Wednesday, October 18, 2006
[Video is working as of 29th October - please email if it stops!]
From the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Newsletter:
What an interview it was!
Richard held his own and then some tonight on Comedy Central's 'The Colbert Report.' Stephen began the segment by saying "My guest tonight is a scientist who believes there is no God. You know what, he'll have an eternity in hell to prove it."
The rest of us--people of reason--worry about people of "faith."
It's interesting how your beliefs denied you the ability to consider valuable information and good sense.
I disagree with you entirely. I found Dawkins' comments to be extremely lucid and logical. He is arguing from a very solid standpoint and his views are, in my estimation, the a result of the best thinking we have at this time. It's empirically based rather than based on fantasy, wild speculation, or self-referntial, "philosophical," mental-masturbation.
While I agree that he uses whackos as examples to disparage the religious, he is providing an important function by pointing out a very real danger. These whackos vote and have an influence upon US law. They shouldn't.
A separation of church and state is necessary, and despite your claims about the basis of religious truth being benign, you don't have to look far to see the damage religion has done and is doing to the world.
Any believer who is not moved at least to doubt by Dawkins' words is trapped within the walls of a debilitating belief system. Such is the reason-killing ability of faith.
Make a thoroughly reasonable argument for belief in God and I will at least concede than I have been stumped and I will consider what is being said, but many religious people are so thickheaded that they cannot even conceive of thinking differently. That, to me, is sad. It's evidence of a crippled mind.
You said that "It's evidence of a crippled mind.” meaning religious belief. That’s extremely harsh and unfair. It’s the same difference as saying all liberals hug trees and have degenerate intent. What’s interesting is that a great number of the last century’s minds of maths and science were religiously inclined and did not feel that one over rode the other. William Hamilton would be a good example.
I think you need to draw a distinction between militants/capitalists who use religious fervour to drum up business and those people who have thought about their faith. I realise that European and American perspectives on religion differ phenomenally.
I do agree that people of blind faith are foolish but I already said so in my previous post.
I think that it is not trivial that Dawkins chooses extremist who are unable to articulate any kind of point let alone express 2000+ years of thought on the subject. It is not useful and does not create an atmosphere conducive to change and improvement to derisively shout down all those who you feel are wrong. This is an inescapable truth.
Dawkins gives an unbalanced and trite view of religion and it is extraordinarily disappointing. I hugely enjoyed the Blind Watchmaker, but this is just a self aggrandizing attack on religion. He paints the view that all extremists are religious and all religions breed extremists. This is obviously a belief that you hold. It's disappointing that you felt the crux of my previous arguement was motivated by my religion. This is not a black and white issue and in the current climate it is not really an issue at all. The question isn't religious extremists it's accountability for elected officials.
How heavily unbalanced the book is discounts it as being anything other then a club for the militant anti-religious figures to beat religions about the head with. No one of religious leanings would be moved to doubt by this book all it does is encourage a siege mentality. What chances do people who want to reform their churches/communities have if they feel that the majority of liberals want them to be burnt as witches?
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