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01-10-2013, 08:28 AM
Hello
Hello all,

If I had to categorise myself it would be as a scientific realist in the flavour of Mario Bunge. I oscillate between negative and positive atheism but I think it is better to have a worldview that is consistent with atheism rather than to be an atheist simpliciter, if indeed there can be such a thing.

I am a genuine iconocalst so I have little regard for Richard Dawkins as a biologist or a philosopher. Contrary to popular belief Dawkins did not originate the concept of the selfish gene nor did he create the atheistic arguments in his books. Dawkins is nothing more than a populariser of other peoples' ideas. To anyone with only first year biology and second year philosophy Dawkins is a catalogue of banality--well-articulated banality, but banality nevertheless.

FWIW I was once a Christian. In this context it is not possible to list your qualifications without sounding like a braggard or poseur or attempting to present argument merely from authority so I'll just let my posts speak for themselves.
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02-10-2013, 08:14 AM (This post was last modified: 02-10-2013 08:23 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Hello
Welcome, Chippy.

I find you avatar really disturbing. Just saying.

You've made a few assertions above which could do with a reference or two. Specifically... who did originate the concept of the selfish gene?

Similarly, I'm no idolater but I reckon that 'popularising' is no mean feat so credit for that, at least.

But then, I didn't get as far as any year biology or any year philosophy so what do I know?

I'm looking forward to some edumacation from your speaking posts.

Welcome again (and what did you do to piss off Bucky so soon?)

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02-10-2013, 08:22 AM
RE: Hello
Hi Chippy,

Welcome aboard.

Looking forward to your posts.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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02-10-2013, 09:46 AM
RE: Hello
(02-10-2013 08:14 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome, Chippy.

I find you avatar really disturbing. Just saying.

You've made a few assertions above which could do with a reference or two. Specifically... who did originate the concept of the selfish gene?

Similarly, I'm no idolater but I reckon that 'popularising' is no mean feat so credit for that, at least.

But then, I didn't get as far as any year biology or any year philosophy so what do I know?

I'm looking forward to some edumacation from your speaking posts.

Welcome again (and what did you do to piss off Bucky so soon?)

The avatar is "Chippy" from Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, great job.

The two main figures behind the idea of the "selfish gene" (aka gene-centric view of evolution) were G.C Williams and W.D. Hamilton. See also this and this.

Dawkins central argument in The God Delusion--namely that a creator must be at least as complicated as its creation--is from philosopher J. J. C. Smart (I can't cite the paper off the top of my head but I can find it later if you want it) and the others arguments are just standard fair found in all introductory textbooks and reading compilations in the philosophy of religion. Without exaggeration The God Delusion is no better than an undergraduate essay but because it credits no sources it is in that sense worse than an undergraduate essay.

"[A]nd what did you do to piss off Bucky so soon?"
Contradict him.
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02-10-2013, 10:00 AM (This post was last modified: 02-10-2013 10:59 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Hello
And just how many multi-million copy best sellers can he claim ?
None.
Dawkins never claimed his arguments were original.
His name and popularity sold books, and spread the message.
Some unpublished people can't stand the success of others.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyath...been-sold/

He told me/insisted I was making an argument regarding "Abrahamic" religions I was was not making. In order to *be* an "Abrahamic" religion, it has to embrace Abraham's deity. It's childsplay to demonstrate the origins of the deity in Islam was not, and could not, be Yahweh.

It is possible he has succeeded in the remarkable accomplishment of shutting up I and I and absuls, which none of us could accomplish.
I will credit him with that, if it's true.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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02-10-2013, 10:05 AM
RE: Hello
(01-10-2013 08:28 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I am a genuine iconocalst so I have little regard for Richard Dawkins as a biologist or a philosopher. Contrary to popular belief Dawkins did not originate the concept of the selfish gene nor did he create the atheistic arguments in his books. Dawkins is nothing more than a populariser of other peoples' ideas. To anyone with only first year biology and second year philosophy Dawkins is a catalogue of banality--well-articulated banality, but banality nevertheless.

That doesn't seem a particularly useful view.

Dawkins never claims to present original material. One might say Carl Sagan was nothing more than a populariser of other peoples' ideas. Cosmos: well-articulated banality?

To an audience that doesn't have a couple of years' study at a university level (so, most people), the content is then not banal...

... this is my signature!
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02-10-2013, 10:54 AM
RE: Hello
Welcome to the forum. Interesting that your first posts are about your disdain of Dawkins though. Just curious, why do seem to dislike him? Is it that you just hate that some people idolize him? I'm not saying he is worthy or idolization, just want to know why you came out swinging at him? As cjlr said he has brought some things into the mind of the public, just like Sagan did before him, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku after him. I certainly see those things as positive.

Look forward to hearing more.

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02-10-2013, 11:04 AM
RE: Hello
(02-10-2013 09:46 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(02-10-2013 08:14 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome, Chippy.

I find you avatar really disturbing. Just saying.

You've made a few assertions above which could do with a reference or two. Specifically... who did originate the concept of the selfish gene?

Similarly, I'm no idolater but I reckon that 'popularising' is no mean feat so credit for that, at least.

But then, I didn't get as far as any year biology or any year philosophy so what do I know?

I'm looking forward to some edumacation from your speaking posts.

Welcome again (and what did you do to piss off Bucky so soon?)

The avatar is "Chippy" from Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, great job.

The two main figures behind the idea of the "selfish gene" (aka gene-centric view of evolution) were G.C Williams and W.D. Hamilton. See also this and this.

Dawkins central argument in The God Delusion--namely that a creator must be at least as complicated as its creation--is from philosopher J. J. C. Smart (I can't cite the paper off the top of my head but I can find it later if you want it) and the others arguments are just standard fair found in all introductory textbooks and reading compilations in the philosophy of religion. Without exaggeration The God Delusion is no better than an undergraduate essay but because it credits no sources it is in that sense worse than an undergraduate essay.

"[A]nd what did you do to piss off Bucky so soon?"
Contradict him.

Hamilton and Dawkins were friends and colleagues. Dawkins acknowledges Hamilton profusely in his works.

Dawkins wrote Hamilton's obituary and arranged his memorial service.

Dawkins' strengths include original research and a remarkable talent for clearly explaining evolutionary theory and its implications in books and in lectures.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-10-2013, 11:09 AM
RE: Hello
Hi Chippy!

Catchy name and avatar.
Interesting intro and posts.

Welcome to TTA!
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02-10-2013, 12:50 PM
RE: Hello
(02-10-2013 10:54 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  Welcome to the forum. Interesting that your first posts are about your disdain of Dawkins though. Just curious, why do seem to dislike him? Is it that you just hate that some people idolize him? I'm not saying he is worthy or idolization, just want to know why you came out swinging at him? As cjlr said he has brought some things into the mind of the public, just like Sagan did before him, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku after him. I certainly see those things as positive.

Look forward to hearing more.

Fuck I'm tired so forgive any absols. I don't like Dawkins because he is idolised as you correctly suspected and because he is a faux philosopher. The God Delusion isn't a work of science, its a set of undergraduate philosophy essays that would at best each receive a credit and possibly a fail on the grounds of failing to cite sources. And what about the preface (?) he wrote for Krauss' The Universe from Nothing (another book that merely popularises others' ideas). Dawkins wrote something along the lines that it will do for cosmology what the Origin of Species did for biology. No it won't because the central idea in Krauss' book is neither new or original. His preface for The Moral Landscape was equally hyperbolic. But he resorts to the hyperbole because he knows that most of his ignorant idolators will just consume his table scraps without question. I think the South Park episode on Dawkins was perceptive. The implicit idea which Dawkins promotes--and which SP lampooned--is the misguided notion that we'll have societal and world perfection if everyone was an atheist. That is just peurile nonsense. Neither WWII, Vietnam, Korea or the Cold War had anything to do with religion. Political ideology is sufficient to get humans to kill, maim and demonize each other. Would the world be better without Wahhabist jihadis and Ultra-Orthodox Zionist Jews? Yes but I don't see what problems the Eastern Orthodox Christians, the Mormons, the liberal/reformed Jews and the moderate muslims are causing such that they need to be urgently disabused of their cherished beliefs. Further does it matter whether an ignorant conformist is religious or atheistic? I don't think so. The ignorant conformists is a problem of process rather than of content. The ignorant conformist will vote against such things as decriminalisation of drugs on the basis of scare campaigns mounted by conservatives rather than think the issues through and decide the matter on the basis of cool rationality and adherence to principles. I don't think making an atheist of the said hypothetical person will make a better citizen of him.

What about all the people that reject religion but enthusiastically embrace all sorts of other shit like The Secret, What the [bleep] do we know? and similar shit such as this? What about pseudoscience? Conspiracy theories? Even if you wiped religion of the face of the earth look at all the other shit that people will adopt to fill the void. Is some dickhead that believes "the Universe" wants him to sell Amway products really a better citizen than pious Christian? I'd rather have the pious Christian than some slithering MLM narcissist that believes "the Universe" will help him sell more dishwashing liquid.

Dawkins has ironically made himself into a messianic figure with a promised land that he will take us too if we would only just listen to him. That is the subtext of his diatribes and what SP picked up on. That is also what annoys me. I suppose I also don't like his idolators, those fawning imbeciles that inhabit his forum. Does he really need a forum as if there is a Dawkinsism that needs to be thrashed out or his texts demand an exegesis and a place to share the fruits of the exegesis? There are fora dedicated to evolutionary biology so the raison d'etre of his forum is a mystery unless you can admit that he has indeed cast himself into a messianic figure.

I'm rambling, I'm tired I think you get where I'm coming from.
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