Suggests Oct 8, 2009 at 11:00 am


Dawkin's website for those who are interested:
I like Richard Dawkins, but I reject him as an atheist leader of any form. He's great with explaining and defending evolution, but he's also unnecessarily dickish to Christians who won't believe him anyway. Just let them be wrong and we'll slowly win over their children.

The great thing about atheism is that it doesn't need evangelists. It just slowly takes hold as our society becomes more informed, and the ridiculousness of religion becomes more and more obvious.

Not to mention that atheism doesn't lean on evolutionary theory. It doesn't need to lean on anything at all. It's just a default position once you weed out the nonsense.

Keep writing those books, Dawkins. But give up any hope of an Atheist (capital A) revolution.
Is he wearing makeup or is he just naturally rosy cheeked?
Richard Dawkins has the natural rosy complexion of a young girl.…
@ #2. I generally agree with what you said about how atheism needs no leaders, but I do think there is a place for spokespeople like Dawkins. What I appreciate about him is that he validates the idea that we need not treat religion with any deference. It is not on a higher plane than other ideas and we do not need to treat religion as a sacred concept. Just the fact that we can treat it like any other idea takes away some of religion's power. It helps that blasphemy is legal in the U.S. which takes away the legal cover that religion once held.

I like this classic Dawkins answer to the question "what if you are wrong?"…
Reality is usualy obnoxious to those who live in Never Never Land.
@2 couldn't have said it better myself. At this point Dawkins has painted himself into a corner by taking an overtly political stance. And just like any other staunch athiest he runs up against the problem of materialism where questions like "what is the mind" and "why is there something rather than nothing" continue (and I would argue will always) befuddle. Dawkins' "faith" that science holds all of the answers to the universe is just as absurd as a theists "faith" that God exists.
You know what's really dickish? Telling me over and over that I'm incapable of moral behavior, damned-from-birth, and destined for eternal suffering.

That's THEIR contention.

But they get so offended when people object.

Fuck 'em. You want to dance around with your holy books hating and damning people, expect a little return fire.

Or just fucking shut up already. You all win. All of you - except the Norse - think that eventually you win. That your sky-god comes down and kills everyone who was mean to you. So shut up already.
@7 - Again, Science is not a Faith. It is the exact opposite. But hey, I guess we're just a few more dead Palestinians from Jesus coming back, right? Unless those dirty Arabs nuke Israel first.

But hey - let me know how that God of Love thing turns out, OK?
And Science doesn't hold all the answers; it's just the best way of getting answers.

Religion is a celebration of ignorance. I don't know how magnets work, so Angels must be hovering in front of my refrigerator, hold my shopping list there.

But I wouldn't care, if you faithful just stayed the fuck out of politics. But no, we are constantly besieged by the faithful - attempting again and again to put women and gays and people who brag about their sex lives in their place.

In a few weeks, I get to VOTE about whether my gay friends get to enjoy their full civil protections. Wow - that's great. It ranks right up there with the Strangercrombie poll about which needy population - all deserving - should get the money. What fun! Why don't we just rent an arena and have 'em fight it out on a pile of money?
I wish I could attend, I'd like to hear him speak. Thanks for the website, @1.
There are some areas were religion and science collide and that's where the dick of Richard Dawkins has something to say. Ultimately however there are questions that can only be addressed by religion (or irrationality, myth, superstition, whatever you want to call it) and never science, for example, the purpose of life in a broader sense.
it isn't christians who describe evolution as a theory. it is the scientist who work in the field.

Philosophy also deals with those questions, and I wouldn't call philosophy irrational or superstitious.
@9 true science is not "a faith" but ultimately materialists who claim to know for "a fact" that God does not exist defer to faith in/that science will reveal all of the secrets of the universe. At the end of the day faith in science may seem like the more rational choice but will ultimately fall short when seeking to address the subjective concerns of the often irrational individual human being.
First off, to be fair, there are millions of christians who don't have a problem with evolution at all. The dumb arguments would better be described as "dumb fundamentalist (granted, usually christian fundamentalist) arguments.

#13, yes, scientists do talk about the theory of evolution. What fundies don't understand sometimes (or deliberately ignore) is that the term "theory" has a specific meaning in science that is about as close to an absolute as science is allowed to get. In other realms, the word theory is used as a synonym for a hypothesis, a hunch, or an educated guess. In science, a theory has mountains of evidence supporting it, has been poked and prodded and attacked and argued against from every possible angle (the job of science), and has held up under this intense scrutiny. But we all already knew that....

#12, #14 kind of beat me to the punch, but many of us would argue that religion (or irrationality, myth, superstition, etc.) are poor replacements for reason. ( I do think myth, at least, has value, but certainly not in understanding the physical universe.)
#15, I'm not familiar with any scientist or atheist, Dawkins included, that believes "science will reveal all the secrets of the universe". To say that they do is simply to set up a straw man. What most of us do believe is that science is the best, and in many cases the only, method for man to discover whatever secrets he does discover about the universe. There's no guarantee whatsoever that we'll ever understand them all. Science in its purest sense completely lacks the kind of absolutism found in fundamentalist religion. I think you'd find many more scientists who'd say that science will NEVER discover all the secrets of the universe - if for no other reason than the inherent limitations of our simian minds.
Nevertheless they are unscientific. There are theologies that are as rational as any philosophical theory on life's purpose.
@17 - "we'll never understand em all" is a cop out. If athiests claim to know "for a fact" that God does not exist (in whatever form the subjective individual human being believes/has faith that "He" does) they need to back that claim up with some real answers to fundamental questions related to our existence. Whether they do that by deferring to science (the preferred method of folks like Dawkins) or philosophy they are still ultimately falling short of "proof" that God does not exist. Just to be clear, objective truth is the real illusory element here either side of the argument you fall on (theist or athiest). Subjective truth is real and embodied in the "living out" of the belief systems of the individual. In other words, existentialism is a "third choice" that is NOT agnosticism (as it declares the question of the existence of an objective God moot). IMO the subjective experience of the individual (including something as paradoxical as faith in God even in the face of doubt/no proof as a salient example) is the only substantive/tangible form of transcendence available to us.
We are on the same page. My point is that atheists would do well to distinguish fundamentalist religion from religion as a whole. Religion, spirituality and myth have a role to play and people like Richard Dawkins tend to put it all in the same sack.
@18: please share. which theologies are as rational as any philosophical theory on the purpose of life? and no counting buddhism, because it is an A-theology! as in, no god or gods.

also: i'm worried the event might be sold out!
Not to mention that this bar of "explaining all the secrets" keeps moving.

Demons used to make you sick. We used to pray, now we have Germ "Theory". Except for Christian Scientists - they just let their kids die

Demons used to make you insane. We used to use exorcisms, now we intervene - admittedly inexpertly - by altering brain chemistry. Except for the crazy or gay folks that fundies kill in botched ceremonies.

Even the _list_ of mysteries that the religious used to attack science was provided by science. We could finally nail down the Grand Unification Theory and the religious would still be going on about science not knowing what's at the center of a black hole or something. A debate we can have now, because we've finally got the Catholics to admit the to the whole round-earth, solar-system thing.

Whatever. I don't care what anyone does to make themselves feel better. But just keep it to yourselves. You know, the way Jesus admonished his followers to do.
That smug self-righteous Dawkins can go fuck himself. And I'm agnostic. I just love assholes like this who claim to know it all, while putting others down at the same time. They always end up looking like narrow, dickish dumbfucks in the end.
Yes, yes. Everyone has an opinion about this stuff, and Richard Dawkins is brilliant at getting people riled up on all sides by reinforcing what they already know.

Chet Raymo is another scientist who writes about issues related to faith and belief, but he's got a brilliant humility and sense of humor about himself and the human condition that Dawkins will never quite get.

I recommend Raymo's Science Musings Blog and his book When God is Gone Everything is Holy as a less childish, less pissy way to counter religious literalism that actually stands a chance of winning some hearts and minds for the cause of science.
@17 To claim that someone needs to know what an answer is to assert that they know what an answer is NOT is ridiculous. I don't need to know what makes electricity work to know that it's NOT created psychically by gerbils.

Most rhetorical knocks on atheism center around black and white misrepresentation of the word "theory". Either people think it means a "speculation" (not proven), or "ironclad truth" (as you seem to be saying).

Science (and probably 99% of atheists) are not claiming that God ABSOLUTELY DOESN'T exist, only that all available evidence suggests as much, and so we ought to proceed as though that is the case - and certainly not center our lives around the infinitesimal possibility that one DOES exist.
Redbelt, Atheists don't have to prove that god does not exist. One can't prove a negative, thus only positive assertions require proof. It's up to those who claim that there is some sort of deity running things to offer such proof. So far, there isn't any evidence proving the existence of any sort of god or gods. It might help is we knew specifically which god you're talking about. Which god can you prove exists? Offer your evidence.
@26 you missed my point. I am saying that, objectively speaking, the question of whether or not God exists is moot. God is only meaningful and relevant as a subjective truth as experienced existentially by an individual human being (usually in the form of faith). In other words theists and athiests seeking to establish the existence or non-existence of God as an objective truth (fact) both get it wrong.
@27. Ah, yes. "Subjective truths" are true until they are exploded by objective fact. Example, a statment reflecting the subjective truth as experienced existentially by an individual human being: "George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were the best President and Vice-President the US ever had!" (I have actually - as opposed to subjectively - heard this said.). Objective facts prove otherwise.

This is called "The 'I can have my cake and eat it too.' and 'If we fly planes into The World Trade Towers we go to heaven' hypothesis."

Happy eating and flying.
@28, you just compared an "unknowable" phenomenon called God to a concrete phenomenon that was the Bush Administration. If you are implying that the individual's subjective experience of God will someday be "exploded by objective fact" you continue to miss my point. If you would like to maintain this dialogue all I ask is that you present a moderately coherent argument.

You rock! Beautiful comeback. You win.

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