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Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Altfish
Posts: 1821
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#41 Post by Altfish » September 3rd, 2013, 3:31 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan C. wrote:
Altfish
Some good historical stuff in there, I'm having a leap of faith and assuming it is correct, I wouldn't know where to start to look to confirm it.
I read it on Richard Dawkins own website earlier so I assume it's kosher.
Isn't that a bit like...

"God is good"
"How do you know?"
"It says so in the bible"

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Justme
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#42 Post by Justme » September 3rd, 2013, 3:36 pm

Altfish wrote:
Alan C. wrote:
Altfish
Some good historical stuff in there, I'm having a leap of faith and assuming it is correct, I wouldn't know where to start to look to confirm it.
I read it on Richard Dawkins own website earlier so I assume it's kosher.
Isn't that a bit like...

"God is good"
"How do you know?"
"It says so in the bible"
OH NO, not the circular logic thing again.
Hate, the offspring of fear cannot exist where understanding reigns supreme

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Tetenterre
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#43 Post by Tetenterre » September 3rd, 2013, 3:46 pm

Justme wrote: What you speak of sounds along the lines of jealousy and envy.
Exactly so.
I would hold the same standards for the President of the universe (if there were such a person) as I would a garbage collector.

Dawkins is just a person among a myriad of others. I care for him as I do all of humanity. He is one voice and deserves to be fully heard as do we all. I was merely speaking my mind on how I perceive him as a speaker.
Understood, and I agree. As I wrote earlier in the thread: "Whereas I find Dawkins's manner condescending and irritating..."
Maybe I should stick to the less incendiary levels. I seem to be batting 1000 down here.
Re "incendiary levels": Hell no -- robust debate is fine. As long as you play the ball, not the man (and you've shown no sign of the latter, as far as I can see), robustness will generally be appreciated!

Re "batting 1000": Went straight over my head. Baseball or Softball? Wanna try a cricket analogy instead? :smile:
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Solus
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#44 Post by Solus » September 3rd, 2013, 11:10 pm

Justme wrote:OH NO, not the circular logic thing again.
Not really. At least you can fact check things on Dawkins' site, as opposed to the bible where you are told not to put God to the test.

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Justme
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#45 Post by Justme » September 20th, 2013, 5:23 pm

Solus wrote:
Justme wrote:OH NO, not the circular logic thing again.
Not really. At least you can fact check things on Dawkins' site, as opposed to the bible where you are told not to put God to the test.
I was joking about the "God is good, how do we know, because the Bible says it's so comment.

I once posted a Wikipedia link to the Norse god Thor after a theist posted a diatribe about atheists not taking God literally because of scripture and the guy come unglued. I just posted it to show there were other accounts of deities, but you'd think I'd have killed his entire family. Suffice to say what followed was not exactly hallmark Christan. [-X [-X [-X [-X
Hate, the offspring of fear cannot exist where understanding reigns supreme

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Dave B
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#46 Post by Dave B » September 20th, 2013, 7:09 pm

I just posted it to show there were other accounts of deities,
Ah, but, Justme - there is only one true god. But that mans there must be as many true gods as there are believers in all goods, err, yes, um . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Nick
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#47 Post by Nick » June 6th, 2014, 12:58 pm

It seems that Dawkins has been criticising the telling of fairy tales, as it encourages children to believe (religious) nonsense. Hmmm... though I grew up in a C of E household, I was never encouraged to believe that Jack and the Beanstalk was somehow real. Much more, that it was a good and joyful thing to let ones imagination run riot. Which ought, surely, to help, rather than hinder, scientific enquiry.

Has he gone a step too far? Or is it misreporting?

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Dave B
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#48 Post by Dave B » June 6th, 2014, 1:35 pm

Has he gone a step too far? Or is it misreporting?
I think a little of both, Nick.

I heard part of an interview with RD where he did say that fairy stories might invite a belief in the supernatural in children. I think that they could actually be used as a weapon against the supernatural, "Now, kiddies, we have talked about it and decided that no-one can climb a bean stalk or that pigs don't really talk and build houses and wolves can't really blow anything down - these stories are just analogies or parables for real world situations. Now, what about God . . .?" :wink:

(Wonder how young one can get kids to understand the meaning of analogy, parable, metaphor or whatever?"
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Alan H
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#49 Post by Alan H » June 9th, 2014, 10:59 am

Compare and contrast:

The Torygraph:

Reading fairy stories to children is harmful, says Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins says parents should not read fairy stories to their children as he claims they are harmful to their education by instilling a false belief in the supernatural
The Guardian:

You can call me a big bad wolf but not a bore, says Richard Dawkins
The controversial evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has denied condemning fairy stories as harmful to children and claims he has been unfairly portrayed as killjoy.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#50 Post by Dave B » June 9th, 2014, 11:26 am

Just goes to show there are often as many views and interpretations as there are newspapers to make them . . .

Another reason I don't bother buying or reading any.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Sel
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#51 Post by Sel » June 9th, 2014, 2:37 pm

As a side note: I am the "other" parent to a 7 yr old boy. Like most children, he loves stories and make believe. So, to get around the Christmas story, I am gradually, over the years, telling him the story of the baby Jesus that accompanies Christmas but always point out that this is a story. I try to insert the idea that many people believe the story is true but we do not. However, Christmas is a time for everyone to celebrate our family and friendships, have a few get-togethers and show people we care about them by giving them gifts.

I feel he needs to know some of the stories of the bible in order to understand our culture and the references to those stories...of course, always reminding him that they are teaching stories not facts.

Some of his books include the Greek and Roman myths giving me a chance to compare them to the Jesus myth.
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." Bertrand Russell

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Dave B
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#52 Post by Dave B » June 9th, 2014, 3:36 pm

Yes, some of the stuff in the Bible is universal, just biased in a certain direction determined by the beliefs of the writers.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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emmacwilliams
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#53 Post by emmacwilliams » June 14th, 2014, 7:51 am

I think Dawkins is wonderful, erudite and occasionally righteously angry. The problem is that he is absolutely terrible on Twitter. Anyone who has read his books will know that he is a master of developing his argument in beautifully-constructed but lengthy prose. The limitation of 140 characters simply does not suit him and he can end up sounding stroppy, aggressive and downright unpleasant; this does not represent him at all in reality, and I find it sad. As I writer, I also find it very interesting that some people cope well with representing themselves accurately on Twitter and others don't. If I were Dawkins' agent I think I would advise him to come off Twitter!
"Do not put yourself at the centre of the universe; everyone else is too busy imagining they are the centre of the universe to put you there." Raj Persaud, Staying Sane.

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Alan H
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Re: Dawkins: giving atheism a bad name?

#54 Post by Alan H » June 14th, 2014, 10:44 am

emmacwilliams wrote:I think Dawkins is wonderful, erudite and occasionally righteously angry. The problem is that he is absolutely terrible on Twitter. Anyone who has read his books will know that he is a master of developing his argument in beautifully-constructed but lengthy prose. The limitation of 140 characters simply does not suit him and he can end up sounding stroppy, aggressive and downright unpleasant; this does not represent him at all in reality, and I find it sad. As I writer, I also find it very interesting that some people cope well with representing themselves accurately on Twitter and others don't. If I were Dawkins' agent I think I would advise him to come off Twitter!
I don't think it's him who has any particular problem! I'm not sure he is any worse than anyone else in trying to fit thoughts and views into a short succession of 140 characters. I think we all do that and I see no reason why Dawkins should be any worse. The problem, it seems to me, is that there are those all too willing to pick up on nuances, to imply, infer, extend and extrapolate from those few characters and make it into something he may well not have intended. Just look at the screeds that have been written about even single Tweets of his. Some have been longer than critiques of his books!

But any fool can do that; anyone can take that one sentence, spin it, contort it and mould it in to whatever they want. Dawkins is a figurehead and it has simply become fashionable to take pot shots at him - particularly by wannabe journo looking to make a name for themselves or simply to fill column inches. </rant>
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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