OT: Did you read this book? Any good arguments against it?

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Tom Mazanec
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OT: Did you read this book? Any good arguments against it?

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Post by BrockthePaine »

Why is a scientist supposedly studying animal behavior dipping into theology? I'm just as qualified as he is to discuss theology. Why should any of us give a mongoose's pus-filled boil about his theories, when he won't even deign to debate someone of an opposing viewpoint? He claims that debating us would give us "oxygen of respectability". That's not the attitude of an intellectual, it's the attitude of an immature schoolyard bully.
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Post by Axelgear »

Richard Dawkins is, to me, a very stupid version of Carl Sagan. Sagan was an atheist, and he argued from that point of view, but he never said Atheism is the only logical and true notion. In fact, it seems a little stupid to say that, as that would indicate atheism has all the answers, which it clearly does not.

Dawkins is a person who takes atheism, no pun intended, religiously. That is stupid. As to his book, I know Dawkin's past works but nothing of this one, but if it is anything like his previous work, it's probably pro-atheist, anti-religious, covered in a thin veil of civil liberties arguments.
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Post by LoneWolf23k »

Here's how I look at it.. There's no definite Proof of the Non-Existance of God, anymore then there's definite Proof of the Existance of God.

Thus, Atheism is just as much a religion as Theism.

So to me, Vocal Atheists are just hypocrites, and I don't have to listen to them. :P

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Post by Tom Mazanec »

People, it occurs to me (I am on a break at work) that I might be going over the line to trolldom. If you want these OT threads locked please let me know an I will ask the admin to do so. For someone who has protested the over controversial fighting in the forum, I feel a bit of a hypocrite. Was I wrong to start these threads?
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Post by Narnian »

Wired magazine had a very good article on the new atheism called The Church of the Non-Believers. It includes a section on Dawkins.

An excellent read.
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Post by MikeVanPelt »

Axelgear wrote:Richard Dawkins is, to me, a very stupid version of Carl Sagan.
I'll have to disagree here. Richard Dawkins is not stupid.

What he is, though, is a religious bigot, of the Church of Militant Atheism. This causes him to make stupid arguments in support of his very strongly held faith a lot of the time.

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Post by Axelgear »

And being a militant religious, ironically atheist, bigot ISN'T being stupid? Like I said, he's a stupid version of Carl Sagan; where Sagan kept his views personal and never tried to argue theological views, Dawkins seems outwardly brutish in his approach.

What annoys me to a high degree is the fact that Dawkins almost considers it an affront to all things to even have faith. If anyone has seen the episode of South Park Go God Go, you have seen Dawkins in action when Stan asks that why evolution disproves God's existance ("Can't evolution be the answer to how and not the answer to why?"), and, although his action isn't as wild as Mrs. Garrison's, the moment Stan suggests even the existance of God, Dawkins just automatically begins to argue against it.

I have nothing against atheists, but typically people arguing against a religion, that is to say any religion founded on peace and kindness (Alphabetically, to name a few, that'd be things like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), usually ends up making an ass out of themself. Dawkins especially does this when he says that religious belief is the cause of suffering. A Mister Joseph Stalin would tell me otherwise...

Anyway, I shouldn't rant. I just get so frustrated at people like this...
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Post by TMLutas »

MikeVanPelt wrote:
Axelgear wrote:Richard Dawkins is, to me, a very stupid version of Carl Sagan.
I'll have to disagree here. Richard Dawkins is not stupid.

What he is, though, is a religious bigot, of the Church of Militant Atheism. This causes him to make stupid arguments in support of his very strongly held faith a lot of the time.
Is stupidity a consistent behavior, a mental capacity, or can it be limited to individual subjects? I would argue that it can be all of the above which makes the original comment imprecise but not necessarily wrong.

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Post by Dapple »

Quick what's this guys address. I need to send him a Bible every day for the rest of his natural life.
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Post by MikeVanPelt »

Axelgear wrote:Anyway, I shouldn't rant. I just get so frustrated at people like this...
Yeah... Dawkins types make me crazy, too.

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Post by Lazerus »

BrockthePaine wrote:Why is a scientist supposedly studying animal behavior dipping into theology? I'm just as qualified as he is to discuss theology. Why should any of us give a mongoose's pus-filled boil about his theories, when he won't even deign to debate someone of an opposing viewpoint? He claims that debating us would give us "oxygen of respectability". That's not the attitude of an intellectual, it's the attitude of an immature schoolyard bully.
*smack*

Because, study of evolution is part of his field of choice, which is a huge aspect of the God vs Science debate. His first books entirly restrained themselves to talking about evolution, but he got so much hostile feedback from the religous community that he got drawn into the larger argument.

Do your damn research before you flame next time.
Richard Dawkins is, to me, a very stupid version of Carl Sagan. Sagan was an atheist, and he argued from that point of view, but he never said Atheism is the only logical and true notion. In fact, it seems a little stupid to say that, as that would indicate atheism has all the answers, which it clearly does not.
Clue train now boarding, last stop is you. Atheism never claims to have all the answers, and yet it is a completly logical position! How does not being all knowing equate to being irrational? Secularism holds that, while we do not know all the facts at this time, we can eventually learn them through rigourous study.
Here's how I look at it.. There's no definite Proof of the Non-Existance of God, anymore then there's definite Proof of the Existance of God.

Thus, Atheism is just as much a religion as Theism.

So to me, Vocal Atheists are just hypocrites, and I don't have to listen to them.
Did you even read his book?

If I pointed at a closed door and said "That door is a portal to Narnia, but you can't prove it because the portal goes away when you open the door." That's a position that can't be disproved. It's also a position that can't be proved. Yet it is clearly bullshit.

Just because you can't prove something wrong, dosn't mean it's not a load of it. One of the most basic principles of science, restated in more laymens terms is "Bullshit until proven otherwise."
I'll have to disagree here. Richard Dawkins is not stupid.

What he is, though, is a religious bigot, of the Church of Militant Atheism. This causes him to make stupid arguments in support of his very strongly held faith a lot of the time.
Atheism is not a church, nor a relgion. Break it down.

A-theism. A, a prefix meaning without. Theism, belief in god. Without belief in god. If someone asks you "Do you believe in a god?" And you do not definitivly answer yes, you are an Athiest.
What annoys me to a high degree is the fact that Dawkins almost considers it an affront to all things to even have faith. If anyone has seen the episode of South Park Go God Go, you have seen Dawkins in action when Stan asks that why evolution disproves God's existance ("Can't evolution be the answer to how and not the answer to why?"), and, although his action isn't as wild as Mrs. Garrison's, the moment Stan suggests even the existance of God, Dawkins just automatically begins to argue against it.
Because it's crap. God dosn't add anything. Evolution describes a natural processes that could have, given our understanding of the world, occured without god. Since there is no way to prove god did or didn't influence it, it falls under the "Claims you can't prove or disprove" umbrella, which in the scientific mind, makes them worthless.
Quick what's this guys address. I need to send him a Bible every day for the rest of his natural life.
Quick, what's your address? I need you beat you silly with the afformentioned bible.
Yeah... Dawkins types make me crazy, too.
Yeah, everyone has a pet peeve. Mine is morons, for insance.

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Post by BrockthePaine »

Lazerus wrote:
BrockthePaine wrote:Why is a scientist supposedly studying animal behavior dipping into theology? I'm just as qualified as he is to discuss theology. Why should any of us give a mongoose's pus-filled boil about his theories, when he won't even deign to debate someone of an opposing viewpoint? He claims that debating us would give us "oxygen of respectability". That's not the attitude of an intellectual, it's the attitude of an immature schoolyard bully.
*smack*

Because, study of evolution is part of his field of choice, which is a huge aspect of the God vs Science debate. His first books entirly restrained themselves to talking about evolution, but he got so much hostile feedback from the religous community that he got drawn into the larger argument.

Do your damn research before you flame next time.
Ah, I figured you'd pop up to enlighten us with your (regularly misspelled) wisdom. You apparently don't understand the difference between theology and animal psychology: the former debates the existence of the supernatural and how this should change or not change our lives, and the latter investigates the thinking processes of animals. Dawkins' field is 'evolutionary biology' which gives him legitimacy to contemplate evolution and such; but it does not give him any special privileges regarding something outside his field of expertise.

As I said before, his attitude is an extremely poor one: his argument boils down to "There is no God because I said so!" In short, he's the atheistic version of Jack Chick or Fred Phelps, disregarding all dissent out of hand as beneath his dignity to answer.

Look, if your atheistic viewpoint is right, what do you have to fear from an open debate? His refusal to debate shows he doesn't believe his argument is strong enough to hold the field against a competent Christian debater. So rather than challenge Christianity in a market of ideas, he commits a campaign of intellectual terrorism.
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Post by Lazerus »

Ah, I figured you'd pop up to enlighten us with your (regularly misspelled) wisdom. You apparently don't understand the difference between theology and animal psychology: the former debates the existence of the supernatural and how this should change or not change our lives, and the latter investigates the thinking processes of animals. Dawkins' field is 'evolutionary biology' which gives him legitimacy to contemplate evolution and such; but it does not give him any special privileges regarding something outside his field of expertise.
"Special privilages"? Given that theology is not a legitimate field of scientific study, he has as much qualification in this area as anyone else. He most certanly does not need your permission to make his points, debate is not a "privilage".

And even if there was some kind of qualification he didn't have, that dosn't make his arguments wrong. Try addressing his points for a change.
As I said before, his attitude is an extremely poor one: his argument boils down to "There is no God because I said so!" In short, he's the atheistic version of Jack Chick or Fred Phelps, disregarding all dissent out of hand as beneath his dignity to answer.
No, he says "There is no god, because: (a long list of points)". Try addressing those points.
Look, if your atheistic viewpoint is right, what do you have to fear from an open debate? His refusal to debate shows he doesn't believe his argument is strong enough to hold the field against a competent Christian debater. So rather than challenge Christianity in a market of ideas, he commits a campaign of intellectual terrorism.
He's taken place in several noteable debates, and always allows hostile questions from the audiance during his speaches. Try again.

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Post by Deckard Canine »

Lazerus wrote:That's a position that can't be disproved. It's also a position that can't be proved. Yet it is clearly bullshit.
As was the idea of microscopic bugs, at one time.
One of the most basic principles of science, restated in more laymens terms is "Bullshit until proven otherwise."
Then I guess Einstein's theory of relativity is no good.
Atheism is not a church, nor a relgion.
I agree with that in part. I mean, theism alone isn't considered a religion, and most Buddhism is atheistic (you wouldn't call it a "denomination" of atheism). But there was pretty much consensus in a college class of mine that some people make a "religion" out of atheism in terms of what they do with it. Truth be told, religion can be hard to define. Transcendental meditation and even vegetarianism have been enough for authors to address the question, "Is it a religion?" (Being a vegetarian, I know the feeling.)
If someone asks you "Do you believe in a god?" And you do not definitivly answer yes, you are an Athiest.
As a sometime agnostic, I get annoyed when people talk like the world is divided into just theists and atheists.
God dosn't add anything.
How about hope? Not that you feel you need any more of that.
Quick, what's your address? I need you beat you silly with the afformentioned bible.
You're almost veering from blunt insults to direct threats. Watch it.

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Post by Lazerus »

As was the idea of microscopic bugs, at one time.
....I'm...not sure which is more scary.

The idea that you think microscopic bugs can't be proven or disproven to exist, or the idea that you take Narnia seriously.

Then I guess Einstein's theory of relativity is no good.
It would be if we coudln't prove it, which we can. Light warping around high-mass objects like stars can be readily observed, and, while testing time dilation is a royal bitch, it has been done.

As a sometime agnostic, I get annoyed when people talk like the world is divided into just theists and atheists.
My apologies for your annoyance, but that's what the word means.
How about hope? Not that you feel you need any more of that.
In other words, you'd rather believe in a lie that gives you hope then an ugly truth?

Well, it's your life I guess. But if you want to divorce yourself from reality because you find it too unpleasent, why don't you just OD on a narcotic? It amounts to the same thing.
You're almost veering from blunt insults to direct threats. Watch it.
I was meerly mocking him, not threatening him. My apologies.
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Post by BrockthePaine »

Lazerus wrote:
Ah, I figured you'd pop up to enlighten us with your (regularly misspelled) wisdom. You apparently don't understand the difference between theology and animal psychology: the former debates the existence of the supernatural and how this should change or not change our lives, and the latter investigates the thinking processes of animals. Dawkins' field is 'evolutionary biology' which gives him legitimacy to contemplate evolution and such; but it does not give him any special privileges regarding something outside his field of expertise.
"Special privilages"? Given that theology is not a legitimate field of scientific study, he has as much qualification in this area as anyone else. He most certanly does not need your permission to make his points, debate is not a "privilage".
You delight in taking my words out of context. He certainly has the privilege to debate theology, but he doesn't have the privilege to make me take him seriously. Why should I trust his word when his book contains obviously poorly-researched data that even a non-scholar can pick out? Since you seem to believe that theology is not a legitimate field of scientific study, that makes Dawkins even MORE unqualified to comment on it.
Lazerus wrote:
As I said before, his attitude is an extremely poor one: his argument boils down to "There is no God because I said so!" In short, he's the atheistic version of Jack Chick or Fred Phelps, disregarding all dissent out of hand as beneath his dignity to answer.
No, he says "There is no god, because: (a long list of points)". Try addressing those points.
Ok, let's see some of his points, then:
1. Atheists can be happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled.
2. Natural selection and other scientific theories are superior to a "God hypothesis" in explaining the living world and perhaps even the cosmos.
3. Children should not be labelled by their parents' religion. Terms like "Catholic child" or "Muslim child" should make people flinch.
4. Atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind.
Response:
1. Yes, they can. They can also be unhappy, unbalanced, immoral, and stupid, suspiciously at the same rate as all other humans.
2. This point hardly needs any of my response; there's enough debate already out there. Suffice to say that when thousands of prestigious scientists argue with thousands of other prestigious scientists, there's no clear claim of superiority.
3. Actually, I agree with this point in principle. I don't see what makes it such a big deal to him.
4. So what? Yay, go wave your atheist pride flag in the parade, celebrate your healthy independent mind. Doesn't matter to me. But Dawkins doesn't leave it there, does he? He says that the world would be better off without religion, and that atheists should do their best to stamp out such intolerance as Christianity and Islam. NOW he's trying to force his "healthy, independent mind" on ME, and we have conflict. I have only one thing to say to him: "Stick your atheism up your rear and smoke it!"
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Post by Rangers »

Brock's right. If you ask someone "Is there a god?" and he gives you a definitive "No", he is an A (without) Theist (root word: deity). If you ask him the same question, and he doesn't give a definitive answer, yes or no, he is an A (without) Gnostic (root word: knowledge).

And if he insists on mangling his sentences when he could do better, he is an Anti-Semantic.
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Post by Lazerus »

1. Yes, they can. They can also be unhappy, unbalanced, immoral, and stupid, suspiciously at the same rate as all other humans.
Yes. At the same rate. So, since if your an Atheist or not obviously makes no difference to if your "unbalenced, immoral, and stupid" or not, clearly, claims that religion are nessicary for sanity, morality, and wisdom, are wrong. Which is what he was trying to say.
2. This point hardly needs any of my response; there's enough debate already out there. Suffice to say that when thousands of prestigious scientists argue with thousands of other prestigious scientists, there's no clear claim of superiority.
Really? That's funny, because.....heh, no. See, I was about to say "No papers proposing theroies that could replace evolution have been published in credable scientific journals in recent history." But that woudln't be fully accurate.

No papers proposing theories that could replace evolution have even been submitted. The "Thousands of anti-evolution scientists" you say are aruging DO NOT EXIST! The vast majority of the scientific community sees evolution as a simple fact of nature.

Now, I freely admit, about 40% of scientists believe in god, but most of them see evolution as a tool god used to create man. While they disagree about religion, evolution is an observed fact.
4. So what? Yay, go wave your atheist pride flag in the parade, celebrate your healthy independent mind. Doesn't matter to me. But Dawkins doesn't leave it there, does he? He says that the world would be better off without religion, and that atheists should do their best to stamp out such intolerance as Christianity and Islam. NOW he's trying to force his "healthy, independent mind" on ME, and we have conflict. I have only one thing to say to him: "Stick your atheism up your rear and smoke it!"
You did not address his reasons for saying that. Religion is an inherently erronious belief, and we should strive to eliminate all such beliefs. But Religion is a distructive belief, as indicated by....gee, I don't know, the entire Muslem world, The Crusades, firebombing of abortion clinics, etc.

Therefore it is false (bad) and dangerous (bad), and so we'd be better off without it.
You delight in taking my words out of context. He certainly has the privilege to debate theology, but he doesn't have the privilege to make me take him seriously. Why should I trust his word when his book contains obviously poorly-researched data that even a non-scholar can pick out? Since you seem to believe that theology is not a legitimate field of scientific study, that makes Dawkins even MORE unqualified to comment on it.
That's not obvious at all. What poorly-researched data.

And, when we can measure gods properties in a lab, it will be a field of scientific study. Unil then, Theology is theology.
Brock's right. If you ask someone "Is there a god?" and he gives you a definitive "No", he is an A (without) Theist (root word: deity). If you ask him the same question, and he doesn't give a definitive answer, yes or no, he is an A (without) Gnostic (root word: knowledge).
Yes, but that dosn't mean I'm wrong.

All agnostics are atheists, not all athiests are agnostics.

I, for instance, would not say "I know there is no god". That's stupid, I can't know the answer to that, so I am, by your definition "without knowledge." What I would say is "I have not seen anything to persuade me there is a god." Which makes me an athiest.
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Built you a temple and locked you away,
But they never told you the price that you'd pay,
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Post by MikeVanPelt »

Lazerus wrote:But Religion is a distructive belief, as indicated by....gee, I don't know, the entire Muslem world, The Crusades, firebombing of abortion clinics, etc.

Therefore it is false (bad) and dangerous (bad), and so we'd be better off without it.
But Atheism is a distructive [sic] belief, as indicated by....gee, I don't know, the entire Communist world, The French Reign of Terror, the Killing Fields, etc.

Therefore it is false (bad) and dangerous (bad), and so we'd be better off without it.

Piffle.

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