"Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
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05-10-2011, 03:04 PM
 
"Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
There was a fascinating debate held a couple of weeks ago in Australia: IQ2 Debate: Atheists Are Wrong.

From the website:

“Having been persecuted as a dangerous minority for centuries, in recent years the champions of atheism have achieved celebrity status around the world.
“Atheists have been quick to point to the evils done in the name of religion and claim their criticism of religion is grounded in science and reason. Their opponents have championed faith as a source of inspiration and as an essential aspect of the human condition.
“However, beyond rhetorical skirmishes, in the end, just one fundamental question must be answered: does God exist?
At a lively IQ2 Debate in Sydney, two teams battled it out on the notion that: ‘Atheists are Wrong.’”

You can see the whole debate here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/storie...331846.htm


Following are my short comments on the debate, I would love to hear from others on this forum of what you thought of the debate and what you would have said, especially in answer to the other side:

I noticed that most, if not all, of the good natured laughs came from the opposition side. That solves the controversy right there! If theism leads to a humorless life of looking desperately for revelations about strange, amorphous, wildly open-to-interpretation ideas such as “grace” and “Love” and “ a hierarchy of values,” as opposed to the facts of reality that’s needed to bring real understanding and meaning to those ideas, then theism’s lack of utilitarian value will be its doom.

I was amused, as I always am, by Peter Jensen’s fallback to “God is Love,” as some kind of evidence that Peter’s god exists. That is nothing but a metaphor. Despite the importance of metaphor in communicating ideas and feelings in both science (from Galileo to Dawkins) and literature (from Homer to Bradbury), for a real gathering of data and facts in an inquiry into reality one must go beyond metaphor. Only the scientific method allows for that, not revelation.

It’s funny, how Scott Stephens “accused” Russell Blackford of being a preacher just because he has a passionate delivery. I suppose Stephens did not want Blackford treadiong on his territory.
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05-10-2011, 03:31 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
Oh Australia... How low will you go?
It diturbs me that time and money is being wasted on an event like this.

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05-10-2011, 04:55 PM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2011 06:04 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
(05-10-2011 03:04 PM)Steven Paul Leiva Wrote:  There was a fascinating debate held a couple of weeks ago in Australia: IQ2 Debate: Atheists Are Wrong.

From the website:

“Having been persecuted as a dangerous minority for centuries, in recent years the champions of atheism have achieved celebrity status around the world.
“Atheists have been quick to point to the evils done in the name of religion and claim their criticism of religion is grounded in science and reason. Their opponents have championed faith as a source of inspiration and as an essential aspect of the human condition.
“However, beyond rhetorical skirmishes, in the end, just one fundamental question must be answered: does God exist?
At a lively IQ2 Debate in Sydney, two teams battled it out on the notion that: ‘Atheists are Wrong.’”

You can see the whole debate here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/storie...331846.htm


Following are my short comments on the debate, I would love to hear from others on this forum of what you thought of the debate and what you would have said, especially in answer to the other side:

I noticed that most, if not all, of the good natured laughs came from the opposition side. That solves the controversy right there! If theism leads to a humorless life of looking desperately for revelations about strange, amorphous, wildly open-to-interpretation ideas such as “grace” and “Love” and “ a hierarchy of values,” as opposed to the facts of reality that’s needed to bring real understanding and meaning to those ideas, then theism’s lack of utilitarian value will be its doom.

I was amused, as I always am, by Peter Jensen’s fallback to “God is Love,” as some kind of evidence that Peter’s god exists. That is nothing but a metaphor. Despite the importance of metaphor in communicating ideas and feelings in both science (from Galileo to Dawkins) and literature (from Homer to Bradbury), for a real gathering of data and facts in an inquiry into reality one must go beyond metaphor. Only the scientific method allows for that, not revelation.

It’s funny, how Scott Stephens “accused” Russell Blackford of being a preacher just because he has a passionate delivery. I suppose Stephens did not want Blackford treadiong on his territory.

A very brief response; I am yet to view the debate.
As for god existing; if the phenomenon exists out of time and space and is unknowable to finite beings then its ineffable virtues-- "perfect goodness" is not of our domain and arguably meaningless to us. As for "god is love" --well that is about as potent as (probably less than) the car sticker "Love is a German Sheppard".

How many centuries were atheists persecuted?
Mass persecutions such as The Crusades and Inquisition involved infidels rather than atheists. In the dark and middle ages the vast majority toed the line or held heretical views rendering them in need of "CORRECTION".

As for intense evil being endemic in these largely pre scientific times, it reflects the ongoing culture, hopes, as well as self ingratiating fear mongering.
In world time modern science has very recently escalated at break neck speed; rather like a baby on steroids, all may not be well and some ethical nurturing required.

The forum you address was reccommended to me some time ago; I believe it is rather good. Cool
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05-10-2011, 07:18 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
(05-10-2011 03:04 PM)Steven Paul Leiva Wrote:  There was a fascinating debate held a couple of weeks ago in Australia: IQ2 Debate: Atheists Are Wrong.

From the website:

“Having been persecuted as a dangerous minority for centuries, in recent years the champions of atheism have achieved celebrity status around the world.
“Atheists have been quick to point to the evils done in the name of religion and claim their criticism of religion is grounded in science and reason. Their opponents have championed faith as a source of inspiration and as an essential aspect of the human condition.
“However, beyond rhetorical skirmishes, in the end, just one fundamental question must be answered: does God exist?
At a lively IQ2 Debate in Sydney, two teams battled it out on the notion that: ‘Atheists are Wrong.’”

You can see the whole debate here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/storie...331846.htm


Following are my short comments on the debate, I would love to hear from others on this forum of what you thought of the debate and what you would have said, especially in answer to the other side:

I noticed that most, if not all, of the good natured laughs came from the opposition side. That solves the controversy right there! If theism leads to a humorless life of looking desperately for revelations about strange, amorphous, wildly open-to-interpretation ideas such as “grace” and “Love” and “ a hierarchy of values,” as opposed to the facts of reality that’s needed to bring real understanding and meaning to those ideas, then theism’s lack of utilitarian value will be its doom.

I was amused, as I always am, by Peter Jensen’s fallback to “God is Love,” as some kind of evidence that Peter’s god exists. That is nothing but a metaphor. Despite the importance of metaphor in communicating ideas and feelings in both science (from Galileo to Dawkins) and literature (from Homer to Bradbury), for a real gathering of data and facts in an inquiry into reality one must go beyond metaphor. Only the scientific method allows for that, not revelation.

It’s funny, how Scott Stephens “accused” Russell Blackford of being a preacher just because he has a passionate delivery. I suppose Stephens did not want Blackford treadiong on his territory.

S.P.,

Thank you for posting this. I've just watched a bit so far (the highlight video isn't available, it seems), but from what I've seen, it's a good discussion, and I'm looking forward to viewing the whole thing. Wish we had more such public debates here in the States. To Australia I say: Good on ya, mates!

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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05-10-2011, 07:31 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
There's been quite a bit about it on the Dawkins site. I have yet to dig in but the commentary there is very interesting.

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05-10-2011, 09:20 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
Hey, Steven.

Thanks for the link! That was really amazing.

As for the good natured laughing, I wouldn't characterise all of it as good natured. I thought a lot of it was based in dismissal and ridicule and I think that that attitude, although I won't go so far as to say that it will be their downfall, is a hindrance to the Atheist cause.

Stephens was a bit of a tool... well... a lot of a tool, but Blackford was so overcome when he finished his speech that he pretty much spat his thank you at the audience (and his glasses acting at the end put Caruso to shame).

I don't think that I appreciated Caro's stand up routine. I thought that she lost a lot of credibility by relying so heavily on parody. But that's me. Jensen was a bit… I don’t have a good word… crotchety? I thought that Rowland and Pataki were the most elegant speakers.

I found it funny near the end that I identified most with the speaker. I felt myself at the podium, as it were, neither championing the Theists nor the Atheists. I thought that all told, it was an excellent and balanced discussion. Hysterics on all sides were kept to a minimum. It was quite thoughtful.

Hey, Defacto.

It's funny that Dawkins would advertise this debate because both sides chewed him up lol.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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05-10-2011, 09:43 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
(05-10-2011 09:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  It's funny that Dawkins would advertise this debate because both sides chewed him up lol.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Why not? He's game.

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06-10-2011, 11:47 AM (This post was last modified: 13-10-2011 09:16 PM by DeepThought.)
 
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
(05-10-2011 04:55 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(05-10-2011 03:04 PM)Steven Paul Leiva Wrote:  There was a fascinating debate held a couple of weeks ago in Australia: IQ2 Debate: Atheists Are Wrong.

From the website:

“Having been persecuted as a dangerous minority for centuries, in recent years the champions of atheism have achieved celebrity status around the world.
“Atheists have been quick to point to the evils done in the name of religion and claim their criticism of religion is grounded in science and reason. Their opponents have championed faith as a source of inspiration and as an essential aspect of the human condition.
“However, beyond rhetorical skirmishes, in the end, just one fundamental question must be answered: does God exist?
At a lively IQ2 Debate in Sydney, two teams battled it out on the notion that: ‘Atheists are Wrong.’”

You can see the whole debate here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/storie...331846.htm


Following are my short comments on the debate, I would love to hear from others on this forum of what you thought of the debate and what you would have said, especially in answer to the other side:

I noticed that most, if not all, of the good natured laughs came from the opposition side. That solves the controversy right there! If theism leads to a humorless life of looking desperately for revelations about strange, amorphous, wildly open-to-interpretation ideas such as “grace” and “Love” and “ a hierarchy of values,” as opposed to the facts of reality that’s needed to bring real understanding and meaning to those ideas, then theism’s lack of utilitarian value will be its doom.

I was amused, as I always am, by Peter Jensen’s fallback to “God is Love,” as some kind of evidence that Peter’s god exists. That is nothing but a metaphor. Despite the importance of metaphor in communicating ideas and feelings in both science (from Galileo to Dawkins) and literature (from Homer to Bradbury), for a real gathering of data and facts in an inquiry into reality one must go beyond metaphor. Only the scientific method allows for that, not revelation.

It’s funny, how Scott Stephens “accused” Russell Blackford of being a preacher just because he has a passionate delivery. I suppose Stephens did not want Blackford treadiong on his territory.

A very brief response; I am yet to view the debate.
As for god existing; if the phenomenon exists out of time and space and is unknowable to finite beings then its ineffable virtues-- "perfect goodness" is not of our domain and arguably meaningless to us. As for "god is love" --well that is about as potent as (probably less than) the car sticker "Love is a German Sheppard".

How many centuries were atheists persecuted?
Mass persecutions such as The Crusades and Inquisition involved infidels rather than atheists. In the dark and middle ages the vast majority toed the line or held heretical views rendering them in need of "CORRECTION".

As for intense evil being endemic in these largely pre scientific times, it reflects the ongoing culture, hopes, as well as self ingratiating fear mongering.
In world time modern science has very recently escalated at break neck speed; rather like a baby on steroids, all may not be well and some ethical nurturing required.

The forum you address was reccommended to me some time ago; I believe it is rather good. Cool
As for "god is love" --well that is about as potent as (probably less than) the car sticker "Love is a German Sheppard".

Well said, Mr. Woof!


As for "god is love" --well that is about as potent as (probably less than) the car sticker "Love is a German Sheppard".


Well said, Mr. Woof!
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06-10-2011, 03:41 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
Thank you for posting this. I was very disappointed by the trite arguments presented by the theists in the panel. Basically, as usual, they boiled down to 2 categories:
a) God exists because atheists don't know how ... (insert favorite phenomenon. Anything from the Big Bang to moral good) happened.
b) Life would be so dismal if god didn't exist.

I was also disappointed that the atheist group didn't adequately address them in the most direct and obvious way, which is
a) I'd rather say I don't know something than invent an explanation for it.
b) Christmas would be so dismal if Santa Claus didn't exist...

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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06-10-2011, 04:48 PM
RE: "Are Atheist Wrong" -- a fascinating debate in Australia
Just started watching and I will start making notes as I watch.

1.We should believe in god cause he believes in us. He backs this statement with "God entered his world"(JC and Earth) He states how he knows this is true by saying the bible says so.

We are off to a great start...

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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