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 The Trouble with Atheism? 
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am
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Have you watched The Trouble with Atheism? If so, any comments? The documentary mentions the communist killings. I think it is misguided to equate communism with atheism or humanism. It also talks about how Francis Galton derived eugenics from Darwin's theory of evolution. Then the Nazis turned eugenics into genocide. I don't think we can derive ethical principles from nature because nature is red in tooth and claw. I think the 1948 declaration of Human Rights is good but these rights have not been implemented worldwide.

The documentary ends with an agnostic stance: "There may be a God, there may not be a God, why can't we leave it at that?" Of course, religions don't stand on an agnostic stance, they all have their own dogmatic beliefs e.g. Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6, The Bible (NIV).

The documentary called Richard Dawkins' Ten Commandments 'wishy-washy' but I think they are pretty good. What do you think?

The alternative to the Ten Commandments cited by Richard Dawkins in 'The God Delusion':

1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.
3. Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
4. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
6. Always seek to be learning something new.
7. Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
8. Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
9. Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
10. Question everything.


February 14th, 2012, 1:06 pm
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am
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Location: Darkest Kent
Thanks for that, Compo. It's an interesting documentary. However, I don't think his thesis holds water, and ISTM that he shows himself to be a journalist, more interested in his work than the issues under discussion. I will also add that I dislike his column in the Sunday Times, which I find unfunny, unpleasant and unnewsworthy.

As for Dawkins 10 Commandments being wishy-washy, I think that is verylikely if you are trying to say 10 things which should apply in all circumstances. The key thing for me, is that they are not too prescriptive, and almost force you to make up your own mind about how to deal with the world about us.

It would take rather too long to analyse it in detail, but if you have particular points you want to raise, I'd be happy to share my opinion. :)


February 14th, 2012, 3:17 pm
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am
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Nick wrote:
Thanks for that, Compo. It's an interesting documentary. However, I don't think his thesis holds water, and ISTM that he shows himself to be a journalist, more interested in his work than the issues under discussion. I will also add that I dislike his column in the Sunday Times, which I find unfunny, unpleasant and unnewsworthy.

As for Dawkins 10 Commandments being wishy-washy, I think that is verylikely if you are trying to say 10 things which should apply in all circumstances. The key thing for me, is that they are not too prescriptive, and almost force you to make up your own mind about how to deal with the world about us.

It would take rather too long to analyse it in detail, but if you have particular points you want to raise, I'd be happy to share my opinion. :)

Thank you Nick. I was particularly disturbed by the link from Darwin to Galton to Hitler. From evolution to eugenics is a very slippery slope.


February 14th, 2012, 3:25 pm
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Compassionist wrote:
Thank you Nick. I was particularly disturbed by the link from Darwin to Galton to Hitler. From evolution to eugenics is a very slippery slope.

I've got to section 4 so far, but I'll come back to you later with some thoughts later. :)


February 14th, 2012, 3:28 pm
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am
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Nick wrote:
Compassionist wrote:
Thank you Nick. I was particularly disturbed by the link from Darwin to Galton to Hitler. From evolution to eugenics is a very slippery slope.

I've got to section 4 so far, but I'll come back to you later with some thoughts later. :)

That's great. Thank you.


February 14th, 2012, 5:38 pm
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