the above reason.

Hitchens is worse. He does dip his toe in the water but perhaps Dawkns is wiser, Hitchens clearly shows on speaking of Islam that he knows nothing whatsoever about it. But then he is a neocon.

Those two factors are more linked than you might initially think.
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post #24 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Or perhaps you 'just know' because I can't have as my opinion is different to yours?

Is this going to become your trademark response to everything? Someone says something you don't agree with, and then you bleat than you're not being allowed to have a different opinion?

Quote:
that's what they see and because they are fundies they cannot make the leap to accept someone may see something else.

So were just supposed to automatically assume that, when you say something about Dawkins that doesn't register at all with what we recall from having read the books ourselves, it's because you simply see what he has written differently ? And now it's all just a matter of personal perception, and how dare we not take into account how your perceptions of the same thing can be so different?

Quote:
But you know what is really funny? to discuss these things usefully one needs to not only have read some of the Scriptures but also to have read some theology and philosophy too - preferably to have a degree of training in these issues.

Dawkins - and certainly Hitchens - freely admits he has none. ANd that does not seem to bother him at all. Which again is quite odd because he would no doubt be dismissive of any creationist who tried to argue against evolution with no scientific background and having read nothing of the literature.

Dawkins has certainly read a lot of the Bible. He even talks about the Bible as literature in his last book, and how knowing the Bible is very useful for understanding modern Western culture and literature. Dawkins knows the Bible a lot better than most Christian fundies do. As for other training -- well, he didn't provide his complete reading list or cite a degree in theology, but demonstrated some study of philosophy and theology, far more familiarity with those topics than most creationists show with evolution.

Are you going to play the game that an adherent of belief X -- who has far, far more motivation to spend years of study devoted to X -- must always be taken as a greater authority than any detractor of X with lesser experience? And then of course, when you run into an ex-X believer who does have those years of study to his credit, you can always label him an "apostate", and write off his objections to bitterness, having failed at X, etc.

I don't demand that creationists get PhDs in evolutionary biology before they have the right to make any objections to evolution. All I expect is that they educate themselves beyond the pathetic straw men parodies of evolution and the scientific process they carry around. I expect them to play fair -- not act more-scientific-than-thou by demanding ridiculous (often impossible) levels of proof for evolution ("Show me a monkey turning into a man! I dare you!"), as if such proof would be the only acceptable level of proof -- while simultaneously accepting the merest "well you can't prove it didn't happen that way" supposedly "scientific" explanations of things like Noah's Ark.

Isn't it quite enough to dismiss the effectiveness of astrology and tea-leaf reading because astrologers and tea-leaf readers can't produce reliable, testable predictions? Is one obligated to immerse oneself in years of astrological study or "tea-ology" (God, that's an awful pun!) before one has "earned" the right to criticize?

Quote:
Another criticism; Dawkins speaks mainly in the abstract. He rarely provides examples from actual theological praxis (and especially not in Islam's case as he is a little scared I think which tells us something else) - Imo, this is for the above reason.

Forgive me if I once more risk treading on your special understanding of Dawkins, but Dawkins explained in the introduction to "The God Delusion" why he was mainly focusing on Christianity as an example, but he also spoke (quite reasonably... oh, yes... "in my humble opinion") about how what he was saying could be extended beyond the scope of his specific examples.

So far, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, you've lodged an awful lot of complaints that sure SOUND LIKE you either haven't read Dawkins, have merely skimmed while filling in the blanks with your own straw men, or just haven't understood (IN MY HUMBLE OPINION) very well what he has written.

You also haven't been very specific about what terribly important aspect of religion, or specific religions, Dawkins is so terribly, terribly failing to take into account. All I'm getting is that there's some as-yet undefined Religious/Spiritual Goodness that this bad, bad man is carelessly treading on in his great theological ignorance.

Please, do enlighten us on some of the specifics.
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post #25 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Please, do enlighten us on some of the specifics.

Are you capable of being enlightened ?
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post #26 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Are you capable of being enlightened ?

Oh, I'm probably not at your heightened level of spiritual sensitivity, but why not give it a shot?
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post #27 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Oh, I'm probably not at your heightened level of spiritual sensitivity, but why not give it a shot?

But why though?

Are you saying the view you currently hold is un-enlightened? You seem pretty sure of it....
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post #28 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Are you saying the view you currently hold is un-enlightened? You seem pretty sure of it....

About everything so-far unspoke that's floating around inside your head, yes. I have no problem admitting being unenlightened about that at all. I'm not claiming to be psychic -- even if I so very rudely, without sufficient clear disclaimers of "IMHO" and about how I'm trying to do the best based on limited information -- might seem to be boldly claiming to have read your mind.

Are you going to keep on ducking saying anything substantive, choosing the easy out of short quips instead?
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post #29 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

About everything so-far unspoke that's floating around inside your head, yes. I have no problem admitting being unenlightened about that at all. I'm not claiming to be psychic -- even if I so very rudely, without sufficient clear disclaimers of "IMHO" and about how I'm trying to do the best based on limited information -- might seem to be boldly claiming to have read your mind.

Are you going to keep on ducking saying anything substantive, choosing the easy out of short quips instead?

I'll take the easy way out

If you don't understand what I write I can't really help....I guess you could decide it's nonsense and I'm an idiot in which case I'm not sure why you are bothering to ask me to explain. Best to ignore me in this case.

The other option is that the fault is at your end and lies with your understanding or lack of it. If this is the case then maybe brush it up somehow and we'll try again in a few weeks?

Whichever one it is it seems that you really don't need any further clarification from me at the present time....
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post #30 of 258
Oh, no!

I failed to take into account that you might not be ducking at all! You might be engaging me in a special discursive process meant to draw me slowly, step by step, into enlightenment by means I don't quite yet understand.

If so, I humbly beg your forgiveness for jumping to conclusions and not taking into account the infinite possibilities at hand.
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post #31 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

But why though?

Are you saying the view you currently hold is un-enlightened? You seem pretty sure of it....

Segovius,
You are the only one capable of providing enlightenment since you have the most enlightened profile:

Quote:
Interests:
Singlehandedly undermining the moral fabric of western civilization....
Occupation:
Jihadi

Will killing me with your humor get you into heaven?
post #32 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

If you don't understand what I write I can't really help.

I'm also supposed to understand what you haven't yet written too? Or, if you have written already what I think is missing, it's too terrible a burden to point out what that might be?
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post #33 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Oh, no!

I failed to take into account that you might not be ducking at all! You might be engaging me in a special discursive process meant to draw me slowly, step by step, into enlightenment by means I don't quite yet understand.

If so, I humbly beg your forgiveness for jumping to conclusions and not taking into account the infinite possibilities at hand.

Forgiveness is not necessary - we are not religious fundies are we?

I am not engaging you at all...or let's say; WE are not engaging. It's ok...it happens...but when engagement is not possible then attempts to engage are illogical aren't they?

It's really no more complex than that.

Let me ask you something though: if you could sum up what you find objectionable in religion - or why you think it is 'a bad thing' if you prefer - in a brief outline, how would you frame it?
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post #34 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

I'm also supposed to understand what you haven't yet written too? Or, if you have written already what I think is missing, it's too terrible a burden to point out what that might be?

Let's start again.

Ask a specific question and I shall do my best to answer it providing it is

a) framed in a coherent fashion and

b) not building on all the rest of the stuff we have been going over....

I'll hold my breath for 2 mins...no longer...
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post #35 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

Segovius,
You are the only one capable of providing enlightenment since you have the most enlightened profile:

Will killing me with your humor get you into heaven?

heheh

<dmz persona>

Everyone is trying to get to the bar...
the name of the bar...the bar is called heaven..

But heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #36 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

It's really no more complex than that.

Yeah, and bullshit isn't any more complex either.

You come in here ranting about what a terrible man Dawkins is, you're too damned lazy to engage in much back-and-forth for exactly what he's terrible for or how, you bristle about simple conventions of ordinary conservation because they aren't carefully supportive of the right to have an opinion of your own that you feel is so terribly under assault, and then you throw up your hands when your Great Wisdom isn't automatically perceived, writing it all of to some uncrossable chasm of understanding that it isn't your job to deal with.

Lame.

You don't possess the tiniest fraction of the ability to put care and effort in explicating your views as the man you criticize.
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post #37 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Yeah, and bullshit isn't any more complex either.

You come in here ranting about what a terrible man Dawkins is, you're too damned lazy to engage in much back-and-forth for exactly what he's terrible for or how, you bristle about simple conventions of ordinary conservation because they aren't carefully supportive of the right to have an opinion of your own that you feel is so terribly under assault, and then you throw up your hands when your Great Wisdom isn't automatically perceived, writing it all of to some uncrossable chasm of understanding that it isn't your job to deal with.

Lame.

You don't possess the tiniest fraction of the ability to put care and effort in explicating your views as the man you criticize.

You seem very angry....

Why do you think that might be?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #38 of 258
segovius:

I do not know that you have not read the books, as I said: Either you have never read his statements and writings on the matter or you are a liar.
I left out a third option, which is that you were too incompetent to understand what was written, but I thought that one would be rude.

Chapter 4 of The God Delusion is titled: "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God".
We do not even have to quote the book itself, just the chapter heading to show how extremely dishonest you are (I would actually call you a liar, not just dishonest) when you say ridiculous things like, " I would (more or less) agree with this but Dawkins actually never puts it this way - he just says 'there is no God'."

And the reason I so firmly call you a liar is that I have already pointed this very thing out to you before. Yet here you are again, lying about the contents of these books. And on you will go in the future, to lie some more. Alas, that is what liars do.

Quote:
But you know what is really funny? to discuss these things usefully one needs to not only have read some of the Scriptures but also to have read some theology and philosophy too - preferably to have a degree of training in these issues.

To understand tales of worldwide floods, earthquakes, mass extinctions, ancient civilizations, rising-from-the-dead, miraculous healings, and other supposed miracles the most useless possible training to have would be theology.

If we're talking about a world-wide flood, I want a geologist.
If we're talking about resurrection, I want a medical doctor.
If we want to have a pointless circle jerk about potential metaphorical meanings of ancient fiction then, by all means, let's call a theologian and get absolutely nowhere in understanding.

And Dawkins discusses this exactly in the book you claim to have read. (Chapter 3 - "Arguments for God's Existence" & Chapter 5 - "The Roots of Religion")

Quote:
You seem very angry....
Why do you think that might be?

I am not shetline, but I can easily answer this.
It is difficult to not become angry when trying to have a discussion with people and a dishonest person (a liar, if you will) keeps interjecting and making false claims about people.
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post #39 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

segovius:

I do not know that you have not read the books, as I said: Either you have never read his statements and writings on the matter or you are a liar.
I left out a third option, which is that you were too incompetent to understand what was written, but I thought that one would be rude.

Chapter 4 of The God Delusion is titled: "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God".
We do not even have to quote the book itself, just the chapter heading to show how extremely dishonest you are (I would actually call you a liar, not just dishonest) when you say ridiculous things like, " I would (more or less) agree with this but Dawkins actually never puts it this way - he just says 'there is no God'."

And the reason I so firmly call you a liar is that I have already pointed this very thing out to you before. Yet here you are again, lying about the contents of these books. And on you will go in the future, to lie some more. Alas, that is what liars do.



To understand tales of worldwide floods, earthquakes, mass extinctions, ancient civilizations, rising-from-the-dead, miraculous healings, and other supposed miracles the most useless possible training to have would be theology.

If we're talking about a world-wide flood, I want a geologist.
If we're talking about resurrection, I want a medical doctor.
If we want to have a pointless circle jerk about potential metaphorical meanings of ancient fiction then, by all means, let's call a theologian and get absolutely nowhere in understanding.

And Dawkins discusses this exactly in the book you claim to have read. (Chapter 3 - "Arguments for God's Existence" & Chapter 5 - "The Roots of Religion")

I am not shetline, but I can easily answer this.
It is difficult to not become angry when trying to have a discussion with people and a dishonest person (a liar, if you will) keeps interjecting and making false claims about people.

We are all liars Groverat......

You, me and Uncle Tom Cobley... we just lie about different things...

Some people lie when they call others liars - some people's whole life is a lie.

It's probably the only thing we have in common...we are both fucking liars...hahah! I lie about Dawkins (in your view) and you lie about what I actually say (in my view) and when you respond to this you will lie again (in my view) just like I am lying now (in your view)

And all because we have different views! It's hilarious really!

But let's look at Dawkins..he calls himself an atheist...that means he claims God does not exist (again in my view - in your view that is a lie). So when he says he doesn't claim God does not exist he is lying ...just like you.

Or, put another way - he wants to disbelieve in God - and appear to be 'rational' by admitting God's existence is possible. Exactly the sort of sleight of hand lying Bush and co indulge in every day. Only it's not called lying when Bush does it and it's not called lying when Dawkins does it.....

And then he lies again; by not affording believers the same right. Why should they not be able to believe in God whilst admitting it is possible he does not exist. Many people do.

Another lie; that most believers are like Robertson, or bin Laden.

And on it goes. So we are all liars...what's next? Better think of something before we have to start discussing the original article in question......
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post #40 of 258
Here is The God Delusion in .pdf.

Segovius:

You said: "I would (more or less) agree with this but Dawkins actually never puts it this way - he just says 'there is no God'."
That is a quote from you in this thread.
Dawkins titled a chapter in his book: "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God"

You claim knowledge of the book, so I must take you at your word on that and assume you already knew about this. Therefore, you said something that you knew was not true. That is a lie. A person who tells lies is a liar.

If I am a liar, that is fine. Feel free to point out one of my lies as I have pointed out one of yours.

Quote:
But let's look at Dawkins..he calls himself an atheist...that means he claims God does not exist (again in my view - in your view that is a lie). So when he says he doesn't claim God does not exist he is lying ...just like you.

In the Chapter 2, "The God Hypothesis", Dawkins discusses exactly this.

Quote:
(From Chapter 2, Page 50 of The God Delusion) - "Contrary to Huxley, I shall suggest that the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other. Even if hard to test in practice, it belongs in the same TAP or temporary agnosticism box as the controversies over the Permian and Cretaceous extinctions. God's existence or non-existence is a scientific fact about the universe, discoverable in principle if not in practice. If he existed and chose to reveal it, God himself could clinch the argument, noisily and unequivocally, in his favour. And even if God's existence is never proved or disproved with certainty one way or the other, available evidence and reasoning may yield an estimate of probability far from 50 per cent."

Dawkins acknowledges that the existence of god is not proven (and might never be).
Dawkins then goes on to address directly the idea of "there is no god". Not only does he not count himself in that group, he expresses surprise that anyone would be in that group. Let's read on!

Quote:
(continued from the last quote) - " Let us, then, take the idea of a spectrum of probabilities seriously, and place human judgements about the existence of God along it, between two extremes of opposite certainty. The spectrum is continuous, but it can be represented by the following seven milestones along the way.
1 Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

2 Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.'

3 Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'

4 Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.'

5 Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be sceptical.'

6 Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.'

7 Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung "knows" there is one.'

I'd be surprised to meet many people in category 7, but I include it for symmetry with category 1, which is well populated. It is in the nature of faith that one is capable, like Jung, of holding a belief without adequate reason to do so (Jung also believed that particular books on his shelf spontaneously exploded with a loud bang). Atheists do not have faith; and reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist. Hence category 7 is in practice rather emptier than its opposite number, category 1, which has many devoted inhabitants. I count myself in category 6, but leaning towards 7-1 am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.

The real problem here is not getting the text to show you where you are wrong, but knowing that you will go forth and sin again (both against god and against reason). We have gone through this before, and I have shown you exactly, and incontrovertibly, how you mischaracterize the arguments of these authors, yet I also see how you come right back and lie again, as if the previous exchange never happened.

Why is that, segovius? Why are you incapable of dealing honestly with this issue? Why do you have to lie? Why can you not admit that you have lied and correct it and then engage honestly in the discussion? Is your belief so fragile and weak that it must be girded with dishonesty?
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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