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Author Topic:   Atheist attitudes.
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 46 of 121 (523715)
09-12-2009 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by mark24
09-12-2009 6:32 AM


Re: Benevolence
quote:
Nope, Dawkins almost without exception is polite & considered. What he says is considered inflammatory, but frankly isn't. His message is no more inflammatory than this, "there is no evidence for fairies & therefore believing in them is illogical, moreover, the world would be a better place without believing in evidentially vacuous notions."

No, Dawkins is far more inflammatory and actively hostile than you describe. He claims to be "attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented," and describes God as "the Old Testamentís psychotic delinquent." This is not just a passive a-theistic unbelief, it is an intentionally inflammatory, militant, anti-theistic attack.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by mark24, posted 09-12-2009 6:32 AM mark24 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by mark24, posted 09-12-2009 8:35 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 47 of 121 (523720)
09-12-2009 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by SammyJean
09-11-2009 6:31 PM


Re: Benevolence
The philanthropy that has come by way of religion in no way out weighs the harm done by religion.

You sound intolerant and bigoted. Replace the word "religion" and substitute it with "black people." You can't make these sweeping allegations so that anyone that is religious is evil. You can't turn everyone with religious affections in to Hitler. You have to look at on a case-by-case basis.

Good people will do good humanitarian deeds with or without religion.

Yes, that is true, but it doesn't overshadow the fact that for every ugly thing that comes about from various religions, there is a lot of good too.

In the keeping of the current topic, I should also add that you sound completely militant and one step away from purchasing some Zyklon B.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 48 of 121 (523732)
09-12-2009 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by mark24
09-12-2009 6:32 AM


Re: Benevolence
Nope, Dawkins almost without exception is polite & considered. What he says is considered inflammatory, but frankly isn't. His message is no more inflammatory than this, "there is no evidence for fairies & therefore believing in them is illogical, moreover, the world would be a better place without believing in evidentially vacuous notions."

It's fairly common knowledge that, even amongst his peers, he's considered a firebrand with completely subjective opinions. It's not that he doesn't have very good points or that he's not a nice guy or not that he doesn't know how to be polite, it's that he's dedicated the entirety of his life and work at reducing religion and advancing a non-belief in the supernatural.

As Professor Tyson explains, his delivery methods are less educational than they are passionate to his personal beliefs.

I think Dawkins is a good writer and I think he has a lot to offer natural science, but he seriously needs to stop preaching, because that is in fact exactly what he does. He preaches, not teaches.

It's a strange world when a message akin to the above is considered inflammatory, but actually indoctrinating children is moderate.

It doesn't seem like indoctrination to you because you happen to agree with Dawkins beliefs, but I can assure that he's far moderate and certainly not free from bias.

Asking people to quote something that Dawkins said that is inflammatory or unreasonable usually draws a blank after a claim that he exhibits this behaviour.

Over the years he's toned it down quite a bit because of the criticism he's received over the years by his own colleagues. That doesn't make him any less virulent or relentless in his pursuit to destroy all religion. That far of an extreme is dangerous, just like extremist religions, because it leaves a vacuum that needs to be filled with something.

believing in ideas that alledly represent reality but are devoid of evidence should be vilified whether it is religion or racial supremacy. In very few other areas of peoples lives do they suspend consistency for emotional satisfaction. This is illogical & pointing it out is correct. The idea is that if people become more consistent they are therefore more logical & therefore the populations reasonability index goes up. This is a good thing.

If you can't see why the freedom of religion or the freedom of irreligion serves a valuable social purpose, then there is no way that you'll be extricated from your narrow thinking in one day.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by mark24, posted 09-12-2009 6:32 AM mark24 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Modulous, posted 09-12-2009 9:40 AM Hyroglyphx has responded
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mark24
Member (Idle past 3269 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 49 of 121 (523733)
09-12-2009 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by kbertsche
09-12-2009 7:07 AM


Re: Benevolence
kbertsche,

This is not just a passive a-theistic unbelief, it is an intentionally inflammatory, militant, anti-theistic attack.

It's not supposed to be passive.

So?

and describes God as "the Old Testamentís psychotic delinquent."

And if someone acts psychotically it is not inflammatory to point it out. If someone acts like a delinquent it is not inflammatory to point it out. He's also a murderous mysoginist, & again, it's not inflammatory to point it out.

Mark


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't
This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by kbertsche, posted 09-12-2009 7:07 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 50 of 121 (523738)
09-12-2009 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Hyroglyphx
09-12-2009 8:20 AM


Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction
That doesn't make him any less virulent or relentless in his pursuit to destroy all religion. That far of an extreme is dangerous, just like extremist religions, because it leaves a vacuum that needs to be filled with something.

So, vocally criticizing arguments and writing those arguments down and imploring people to think about why they believe what they believe, and pointing out that there are many religious views which cannot support themselves...is just as dangerous as

1) The Catholic Church's policy towards
a) AIDS
b) Child molestation
2) The idea that people that leave their religion should be disowned by their family and friends and cut off from the community completely.
3) Telling children their best friend who has recently died is being tortured for all eternity.
4) Blocking research into lifesaving treatments because of a belief about the soul.
5) Blocking homosexual marriage

And, incidentally, I picked views that many people believe are quite moderate religious views.

If Dawkins' was calling for "Death to believers!", a government supported abolishment of religion then you might have a point.

But because he attempts to persuade people to not believe, attempts to point out flaws in certain arguments and so on - he is 'dangerous'?? FSM forbid someone should say things about stuff that other people don't like!

You might think that his persuasive abilities are not very effective, you might think he is abrasive and you might find his personality irritating. But I don't think you can compare him with dangerous religious extremists who implore policies that either indirectly lead to people dying or implore people to directly kill other people.

Your point about how religion leaving a 'vacuum' that 'must be filled' may or may not be true. Dawkins has addressed this possibility in many discussions about religion so he is certainly not ignorant of the human need for community and solidarity.

Personally, I found Dan Dennett's "Breaking the Spell" and "Consciousness Explained" to be more 'dangerous' pieces of writing than anything Dawkins has come up with.

Most of Dawkins' arguments are 'none of the arguments for the proof of god stand up, there are lots of reasons to think an interventionist god doesn't exist, and believing that such a god does can have some real negative consequences so perhaps as a species we should believing it.' - is that really all that dangerous?

I think Dawkins is a good writer and I think he has a lot to offer natural science, but he seriously needs to stop preaching, because that is in fact exactly what he does. He preaches, not teaches

I've learned a lot about biology from Dawkins' books, and learned some fascinating things about the history of evolution by watching lectures he has given. There are different styles that work for different people. You don't like his style, you think it is 'preachy'. That's fine - there's still David Attenborough as an alternative.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2009 8:20 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2009 10:56 AM Modulous has responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3269 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 51 of 121 (523743)
09-12-2009 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Hyroglyphx
09-12-2009 8:20 AM


Re: Benevolence
Hyroglyphx,

It's fairly common knowledge that, even amongst his peers, he's considered a firebrand with completely subjective opinions.

Yeah, but in the same way it was other atheists who consider me a militant for wearing atheist T-shirts, there's a taboo on criticising religion at all, so successful have churches been in surrounding themselves in an anti-critical coat. It's not surprising other atheists consider Dawkins a firebrand. That doesn't make it true once we compare what Dawkins says with what religion gets away with.

I can assure that he's far moderate and certainly not free from bias

If you meant far "from" moderate, I disagree for the reasons I've mentioned.

But let's assume you are right, it stands to reason that so-called "moderate" religious parents (most of them) who indoctrinate their children are even more militant by definition. So complaining that Dawkins is militant when the large majority of theists are even worse seems a pointless position to take.

If you can't see why the freedom of religion or the freedom of irreligion serves a valuable social purpose, then there is no way that you'll be extricated from your narrow thinking in one day.

And if you can't see that accepting any bollocks that someone makes up sooner or later will result in harm, & attempting to correct this is right & good, then neither will you.

Mark


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't
This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2009 8:20 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 52 of 121 (523744)
09-12-2009 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Modulous
09-12-2009 9:40 AM


Re: Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction
So, vocally criticizing arguments and writing those arguments down and imploring people to think about why they believe what they believe, and pointing out that there are many religious views which cannot support themselves...is just as dangerous as

1) The Catholic Church's policy towards

You can't see the difference? If Dawkin's were discussing specific grievances about a certain church or doctrine, I would join him in the criticism. What makes him and Sam Harris is that they have claimed that their stated aims are to uniformly destroy all religion.

It is not that I don't believe they don't make valid points, because they do. I am simply at odds with their extreme methodology.

For someone as driven towards naturalism as Dawkins is, I would think that he would attempt to seek some validity in religion, especially since the data overwhelmingly shows that on some level humans are predisposed towards it. Does it not then serve some purpose? Or is it, in his mind, a negative meme?

But because he attempts to persuade people to not believe, attempts to point out flaws in certain arguments and so on - he is 'dangerous'?

I guess no more dangerous than the people he accuses as dangerous.

I don't think you can compare him with dangerous religious extremists who implore policies that either indirectly lead to people dying or implore people to directly kill other people.

I'm not accusing him of being dangerous in the sense that he's going to be on rooftops shooting Christians down, I'm saying that he is planting seeds of hate when he uniformly accuses everything religious as dangerous. That's extreme and counterproductive.

Personally, I found Dan Dennett's "Breaking the Spell" and "Consciousness Explained" to be more 'dangerous' pieces of writing than anything Dawkins has come up with.

Dennett is another one who's methodology I find questionable. He doesn't have the same draw that Dawkins does though, so most people don't think of him off the top of their head.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Modulous, posted 09-12-2009 9:40 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5953
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 53 of 121 (523748)
09-12-2009 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Hyroglyphx
09-12-2009 7:36 AM


Re: Benevolence
SammyJean writes:

The philanthropy that has come by way of religion in no way out weighs the harm done by religion.


Hyro writes:

You sound intolerant and bigoted. Replace the word "religion" and substitute it with "black people." You can't make these sweeping allegations so that anyone that is religious is evil. You can't turn everyone with religious affections in to Hitler. You have to look at on a case-by-case basis.

Your response is offensive and illogical. Religious and black are not analogous. One is a belief structure the other is a racial type. Replace 'religion" with "blue eyed people". Now sounds kind of stupid doesn't it. The previous poster made no allegation that "make these sweeping allegations so that anyone that is religious is evil. "
To infer that is ludicrous.

In the keeping of the current topic, I should also add that you sound completely militant and one step away from purchasing some Zyklon B.

What is your obsession here? You consistently pull a Godwin. Invoking Hitler and the Nazi's does nothing to bolster your arguments. They make your arguments seem petty and unsubstantial.

Edited by Theodoric, : Spelling


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2009 7:36 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 2147 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 54 of 121 (523750)
09-12-2009 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Hyroglyphx
09-12-2009 7:36 AM


Re: Benevolence
You sound intolerant and bigoted. Replace the word "religion" and substitute it with "black people." You can't make these sweeping allegations so that anyone that is religious is evil. You can't turn everyone with religious affections in to Hitler. You have to look at on a case-by-case basis.

I'm not saying that anyone that is religious is evil!!! Where did I say that? I'm not saying the individuals are evil, I'm say the institutions of religion are dangerous.

Just one example, HPV vaccine. HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer. It is the most common sexually transmit disease in the US. Over 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually and over 4,000 women die every year in the US alone. Religious conservatives are apposed to making the HPV vaccine mandatory for pre-adolescent girls because they believe it will lead to promiscuity. They would rather preserve cervical cancer as an incentive toward abstinence, by doing so they will continue to allow thousands of women to die.

This is just one example, I could go on!!!

In the keeping of the current topic, I should also add that you sound completely militant and one step away from purchasing some Zyklon B.

I do consider myself an anti-theist but Zyklon B gas will not be necessary, but rather improving Science Eduation in schools will help in rid the world of dangerous superstition.


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kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 55 of 121 (523758)
09-12-2009 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Hyroglyphx
09-11-2009 3:54 PM


Re: Benevolence
Can't remember the last atheist group feeding the poor and hungry, but seem to recall many groups or various religions helping the multitude.

I don't recall any non-stampcollector groups feeding the poor and hungry either, but I bet a lot of non-stampcollectors do. Atheists don't generally come together as a group, neither do non-stampcollectors. And atheists don't force their views on hungry and poor people when feeding them, they just feed them, which makes them better in my view.


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Replies to this message:
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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 56 of 121 (523759)
09-12-2009 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by kjsimons
09-12-2009 12:25 PM


Re: Benevolence
Just for the record,

Can't remember the last atheist group feeding the poor and hungry, but seem to recall many groups or various religions helping the multitude.

I am a member of the Leicester Secular Society. Collections are regularly made on behalf of destitute asylum seekers and members of the society run an exchange scheme where the absurd vouchers that asylum seekers are given by the government are exchanged for cash.

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
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Modulous
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 57 of 121 (523768)
09-12-2009 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Hyroglyphx
09-12-2009 10:56 AM


Re: Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction and Dennett's Dire Deeds
You can't see the difference?

Of course I can - that's why I presented them as cases that are different. The question is, do you think criticising ideas is as dangerous as convincing others not to use condoms in an AIDS epidemic?

It is not that I don't believe they don't make valid points, because they do. I am simply at odds with their extreme methodology.

Writing and saying critical things? That is extreme. Does that make you an extremist, too?

I'm saying that he is planting seeds of hate when he uniformly accuses everything religious as dangerous. That's extreme and counterproductive.

Planting seeds of hate?
Uniformly accuses everything religious as dangerous?

Really?

Dennett is another one who's methodology I find questionable.

Is writing about religion and trying to find out what it is and why people have it is questionable? Can you be any more general? Can you give an example of Dawkins 'planting a seed of hate'? Is there something specific in Dennett's work you find questionable?

Is it his proposal for compulsory religious education for children?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2009 10:56 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 58 of 121 (523770)
09-12-2009 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Hyroglyphx
09-11-2009 3:54 PM


Re: Benevolence
Can't remember the last atheist group feeding the poor and hungry, but seem to recall many groups or various religions helping the multitude.

Atheists tend to quietly donate to secular charities rather than those with a specific religious viewpoint. I'm sure most true Christians anonymously do too - Matthew 6 and all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-11-2009 3:54 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3269 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 59 of 121 (523772)
09-12-2009 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Hyroglyphx
09-12-2009 10:56 AM


Re: Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction
Hyroglyphx,

I'm saying that he is planting seeds of hate when he uniformly accuses everything religious as dangerous.

Except that he doesn't. He accepts there are good points to religion. And show me one instance, just one, where he can be considered to be planting seeds of hate.

Perhaps you should take more time understanding what he is actually saying & what he isnt saying before coming to any conclusion. If you haven't read the God Delusion, & it seems you haven't or you wouldn't have made the above comment, I recommend it.

Mark


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2009 10:56 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 60 of 121 (523782)
09-12-2009 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Theodoric
09-12-2009 11:21 AM


Re: Benevolence
Your response is offensive and illogical. Religious and black are not analogous.

Now you're beginning to understand the point of the exercise, just like religious and evil aren't analogous. All I was suggesting was that a little discretion be used here and looking at everything on a case-by-case basis.

What is your obsession here? You consistently pull a Godwin. Invoking Hitler and the Nazi's does nothing to bolster your arguments.

Nazi's and extreme thinking go hand in hand. Would it have been better if I used the Red Police?


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
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