Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
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19-11-2016, 02:06 AM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2016 02:10 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
*sigh*

I'm just going to point out that you seem to have forgotten that I very recently wrote about all the major discoveries made, in my field alone, by Christians who are evolutionary biologists. My own wife is both of those things. It's a little strange for me to hear you say it is an atheism thing. It's not. It's a reality thing; atheists simply don't have a precursor ideology that precludes us from accepting reality, as it is presently understood by the competition method.

I have asked numerous Creationists on here, "Why is it that there are Christians at the top echelons of evolutionary biology, astrophysics, et cetera, but zero atheists who are Creationists? Why would Hindu evolutionary biologists, Christian ones, and atheists (not to mention scientists from conflicting nationalist loyalties) all come to the same conclusions if there is not a good reason to accept this information as well-founded and/or demonstrably true?"

That is the "competition" element I was discussing, before. Science proves nothing. It only falsifies. It requires falsifiability, and anyone can do it.

Sagan made many excellent points about the problems with the "white tower academic" (not his words) aspect of much of the scientific community, and became famous by emphasizing that anyone who can learn sports statistics or the stock market could learn this. They are encouraged to do so (at least, ideally). They are encouraged to be skeptical and challenge all assumptions, and to learn any aspect of it for themselves, if they wish. The dangers of the populace being uneducated about science was a warning, by Sagan, not of people blindly accepting it as true, but about people not learning it at all.

As for the conspiracy theory horseshit about Dawkins never being a "thing" until the War on Terror started, I'd say that he has been "a thing" since 1976 (the year I was born), when he published The Selfish Gene. However, the main spokesman for science was Carl Sagan until his death in 1996. Various people stepped into that gap, and Dawkins managed to make a bit of a name for himself with his "I will not show deference to your superstitions any more" style.

Dawkins hasn't changed anything, as far as I am aware, other than to make a splash with the title of The God Delusion, which offended a great many people who don't like their ideas about invisible fire-breathing dragons in the garage (an analogy actually made by Carl Sagan, which I'm throwing in here to show you that Dawkins is hardly unique in his lampooning of religious nonsense) challenged.

In contrast to your point, Dawkins has been steadily writing popular books about science (and against Creationism) for decades:

The Selfish Gene 1976
The Extended Phenotype 1982
The Blind Watchmaker 1986
River Out of Eden 1995
Climbing Mount Improbable 1996
Unweaving the Rainbow 1998
A Devil's Chaplain 2003
The Ancestor's Tale 2004
The God Delusion 2006
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution 2009
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True 2011
An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist 2013
Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science 2015

I haven't read the last two, but I see that the most recent book appears to be a tribute to Sagan's swansong, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

In any case, I'd like you to peruse that list of unceasing publication and tell me at what point Dawkins decided to distract us from the War on Terror by "spreading hatred and bigotry".

I'm not a big fan of his, but I don't think that's what he's doing at all. It's what I hear Christians (endlessly!!) saying that he's doing, but I would expect them to say that of anyone who challenged their cherished doctrine of the invisible dragon in the garage with such force and eloquence.

[Edited for Grammar.]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-11-2016, 03:07 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
As an aside, I'd like to say that to the members of the forum who have not read The Demon-Haunted World, I highly, highly recommend you read his brief essay, "The Dragon in my Garage", linked above (and I will link it again here). I rejected my Southern Baptist Christianity when I was 17, in 1994, and read this book a couple of years later, in college. I did not start actively calling myself an atheist until I had almost graduated college, at the age of 22... but because of Sagan I did occasionally refer to myself as an "adragonist" because of this shrewd example of how and why I left the faith despite the overwhelming social pressure from family and my immediate (deeeep south!) society. Among other things, I recognized that their "evidence" claims were nothing of the sort.

But I mention it now because of the concluding sentences:

Such "evidence"--no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it--is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

http://www.users.qwest.net/~jcosta3/article_dragon.htm

Sagan was the first author with whom I am familiar who clearly referred to the force of religious culture as a mass delusion, long before Dawkins did. Dawkins was simply more overt and visible about it.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-11-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(19-11-2016 02:06 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  *sigh*

I'm just going to point out that you seem to have forgotten that I very recently wrote about all the major discoveries made, in my field alone, by Christians who are evolutionary biologists. My own wife is both of those things. It's a little strange for me to hear you say it is an atheism thing. It's not. It's a reality thing; atheists simply don't have a precursor ideology that precludes us from accepting reality, as it is presently understood by the competition method.

I have asked numerous Creationists on here, "Why is it that there are Christians at the top echelons of evolutionary biology, astrophysics, et cetera, but zero atheists who are Creationists? Why would Hindu evolutionary biologists, Christian ones, and atheists (not to mention scientists from conflicting nationalist loyalties) all come to the same conclusions if there is not a good reason to accept this information as well-founded and/or demonstrably true?"

That is the "competition" element I was discussing, before. Science proves nothing. It only falsifies. It requires falsifiability, and anyone can do it.

Sagan made many excellent points about the problems with the "white tower academic" (not his words) aspect of much of the scientific community, and became famous by emphasizing that anyone who can learn sports statistics or the stock market could learn this. They are encouraged to do so (at least, ideally). They are encouraged to be skeptical and challenge all assumptions, and to learn any aspect of it for themselves, if they wish. The dangers of the populace being uneducated about science was a warning, by Sagan, not of people blindly accepting it as true, but about people not learning it at all.

As for the conspiracy theory horseshit about Dawkins never being a "thing" until the War on Terror started, I'd say that he has been "a thing" since 1976 (the year I was born), when he published The Selfish Gene. However, the main spokesman for science was Carl Sagan until his death in 1996. Various people stepped into that gap, and Dawkins managed to make a bit of a name for himself with his "I will not show deference to your superstitions any more" style.

Dawkins hasn't changed anything, as far as I am aware, other than to make a splash with the title of The God Delusion, which offended a great many people who don't like their ideas about invisible fire-breathing dragons in the garage (an analogy actually made by Carl Sagan, which I'm throwing in here to show you that Dawkins is hardly unique in his lampooning of religious nonsense) challenged.

In contrast to your point, Dawkins has been steadily writing popular books about science (and against Creationism) for decades:

The Selfish Gene 1976
The Extended Phenotype 1982
The Blind Watchmaker 1986
River Out of Eden 1995
Climbing Mount Improbable 1996
Unweaving the Rainbow 1998
A Devil's Chaplain 2003
The Ancestor's Tale 2004
The God Delusion 2006
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution 2009
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True 2011
An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist 2013
Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science 2015

I haven't read the last two, but I see that the most recent book appears to be a tribute to Sagan's swansong, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

In any case, I'd like you to peruse that list of unceasing publication and tell me at what point Dawkins decided to distract us from the War on Terror by "spreading hatred and bigotry".

I'm not a big fan of his, but I don't think that's what he's doing at all. It's what I hear Christians (endlessly!!) saying that he's doing, but I would expect them to say that of anyone who challenged their cherished doctrine of the invisible dragon in the garage with such force and eloquence.

[Edited for Grammar.]

I think I'm going to have to respond to this with another thread entirely. I mean Richard Dawkins being a bigot and spreading hatred is just one part of a much much grander scheme.

I'm at work right now, and after I get home I'm probably going to be to tired for it, so it will be a little while, but I ask you be patient.
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19-11-2016, 07:07 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(19-11-2016 07:00 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  
(19-11-2016 02:06 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  As for the conspiracy theory horseshit about Dawkins never being a "thing" until the War on Terror started, I'd say that he has been "a thing" since 1976 (the year I was born), when he published The Selfish Gene. However, the main spokesman for science was Carl Sagan until his death in 1996. Various people stepped into that gap, and Dawkins managed to make a bit of a name for himself with his "I will not show deference to your superstitions any more" style.

I think I'm going to have to respond to this with another thread entirely.

Oh noes... Gasp

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19-11-2016, 07:39 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(19-11-2016 12:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  The scientific method may not allow for that, but the people at the bottom of the totem pole will accept what the top totem pole says.

There may be people who just accept what "science says" for bad reasons. I don't know of any but that doesn't mean they don't exist. They would be foolish to do so but I don't think the problem is as widespread as you seem to imply. In my experience, people trust science because (a) there is a strong history of success and (b) they have at least a general understanding that the evidence is laid out, available for inspection, and has been vetted repeatedly.

Quote:Which is why I'm here, I'm hoping to find an effective way to convince atheists who revere Richard Dawkins, that he is nothing more than one of these charlatans.

Perhaps you should start by finding people who revere Dawkins. I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge of biology and evolution but I also think he says a lot of stupid things. I don't know anybody that takes everything he says as gospel.

Quote:Science today has almost become synonymous with atheism, and indeed many atheists feel strongly towards science and they embrace it because it is the best system we have for coming to know reality.

But science is not solely for atheists, science is for everyone.

You seem to be implying that that is the fault of atheists and that we are excluding theists from the science club. I could not disagree more. Where theists are denying science it is their religion that is keeping them in denial.

There are many religious scientists and as long as when they are doing science they stick to the scientific method there contributions are no less valued. If they inject religion then they have stopped doing science.

Quote:Where religion is concerned our mindset should not be 'how to get religious to stop believing in god' our aspiration should be 'how to get the religious to conform with science'. Carl Sagan never tried to disprove god and he was a good margin more successful than Richard Dawkins will ever be at reaching people.

I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to deconverting theists. How exactly have you measured Sagan's "success" rate against Dawkin's? Both have had an impact and different people are going to be affected by them in different ways. If you dislike Dawkin's style then don't use it but it is pretty arrogant to say that people should only be using approaches that have your stamp of approval.

Personally, I find Sagan to be smarmy and cant stand listening to him. I do, however, realize that his style is very effective with many people and that's a good thing.

Quote:What does Richard Dawkins say we should do though? He says that we should mock religion, and ridicule others openly.

Mockery and ridicule have their place. I agree that they should not be the only tools that atheists use but that does not mean they should never be used. I also agree that Dawkins is often blunter in his wielding of those tools than somebody like Hitchens was but I also don't recall Dawkins ever saying that ALL we should do is mock and ridicule.

Quote:And he goes on to say that Islam is the greatest force of evil in the world!

Islam may very well be the biggest threat we face today. It should be opposed and opposed strongly. If you think Dawkins is being too blunt then take a different tack when you talk about it.

Quote:He has no real interest whatsoever in trying to reach the religious to give them the way of thinking that is science. Richard Dawkins was never a thing until the war 'on terror' started.

Nice to know that you can understand his mindset and motivations. Do you know what everybody is thinking or just Dawkins?

Quote:I must ask a very big favor of you, I need you to tell me perhaps once more where I went wrong, what I said to set you and the others off. I tried again and again saying that I wasn't arguing against the scientific method, but it seems this is how all of you have interpreted it.

The most generous thing I can see is that you were trying to say that there are two competing epistemologies... religious-based and science-based. I think your comments about science-minded people not having "proof" for everything they accept as true is a red herring. An epistemology built on religious faith has no foundation that can be examined or tested; it allows adherents to start anywhere and build to any conclusion. The only sense that 'faith' can be applied to an evidence-based epistemology is in the sense of an earned trust based on demonstrable, testable evidence, a consistent application of methodology, and a history of proven results. Where you went off the rails is conflating "faith" with "trust". Yes, the word can be used that way but it is a common tactic for theists claim that atheists also base their lives on "faith" when they are making one huge equivocation to do so.

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19-11-2016, 07:48 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(18-11-2016 06:57 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  
(18-11-2016 06:52 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Unbelievable...Facepalm

I know, what a hypocrite right?

No, obtuse.

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19-11-2016, 08:25 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(19-11-2016 07:39 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I think your comments about science-minded people not having "proof" for everything they accept as true is a red herring.

I meant to expand on that... the question isn't whether or not there is proof for a belief. The question is whether or not there is a rational basis for holding a belief.

With an epistemology based on faith alone there is no rational support for any specific belief. With one based on evidence there is, even if it is second or third-hand.

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19-11-2016, 10:14 AM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(19-11-2016 12:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Which is why I'm here, I'm hoping to find an effective way to convince atheists who revere Richard Dawkins, that he is nothing more than one of these charlatans.

I challenge you to cite links where anyone here has expressed reverence towards Dawkins. Or any other person for that matter.

If no one here has revered Dawkins then you are wasting your time and ours.

(19-11-2016 12:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  But science is not solely for atheists, science is for everyone.

No one here said it was.

(19-11-2016 12:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Where religion is concerned our mindset should not be 'how to get religious to stop believing in god' our aspiration should be 'how to get the religious to conform with science'.

Fuck you. Don't tell me what my mindset should be. Who the fuck do you think you are? Don't come in here with your bullshit equivocations and your redefining the word game and tell me what my mindset should be. Fuck you and your condescending attitude.

(19-11-2016 12:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  I must ask a very big favor of you, I need you to tell me perhaps once more where I went wrong, what I said to set you and the others off.

People have told you time and again, ad nauseam. You refuse to listen.

(19-11-2016 12:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  I tried again and again saying that I wasn't arguing against the scientific method, but it seems this is how all of you have interpreted it.

Once again, you refuse to listen to what we said.

Why should anyone waste more time with you?

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19-11-2016, 11:52 AM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2016 12:02 PM by Celestial_Wonder.)
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
(19-11-2016 07:39 AM)unfogged Wrote:  There may be people who just accept what "science says" for bad reasons. I don't know of any but that doesn't mean they don't exist. They would be foolish to do so but I don't think the problem is as widespread as you seem to imply. In my experience, people trust science because (a) there is a strong history of success and (b) they have at least a general understanding that the evidence is laid out, available for inspection, and has been vetted repeatedly.
Quote:
Quote:Perhaps you should start by finding people who revere Dawkins. I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge of biology and evolution but I also think he says a lot of stupid things. I don't know anybody that takes everything he says as gospel.



[quote]
Science today has almost become synonymous with atheism, and indeed many atheists feel strongly towards science and they embrace it because it is the best system we have for coming to know reality.

But science is not solely for atheists, science is for everyone.

You seem to be implying that that is the fault of atheists and that we are excluding theists from the science club. I could not disagree more. Where theists are denying science it is their religion that is keeping them in denial.

There are many religious scientists and as long as when they are doing science they stick to the scientific method there contributions are no less valued. If they inject religion then they have stopped doing science.

I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to deconverting theists. How exactly have you measured Sagan's "success" rate against Dawkin's? Both have had an impact and different people are going to be affected by them in different ways. If you dislike Dawkin's style then don't use it but it is pretty arrogant to say that people should only be using approaches that have your stamp of approval.

Personally, I find Sagan to be smarmy and cant stand listening to him. I do, however, realize that his style is very effective with many people and that's a good thing.

The Cosmos was popular across all demographics, the God Delusion is popular to only one very specific demographic pretty self explanatory in terms of success. Further more Carl Sagan did so at a time when science wasn't even widely know or regarded by the common population. Yet Dawkins is doing it at a time when science is living the high life, in no small thanks probably to the valiant efforts of Carl Sagan.

Quote:Mockery and ridicule have their place. I agree that they should not be the only tools that atheists use but that does not mean they should never be used. I also agree that Dawkins is often blunter in his wielding of those tools than somebody like Hitchens was but I also don't recall Dawkins ever saying that ALL we should do is mock and ridicule.

A man who basis his argument off of mockery and ridicule is a man with few friends indeed.

Quote:Islam may very well be the biggest threat we face today. It should be opposed and opposed strongly. If you think Dawkins is being too blunt then take a different tack when you talk about it.





I'd like to draw upon 0:24-0:45

"There's a belief that every word in the Quran is literally true and it is - um - there's a kind of closed mindedness there which is I think less present in the former Christendom. Perhaps because we've had a long, I don't quite know why, there's more of a historical tradition of questioning."

Muslims are like Christians, they cherry pick, most of them like Christians don't take the Quran word for word. Some may claim they do, but it is in my experience that they do not.

Furthermore Richard Dawkins is talking about Islam which in the middle ages was a Utopian society in comparison to the Christian Europe. Especially when we're going into the Renaissance, a time in which most Christian's didn't even bathe.

For a long period of time the Arabic Muslim countries held aloft the flame of science, philosophy, astronomy, and medicine while that same flame left the former regions of the Western Roman Empire where Kings stopped bothering to read altogether.

And not only that but he in everything he just said is essentially saying Rumi was evil.

"Stop acting so small you are the universe in ecstatic motion" - Rumi

That was said by a man living in the 12th century.

Further more, when the the Israeli government was caught in the act of perpetuating terrorism during the Lavon affair, they were going to try and blame religion.

Similarly when the C.I.A trained the mujaheddin in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union they used religion as a get go.

And more so about the Iranian shah who killed hundreds of thousands of people, should we say that he was so evil because he was a Muslim?

And lets talk about Shariah law states shall we? I dare say that there isn't a single country in that supports the sharia law that did not go through a few dictators and coup de taut's in the cold war. Both Ghadafi, Sadam, the Shah, the Taliban, Assad (by extension) all relics of THE COLD WAR.

And we all KNOW how much the United States LOVES dictatorships and how they wouldn't lift a finger against a dictatorship that was doing everything they wanted. Israel. (also a relic of the cold war)

Cold war aside, and back to the main point at hand, that a man of science can claim that the west had more of a profound impact on science than other civilizations is an extreme example of chauvinistic bigotry the sort of kind that belongs back in colonial times and not the modern world.

Perhaps I am mistaken though, perhaps he meant something else by a 'historic tradition of questioning' that did not apply to science. Maybe he meant in the way of philosopher's like Epicurus but I find that doubtful that that is the claim he is making.

Quote:Nice to know that you can understand his mindset and motivations. Do you know what everybody is thinking or just Dawkins?

I exclusively phase everyone else out except Dawkins'.


Quote:The most generous thing I can see is that you were trying to say that there are two competing epistemologies... religious-based and science-based. I think your comments about science-minded people not having "proof" for everything they accept as true is a red herring. An epistemology built on religious faith has no foundation that can be examined or tested; it allows adherents to start anywhere and build to any conclusion. The only sense that 'faith' can be applied to an evidence-based epistemology is in the sense of an earned trust based on demonstrable, testable evidence, a consistent application of methodology, and a history of proven results. Where you went off the rails is conflating "faith" with "trust". Yes, the word can be used that way but it is a common tactic for theists claim that atheists also base their lives on "faith" when they are making one huge equivocation to do so.

And we've resolved not to use the word faith from now on, caused to much of a disturbance, so much so that I actually forgot what I was originally trying to present. Its at that point if no other options are available that one knows its time to hand up the coat.

(19-11-2016 02:06 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  *sigh*

I'm just going to point out that you seem to have forgotten that I very recently wrote about all the major discoveries made, in my field alone, by Christians who are evolutionary biologists. My own wife is both of those things. It's a little strange for me to hear you say it is an atheism thing. It's not. It's a reality thing; atheists simply don't have a precursor ideology that precludes us from accepting reality, as it is presently understood by the competition method.

I have asked numerous Creationists on here, "Why is it that there are Christians at the top echelons of evolutionary biology, astrophysics, et cetera, but zero atheists who are Creationists? Why would Hindu evolutionary biologists, Christian ones, and atheists (not to mention scientists from conflicting nationalist loyalties) all come to the same conclusions if there is not a good reason to accept this information as well-founded and/or demonstrably true?"

That is the "competition" element I was discussing, before. Science proves nothing. It only falsifies. It requires falsifiability, and anyone can do it.

Sagan made many excellent points about the problems with the "white tower academic" (not his words) aspect of much of the scientific community, and became famous by emphasizing that anyone who can learn sports statistics or the stock market could learn this. They are encouraged to do so (at least, ideally). They are encouraged to be skeptical and challenge all assumptions, and to learn any aspect of it for themselves, if they wish. The dangers of the populace being uneducated about science was a warning, by Sagan, not of people blindly accepting it as true, but about people not learning it at all.

As for the conspiracy theory horseshit about Dawkins never being a "thing" until the War on Terror started, I'd say that he has been "a thing" since 1976 (the year I was born), when he published The Selfish Gene. However, the main spokesman for science was Carl Sagan until his death in 1996. Various people stepped into that gap, and Dawkins managed to make a bit of a name for himself with his "I will not show deference to your superstitions any more" style.

Dawkins hasn't changed anything, as far as I am aware, other than to make a splash with the title of The God Delusion, which offended a great many people who don't like their ideas about invisible fire-breathing dragons in the garage (an analogy actually made by Carl Sagan, which I'm throwing in here to show you that Dawkins is hardly unique in his lampooning of religious nonsense) challenged.

In contrast to your point, Dawkins has been steadily writing popular books about science (and against Creationism) for decades:

The Selfish Gene 1976
The Extended Phenotype 1982
The Blind Watchmaker 1986
River Out of Eden 1995
Climbing Mount Improbable 1996
Unweaving the Rainbow 1998
A Devil's Chaplain 2003
The Ancestor's Tale 2004
The God Delusion 2006
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution 2009
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True 2011
An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist 2013
Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science 2015

I haven't read the last two, but I see that the most recent book appears to be a tribute to Sagan's swansong, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

In any case, I'd like you to peruse that list of unceasing publication and tell me at what point Dawkins decided to distract us from the War on Terror by "spreading hatred and bigotry".

I'm not a big fan of his, but I don't think that's what he's doing at all. It's what I hear Christians (endlessly!!) saying that he's doing, but I would expect them to say that of anyone who challenged their cherished doctrine of the invisible dragon in the garage with such force and eloquence.

[Edited for Grammar.]

Okay firstly Dawkins isn't distracting us from the war on terror, more as in I would almost say silently justifying it by advocating a 'Muslims are the baddies' policy.

I'm lazy and I don't want to create an entire thread, but I will reply to you with what you wanted, though not by reading the books. (I will try and read the God Delusion later on)

Check out the intro and the name to this documentary. I've seen all of this documentary and Dawkins just goes straight for the most fringe nut jobs he can find, which is biased because most religious people aren't like the ones you see in the video. I should know, my entire family is Catholic and they're probably going to make me go to church this Christmas.





Wiki article for it.


"Dawkins has said that the title The Root of All Evil? was not his preferred choice, but that Channel 4 had insisted on it to create controversy. The sole concession from the producers on the title was the addition of the question mark."

I made this reply even though I am tired, although as I am tired I did not really reply to everything that I could have. If there is something particular you would have liked me to reply to and I missed please comment on it, and I will try and get back to that when I wake up.
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19-11-2016, 12:26 PM
RE: Why is there something rather than nothing argument????
It's pretty clear that by "a history of questioning", he is referring to fundamentalism and scriptural literalism versus a genuinely scholarly approach to scriptural studies. He says so right in the clip.

Religious fundamentalism in Christianity is mostly limited to the United States, especially the Deep South, and Dawkins comes from Anglicanism, which is one of the most liberal of the Christian sects. He speaks from that perspective. But he doesn't mis-state the case: he speaks in comparative terms. It is quite true that it's hard to question whether the Qur'an is 100% literal and God-dictated in the Islamic communities, while in fundamentalists are much more rare in Christianity outside of the aforementioned subgroup/regions.

In those videos, Dawkins specifically states that violence is coming from members of that faith-group, based largely on their cultural understanding of that religion. To deny that simple fact is madness. When Christians and Hindus start strapping bombs to themselves and walking into crowded shopping centers, schools, and nightclubs with machineguns while shouting "God is Great!", then I will say that Dawkins is being too harsh in saying that the religion seems to be disproportionately producing ideology-driven monsters.

I don't see anywhere he says or even implies that most Muslims are violent or dangerous people, only that Islam produces most of the problems with which we're dealing today (putting aside, I'd personally say, the "religion" of unfettered Capitalism), and that it's naive to say otherwise, or deny that religion is a major driving factor in the way those terrorists are driven to violence by the way they see the world through their scriptures and use them to justify their actions.

And I beg to differ about "fringe nut jobs". At least in the USA, it's all too common to meet people who are perfectly content to base their worldview so heavily on a literalist interpretation of the Bible that they advocate for theocratic laws and/or the erosion of the secular/neutral state, try to stop evolution from being taught in schools, and a host of other warped-perspective outlooks. My own parents are an example of this. My folks are both PhDs, my mom a college professor and my dad a senior process engineer at a chemical plant, and yet they both refuse to accept evolution as reality (for just one example) because of the way the scriptures have warped their perceptions. They both happily support "conversion therapy" and laws that discriminate against homosexuals. And so on. They are neither fringe nor nuts, but are just normal people-- highly intelligent ones. Simply miseducated by their upbringing on scriptural literalism.

Calling out religion for the harm that it does, in strident terms that match how alarmed you are about it, does not make you hateful.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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