Yet his atheism is as unprovable as the theism of those he calls the insane and the deluded about whom he pontificates.
Are you still using that line? You really are one of the Special Kids.
It is religions that make quite extraordinary claims about these invisible superbeings and their role in the creation of everything in the universe and the direction of human development and societies. There is no evidence for these claims, and no evidence anywhere in the 14-billion years of the observable universe that these invisible god superbeings exist, have ever existed, or have ever had any measurable appreciable impact on the progress of anything at all, ever.
When someone makes an extraordinary claim for which no evidence whatsoever can be found, the logical conclusion is that they were making it up and the invisible supermen don't exist.
That's all atheism is. A sober, calm, logical conclusion based entirely on dispassionately reviewing the evidence in support of a fantastical claim, and concluding that despite the proponents of the claim having been around for thousands of years the evidence in favour of it simply doesn't exist at all, therefore the claim must be deemed a false one.
The fact that bead-rattling lunatics find this so dangerous and threatening that they get all hysterical and start lying and attacking and making even more random stuff up for which there is no evidence all over the shop is both amusing and fascinating - yet also disturbing.
I was an atheist long before I'd ever heard of Dawkins. And I too note that strand of those religious posters who simply insist on viewing Dawkins as some kind of rival pope and atheism as a rival religion. I suspect this is because those posters simply cannot process atheism or what it is and the evidence for that is very much visible in this discussion.
If I excise Dawkin's books from my reading on the subject of religious belief I would still be an atheist. In fact, what is much more responsible for my conclusion that atheism is the default position for humans are two things- there has never been in the history of the world in any culture a child born religious. That and the study of the claims and origins of organised religion which crumble to dust with remarkably little study.
Much of the dogma, instructions, claims and origins of the organised religion we are most familiar with (unfortunately) in our culture can be show very easily with minimal reading into those origins to be utterly fake and written for the benefit of the scribes who made a living at it.
No Dawkins required in the demolition of roman catholicism for example. If Dawkins never existed at all there would still be atheism as there was before his public life and as there will be long after he is gone. If is, after all, the obvious human default.
For those who cannot conceive of a system of ethics outside roman catholicism or religion generally then that is an essentially negative viewpoint of humanity as it must maintain that children for example are born immoral and must be 'moralised' by indoctrination.
I don't accept that and have the weight of evidence of ancient history behind my take on that and the cooperation that emerged as an ethical system that arose with settlement and pastoral farming- long, long before jesus went around collecting sunbeams.
I maintain that organised religion is something from the dark side of the human mind- certainly those examples of abrahamic religions which hold sway over certain areas of the world where education is also less than ubiquitous are based on an essentially anti-human and in the case of catholicism vividly self-hating view of humanity.
Measuring oneself against a made up perfect godlet is a good way to perfect the mother of all psychological inferiority complexes. Yet some seem to enjoy this- mainly because they've been taught to see that as 'normal'. Like those odd women who go back to partners who beat them- or in some cases escape one batterer and immediately set about finding a replacement.
Organised religion in Ireland has been a history of emotional self-laceration. I do not see it as healthy. Neither, I think, does Dawkins and in this I absolutely support his pulling at the curtain behind which the 'Oz-god' hides ... where a little priest with a megaphone behind the curtain frantically tries to keep that curtain drawn across.
So, by your logic the search meaning in our lives is a solely religious preoccupation. Nonsense.
??? Now yer just making sh*t up. Where did I say that was purely a religious preoccupation? I said that insisting on clumping matters of belief and matters of society together was a hallmark of the religious mind.
Originally Posted by WilliamLee
Secondly, at no point have I said that Atheism provides any conclusions to the above issues, I said quite clearly that it has something different to say on those subjects.
You got all hysterical and aggrieved when the point was made that atheism doesn't actually have anything to do with those issues. Atheism, by itself, does not have anything to say on those issues. You are still insisting that the non-belief in invisible sky spirits somehow then leads on to matters of ethics, morality and social organisation. It just f***ing doesn't, yer wrong, get over yourself already. No atheist is bound by the conclusions on such matters of other atheists, no two atheists will reach the same conclusions, nor should they. Atheism is the non-belief in gods, it has nothing by itself to say - and no inevitable conclusions flow from mere non-belief in itself - on other, unrelated topics. You still insist on conflating them, despite being told otherwise by a whole string of posters.
Originally Posted by WilliamLee
Lastly,you have quoted my posts and then proceeded to make statements and claims that are completely unrelated to them. I find your posts hysterical, overly aggressive and almost without content.
You poor baby. As they say in Belfast....stroll on, big lad.
Interestingly, many of the points in the above links can be discussed without histrionics on forums in the UK and elsewhere. It appears many Irish have taken to Atheism the same way we took to religion.
Last edited by WilliamLee; 25th August 2012 at 01:02 PM.
It's generally theists bringing him up. I don't believe that I have ever made reference to him or his writings, indeed I have not yet read, and may never, The God Delusion, except in reply to points about him made by others.
Frankly, there are few living authors that I have found influential on the 'god question'.
To be honest, most of the God delusion is a summary of all the classic arguments that I would imagine you are more than familiar with but the last three chapters that deal with some of the evolutionary aspects of why we have a propensity to faith are quite interesting.
I think his theory on the utility of faith is fascinating. According to Dawkins there are evolutionary advantages to a psychological propensity for believing something without proof.
A parents' explicit instruction to a child not to carry out a potentially dangerous action without the child seeking out evidence of the danger would be an example of the utility of faith. E.g. A child that blindly obeys an instruction not to go near a tiger without proof of the danger of tigers would have an advantage over a child that ignores the instruction.
This is a plausible mechanism that could be exploited to inculcate beliefs in deities and a potential explanation as to how belief in deities could be passed on from generation to generation.
Peculiar that those who warn of Dawkins and of atheism generally that being 'without a belief in gods' is an alternative belief system... it just shows that those who were indoctrinated into religion when they were children are simply unable to process or conceive of a world without godworship.
I'd have thought that the fact that some people are unable to process some information because of indoctrination is warning enough about the dangers of religion itself. Without ever troubling Dawkins.
You will still get some of these people refusing to accept any evidence for evolution despite the plethora of nature-based documentaries available to them in which the action of evolution is evident. Pigeon fanciers must be heretics of some kind because they know from breeding different kinds of pigeons that evolution is very real. There are probably some religious people who like a flutter on the Grand National little realising that as they watch these carefully bred animals charge around the track that they are staring the truth of evolution in the face.
Strange then that like their fictional god these people will move in smaller and smaller circles in an effort to avoid evidence for evolution which undercuts the basic godstory of creation.
Some even will indulge in rosegrowing and will apparently absorb much information about the propagation of roses, crossing strains and the fabulous search for the ultimate black rose... and will not process that information into the black box part of their brain where 'creation' resides.
If I may move slightly to one side on this thread I notice that some research from the field of evolutionary biology and an allied field has been used in an unusual way to shed light on the history of language.
I'll supply a link to a BBC article which outlines how mathematical modelling software of how we know viruses spread in the human population has been adapted from the field of epidemiology to study how often familiar words appear in the family of languages working back from English to the family of Indo-European languages which now seems to shed some light on an old argument about when and where recognisable English began to form.
It seems that words which appear now in English and came down to us from Latin and Greek and previous languages up to 9,000 years ago came originally from the Anatolian region of modern-day Turkey.
Weird how mathematical modelling and the study of how diseases flow through the human population can be adapted from the field of evolutionary biology in which Dawkins is an acknowledged expert and can be used to track cultural propagation of language itself to a high degree of probability.
It struck me as a peculiar convergence that Dawkins who began as an evolutionary biologist and remains one of great renown found himself as part of his role in explaining science to the public in collision with those who like their public kept uninformed back in history and social evolution can observe the tools of his trade tracing the roots of language itself.
That which separates us from the other fauna on the planet- the development of language itself and the good and bad that came with that expansion of the human brain to its current size is relevant both to our advancement in the ability to communicate and the dark side- those who seek to prevent development past a certain point in order to profit themselves (priests and religions).
Priests were born as a profession as scribes in predominantly illiterate societies. And used language and books filled with apocrypha they wrote to subjugate the illiterate around them with a fake explanation for the observable world. Literary scholars are the only profession more dangerous to the priestcaste than evolutionary biologists and the priestcaste senses that. Hence the opposition to the evidence put forward by evolutionary biologists which destroys the creation myths while the literary scholars point out the fakery in the scrolls of bible, talmud and koran.
Absolutely. I simply find the notion that because one rejects the notion of a God, that normal human issues like morality and the search for meaning in one's life are somehow off the table. How are those two things even linked? It is this reactionary, mechanistic thinking that is infuriating. I would argue that people with such a limited and dreary view of Atheism are doing themselves real harm and are not in step with what it's really all about.
I recall one of these Atheist/Religion threads on here and a poster made the claim that Atheists behaved how they wanted, because they had no fear of what would happen to them in the after life. I genuinely did not know whether to laugh or cry.
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