(split) Atheism and acceptance of science

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by S.A.M., Jul 10, 2009.

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  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    What is the State? Should the state not fund any schools if they have people like Dawkins promoting atheism with science?

    Who gets to choose what the state should pay for? A minority of atheists?

    He's preaching his beliefs under the guise of science. What if the people of the state decide to ban teaching science altogether?

    Or ban atheism in the public sphere?

    Do they have the right to do so?
     
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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    State funded religious schools. I'm not sure if Dawkins is promoting atheism, maybe he is but what glean is the promotion of critical thinking. Well most people in the States for example do recognize the separation of church and State, in England its different and the State does pay for religious schools but its not without controversy so who knows if that will last. Most people would not want a fundamentalist education for their child which is why these kinds of schools are still in the minority.

    Science doesn't really place very much emphasis on god so he isn't really preaching beliefs he's trying to instill critical faculties in those who may not question certain beliefs that they hold and you cannot say this is necessarily bad.

    Dawkins is not suggesting banning religion, he's challenging people to critically think through religious doctrine and at the same time he is saying that its irresponsible for the government to fund schools that offer a fundamentalist education. Religious education is not the same as religious indoctrination there is a difference and many fundamentalist institutions do indoctrinate instead of teaching.
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Do people in England still get to choose which schools they can send their children to? Or like Americans are they restricted by state funding to their neighborhoods?

    I think Dawkins should be banned from using science to promote atheism. Hopefully, before he does too much damage. Meanwhile he should dismiss himself based on his own claim that those taught by the religious have no clue.

    Meanwhile, an example of Dawkins critical thinking:

     
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  7. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure how it is anymore as far as grade school and high school. I do know that you can opt for catholic school for example or you can go to a boarding school as I did or go to a local school. There are state run schools and there are private schools but how families decide which state schools they want their children to go to as far as one that is not in their neighborhood I am not sure.

    Why is it damaging? I mean what makes you think he is promoting atheism all he seems to be doing is promoting critical thought. I don't recall him saying anything like 'we have to promote disbelief'. He seems more interested in people coming up with their own answers, if you look at his documentary it ends with something to that affect.

    If you take a look at the whole thing let me know what you think.
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    You think treating people with contempt is an example of desirable social change?

    Sorry, there are enough assholes in society. We don't need a society full of them.

    As for promoting atheism? I think the atheist ad campaigns, lecture circuits against religion, atheist camps for children, atheism tee shirts, atheist conventions, the OUT campaign etc might be a clue. Not to mention his attitude towards all religious people including his colleagues in science.

    http://outcampaign.org/RichardDawkinsIntroduction
     
  9. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    No as far as that goes I think its a tactic that can backfire on those he wishes to impress. Well just because someone is an atheist doesn't make them an asshole. What is his attitude towards his colleagues? The t-shirts and lectures, ad campaigns and the like are all all right. You would have to give me more information about the childrens camp for me to come to some conclusion on whether it is healthy or not.

    Did you see the whole film?
     
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I've seen it before. I thought it was very interesting that he chose a Jew who converted to Islam as an example of religious indoctrination. And even more interesting that he could not see the parallels between the ex-Jews views and his own.
     
  11. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    I don't remember that. He chose a hasidic jew. That was in the beginning right? When he speaks with the rabbi? I'm not sure if this is the same documentary as the one you are referring to but its in the first few minutes of the documentary. He speaks to mostly christians. He speaks with a hasidic jew in the beginning and he doesn't really deal with jews after that religious or secular.
     
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Is there more than one movie he made on religion as the root of evil? He speaks to some kind of fanatical Muslim type who tells him he has converted from Judaism to Islam and bleats the general rhetroic you see from passionate converts. I mean he calls it "the virus" if faith and now he's running camps for children and promoting ads on buses and running campaigns to out atheists. Hilarious.
     
  13. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    No I guess not but the rabbi is hasidic not a convert. Tell me where in the film this is and I will look at it again. It must be somewhere in the beginning because I know that most of it deals with christianity and nothing else, no Jains or Buddhists, Hindu's and I can't recall one muslim.
     
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Its where he discusses Muslims. I saw it when it first came out and I have a hazy recollection of him walking in some mosque and talking about Islam just before he interviews the Jew to Muslim convert,

    Maybe there is more than what you saw? Let me see if I can locate it.

    edit: got it:

    http://richarddawkins.net/article,1...-The-God-Delusion,Richard-Dawkins---Channel-4
     
  15. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Ok. I'm going to have to re-watch it then because I missed that part for some reason.
     
  16. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Still rambling about things you haven't a clue about? Why do you waste so much time trying to look foolish?
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    When I was very young a teacher I loved told me never to be afraid of looking foolish in order to learn. She said the choice was between appearing ignorant for a moment and remaining ignorant for a lifetime. People in school actually ask me not to ask questions so they can get some participation points. And teachers begin by saying, anyone except Sam has a question? Well except when they don't do their reading and they beg me to ask questions

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    So, short answer, no, I am never afraid of appearing foolish.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    This kind of situation is a central problem here - you apparently have little familiarity with the situation you are discussing. You don't understand the current "gene-centric" theories of biological evolution, you haven't become familiar with the common political situations in the US that others here are talking about, and you are not willing to examine the cultural blind spots and limitations of your own background in the same manner you espouse for others.
    Let's leave that question on the board, as a reminder.
    The post nowhere conflated atheism and science. Identifying certain difficulties common theism creates in the acceptance of certain major scientific theories is not at all the same thing as "conflating" atheism with science.

    A few paragraphs back, I pointed out how the Soviet State ideology (described by you, accurately, as atheist) had created what I described as very similar difficulties with the acceptance of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Would you then describe me as conflating theism with science?
    If true, another example of the hazards of theisms - apparently, some major brands frequently become so intellectually crippling and cult-like as to cause "people" (lots of them, apparently) to "recoil" from entire areas of thought, sources of comprehension, and arenas of human accomplishment merely because of an association with rejections of those theisms.
    Depends. Why are so many scientists theistic now?
    You might want to check out the mirror, on that issue. I can think of few better arguments for recommending that a young person contemplating a life of scientific learning seriously question any theistic beliefs they harbor, than a synopsis of your postings on Darwinian evolutionary theory.
    Don't forget about the "in order to learn" part.
    The central problem is the reality of the situation. To pick one issue: Darwinian evolutionary theory appears to be incompatible with your beliefs, and is definitely incompatible with the specifically theistic beliefs of a large fraction of the US (and Islamic world, btw) public. What to do?

    At what stage in the education of the fundie raised do we raise the curtain on this scene for them?

    You object to Dawkins's recommendations about what to do - treat the "irremediable" with open contempt, draw a clear and publicly defended line early in childhood education and write off anyone on the theistic side who won't cross it - and many people sympathize with your recoil from what is suspiciously rude and arrogant (discourtesy raises doubts in any sensible person). But the problem he identifies is a real one. We don't want too many future intellectuals getting into their teens and twenties still thinking that Darwinian evolutionary theory says "the gene did it" instead of "God did it".
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm I looked up the camp. Apparently the initial press coverage was in error. Dawkins merely contributed 500 pounds towards a philosophy for kids counsellor for the UK camp. The camp itself seems harmless if what they say is true. Its apparently a UK extension of an American camp for atheists and freethinkers to send their kids to so they can indoctrinate them in their own values, although they are careful to avoid any appearance of indoctrination by calling it "free thinking". But the camps logo is "beyond belief" and their song is Imagine and they have a game where whoever can find the invisible unicorn gets a godless 100 dollar note and probably a signed copy of the God Delusion.

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    .

    Why not? Considering the founder's son became a born again Christian who bans his children from these camps I don't see any problem with it.

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    It was good of his father to go to all the trouble of setting up a secular camp for his son, since apparently he was banned from the Scouts for atheism. Seems silly they would do that, the Scouts in India never care about anyone's religious affiliation and we didn't even care that Baden Powell was a Christian when we went for the camps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  20. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Too bad your teacher never told you about being honest and looking foolish.
     
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    you could begin by learning about Islam. Muslims who think evolution is incompatible with Islam are repeating Christian rhetoric. I don't see any problem with evolution and Islam. In fact, I firmly believe that the Quran is a philosophy of life, not a lab notebook.

    I have no doubt that evolution occurs, I just disagree with the concepts that I have heard described. I do not think natural selection is "directed", I think the whole system is based on checks and balances and changes in one lead to changes in the other. What can survive will, the rest are just recycled into the system. Its the system that survives and like any system, trial and error makes it more efficient. There is the added hurdle of consciousness but we not equipped yet to deal with what that means in terms of biological systems.

    I think the approach used by biologists to understand the process of evolution today is error prone. I do not believe the process is one way ie from gene to genome but not vice versa. I do not believe that the gene centric view will remain valid for much longer. I think ascribing cause to results is a mistake in biological systems without understanding all the variables. When people say, how do animals and plants know they have a purpose, thats just gibberish. These are all my opinions and should not be used as peer reviewed data [at least not without crediting me

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    ]

    Anyway, its not my field so I don't spend too much time thinking about it. I use nutrition to change physiological responses and I can see how epigenetic changes are significant in adaptation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  22. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    A very bad philosophy, obviously, considering it promotes lying and violence. No philosophy should ever promote that.
     
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    They might have been better adapted - or they might have killed off the competition. Is it a "given" that some are "meant" to last? For how long? Or is it just a question of a series of tests of a species' fitness?

    Heh. I think you misread my question.

    Do you think it is?

    I think you're confusing this with fitness itself, which wasn't the point of the point.

    This is what you were going to explain. Is this not your point? :shrug: "Fast cars" and all that?
     
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