The Thread Formerly Known As Knocking Dawkins
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25-08-2012, 03:55 PM
RE: Knocking Dawkins
I really wanted to love The God Delusion but couldn't. While hardly poo, it was disappointingly inconsistent: some sections were well done, others were shallow and unconvincing. And at times the tone was unnecessarily snarky. (Example: Dawkins quotes the author of the "Rapture Ready" website--a piece of nonsense obviously ripe for lampooning--who says, "If the rapture should take place, resulting in my absence, it will become necessary for tribulation saints to mirror or financially support this site." Dawkins adds an asterisk and a footnote: "You may not know the meaning of 'tribulation saints' in this sentence. Don't bother: you have better things to do." That's actually more demeaning to his readers than to his target.)

That said, I'm glad Dawkins wrote the book.

There's this old story about the man in the park who's playing chess with his dog. The man makes his move; the dog concentrates hard, taking a long time to assess the position, then laboriously picks up a piece with both paws and moves it to another square on the board. A passerby sees what's happening and is astonished. He says to the man, "That must be the smartest dog in the world!" The man answers, "Smart? Whaddaya mean smart? I beat him four out of five games!"

The point, obviously, is not that the dog is playing well but that he's playing at all.

The important thing about Dawkins is that as one of the world's most brilliant and respected scientists, he's taking up the banner of reason and putting himself out there. He's a role model to a lot of young people who have been told that atheists are immoral degenerates who live under bridges. He's demonstrating that you don't have to believe in fairy tales to be happy and decent and accomplish great things. I wish TGD were better, but for those new to non-belief who have been inspired by it, it's good enough.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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25-08-2012, 05:08 PM
RE: Knocking Dawkins
(25-08-2012 10:16 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Woof.

Odd. I thought it was pretty clear. He's great at biology and shit at social science. His academic skill is restricted to biology. He talks out of his ass when he discusses social science. Any serious social scientist looks at his ideas and laughs. It's like he writes his books in crayon.

He's an asshole to people. Another body part, I know, but pretty evocative no? Cool

You know, I don't actually know a thing about Skinner's public activity, I only know him for his theories... Which are brilliant and widely accepted; unlike Dakwins' ideas. I would be shocked, utterly shocked, if an undergraduate program taught "The God Delusion" but not at all shocked if one taight "The Selfish Gene". One is a staggering work of genius, the other is poo.


Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
And never the twain shall meet?

I would see The God Delusion as quite fitting at undergrad level, perhaps as a precursor to religious philosophy, which, on some campuses maligns the concept by trying to simply push Christianity. Smartass
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26-08-2012, 07:14 AM
RE: Knocking Dawkins
Hey, Chas.

I already have. You just haven't accepted them. It doesn't stand up to even cursory scrutiny. I'm not saying the prose is weak, I'm saying that it's bad social science.

Hey, Celt.

I don't care what you buy or don't buy.

Just because you say it's not poor doesn't overcome its academic poverty.

A biology book that denies evolution and says that God created everything 6 000 years ago is poo. The God Delusion is poo for analagous reasons.

If people want to say it's good because it's good, go right ahead. I know my job and so do other social scientists and I know a hack job when I see it. And it's not even a matter of taking my word for it. If you show the Selfish Gene to a biologist, they'll be like, "Yup. Brilliant." If you show the God Delusion to a social scientist, they'll be like, "Uh, not so much."

Hey, Cufflink.

He is a brilliant scientist and deserves all of his accolades in that domain. My issue is that the trust for the God Delusion stems from his reputation, not the validity of the book. That's not acceptable.

Hey, Woof.

They don't teach demonstrably false books in ugrad, regardless of their popularity... One would hope.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-08-2012, 09:52 AM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2012 12:06 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: Knocking Dawkins
(26-08-2012 07:14 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

I already have. You just haven't accepted them. It doesn't stand up to even cursory scrutiny. I'm not saying the prose is weak, I'm saying that it's bad social science.

Hey, Celt.

I don't care what you buy or don't buy.

Just because you say it's not poor doesn't overcome its academic poverty.

A biology book that denies evolution and says that God created everything 6 000 years ago is poo. The God Delusion is poo for analogous reasons.

If people want to say it's good because it's good, go right ahead. I know my job and so do other social scientists and I know a hack job when I see it. And it's not even a matter of taking my word for it. If you show the Selfish Gene to a biologist, they'll be like, "Yup. Brilliant." If you show the God Delusion to a social scientist, they'll be like, "Uh, not so much."

Hey, Cufflink.

He is a brilliant scientist and deserves all of his accolades in that domain. My issue is that the trust for the God Delusion stems from his reputation, not the validity of the book. That's not acceptable.

Hey, Woof.

They don't teach demonstrably false books in ugrad, regardless of their popularity... One would hope.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

What I see you as doing here is being ironic and/or being audacious, and as a part of that, it seems like you might be trying to call into question Dawkins intellectual capabilities.

I really can't tell, but at this point, it looks like, by saying that he is such a great biologist but shit at social sciences, what you are really trying to say is that he might have studied really hard to understand biology and the evolutionary process, and be able to explain them well, but he isn't a very intelligent guy overall and this shows in his attempts to understand people and society.

To me, it seems that he wouldn't have written a book, and done other related things, without first trying to study and understand the related topics, ideas and arguments, in order to develop his own ideas, or reference other people's, in those endeavors. He might not be the expert, but I'm sure he wasn't ignorant to the popular arguments and ideas. Either way, it would still boil down to you calling him unintelligent, for his inability to comprehend or understand those fields, and/or unwise, for claiming to know or understand topics when that wasn't the case, instead of correctly referencing others.

You could call me on some sandman shit when it comes to Dawkins ideas. I've watched some of his documentaries and debates, when I've gotten bored, but I don't read his books and haven't paid close attention to his arguments. So, it would be nice if you could bring some of what you are talking about to light for me.

I guess you could very quickly give one or two examples of his "poo social science" with quick explanations as to why they are "poo". You could, also, just admit to questioning his intelligence or being an apologist. Any one of those work for me.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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26-08-2012, 10:03 AM
Knocking Dawkins
I sure did get a lot of personal help and insight from that book of poo. Jes sayin. Drinking Beverage

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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26-08-2012, 12:20 PM
RE: Knocking Dawkins
Hey, Truly.

That doesn't resemble what I'm saying at all... And it doesn't really make logical sense either.

Quote:To me, it seems that he wouldn't have written a book, and done other related things, without first trying to study and understand the related topics, ideas and arguments, in order to develop his own ideas, or reference other people's, in those endeavors. He might not be the expert, but I'm sure he wasn't ignorant to the popular arguments and ideas.

Would it not be wiser to verify whether he did or not rather than just assume that he did?

Quote:You could, also, just admit to questioning his intelligence or being an apologist.

This, to me, is infinitely curious. I have not questioned his intelligence as you allege and I've made no comment that even suggests that. Furthermore, the idea that I'm questioning his intelligence makes no logical sense whatsoever in light of the things that I have said about him. Secondly, what the fuck does being an apologist have to do with anything even remotely involved in this case? That's such a leap from reason to lala land that I don't even know where to begin. I am a social scientist. We use things like data and experimentation and peer review to build and refine understandings of the mechanics of humans, human interaction and societies and we don't appreciate it when people talk out of their ass as Dawkins did. Pointing out the fact that his kung fu is weak makes me an apologist how? Really. I'm waiting in stunned anticipation for your response to that one.

Hey, Erxomai.

Billions of people have devoured servings of McDonald's. Doesn't mean it's good for you Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-08-2012, 01:30 PM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2012 01:33 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: Knocking Dawkins
(26-08-2012 12:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Would it not be wiser to verify whether he did or not rather than just assume that he did?

I didn't assume he did. Huh

That's usually what people do when they write books; I was only pointing that out, and nothing more.

Now it seems like you are doubling down and questioning his ethics as a writer. Wink

Quote:This, to me, is infinitely curious. I have not questioned his intelligence as you allege and I've made no comment that even suggests that. Furthermore, the idea that I'm questioning his intelligence makes no logical sense whatsoever in light of the things that I have said about him. Secondly, what the fuck does being an apologist have to do with anything even remotely involved in this case? That's such a leap from reason to lala land that I don't even know where to begin. I am a social scientist. We use things like data and experimentation and peer review to build and refine understandings of the mechanics of humans, human interaction and societies and we don't appreciate it when people talk out of their ass as Dawkins did. Pointing out the fact that his kung fu is weak makes me an apologist how? Really. I'm waiting in stunned anticipation for your response to that one.

Sorry I left the emotion out of it (Big Grin), but that was a joke. I wasn't expecting you to take it to heart and get offended. I didn't think it would have been taken that seriously. In your opinion, as a social scientist, would it say anything about a person if they took a joke, that was such a small part of larger question, to heart?

Quote:I guess you could very quickly give one or two examples of his "poo social science" with quick explanations as to why they are "poo".

That was the serious part of the post. I just didn't understand what specifically, as a social science person, caught your attention as being "poo".

I've heard and seen people criticizing Dawkins before, not all of which I was in agreement with, and I just wanted to know where you were at. Some of the people criticizing his views tended to favor the religious, hence the apologist joke, and their arguments against him mostly seemed as if they were attempting to reconcile their positive views on religion more so than they actually attempted to make good, constructive arguments against his claims.

I personally wouldn't consider Dawkins one of the most intelligent; he's definitely not Christopher Hitchens. I though it was a possibility that you were just using your statements as a funny way of saying we could do better than Richard Dawkins when it comes to leaders for atheism, but I was only questioning, not accusing. I'm sorry if you felt my questioning was too forceful and came off the wrong way.

Regardless, that was all part of a larger question, and effort, to understand what you were referring too. I wasn't the only one saying you needed to do a little more than just call it "poo"; I just needed and small example of the "poo". "It doesn't stand up to even cursory scrutiny" could or could not be a true statement. Like I said, some of the things I've seen included scrutiny that I found a lot more faulty than what Dawkins was putting out, and other scrutiny that seemed to not understand Dawkins views very well.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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26-08-2012, 02:06 PM
RE: Knocking Dawkins
(26-08-2012 12:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Erxomai.

Billions of people have devoured servings of McDonald's. Doesn't mean it's good for you Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hey, I didn't think it was possible, but you've finally offended me by making a ludicrous comparison between my intellect and my stomach. Thumbsup

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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26-08-2012, 02:25 PM
RE: Knocking Dawkins
(26-08-2012 02:06 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(26-08-2012 12:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Erxomai.

Billions of people have devoured servings of McDonald's. Doesn't mean it's good for you Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hey, I didn't think it was possible, but you've finally offended me by making a ludicrous comparison between my intellect and my stomach. Thumbsup

And comparing Dawkin's intelligence to the quality of food from Mcdonalds. Drinking Beverage

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26-08-2012, 02:29 PM
Knocking Dawkins
(26-08-2012 02:25 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(26-08-2012 02:06 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Hey, I didn't think it was possible, but you've finally offended me by making a ludicrous comparison between my intellect and my stomach. Thumbsup

And comparing Dawkin's intelligence to the quality of food from Mcdonalds. Drinking Beverage

Well that doesn't bother me personally as much as essentially having my enjoyment of what I found to be a significant book being compared to my consumption of fast food. Confused

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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