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Richard Dawkins and religion


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#31    Golly Buster

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:33 AM

View PostOdin11, on 15 October 2012 - 01:22 AM, said:

I find it somewhat funny and also a little sad that when people talk about Richard Dawkins they talk as if he only has one book, The God Delusion.


The Selfish Gene
The Extended Phenotype
The Blind Watchmaker
River Out of Eden
Climbing Mount Improbable
Unweaving the Rainbow
A Devil's Chaplain
The Ancestor's Tale
The God Delusion
The Greatest Show on Earth
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

Out of 11 books, only 1 is about religion.

But The God Delusion is the only one that most people have heard about, that gets them excited, that makes them foam at the mouth and bash each other over the head with their handbags...

If I was him I'd cynically try to work the word 'God' into the title of my next book too, just to keeping stirring the pot and tringing those cash registers.

Edited by Golly Buster, 15 October 2012 - 03:35 AM.


#32    Arbenol

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:01 AM

View PostHabitat, on 15 October 2012 - 12:18 AM, said:

Everyone needs a "why", there are no exceptions to that rule,

You've always struck me as a relatively bright fella, which is why I find the above comment a little surprising. We often read posts on here that make comments such as "Christians are all ........" (insert gross generalisation). Others can get offended by that and point out, quite rightly, that no one can make such sweeping statements and truly believe they apply to all.
But that's what you've just done. I think if you could develop an ability to see the world through others' eyes you would better understand what they say.

'Needing a why' is absolutely not a rule. It may apply to you, but it's an error to extrapolate that to an assumption that everybody sees it the way you do.


#33    Habitat

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:12 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 15 October 2012 - 05:01 AM, said:

You've always struck me as a relatively bright fella, which is why I find the above comment a little surprising. We often read posts on here that make comments such as "Christians are all ........" (insert gross generalisation). Others can get offended by that and point out, quite rightly, that no one can make such sweeping statements and truly believe they apply to all.
But that's what you've just done. I think if you could develop an ability to see the world through others' eyes you would better understand what they say.

'Needing a why' is absolutely not a rule. It may apply to you, but it's an error to extrapolate that to an assumption that everybody sees it the way you do.

Perhaps I should have put it this way, everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning, those reasons can be divided into "carrot" and "stick" categories. It is when the "carrots" become less appetising that people start searching about for more meaningful rewards, and the religious sensibility fills the void for some. People's interests tend to narrow as they age, according to how experience has taught them about what matters, they are less interested in froth and bubble and more taken with that which lasts, and the mystery of the eternal realm beckons.


#34    Arbenol

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:21 AM

View PostHabitat, on 15 October 2012 - 05:12 AM, said:

Perhaps I should have put it this way, everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning, those reasons can be divided into "carrot" and "stick" categories. It is when the "carrots" become less appetising that people start searching about for more meaningful rewards, and the religious sensibility fills the void for some. People's interests tend to narrow as they age, according to how experience has taught them about what matters, they are less interested in froth and bubble and more taken with that which lasts, and the mystery of the eternal realm beckons.

That's better, I suppose. I'm not sure that people are more likely to look for god (for want of a better phrase) as they get older. But if this is the case, it may just as well be an increasing awareness of one's own mortality that is the driver for this. In this case, the search for the eternal is a "carrot". I fit your category, but I don't find I have any increasing need to ask the "why" question. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem that some might do so - but I don't think it applies to enough people to consider it a rule.


#35    Habitat

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:32 AM

“The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.”

C.G. Jung


#36    FurthurBB

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:54 PM

View PostHabitat, on 15 October 2012 - 05:32 AM, said:

“The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.”

C.G. Jung

While this quote may be entirely true, it doesn't mean that god and religion are always what you find when you go inward and let go.  A lot of people lose their religion at that point.  When my grandmother was dying she actually became completely disenchanted with religion after being a life long Roman catholic.  First she started to seek out other religions, well other forms of christianity.  She always wanted me to read from the bible for her at night and then have a almost rabbinical school debate about what we read.  She told me she thought christians missed out on true understanding because instead of debating what they read like in the Jewish religion they take a do not question approach.  The funny thing is that is what I used to say when I was child.  I actually used to love to sneak a listen to the heated debates of rabbinical students when I was little and she told me it was a strange pastime for a 5-year-old girl.  Anyway, one day she would not eat and my mother called me because she would usually give in to what I wanted.  She told me Jesus was comming to take her away that day and there was no need to eat anymore.  She just wanted me to read from the bible for her.  So after about an hour of reading and debating, she looked frightened and I asked her what was wrong.  She said, "I was wrong, it's not Jesus." and she died.  Who knows what she thought she saw that day, but it made me very sad that whatever it was it scared her right before she died.


#37    CommunitarianKevin

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:26 PM

Dawkins doesn't like things he doesn't understand...

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#38    Habitat

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:14 PM

View PostFurthurBB, on 15 October 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:

While this quote may be entirely true, it doesn't mean that god and religion are always what you find when you go inward and let go.  A lot of people lose their religion at that point.  When my grandmother was dying she actually became completely disenchanted with religion after being a life long Roman catholic.  First she started to seek out other religions, well other forms of christianity.  She always wanted me to read from the bible for her at night and then have a almost rabbinical school debate about what we read.  She told me she thought christians missed out on true understanding because instead of debating what they read like in the Jewish religion they take a do not question approach.  The funny thing is that is what I used to say when I was child.  I actually used to love to sneak a listen to the heated debates of rabbinical students when I was little and she told me it was a strange pastime for a 5-year-old girl.  Anyway, one day she would not eat and my mother called me because she would usually give in to what I wanted.  She told me Jesus was comming to take her away that day and there was no need to eat anymore.  She just wanted me to read from the bible for her.  So after about an hour of reading and debating, she looked frightened and I asked her what was wrong.  She said, "I was wrong, it's not Jesus." and she died.  Who knows what she thought she saw that day, but it made me very sad that whatever it was it scared her right before she died.

Whoever said organized religion ( of any kind) is an external rationalization of true religion, which is internal and irrational, was right, imo. No-one should imagine that this trivializes true religion, it is the acme of personal evolution, and maybe even the height of biological and cosmic evolution, to ascend from the primordial  to touch the divine.


#39    Alienated Being

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:29 PM

View PostGolly Buster, on 14 October 2012 - 10:19 PM, said:

He's figured out that it sells books. It's sorta become his 'thing' now.
Not only that, but there exists plenty of scientific evidence in reinforcement for his claims. The amount of credible, highly reputable sources that he cites is outstanding. His books are very entertaining, and informative.

As for the individual claiming that others "foam at the mouth" when they hear of The God Delusion, that is simply not true; well, for me anyway. I foam at the mouth when I hear The Greatest Show on Earth, and Climbing Mount Improbable. The God Delusion is the most overrated, and most-publicized of his works.

Edited by Alienated Being, 15 October 2012 - 11:32 PM.


#40    alexb

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:57 AM

View PostHabitat, on 15 October 2012 - 02:03 AM, said:

It is amazing that millenia of wisdom literature of a distinctly religious flavour is superceded by the "wisdom" of twenty-somethings. So it has always been. The old joke about the young guy who noticed his parents getting smarter as he progressed through his twenties is apposite. Wise heads on young shoulders are a rare commodity.

Generations will always criticise eachother and dismiss what that other generation has to say. You probably did it when you were a kid, and you're still doing it now that you feel older and wiser. You're not the only one to do so and it's a mechanism: this way you can go through your entire life feeling like the one with the most wisdom. Just some food for thought...


#41    Habitat

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:02 AM

View Postalexb, on 16 October 2012 - 12:57 AM, said:


Generations will always criticise eachother and dismiss what that other generation has to say. You probably did it when you were a kid, and you're still doing it now that you feel older and wiser. You're not the only one to do so and it's a mechanism: this way you can go through your entire life feeling like the one with the most wisdom. Just some food for thought...
A little bit of poison more like it, I was far from confident or self-assured as a young person, the very antithesis of the 20 year olds who imagine they know everything worth knowing.


#42    White Crane Feather

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:57 AM

Some here might be interested in Rupert sheldrake's  book "the science delusion" in the uk, "science set free" in the us. That is unless you are worried your scienceism might be challenged ;)

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#43    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:55 PM

Religion: Here is to keeping us in the dark ages.

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Who is like God
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#44    Alienated Being

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:01 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 18 October 2012 - 06:57 AM, said:

Some here might be interested in Rupert sheldrake's  book "the science delusion" in the uk, "science set free" in the us. That is unless you are worried your scienceism might be challenged ;)
I am not worried so much about how my scientific views may be skewed, rather I am worried about whether or not it would be filled with pseudo-scientific bull****.


#45    White Crane Feather

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:19 PM

View PostAlienated Being, on 18 October 2012 - 08:01 PM, said:


I am not worried so much about how my scientific views may be skewed, rather I am worried about whether or not it would be filled with pseudo-scientific bull****.
Aaaaa so you sound just like the fundis now don't you? Plenty of excuses. ;)

I got news for you AB, your views are far from scientific :D

Edited by Seeker79, 18 October 2012 - 08:22 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-




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