Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
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19-05-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
There was something that always bugged me about Richard Dawkins.

I recognize that he is an incredibly intelligent person and I agree with all he has to say; damn it, I even came to most of the same conclusions before I had even read the God Delusion but there is something about his attitude that breaks my vibe.

In his interviews and public appearances he treats religious people like they are worse than garbage.

I understand that religious people contribute almost nothing to the collective maturity of the human race but they are people nonetheless. I find his nihilist attitudes and character assassinations abysmal.

I hate religion and I'll say anything to deconstruct it and dismantle it. I'll even resort to swearing. But I could never target another person just because he or she is religious.

My two (weirdly illustrated) cents. Undecided
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19-05-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Video RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
It's been awhile since I've watched Dawkins interview a member of the religious community. However, from what I can recall while he was direct in his questions as to the merits of religion, if he was interviewing someone who was religious, I don't recall he was crass or insulting. Perhaps I've just not seen enough of his work so as to have seen that.

This was a very interesting meeting, I thought. And I don't recall Dawkins being disrespectful or nihilistic in this interview with Bishop Harries of Oxford.
(Full Video Link)
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19-05-2011, 11:02 AM
 
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
(19-05-2011 10:47 AM)GassyKitten Wrote:  This was a very interesting meeting, I thought. And I don't recall Dawkins being disrespectful or nihilistic in this interview with Bishop Harries of Oxford.
(Full Video Link)

Thank you very much for the video. I'm only like 7mins in at this point and I haven't seen it all yet but I just wanted to let you know that this is a side of Richard that I've not seen before. He is exactly the opposite of the mental representation that I'd formed for him.

Give me until about same time tomorrow to find some of the interviews or citations of what I was talking about. I don't like accusing people without evidence. Blush
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19-05-2011, 01:08 PM
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
Dawkins isn't really inhuman towards religious people. He just hates people that use bad logic to make their point. He's man of science, which means he wants proof for everything. That's the exact opposite of a religious person who thinks something is true, regardless of facts, sources or scientific backing.

It's just like a math teacher that would freak out when someone would state pi=3, because it is written in a holy book.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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20-05-2011, 05:19 AM
 
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
When I first read "Devil's Chaplain", I was disgusted of Richard D.'s apparent apathetic stoicism towards his creatard counterparts. My philosophy of life had always leaned towards that of existentialism and Richard D.'s stoic views were contradicting not only to my philosophy but also to the very blocks that constituted my existence. But until now, I had failed to realize on thing...

My ex (also called Richard >_>) was the one that initially introduced me to Richard D. and he had altered many of what Richard D. had said. Fine pieces of information that had not the ability to change the content but they could easily change the emotive meaning when taken out of context.

When finally getting to read Devil's Chaplain (I had already broken up by that point), the only phrases of Richard D.'s that resonated in me were the ones that my ex had illustrated under his own impressions and perceptions. I think that disgust was an inevitability. I could not focus on what was presented to me but rather on what my psychodynamics thought was there. I would focus on the philosophical differences between me and my ex rather than those between me and Richard D.

My ex tried to make me believe that reverence, spirituality and religion were the same thing and thus that I was misguided. Having identified myself with the late and reverent Carl Sagan, Richard D.'s words who have been first maliciously cited by my ex made me question my philosophy. It was easier to see fault in a person that I had never identified with rather than with a person that with whom I've been together for so long. After that, all Richard D. would say or write would sound as inhuman to me, because that was the way I was treated by my ex.

GK forced me to watch a video that initially i had no desire to watch. I did not want my opinion to be challenged. I was seeking reassuring and compliance. But, most of the time we do not get what we ask for; prayer does not work and neither does wishing pixie dust. While watching the video, I could not understand or believe that Richard D. was the person I was actually observing. He was so not what I had in mind. It did not make sense... Until it did.

I searched the net for the interviews I remembered I did not like. I re-read some chapter's of the Devil's Champlain that I remembered I disliked. I could find nothing that I disagreed with or I did not like.

I was wrong. Sad



PS. thank you GK.
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20-05-2011, 09:45 AM
 
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
(20-05-2011 05:19 AM)Celestus87 Wrote:  PS. thank you GK.
(HUGS) You're very welcome. Smile
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20-05-2011, 03:34 PM
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
It's hard to maintain one's respect for people who believe complete silliness. Would you be able to be respectful toward a flat-earther? How do you feel about the dumb asses who thin the Rapture is coming May 21st? Dawkins has had to go against a lot of fundamentalists. I can't even think what kind of mail he receives from religious people. After a while, I am sure even a saint would run out of patience.

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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20-05-2011, 03:59 PM
 
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
(20-05-2011 03:34 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  It's hard to maintain one's respect for people who believe complete silliness. Would you be able to be respectful toward a flat-earther? How do you feel about the dumb asses who thin the Rapture is coming May 21st? Dawkins has had to go against a lot of fundamentalists. I can't even think what kind of mail he receives from religious people. After a while, I am sure even a saint would run out of patience.

With regard to the flat earther you speak of, I'd ask them how they came to believe that and then I'd ask them to show me scientific proof it's true. I show respect to people and give them the benefit of the doubt they deserve it at first meeting with them, because I respect myself.
When someone shows me they don't deserve respect I comport myself with that same sense of self-respect and manners, because I am who I am and if someone doesn't deserve respect it doesn't mean I need act the ass to show them I think they're one too. It then makes us both look bad and in essence provides an example that I don't have any cause to call anyone a name, when I act in a manner that can garner one for myself.

When we use to raise black Egyptian pygmy goats some years ago and black Angus before that, we bought our feed and hay from the local Amish who had a feed store.
It varies in the communities, but for the most part they believe in flat earth. They believe the planets and the sun are discs. And that the stories about them being elliptical (or round as they would see it said) is a myth the English tell.

When I'd go to pick up supplies, I had political bumper stickers on the back of my truck, just so as to be entertaining in heavy traffic and with the hopes of giving someone who may be a ultra-right wing conservative, a new outlook on life as they read the butt of my truck.
Without fail, when the kids were returning from their Amish school, where they attend until the 6th grade and then are graduated, they'd all mill about the back of my truck and read and point. It was so cute. Opening young minds? One never knows.
They had a huge black Percheron stallion they kept in a very small paddock to the side of the feed store, where he had an even smaller coral to exercise in. I use to bring him carrots when I'd go shopping for supplies, and he'd let me pet him while he ate to his hearts content.
The Amish see animals not as sentient petable beings, but as equipment to serve their needs on the farm. So neither he nor the other animals received a lot of love and attention. The kids, when they'd see the huge bag of carrots come out, would wander over slowly at first, maybe one or two at the beginning. And then more, as I shared the carrots and we all fed Black together. Even the very youngest who was 3, dressed in traditional style with her particular dress color denoting her status in the community and her little bonnet. So cute. We'd all be standing there feeding this huge horse and they'd talk amongst themselves on occasion but in Dutch and they'd even venture to talk to me in English.

When their grandmother or mom would see us, out the back door of the house that was beside the coral, they'd not call the kids away. They'd simply go back into the house or watch with smiles on their face as this big black horse was fed carrots and stroked and talked to by us, probably for the first time since the last time I'd visited.

I figured, maybe in those moments when we all came together, they with their fabled beliefs and very simple life, and me with my own that would not entertain theirs as a personal choice at all, we made a community of people. Rather than faith's opposed. I influenced them perhaps, in the reading of my stickers and in the natural friendliness and sharing I afforded with conversation and carrots and compassion for their own animals. Even the dog's and the many cat's, who sustained themselves almost solely on the rat's and mice they caught in the barns.

I don't respect Theism, as I think it distracts the mind from honoring the self. However, I don't disrespect Theists just because they are so. I believe respect is earned and until someone does earn it with me, I respect myself enough to give them the benefit of the doubt they're owed respect on credit. I think Dawkins may see it that way as well, though at times one can hear his contempt for myths lived as if they're real and lives depend upon it. But that's called, being human.

And after all, we all pretty much know Theists would probably be no different toward him, if they weren't on camera being interviewed, where their image and likeness was there to be judged as representatives of the prince of peace. I think Dawkins showed respect by those he interviews because he gives respect in being cordial while engaged in debate or an interview. That doesn't mean he has to respect the Theists philosophy. There is a difference. And isn't that what makes the two camps interesting, in the first place?
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20-05-2011, 05:11 PM
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
Yes the benefit of the doubt...
Dawkins has spent years writing books and speaking publicly on why religion is irrational and often simply plain wrong, and people still continue to ignore all the rational arguments. After people have been explained over and over about evolution, or how the flood could never have occurred, or about the age of the earth, and still people continue to hold on to these beliefs, and even clamor to have them taught in school, I don't think the benefit of the doubt applies any more.
I think you and I don't get it because we don't know what it must be like to dedicate a sizable portion of your life to this subject and repeating the same arguments over and over, and still being confronted with the same irrational attitude. I think if you did that on a daily basis your patience would run out too.

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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23-05-2011, 08:17 AM
 
RE: Richard Dawkins - Inhuman Humanitarian?
I don't think RD treats people like garbage. I think he's frustrated by the slowness of humanity in seeing the light. He never created an army to wipe out an entire city, he never burned a woman at the stake, he never robbed any one of their life savings.

He's straight forward and personable.

I don't know what happened over at the Richard Dawkins forum. I'm guessing there were enough religious hackers breaking into the site, and enough non-religious people being demoralized that he just shut the site down. I don't know, I'm speculating.

I don't think in-fighting is going to help our cause. We all need to stick together and support each other like the religious nuts do.
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