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Thread: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    You are working on a new book tentatively called "The God Delusion." Can you explain it?

    A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence. Religion is scarcely distinguishable from childhood delusions like the "imaginary friend" and the bogeyman under the bed. Unfortunately, the God delusion possesses adults, and not just a minority of unfortunates in an asylum. The word "delusion" also carries negative connotations, and religion has plenty of those.

    What are its negative connotations?

    A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.

    But you don't do that if you just know your holy book is the God-written truth and the other guy knows that his incompatible scripture is too. People brought up to believe in faith and private revelation cannot be persuaded by evidence to change their minds. No wonder religious zealots throughout history have resorted to torture and execution, to crusades and jihads, to holy wars and purges and pogroms, to the Inquisition and the burning of witches.
    Click Here Advertisement

    What are the dark sides of religion today?

    Terrorism in the Middle East, militant Zionism, 9/11, the Northern Ireland "troubles," genocide, which turns out to be "credicide" in Yugoslavia, the subversion of American science education, oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the Roman Catholic Church, which thinks you can't be a valid priest without testicles.

    Fifty years ago, philosophers like Bertrand Russell felt that the religious worldview would fade as science and reason emerged. Why hasn't it?

    That trend toward enlightenment has indeed continued in Europe and Britain. It just has not continued in the U.S., and not in the Islamic world. We're seeing a rather unholy alliance between the burgeoning theocracy in the U.S. and its allies, the theocrats in the Islamic world. They are fighting the same battle: Christian on one side, Muslim on the other. The very large numbers of people in the United States and in Europe who don't subscribe to that worldview are caught in the middle.

    Actually, holy alliance would be a better phrase. Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional "next world" is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them.

    Does religion contribute to the violence of Islamic extremists? Christian extremists?

    Of course it does. From the cradle, they are brought up to revere martyrs and to believe they have a fast track to heaven. With their mother's milk they imbibe hatred of heretics, apostates and followers of rival faiths.

    I don't wish to suggest it is doctrinal disputes that are motivating the individual soldiers who are doing the killing. What I do suggest is that in places like Northern Ireland, religion was the only available label by which people could indulge in the human weakness for us-or-them wars. When a Protestant murders a Catholic or a Catholic murders a Protestant, they're not playing out doctrinal disagreements about transubstantiation.

    What is going on is more like a vendetta. It was one of their lot's grandfathers who killed one of our lot's grandfathers, and so we're getting our revenge. The "their lot" and "our lot" is only defined by religion. In other parts of the world it might be defined by color, or by language, but in so many parts of the world it isn't, it's defined by religion. That's true of the conflicts among Croats and the Serbs and Bosnians -- that's all about religion as labels.
    Tonight: President Bush in Vietnam - How has America influenced the changing face of Vietnam?
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    The grotesque massacres in India at the time of partition were between Hindus and Muslims. There was nothing else to distinguish them, they were racially the same. They only identified themselves as "us" and the others as "them" by the fact that some of them were Hindus and some of them were Muslims. That's what the Kashmir dispute is all about. So, yes, I would defend the view that religion is an extremely potent label for hostility. That has always been true and it continues to be true to this day.

    How would we be better off without religion?

    We'd all be freed to concentrate on the only life we are ever going to have. We'd be free to exult in the privilege -- the remarkable good fortune -- that each one of us enjoys through having been being born. An astronomically overwhelming majority of the people who could be born never will be. You are one of the tiny minority whose number came up. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. The world would be a better place if we all had this positive attitude to life. It would also be a better place if morality was all about doing good to others and refraining from hurting them, rather than religion's morbid obsession with private sin and the evils of sexual enjoyment.

    Are there environmental costs of a religious worldview?

    There are many religious points of view where the conservation of the world is just as important as it is to scientists. But there are certain religious points of view where it is not. In those apocalyptic religions, people actually believe that because they read some dopey prophesy in the book of Revelation, the world is going to come to an end some time soon. People who believe that say, "We don't need to bother about conserving forests or anything else because the end of the world is coming anyway." A few decades ago one would simply have laughed at that. Today you can't laugh. These people are in power.

    Unlike other accounts of the evolution of life, "The Ancestor's Tale" starts at the present and works back. Why did you decide to tell the story in reverse?

    The most important reason is that if you tell the evolution story forwards and end up with humans, as it's humanly normal to do so because people are interested in themselves, it makes it look as though the whole of evolution were somehow aimed at humanity, which of course it wasn't. One could aim anywhere, like at kangaroos, butterflies or frogs. We're all contemporary culmination points, for the moment, in evolution.

    If you go backward, however, no matter where you start in this huge tree of life, you always converge at the same point, which is the origin of life. So that was the main reason for structuring the book the way I did. It gave me a natural goal to head toward -- the origin of life -- no matter where I started from. Then I could legitimately start with humans, which people are interested in.

    People like to trace their ancestry. One of the most common types of Web sites, after ones about sex, is one's family history. When people trace the ancestry of that name, they normally stop at a few hundred years. I wanted to go back 4,000 million years.
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    The idea of going back towards a particular goal called to my mind the notion of pilgrimage as a kind of literary device. So I very vaguely modeled the book on Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," where the pilgrims start off as a band of human pilgrims walking backward to discover our ancestors. We are successively joined by other pilgrims -- the chimpanzee pilgrims at 5 million years, then the gorilla pilgrims, then the orangutan pilgrims. Starting with humans, there are only about 39 such rendezvous points as you go back in time. It's a rather surprising fact. Rendezvous 39 is where we meet the bacteria pilgrims.

    The idea that evolution could be "random" seems to frighten people. Is it random?

    This is a spectacular misunderstanding. If it was random, then of course it couldn't possibly have given rise to the fantastically complicated and elegant forms that we see. Natural selection is the important force that drives evolution. Natural selection is about as non-random a force as you could possibly imagine. It can't work unless there is some sort of variation upon which to work. And the source of variation is mutation. Mutation is random only in the sense that it is not directed specifically toward improvement. It is natural selection that directs evolution toward improvement. Mutation is random in that it's not directed toward improvement.

    The idea that evolution itself is a random process is a most extraordinary travesty. I wonder if it's deliberately put about maliciously or whether these people honestly believe such a preposterous absurdity. Of course evolution isn't random. It is driven by natural selection, which is a highly non-random force.

    Is there an emotional side to the intellectual enterprise of exploring the story of life on Earth?

    Yes, I strongly feel that. When you meet a scientist who calls himself or herself religious, you'll often find that that's what they mean. You often find that by "religious" they do not mean anything supernatural. They mean precisely the kind of emotional response to the natural world that you've described. Einstein had it very strongly. Unfortunately, he used the word "God" to describe it, which has led to a great deal of misunderstanding. But Einstein had that feeling, I have that feeling, you'll find it in the writings of many scientists. It's a kind of quasi-religious feeling. And there are those who wish to call it religious and who therefore are annoyed when a scientist calls himself an atheist. They think, "No, you believe in this transcendental feeling, you can't be an atheist." That's a confusion of language.

    Some scientists say that removing religion or God from their life would leave it meaningless, that it's God that gives meaning to life.

    "Unweaving the Rainbow" specifically attacks the idea that a materialist, mechanist, naturalistic worldview makes life seem meaningless. Quite the contrary, the scientific worldview is a poetic worldview, it is almost a transcendental worldview. We are amazingly privileged to be born at all and to be granted a few decades -- before we die forever -- in which we can understand, appreciate and enjoy the universe. And those of us fortunate enough to be living today are even more privileged than those of earlier times. We have the benefit of those earlier centuries of scientific exploration. Through no talent of our own, we have the privilege of knowing far more than past centuries. Aristotle would be blown away by what any schoolchild could tell him today. That's the kind of privileged century in which we live. That's what gives my life meaning. And the fact that my life is finite, and that it's the only life I've got, makes me all the more eager to get up each morning and set about the business of understanding more about the world into which I am so privileged to have been born.
    Advertisement

    Humans may not be products of an intelligent designer but given genetic technologies, our descendants will be. What does this mean about the future of evolution?

    It's an interesting thought that in some remote time in the future, people may look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as a watershed in evolution -- the time when evolution stopped being an undirected force and became a design force. Already, for the past few centuries, maybe even millennia, agriculturalists have in a sense designed the evolution of domestic animals like pigs and cows and chickens. That's increasing and we're getting more technologically clever at that by manipulating not just the selection part of evolution but also the mutation part. That will be very different; one of the great features of biological evolution up to now is that there is no foresight.

    In general, evolution is a blind process. That's why I called my book "The Blind Watchmaker." Evolution never looks to the future. It never governs what happens now on the basis on what will happen in the future in the way that human design undoubtedly does. But now it is possible to breed a new kind of pig, or chicken, which has such and such qualities. We may even have to pass that pig through a stage where it is actually less good at whatever we want to produce -- making long bacon racks or something -- but we can persist because we know it'll be worth it in the long run. That never happened in natural evolution; there was never a "let's temporarily get worse in order to get better, let's go down into the valley in order to get over to the other side and up onto the opposite mountain." So yes, I think it well may be that we're living in a time when evolution is suddenly starting to become intelligently designed.

  2. #2
    gail
    Guest

    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    I have such a short attention span, Eric, and this post is way to long for me to read at one sitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    You are working on a new book tentatively called "The God Delusion." Can you explain it?

    A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence. Religion is scarcely distinguishable from childhood delusions like the "imaginary friend" and the bogeyman under the bed. Unfortunately, the God delusion possesses adults, and not just a minority of unfortunates in an asylum. The word "delusion" also carries negative connotations, and religion has plenty of those.

    What are its negative connotations?

    A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.

    But you don't do that if you just know your holy book is the God-written truth and the other guy knows that his incompatible scripture is too. People brought up to believe in faith and private revelation cannot be persuaded by evidence to change their minds. No wonder religious zealots throughout history have resorted to torture and execution, to crusades and jihads, to holy wars and purges and pogroms, to the Inquisition and the burning of witches.
    Click Here Advertisement

    What are the dark sides of religion today?

    Terrorism in the Middle East, militant Zionism, 9/11, the Northern Ireland "troubles," genocide, which turns out to be "credicide" in Yugoslavia, the subversion of American science education, oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the Roman Catholic Church, which thinks you can't be a valid priest without testicles.

    Fifty years ago, philosophers like Bertrand Russell felt that the religious worldview would fade as science and reason emerged. Why hasn't it?

    That trend toward enlightenment has indeed continued in Europe and Britain. It just has not continued in the U.S., and not in the Islamic world. We're seeing a rather unholy alliance between the burgeoning theocracy in the U.S. and its allies, the theocrats in the Islamic world. They are fighting the same battle: Christian on one side, Muslim on the other. The very large numbers of people in the United States and in Europe who don't subscribe to that worldview are caught in the middle.

    Actually, holy alliance would be a better phrase. Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional "next world" is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them.

    Does religion contribute to the violence of Islamic extremists? Christian extremists?

    Of course it does. From the cradle, they are brought up to revere martyrs and to believe they have a fast track to heaven. With their mother's milk they imbibe hatred of heretics, apostates and followers of rival faiths.

    I don't wish to suggest it is doctrinal disputes that are motivating the individual soldiers who are doing the killing. What I do suggest is that in places like Northern Ireland, religion was the only available label by which people could indulge in the human weakness for us-or-them wars. When a Protestant murders a Catholic or a Catholic murders a Protestant, they're not playing out doctrinal disagreements about transubstantiation.

    What is going on is more like a vendetta. It was one of their lot's grandfathers who killed one of our lot's grandfathers, and so we're getting our revenge. The "their lot" and "our lot" is only defined by religion. In other parts of the world it might be defined by color, or by language, but in so many parts of the world it isn't, it's defined by religion. That's true of the conflicts among Croats and the Serbs and Bosnians -- that's all about religion as labels.
    Tonight: President Bush in Vietnam - How has America influenced the changing face of Vietnam?
    Advertisement

    The grotesque massacres in India at the time of partition were between Hindus and Muslims. There was nothing else to distinguish them, they were racially the same. They only identified themselves as "us" and the others as "them" by the fact that some of them were Hindus and some of them were Muslims. That's what the Kashmir dispute is all about. So, yes, I would defend the view that religion is an extremely potent label for hostility. That has always been true and it continues to be true to this day.

    How would we be better off without religion?

    We'd all be freed to concentrate on the only life we are ever going to have. We'd be free to exult in the privilege -- the remarkable good fortune -- that each one of us enjoys through having been being born. An astronomically overwhelming majority of the people who could be born never will be. You are one of the tiny minority whose number came up. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. The world would be a better place if we all had this positive attitude to life. It would also be a better place if morality was all about doing good to others and refraining from hurting them, rather than religion's morbid obsession with private sin and the evils of sexual enjoyment.

    Are there environmental costs of a religious worldview?

    There are many religious points of view where the conservation of the world is just as important as it is to scientists. But there are certain religious points of view where it is not. In those apocalyptic religions, people actually believe that because they read some dopey prophesy in the book of Revelation, the world is going to come to an end some time soon. People who believe that say, "We don't need to bother about conserving forests or anything else because the end of the world is coming anyway." A few decades ago one would simply have laughed at that. Today you can't laugh. These people are in power.

    Unlike other accounts of the evolution of life, "The Ancestor's Tale" starts at the present and works back. Why did you decide to tell the story in reverse?

    The most important reason is that if you tell the evolution story forwards and end up with humans, as it's humanly normal to do so because people are interested in themselves, it makes it look as though the whole of evolution were somehow aimed at humanity, which of course it wasn't. One could aim anywhere, like at kangaroos, butterflies or frogs. We're all contemporary culmination points, for the moment, in evolution.

    If you go backward, however, no matter where you start in this huge tree of life, you always converge at the same point, which is the origin of life. So that was the main reason for structuring the book the way I did. It gave me a natural goal to head toward -- the origin of life -- no matter where I started from. Then I could legitimately start with humans, which people are interested in.

    People like to trace their ancestry. One of the most common types of Web sites, after ones about sex, is one's family history. When people trace the ancestry of that name, they normally stop at a few hundred years. I wanted to go back 4,000 million years.
    Advertisement

    The idea of going back towards a particular goal called to my mind the notion of pilgrimage as a kind of literary device. So I very vaguely modeled the book on Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," where the pilgrims start off as a band of human pilgrims walking backward to discover our ancestors. We are successively joined by other pilgrims -- the chimpanzee pilgrims at 5 million years, then the gorilla pilgrims, then the orangutan pilgrims. Starting with humans, there are only about 39 such rendezvous points as you go back in time. It's a rather surprising fact. Rendezvous 39 is where we meet the bacteria pilgrims.

    The idea that evolution could be "random" seems to frighten people. Is it random?

    This is a spectacular misunderstanding. If it was random, then of course it couldn't possibly have given rise to the fantastically complicated and elegant forms that we see. Natural selection is the important force that drives evolution. Natural selection is about as non-random a force as you could possibly imagine. It can't work unless there is some sort of variation upon which to work. And the source of variation is mutation. Mutation is random only in the sense that it is not directed specifically toward improvement. It is natural selection that directs evolution toward improvement. Mutation is random in that it's not directed toward improvement.

    The idea that evolution itself is a random process is a most extraordinary travesty. I wonder if it's deliberately put about maliciously or whether these people honestly believe such a preposterous absurdity. Of course evolution isn't random. It is driven by natural selection, which is a highly non-random force.

    Is there an emotional side to the intellectual enterprise of exploring the story of life on Earth?

    Yes, I strongly feel that. When you meet a scientist who calls himself or herself religious, you'll often find that that's what they mean. You often find that by "religious" they do not mean anything supernatural. They mean precisely the kind of emotional response to the natural world that you've described. Einstein had it very strongly. Unfortunately, he used the word "God" to describe it, which has led to a great deal of misunderstanding. But Einstein had that feeling, I have that feeling, you'll find it in the writings of many scientists. It's a kind of quasi-religious feeling. And there are those who wish to call it religious and who therefore are annoyed when a scientist calls himself an atheist. They think, "No, you believe in this transcendental feeling, you can't be an atheist." That's a confusion of language.

    Some scientists say that removing religion or God from their life would leave it meaningless, that it's God that gives meaning to life.

    "Unweaving the Rainbow" specifically attacks the idea that a materialist, mechanist, naturalistic worldview makes life seem meaningless. Quite the contrary, the scientific worldview is a poetic worldview, it is almost a transcendental worldview. We are amazingly privileged to be born at all and to be granted a few decades -- before we die forever -- in which we can understand, appreciate and enjoy the universe. And those of us fortunate enough to be living today are even more privileged than those of earlier times. We have the benefit of those earlier centuries of scientific exploration. Through no talent of our own, we have the privilege of knowing far more than past centuries. Aristotle would be blown away by what any schoolchild could tell him today. That's the kind of privileged century in which we live. That's what gives my life meaning. And the fact that my life is finite, and that it's the only life I've got, makes me all the more eager to get up each morning and set about the business of understanding more about the world into which I am so privileged to have been born.
    Advertisement

    Humans may not be products of an intelligent designer but given genetic technologies, our descendants will be. What does this mean about the future of evolution?

    It's an interesting thought that in some remote time in the future, people may look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as a watershed in evolution -- the time when evolution stopped being an undirected force and became a design force. Already, for the past few centuries, maybe even millennia, agriculturalists have in a sense designed the evolution of domestic animals like pigs and cows and chickens. That's increasing and we're getting more technologically clever at that by manipulating not just the selection part of evolution but also the mutation part. That will be very different; one of the great features of biological evolution up to now is that there is no foresight.

    In general, evolution is a blind process. That's why I called my book "The Blind Watchmaker." Evolution never looks to the future. It never governs what happens now on the basis on what will happen in the future in the way that human design undoubtedly does. But now it is possible to breed a new kind of pig, or chicken, which has such and such qualities. We may even have to pass that pig through a stage where it is actually less good at whatever we want to produce -- making long bacon racks or something -- but we can persist because we know it'll be worth it in the long run. That never happened in natural evolution; there was never a "let's temporarily get worse in order to get better, let's go down into the valley in order to get over to the other side and up onto the opposite mountain." So yes, I think it well may be that we're living in a time when evolution is suddenly starting to become intelligently designed.

  3. #3
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    I have such a short attention span, Eric, and this post is way to long for me to read at one sitting.

    But how much Bible (or Book of Mormon) nonsense can you tolerate at a single sitting?

    -Don-

  4. #4
    gail
    Guest

    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    I have such a short attention span, Eric, and this post is way to long for me to read at one sitting.

    But how much Bible (or Book of Mormon) nonsense can you tolerate at a single sitting?

    -Don-
    Not much. We read a chapter twice a day. We also have casette tapes. The narrator put much expression in his readings. Acturally there are two narrators, but one does most of the readings. This has helped termendously in learning to pronounce the names and some words.

    If I am reading, and the chapter is long, I keep falling asleep - I mean in mid sentence. Fortunately for me, hubby does better than me - so when I suddenly realize that i'm asleep, he tells me where I left off. as I said, I have a short attention span.

    I do wonder why we don't prounounce some words the same way as the Jews. I had to learn on NCIS that David is pronounced Daa - Veed. Who knows how many other words the Christians have screwed up.

    I would like to study Hebrew, Egpytian and Greek - preferrably in those areas - but I probably never will. I've never mastered Spanish, even though I have taken sereral formal courses, and listened to countless hours of tapes, and watch Spanish soaps. I usually only grasp a word here and there. My son who served his mission in Spain tells me that if Spanish was all that I heard, I would pick it up.

    Anyway, I've always had an attention span problem (we didn't have fancy names for this in my day.) and as the PPS gets worse, so does the span.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    >>Not much. We read a chapter twice a day. We also have casette tapes. The narrator put much expression in his readings. Acturally there are two narrators, but one does most of the readings. This has helped termendously in learning to pronounce the names and some words. <<

    During wartime, what you are being subjected to is called "brainwashing" or just another form of torture--- In peacetime, they simply read to you till you drink the coolaid.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    I have such a short attention span, Eric, and this post is way to long for me to read at one sitting.

    But how much Bible (or Book of Mormon) nonsense can you tolerate at a single sitting?

    -Don-
    Dawkins is brilliant - and a superb writer. I recommend his books.... well worth the time.

  7. #7
    gail
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    I keep losing posts - they just don't show up. why?

  8. #8
    DonTom
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    I keep losing posts - they just don't show up. why?

    Do you mean what you're trying to post is not always posting??

    -Don-

  9. #9
    gail
    Guest

    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    I keep losing posts - they just don't show up. why?

    Do you mean what you're trying to post is not always posting??

    -Don-
    Yes, I write out posts, it appears that they have posted, but when I go to the thread, the post that I've sent isn't there. Frustrating to say the least. This doesn't happen everytime, and usually not when I click on quote, but rather a new post.

    I finally got around to reading Eric's long, laborious post -- well, half of it anyway -- I didn't click quote because one of the posters said not to - I will look again, but I haven't seen it. :'(

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    I was quoting from an interview with Richard Dawkins, a biologist who wrote "The God Delusion" - a book you might read sometime, if you're really interested in understanding why people like me reject "faith."

  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    if you're really interested in understanding why people like me reject "faith."

    I reject faith because it usually takes people away from the truth. Faith requires no facts, evidence or truth. Is there any more to understand?

    -Don-


    Exactly!

    Add to this the fact that the theology of major religions is idiotic on its face and it becomes impossible to "believe" in their divine origin any more than we ascribe divinity to the fable of Zeus or Ra the sun god!


  12. #12
    gail
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I was quoting from an interview with Richard Dawkins, a biologist who wrote "The God Delusion" - a book you might read sometime, if you're really interested in understanding why people like me reject "faith."
    WEll, you've got more faith than I've got, Eric, to believe this dribble.

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    "dribble" aside, there is nothing in Dawkins that is "faith based" that one must "just believe" - the polar opposite of the religious nonsense you espouse.

    If you actually read what he wrote you will note that every position he takes or view he expresses is buttressed by fact and/or open to fact-based counter-argument. But not to "faith" or the arbitrary assertions of the Bah-bul.

    What he (and I ) rail against is the dogmatic blather of religion - the real "dribble" to anyone with the capacity to reason and who values objective truth.

  14. #14
    gail
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "dribble" aside, there is nothing in Dawkins that is "faith based" that one must "just believe" - the polar opposite of the religious nonsense you espouse.

    If you actually read what he wrote you will note that every position he takes or view he expresses is buttressed by fact and/or open to fact-based counter-argument. But not to "faith" or the arbitrary assertions of the Bah-bul.

    What he (and I ) rail against is the dogmatic blather of religion - the real "dribble" to anyone with the capacity to reason and who values objective truth.
    There is no rationale to religion - its percepts are taken on FAITH. No facts, FAITH. The things that ae facts is that the Jews exist, and have existed for a very long time. They have compiled a book of their history, and have done a darn good job of recording from everything from how they dressed, to what they ate. If you get a copy of the Jewish Scriptures according to the Masoretic text, and compare it to the King James version of the Old Testament it is almost word for word the same. The books have been ordered differently. Why the scholars of Kings James time changed the order, I do not know.

    Therefore Dawkins CANNOT give any fact to deny God, and to believe that he has is a delusion in itself.

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)



    "There is no rationale to religion - its percepts are taken on FAITH. No facts, FAITH."

    Precisely!


    Ergo, it is by definition nonsensical.

    "Therefore Dawkins CANNOT give any fact to deny God, and to believe that he has is a delusion in itself."

    That is the best bit of gibberish I have encountered today; there are letters and words - but the totality is completely unintelligible - just like the tenets of the Bah-bul!

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by gail
    There is no rationale to religion - its percepts are taken on FAITH. No facts, FAITH.
    What do we know today? Well the universe is about 15 billion years old. God has been waiting around a good long time for us folks on Earth. If god created the universe, he must have been somewhere else when the big bang happened.

    Don't you think it's a real stretch to consider a 'being' of any kind to exist for 15 billion years? In a vacuum in space? At absolute 0 degrees K? What does the guy eat?

    It's all made up! The concept of god is obsolete in today's modern, educated world.

  17. #17
    TC
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong
    Quote Originally Posted by gail
    There is no rationale to religion - its percepts are taken on FAITH. No facts, FAITH.
    What do we know today? Well the universe is about 15 billion years old. God has been waiting around a good long time for us folks on Earth. If god created the universe, he must have been somewhere else when the big bang happened.

    Don't you think it's a real stretch to consider a 'being' of any kind to exist for 15 billion years? In a vacuum in space? At absolute 0 degrees K? What does the guy eat?

    It's all made up! The concept of god is obsolete in today's modern, educated world.
    Absolutely.

  18. #18
    gail
    Guest

    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    To start with we don't know that the universe is 15 million years old. For all we know our entire universe might be a cell in a giant's leg. Until recently we didn't know a microscopic universe existed all around us - so maybe a macro-universe exists as well.

    God is more needed in tthe turbulent world of today than it has ever been needed.

    We are constantly being told one thing and then it contradicts itself. Remember we believed that the world was flat, and then not. The Flat Earth Society believes that the earth is hubcap shaped and whose to say they are wrong. Pluto just got demoted and its ok to eat eggs now. I personally don't go running after every whim of "science."

    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong
    Quote Originally Posted by gail
    There is no rationale to religion - its percepts are taken on FAITH. No facts, FAITH.
    What do we know today? Well the universe is about 15 billion years old. God has been waiting around a good long time for us folks on Earth. If god created the universe, he must have been somewhere else when the big bang happened.

    Don't you think it's a real stretch to consider a 'being' of any kind to exist for 15 billion years? In a vacuum in space? At absolute 0 degrees K? What does the guy eat?

    It's all made up! The concept of god is obsolete in today's modern, educated world.

  19. #19
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    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    >The Flat Earth Society believes that the earth is hubcap shaped and whose to say they are wrong. <

    Everybody says they are wrong! There is no space for arguement or truth without logic.

    When you throw phrases such as "For all we know our entire universe might be a cell in a giant's leg." It diminishes any chance to have a logical arguement.

    >To start with we don't know that the universe is 15 million years old.<

    It's not 15 million - it's 15 BILLION - 15,000,000,000 years old.

    It's a pretty much accepted fact. We can measure the speed at which the universe is expanding, and from there compute distances. Dividing the (size of universe) / (expansion rate) = time the universe has been expanding. Even if science is wrong, and the universe is only a billion years old, that's still a long time for an entity (god) to exist.

    >God is more needed in tthe turbulent world of today than it has ever been needed.<

    How about this rewording:

    In the turbulent world of today it is everyones responsibly to: love, respect, and treat each person with fairness and dignity.

    You notice this puts the responsibility on the individual (where it belongs), not on god.

  20. #20
    gail
    Guest

    Re: Dawkins and the "god delusion" (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong
    >
    It's a pretty much accepted fact. We can measure the speed at which the universe is expanding, and from there compute distances. Dividing the (size of universe) / (expansion rate) = time the universe has been expanding. Even if science is wrong, and the universe is only a billion years old, that's still a long time for an entity (god) to exist.
    Did you miss the part that the world - the experts of the world - taught that the world was FLAT! How about that the universe rovolve around our sun? Oh yes, and that a baby was totally formed in a man - tiny, but totally formed until it was deposited into a woman, where it grew. Blood letting was a common practice until they killed George Washington.

    If you guys are going around believing everything the "experts" of the day are telling you - you are in for many surprises if you live long enough.

    Buckle your seat belt, boys, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

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