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Atheism Richard Dawkins, Evolve Thyself

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Tejwant Singh, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Richard Dawkins, evolve thyself

    Richard Dawkins, evolve thyself

    Why is Richard Dawkins, of all people, acting like a fool? On the subject of evolution, he argues with wondrous self-assurance and a brilliant command of detail. He's established himself as his generation's finest author on the human sciences and (in many opinions) the most effective popular science writer in the world. But he's turned himself into a clown, and damaged his reputation, by supporting the grotesque scheme to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested for "crimes against humanity" when he visits Britain in September.

    Dawkins of course knows that won't happen. British judges almost always refuse to deal with crimes that, if they existed, happened outside the U.K.'s jurisdiction. It would take a mountain of evidence to produce anything like the "universal jurisdiction" warrant from a Spanish court that led to Augusto Pinochet's arrest in London in 1998. Pinochet was charged with mass murder while dictator of Chile, a rather more impressive crime than the cover-up that the Pope's critics believe they have exposed. Anyway, as a head of state, the Pope has immunity under international law.

    So the arrest is a publicity stunt to denigrate the Pope and his Church. Dawkins more or less admitted that when he wrote on his blog the other day: "I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope's visit."

    As always, "raising public consciousness" means "manipulating opinion." And that's OK for Christopher Hitchens, the journalist promoting the attempted papal take-down. His exuberant campaign against the Pope follows the pattern of take-no-prisoners hyperbole that has been an essential element in his remarkable journalistic career.

    But Dawkins? Appealing for justice to a shadowy and mostly theoretical version of a courtroom, he looks no better that those idiots who react to criticism of their beliefs by whining to kangaroo courts maintained by B.C. or Ontario under the name "human rights." Dawkins knows better. In fact, he does better, all the time, by working the beat he knows better than anyone, the detailed relationship between reason and the understanding of evolution. That's a fight against ignorance, well worth anyone's time.

    A harsh critic will say that he's afflicted by Star Syndrome, the need certain celebrities feel when a day goes by in which their faces don't appear on TV or their names in a headline. My guess is that what he's doing reveals a more serious predicament.
    Dawkins has done his best, after all, to explain that reason should govern all human decisions, and religion should be set aside as a relic from the past that does nothing but hobble progress.

    Nevertheless, the public has declined to embrace reason as he does, and even occasionally shows signs of backsliding into faith. Can it be that Dawkins fears he's losing the battle against godliness? Could it be that he's losing his faith in atheism?

    He must have noticed that Jurgen Habermas, the most eminent of contemporary German philosophers, nobody's idea of a believer, has recently been muttering about a blind spot in rationality if it's accepted as a guide to life.

    An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-secular Age (Polity Press) contains Habermas's tentative conclusion that there may be a necessary role for religion in the future. He's made the not entirely original observation that modern societies function best, as human communities, when they have religious traditions they can draw on. If religion disappears, where does that leave the human future? Reason and science have built a devastating critique of religion. But, with religion gone, where will the world go for a critique of reason? Habermas envisions some sort of rapprochment between science and faith.


    As well, those committed to the Dawkins point of view have recently been dealing with certain discomfiting suggestions about relations between religion and the brain. God's Brain (Prometheus Books) by Lionel Tiger, the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, and Michael Mc-Guire, the author of Darwinian Psychiatry, opens up the possibility that faith is rooted in the very structure of the brain. Discoveries in neuroscience suggest that religion should be seen as a natural product of the brain's development, a source of the serotonin that makes life bearable.


    As Tiger and McGuire claim, the brain is more comfortable believing than doubting. Richard Dawkins, absorbing that research, must live in dread that one day he will read scientific evidence that religious belief is essential to survival and therefore to, uh, evolution.
     
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  3. Lee

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    Tejwant Singh ji,

    Does Dawkins have an atheist agenda in mind with such a stunt?

    Yes I guess he does so.

    Yet there is evidance that before he was Pope cardinal Ratzinger covered up the crimes of peadophilic preists and was instrumental in moveing them to other parishes.

    It is no bad idea then this stunt of Dawklins. He is (for ill or good) the head of the Catholic church and Christs repreentative on Earth. In a very real way the crimes of the Catholic Church rests on the shoulders of the pope. That the Catholic church has been instremenal in covering up crimes and covering the tracks of criminals IS well known, as is the fact that this sort of abuse has been going on now for many years.

    The Pope is not above the law, nor should he be so.

    In other news, a well known atheist makes public his disgust of the Catholic Church. And the world keeps turning.
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

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    Lee ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I watched the interview on the tele where Richard Hawkins and Christopher Hitchens talked about the suit against the Pope for his arrest. I agree that the crimes committed by the Catholic clergy for years and were ignored or rather condoned by its honchos. It is deplorable. The people who hid these hideous crimes against the innocent children should be behind bars no matter what step of the Catholic Church's ladder they are on, including the Pope.

    The worst is yet to come from Latin America, starting from Mexico down, especially in Brasil, which has the largest Catholic population in the world.

    Catholic church sex scandal hits Brazil as priest arrested over child abuse allegations | Mail Online

    But, that is not the point. It is not the reason for all to become Atheists as Dawkins and Hitchens are trying to propagate and pushing to "evangelise" Athiesm in this manner, so to speak. All they are doing is calling on all religions without having knowledge of all of them and making them look like the Catholic church with its behaviour.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    #3 Tejwant Singh, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  5. BhagatSingh

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    Tejwant Singh ji,
    I want to know how you come to this conclusion.
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

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    Bhagat Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    It is easy. Read their books and their interviews. They are anti- religion and anti god. Period. Have they claimed to study about all the religions before coming to this conclusion? No. This is their blanket statement and goal.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  7. BhagatSingh

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    Tejwant Singh ji,
    I have watched all the interviews and debates, and all the discussions of the books of all Four Horsemen (Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens and Dennett).
    You are right, nowhere do they claim that they have studied all religions. Harris has numerously repeated over and over that religions are different! ( I am paraphrasing) He says that we as a society think that cultures and religions are equal( and should be equally respected) but this is not the case. Tibetan Buddhists and Muslims have been through the same hardships, yet we do not see Buddhist suicide bombers bombing China...

    Hitchens is only seen to criticize Christians, Jews and Muslims, both in his debates and interviews.

    Dawkins critizes faith (belief without evidence), this could apply to all religions. You don't need to study all of them to criticize faith.

    Dawkins has said that the kind of God they criticize, the belief in him is dangerous. When asked what about God= Nature, he answered that he does not think that belief in a pantheist God is dangerous but that's not the kind of God, the overwhelming majority believes in. He says that there is no evidence for any God and everyone claims that a certain God exist, and all their claims are contradictory so he does not believe in one.

    Dennett once called forth a religion that uses science as a base. He says it is possible to have a benign religion that compiles modern morality and knowledge.

    Tejwant ji,
    Would you really expect people to study your God and well as the other 1000, in case of Hindus 330 million, before they criticize?
    Its OK to criticize religion without studying all of them. There are SOOO many religions! and soo many more that have died out!
    Its unecessary to study all of them when making a case against them. We do not study every single atom before we generalize to a theory about atoms.

    I think your conclusion is without basis.
     
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  8. Tejwant Singh

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    Bhagat Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    As I said in many of my other posts that I enjoy Dawkins and his books. In fact I agree with some of what he says. But that is not the point here. If one wants to criticise and find faults in a religion, one has the duty to learn about them.

    Who is finding faults in an atom?:)

    We have different opinions, which is OK. It is rather naive to say what you said above. One can say the same thing about your own post.:)

    Bhagat Singh, please learn to disagree and move on.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    #7 Tejwant Singh, Apr 24, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  9. BhagatSingh

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    Well, yes you must learn about them. They know what they are criticizing and that is evident from the books.
    Earlier you were saying:
    That was your justification for the conclusion, that they should study all religions before criticizing them.

    and I answered:
    And I showed you that they are criticizing Abhramic Religions specifically, and faith in general, and that not all religions need to be studied in order to generalize, just like when studying atoms, or anything else.

    It's not naive to say so if I have provided reasons for it. You could say that my conclusion is without basis only if you provide the contradicting information, which I thought you would do in your next reply.

    What does this even mean?
    If we disagree, I will provide my reasons, and you will provide yours. If no consensus can be established upon analysis of the reasons then of course, we "move on". But in a discussion that has just begun if you wish to move on early into it, then you may do so. If you do that then of course, I will immediately "move on" unless someone takes your place. So please tell me do I still need to learn to move on?
     
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  10. Tejwant Singh

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    "I know you don’t believe in an old bearded man sitting on a cloud, so let’s not waste any more time on that. I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented."

    Richard Dawkins : The God Delusion- Chapter-'The God hypothesis’
     
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  11. BhagatSingh

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    Hmm...
    From that we know Dawkins won't say anything if you believe God is nature and all its mysteries.
    So because you find this attacking your own belief (i think), does the Sikh God come under the supernatural category? Explain please.

    Let me also remind you what I have previously said (keep this in mind):
     
  12. Tejwant Singh

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    Read my original post. Now, you are talking about a different thing. I never talked about Sikhi in my post because if you had read my posts in other threads I always differentiated that. We are talking about god. In Sikhi for me there is no such thing nor is Sikhi a religion. I thought you knew that because it is all there in the forum files.

    This was in response to what Lee said about the Catholic Church. So, do not jump to any conclusions and learn to disagree if you want to. Then you come with your silly idea about studying an atom. One studies the atoms of a particular thing one is researching on which again has nothing to do with this discussion. Has Dawkins read all the supernatural religions? I do not think so? So, it is a blanket statement. Has he read anything about the non supernatural ones like Sikhi to differentiate them from the others? If he did he would mention it but he has not.

    Dawkins did say that about gods and here it is, but you have a habit of twisting things.:)
     
  13. BhagatSingh

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    Wikipedia

    Tejwant Singh ji,
    There's the wikipedia article on generalization. It may be hard to understand but generalization is the basis of our knowledge.

    This is why I gave the theory of atoms analogy to religion. You don't need to study every atom/religion/<any phenonmenon> to generalize to a theory of atom/religion/<any phenomenon>. Once a generalization is proposed it can then be evaluated.
    Even though a generalization is not derived from all cases, it certainly aims to cover all of them.
    You can show how a generalization fails in a specific case. You pick one God and show how the generalization is not true for that God. I have mentioned pantheism is one example because the God isn't supernatural. This does not prove the generalization wrong, unless a significant number of cases violate the generalization.

    Recall:
    If the Sikh God is not supernatural, He doesn't fall under Dawkins criterion. one would have to prove this but one can't say Dawkins is attacking it (and if he's not attacking this God, it means he's not attacking all Gods).
    IF there are non-supernatural Gods then Dawkins criticism ceases to apply to them. In this scenario, asking him to study all the non-supernatural Gods and supernatural ones before generalizing about super natural ones is even more absurd.


    "I know you don’t believe in ... ... ... or will be invented."
    So,that's what Dawkins has said about God. Let's see what he says about religion.
     
  14. Lee

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    Tejwant Singh ji,

    Hah then in that they act no differant from any beilver. Tell me sir do you personaly think the world would be a much better place if all belived in God and all where Sikh? Do you not itch to inform the world what a great dharma Sikhi is?

    It is a wonder how some of the religious get upset when the non religious start to preach their own version of the truth.

    And yes I agree, I have always found it strange how those fundemental athiests always seem to base their dislike for faith on Christianity. But then the world is full of those who speak from ignorance without first learning what it is they speak of.
     
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  15. Tejwant Singh

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    Lee ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I agree with you. Here is something interesting for you read if you have not already read it:

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/atheism/30158-what-evangelicals-and-atheists-have-common.html

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  16. spnadmin

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    Re: Bhagat ji's post that references non-supernatural gods and supernatural gods. For the moment could we define terms. What is a non-supernatural god? I am interested in the answer and in all the directions where that answer might lead us.
     
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  17. BhagatSingh

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    Narayanjot Kaur ji, the answer was in the same post. The pantheist God= nature is of course, non-supernatural.
     
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  18. spnadmin

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    QFT, Baghat ji

    Additional questions, offered for purely Socratic purposes:

    1. So how does a god = nature formula lead us to pantheism as opposed to animism? Or to paganism, or the more contempo neo-paganism?

    2. You are saying that "God = nature." Under the regime of logic the "=" indicates an equality of terms. Do you therefore also posit that Nature = God? (Question 2 added after I considered the equation God = nature for a few more minutes.)

     
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    #17 spnadmin, Apr 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2010
  19. BhagatSingh

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    QFT?

    What's "socratic purposes"?

    well, what is the difference between pantheism and animism?


    No I do not say that the terms God and nature are the same.
     
  20. spnadmin

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    Baghat ji


    1. Socratic purposes - To encourage you to become aware of assumptions you make that you may not be aware of.

    2. Pentheism versus animism - For a sophisticated discussion of pantheism, and its similarities and differences with animism visit Pantheism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    3. "God=Nature" but you also say you "did not mean that God and nature are the same."

    That is odd. Most would agree according to ordinary reasoning that if,
    10 = 5+5, then 5+5 = 10, as well as all permutations of the numbers that sum to 10.

    You wrote God = Nature in your earlier comment. Now you repeat that God=Nature, and yet you seem to reject the implications of your own God equals Nature argument. You are not willing stand behind the only conclusion that follows from your own argument. That conclusion would be: Nature also = God.

    Fine! Then what are you talking about? Then what did you mean?
     
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  21. BhagatSingh

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    cool


    Thanks for the website. I have yet to read it fully but the view of Pantheism there is different from what had in mind, or least it seems different... I am going to finish reading this before I come back to the question.
    Also I don't understand the relevance of your question. It seems out of place. Please present the context.

    My apologies, I should have corrected you earlier. You have taken "God = nature" out of context. Earlier I said "The pantheist God= nature is of course, non-supernatural. " What I mean is that the pantheist God is equal to nature, hence its natural and not supernatural. So here, yes the reverse, nature is equal to the pantheist God, would be true.

    I have not made any God = nature arguments. and where do you want clarification?
    I really don't know where you are getting at.
     

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