Dawkins defends comments about "Alien Designers".

As opposed to the status quo of theism interfering with state and social policy? :rolleyes:

So its just petty jealousy, then?


A cherry tree usually won't bare fruit every minute of every day of every century...

Exactly and especially not the better part of a century <still in progress, btw, see Jong-il>;)
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What is arguably more interesting about Dawkins's TV work is the sense in which his public advocacy of atheism is coming to look more and more like media-savvy forms of contemporary religion, particularly evangelicalism. One of the reasons evangelicalism has flourished in contemporary society is precisely the way in which it has used publishing, consumer products, educational resources, film, television and new media as resources by which its adherents can develop particular kinds of religious experiences, identities and social networks. Evangelicalism has proven more successful in surviving the secularising trends of the contemporary world than other branches of Christianity because it has been able to develop into a religious subculture in which likeminded individuals and groups support each other and sustain their particular vision of the world.

Evangelical subculture even throws up its own celebrities, who serve as focuses and role models for evangelical identities and aspirations; the Dawkins/atheism phenomenon is increasingly taking a similar form. Compare, for example, Richard Dawkins and his bestselling book The God Delusion with the celebrity Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, whose book The Purpose-Driven Life has sold nearly 25m copies.

In both instances, their books take on a greater cultural significance than simply being texts that transmit particular ideas and arguments: they become symbols of particular cultural identities, beliefs and lifestyles; their authors acquire celebrity status and a similar symbolic function, and the act of buying the book can become an act of religious/atheist identity construction - even if the book itself never gets read. Dawkins's website also echoes the ways in which evangelicals have embraced the internet as a way for disseminating ideas and educational resources, providing social networking tools, selling consumer products and appealing for funding.

Until now, atheism has never held much interest for sociologists of religion such as myself. The numbers of people identifying themselves as atheists in surveys have been a small fraction of the population, and atheist organisations have had relatively little impact on the wider cultural landscape. But this could be changing. The high public profile (and sales) of recent books by Dawkins, Richard Dennett, AC Grayling, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens suggests growing numbers of people may be being drawn to identifying themselves in opposition to religion.

Dawkins's declared interest in making atheism more publicly acceptable - exemplified by the sale of 'A for atheism' T-shirts on his website - demonstrates that this phenomenon is not simply about philosophical debates concerning the existence of God. The sheer ferocity of many of the atheist critiques of religion also suggests that we are not in the territory of reasoned debate, but witnessing the birth pangs of a new, anti-religious cultural identity.

We are now seeing a concerted effort being made to validate an atheist cultural identity through media and consumer products, just as evangelicals have already used these resources to consolidate their form of Christian identity in the modern world.
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/gordon_lynch/2007/08/atheism_the_new_zealotry.html
 
What? Another theist commenting on Dawkins? Piss off.

Terry Eagleton: "Eagleton obtained his Ph.D. from Trinity College, Cambridge and then became a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Eagleton

And Dawkins was educated in a Methodist school and is currently in Oxford, established by monks and theologians. ooh closet theist!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

A Catholic turned Marxist from a working-class background, Terry Eagleton was an influential English don - and active militant - at the heart of the establishment in Oxford.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/academicexperts/story/0,1392,643458,00.html
 
Well athiests appear to be especially good at it, wouldn't you say? Must be the larger forebrain as evidenced by the superior rational thinking.

I don't see any evidence atheist are better at it, perhaps modern technology has made genocide more efficient and has also breed more atheist, but it is a Questionable Cause fallacy to connect them, a result of either ignorance, judgmental bias or both on your part.
 
I don't see any evidence atheist are better at it, perhaps modern technology has made genocide more efficient and has also breed more atheist, but it is a Questionable Cause fallacy to connect them, a result of either ignorance, judgmental bias or both on your part.

Hmm so you don't see any connection between some nations becoming officially atheist and the genocide of believers alongwith the banning of religious practice?
 
Hmm so you don't see any connection between some nations becoming officially atheist and the genocide of believers alongwith the banning of religious practice?

Yes, I've seen this connection many times, usually by theists who cannot comprehend existence without their gods, one of many delusions they devise.
 

Which part? He was confirmed at school (he's never given the name that I remember) and is a lapsed CofE. Apparently Anglican, not Methodist, though I don't know the difference.

When the family returned to England, he went to a C of E school, was confirmed, and embraced Christianity until his mid-teens.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/feb/10/religion.scienceandnature

Oxford? He is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public [Mis]Understanding of Science Religion, Oxford University
 
Hmm so you don't see any connection between some nations becoming officially atheist and the genocide of believers alongwith the banning of religious practice?

Nope, plenty of theists states and leaders have committed genocide and oppressed freedoms, in fact many did so against other theist simply because they believed in a different religion.
 
Yes, I've seen this connection many times, usually by theists who cannot comprehend existence without their gods, one of many delusions they devise.

So existence without Gods means

1. Theists are stupid and inferior [besides being delusional and violent liars]
2. Shut down faith schools
3. Parents should not have control over their own children

ie totalitarianism? Yeah, I get it. Jong-il is a shining flag bearer

Puts a few hundred Christians to death every year and "disposes" of mutant infants regardless of the parents opinions. Shut down all faith schools too, last I heard.

Although religious freedom does not exist, there is dispute about how genuine religious practice is at the handful of "show churches" in the capital Pyongyang. Dusty pews suggest that they are not well used. Buddhist temples are mere cultural relics. Parents are reportedly afraid to pass on their faith to their children, as sporadic refugee accounts suggest believers are still punished for practicing their faith in secret.

Dawkins would be thrilled at parents not being allowed to practice their faith with their children. Down with child abuse, eh?
 
Nope, plenty of theists states and leaders have committed genocide and oppressed freedoms, in fact many did so against other theist simply because they believed in a different religion.

All atheist regimes have been totalitarian.
 
So existence without Gods means

1. Theists are stupid and inferior [besides being delusional and violent]
2. Shut down faith schools
3. Parents should not have control over their own children

ie totalitarianism? Yeah, I get it. Jong-il is a shining flag bearer

Puts a few hundred Christians to death every year and "disposes" of mutant infants regardless of the parents opinions. Shut down all faith schools too, last I heard.

Dawkins would be thrilled at parents not being allowed to practice their faith with their children.

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I knew you'd be happy to see a society where the violent delusions of theists were firmly held in check ;)
 
So existence without Gods means: 1. Theists are stupid and inferior [besides being delusional and violent liars]; 2. Shut down faith schools; 3. Parents should not have control over their own children; ie totalitarianism? Yeah, I get it. Jong-il is a shining flag bearer. Puts a few hundred Christians to death every year and "disposes" of mutant infants regardless of the parents opinions.
I suppose that's the schism in the "atheist community," as if there were such a community. Those of us who believe "freedom of religion" means just that, versus those whose mission is to illustrate why we must allow freedom of religion no matter what the cost. Our premise is not just that religion is false, but that the world would be a better place without it. If we make the world a worse place by trying to eliminate religion before the time is right for that to happen naturally, then we become antireligous despots who are no better than the religious despots: we end up causing a lot of suffering over a mere idea, rather than anything concrete. An idea that the scientists among us will be quick to point out has a vanishingly small but non-zero chance of being wrong.
Shut down all faith schools too, last I heard. Dawkins would be thrilled at parents not being allowed to practice their faith with their children. Down with child abuse, eh?
Child abuse is a slippery concept. Like many of the choices in the real world, there's no clear delineation between right and wrong so we just have to draw the line somewhere and be content with that. We're prosecuting Christian Scientists who let their children die of easily curable ailments rather than join the "mainstream" who believe that God put all these really smart scientists and doctors here to help them. We're prosecuting men in Mormon splinter groups who believe that it's God's will to coerce fourteen-year-old girls into marriage--several of them apiece. We're removing textbooks from Islamic schools which teach children that Christians and Jews are inferior and therefore do not have the same rights as they do.

Basically we're saying that there's a point on the spectrum of religion beyond which you're not allowed to go no matter how sincerely you believe in it, and you reach that point when you start taking your child too far out of the mainstream. This seems like reasonable and responsible support of civilization to us, but to them it feels like persecution. We are, after all, deciding for them which specific types of religion are tolerated and which are not.

But the only defense of this vague standard is that it's not specifically directed at religious communities. Gypsies have to send their children to school. Latinos can't mentor their children in running dog- or cockfights. Nobody gets to attack his child with a whip.
 
SAM said:
You mean the part where he says religious people suck dummies is arguing against flaws in theisms? Or is it the part where he says that moderate theists are also delusional and should be included in the noble war of reason against faith
Yep. Haven't actually read him yet, have you.
SAM said:
He is clearly interested in using his atheism to interfere with state and social policy.
What a bizarrre conception of what "atheism" amounts to. Now it is some kind of organization that Dawkins controls, and can use ?
SAM said:
Its interesting how he cherry picks the actions of theists and ignores the fact that sans scriptures atheists have been willing to go much further to promote their ideologies.
Hard to see how anyone could "go further" than we have been seeing among theists, for a thousand years and more, planetwide.
 
Yep. Haven't actually read him yet, have you.
What a bizarrre conception of what "atheism" amounts to. Now it is some kind of organization that Dawkins controls, and can use ?
Hard to see how anyone could "go further" than we have been seeing among theists, for a thousand years and more, planetwide.

Don't have to go very far. Just visit North Korea, for instance and look at the Christians there. Or visit Tibet and look at the religious freedom there. Dawkins for all his erudition, is hardly original.
 
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