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 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 20
Richard DawkinsPage 2 of 2    (1, 2)

If i believe there is no tooth fairy and someone comes along and believes there is doesn't matter. What matters is that we know there is no toothfairy. The truth is all the matters.

You're still not getting it. The goodness/wrongness of religious belief is a he said/she said argument. They are at an impasse. It's two people banging their heads on the opposite sides of a wall. Neither is getting through to the other. Both are making opposite claims to exclusivity of truth, like you just did for the atheistic side.

You can't force someone over to your side of the wall. He has to want to come over. People shouldn't get angry or bitter over this fact.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 22
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 8/23/2007 7:06:12 PM

I use logic, reason and evidence to back up my assertions, the opposition does not.

That may be true much of the time, but the opposition does not put the same value as you do on logic, reason, and evidence. Instead, they value meaning, eternity, and the soul. Neither you nor they can coerce the other to value the same things.

And at what time is it 'inappropiate' to debate any subject, anywhere? This is no different than saying "it's not always appropiate to submit alternate ideas or views on issues". That's an utterly ridiculas train of thought.

I would call it tact and discretion. It took me a mere few seconds to think of an inappropriate time-- like, say, a funeral for the wife of a friend:

Friend, to his dead wife: "We will be together again someday, honey."
You: "Actually, the truth is, you won't."
Friend: "Huh?"
You: "Yeah. She's gone forever. Worm food. Oblivion. We all will be someday. You want to discuss this over some beers?"

at what time is it 'inappropiate' to debate any subject, anywhere?

Are you sure you've thought this through, or am I just taking your question too literally? On the other hand, if you don't believe in "Live and let live," maybe you don't believe in being appropriate or tactful...
(OK, now I'm arguing)
 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 26
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 8/24/2007 1:35:28 AM

Aggression won't help your cause. Setting a good example will. Spitting on religion from your ivory tower and calling creationists laden and simpleminded to their face is most likely going to do the opposite of what you intended. I don't know about you, but if I were a creationist and heard the condescending and elitist attitude put forth by many of these people, I'd most likely say, "Wow, these guys are pricks. I don't want anything to do with them." If you're a good person and not a****about it, maybe people will understand that they don't need the whole religion thing and ask you more about it. Dawkins' religious stuff is mostly preaching to the choir.


Name one atheist who has gotten more attention to the problems with religion than Dawkins. You are correct, he perhaps isn't the pre-eminent authority in such manners, but frankly sometimes you go with the guy who will get the message out, rather than the guy who knows it best.

It's like having a spokesperson, and the fact is atheists have been quietly leading moral lives for a very long time, and it hasn't stopped anybody from acting like we're rabid animals.

When you have a group as diverse as atheists, sometimes preaching to the choir is neccesary, even if it's just so we sing a consistent message.
 Raveninns
Joined: 7/19/2005
Msg: 27
view profile
History
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 8/30/2007 5:27:47 AM
lol, preaching to a choir of athiests, was the song Mr. Roboto?

So I watched The Hour with George Stoumboulopo.....los (God help me, his name is so long, it was not meant as a slight)

His first guest was Richard Dawkins.

I was impressed with his bio. And he went on to talk about his book, and his reasoning. Fair enough. There is a very large part of me that would agree with his viewpoint. But George is also an incredibly insightful young man, and countered with arguments that I would make based on my own personal experiences. Mr. Dawkins could only refrain, show me the proof.

I was dissastified with his answers. Always, my one argument to athiesm is that the possibility of something larger than ourselves could exist. I AM willing to concede that spiritual experiences may be just our neural systems on fire, but I'm also prone to couch my experiences in more kinder and cosmic consciousness benevolence. It really IS all in the proof, and when speaking to individual's experiences, it really is subjective in nature. One person's revelations are another's feverish illness. That one section of society believes in one thing and another believes in Oneness is irrelevant. It is the possibility that polarises us.

When this was put to Mr. Dawkins, I was dissapointed that his demeanor was arrogant. Sorry all you athiests, I have a lot of respect and awe of many of you. Your reasoning and logic is often quite flawless. But when your spokesperson speaks to us faith believers as if we are stupid, then, for me, he has lost a lot of credibility.

Cheers, Raven
 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 28
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 8/30/2007 6:01:08 AM

I was dissastified with his answers. Always, my one argument to athiesm is that the possibility of something larger than ourselves could exist. I AM willing to concede that spiritual experiences may be just our neural systems on fire, but I'm also prone to couch my experiences in more kinder and cosmic consciousness benevolence. It really IS all in the proof, and when speaking to individual's experiences, it really is subjective in nature. One person's revelations are another's feverish illness. That one section of society believes in one thing and another believes in Oneness is irrelevant. It is the possibility that polarises us.


The possibility of something is a very poor arguement for it actually existing. Thats Dawkins point.
 ZenBeth
Joined: 2/23/2009
Msg: 29
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 2/27/2009 8:12:06 PM
One thing to remember is Dawkins is British and his sense of humor is often (IMO) lost on many Americans. Christopher Hitchens who is also a Brit and atheist has a great sense of humor.

Back in the 50's I was adopted and my parents had to agree to give me a religious upbringing. My parents were secular and as such I was sent to the local Presbyterian church for years. But they also didn't believe in making me believe in any religious system.

My late husband and I, exposed our son to all types of belief systems so he would be informed. Homeschooling also allowed us as secular folk, to teach him how, not what to think. Today he is secular with some Buddhist leanings.

I have no problem with children being exposed to different belief systems, in order to be informed, but insisting they attend religious services etc seems odd to me. Even cultish.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 30
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History
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/1/2009 3:10:34 AM

My question is do people think any good can come from Dawkins' brand of militant, overtly-aggressive style of Atheism. For example, he compares the indoctrination of children into religion (ie before they can make informed choices about it) as child abuse.
It depends on whether or not you consider conflict a good thing. Arms dealers would tell you that it is a good thing. So would politicians, as they often get elected and re-elected on the basis of wars. So would black market profiteers. Marx said similar things about religion, and the U.S.S.R. had a similar policy as Dawkins would like to see. All these people have been made very happy due to conflict. Why should we deny them their happiness?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 32
view profile
History
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/1/2009 1:46:51 PM
RE msg 31 by chelloveck:
Jihadists would not only tell you that it (conflict) is a good thing, but a necessary thing.
Jihadists have killed a lot of people. But most don't do what the Nazis did. But we wouldn't approve of their actions.

Various faiths have, over the ages decided that conflict is not only a necessary way...but also a profitable way of spreading their particular brand of magical belief, whilst also removing the threat of opposing/competing beliefs.
The Spanish Inquisition killed many thousands. But at least they gave many the choice to convert. But we wouldn't approve of their actions either.

It is easy to find extreme examples to make one's case. Doing so, doesn't necessarily demonstrate the validity of one's argument. There is no doubt that Dawkins is a provocative advocate for the atheist position....but I venture to say, that his views are relatively mild when compared to those of many many theists.
Extreme examples don't prove your point. But arms dealers, black market profiteers, and politicians are NOT the most extreme of cases. But they do all have something in common: none of them, at least the ones in our society, would call for out and out murder, but they would call for conflict which would benefit their POV, and which would end up causing injustice and oppression to many. Dawkins does not advocate injustice and oppression very clearly. But he does say that children should be denied being taught about religion until they are adults, but does teach children about his POV, which deliberately promotes his views, while imhibiting other views. That is indoctrination at its purest.

I personally find Dawkins to be a little irritating in his manner of presenting his case, but I suggest that much of the vitriol heaped upon him and others has more to do with his (and their) temerity in challenging the prevailing theist's hegemony over belief.
I find him incredibly infuriating, because what he says only makes sense when you don't think about it. When I really sit and think about what he says, I end up with more than one problem with every sentence he says. He even misrepresents science. He's even claimed that certain medical treatments are completely bogus, when he is not a doctor, and the entire force of the British Medical Association says that these medical treatments are so effective, that the government will pay for them, and they won't even pay for any drugs without proof that they are VERY successful beyond doubt. I have even watched him use the EXACT terms that religious people used to use, about his own religion. If someone from another planet came here, and watched him talk, and had no idea what atheism was, I honestly believe they'd conclude that atheism was a religion, based on what he says.

Theists have, until recent years had a pretty easy run....all things considered.
All things considered, theists have had a pretty difficult time of it. They have been attacked since the Renaissance, and it hasn't let up at all. Governments have turned their backs on religion. Even the Western lifestyle is pretty difficult to merge with religion. There is even a claim that most of us were told in school, about religion, that claims that it denied the Earth was round, that is based on a work of fiction, Washington Irving's novel about Christopher Columbus. Now, we have lots and lots of pro-atheist sites, that accumulate lots of attacks on religion, that are quoted verbatim on this site regularly, let alone any other sites. Anti-religious people don't even have to think anymore. They just go to a pro-atheist site, and cite some questions. Talk about ammunition.

Then, when you answer their attacks, they often ignore your answers, and just keep focussing on the attacks that you haven't addressed yet. Then, when you answer ALL of their attacks, they claim you write too much, or just ignore you, and attack someone else.

and it is undoubtedly confounding, vexing and perplexing that atheists have found a voice. The sheer gall of them (atheists) for doing so!! I guess atheists should stay silent in the same closet as some of the other traditionally oppressed minorities.
There are many intelligent writers on the subject of atheism. I am just about to finish a book by Isaiah Berlin, who is a pluralist. I am intending to borrow an essay written by Bertrand Russell, entitled "Why I am not a Xian", because I've read another essay by him, on education, and the esay read beautifully, and made tremendous sense. From what I've read and watched of both, comparing Russell to Dawkins, would be like comparing light to darkness. So I cannot believe that the reason that so many see Dawkins as a "voice of atheism", is because of his erudite nature, because I find that is seriously lacking in his writing.

I believe that Dawkins is a man of his time. He sounds good on the surface, until you really question his points deeply, and make your own decisions for yourself. That suits the common man, because as Edison pointed out, "There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking." Dawkins occupies the same role for atheists as many slick evangelists do for many religious groups. That makes him popular. But not right, and no less an advocate of extreme ideas, than those who are definitely NOT moderate in the Bible Belt of America.

I would suggest that debating the idea of god, is probably more beneficial than just accepting uncritically the idea of god as an article of faith, based on the inerrancy and absolute claims to truth of this or that sacred text. Let both sides express their views freely I say.
I agree heartily with that. I applauded one poster, because she brought her kid up learning about lots of religions, and atheism, and let him make his own decisions for himself. I would heartily agree if Dawkins called for more education of religious diversity in schools, as even if no-one changed their views on religion, that would still increase tolerance for others. I would heartily agree if Dawkins called for more examination of scientific concepts like evolution, and a call for more rigour in those theories, to prove them beyond any possibility, almost mathematically.

But Dawkins is just really, really annoying to me, because the most useful thing I've ever come across from him, is the concept of a "meme", and that is completely overshadowed by everything else he's done, which seems very questionable to me, and often as if it has not been thought through. What is more annoying, though, is so many people who actually believe him, when everything I've read or seen by him, is full of holes. It makes me think that we are living in a time when people just buy any old claptrap, become intolerant of others, and then insult others on that basis. I want to live in a world where people THINK before making up their minds about something.

Seriously, if you want to read something worthwhile, read anything by Isaiah Berlin, or anyone equally erudite. Read Dale Carnegie. Read anyone. Just don't take Dawkins word for it, until you've read enough to see his view in terms of a larger world, so you can understand that he is painting one strip in a giant canvas, and decide for yourself if it really fits within the massive tapestry of life.
 oldsoul
Joined: 3/10/2007
Msg: 33
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/2/2009 8:32:00 AM

I have even watched him use the EXACT terms that religious people used to use, about his own religion.


Atheism is NOT a religion. People saying that atheism is a religion over and over again does not make it one any more than people saying that religion is a delusion makes it a delusion.

However, anyone is free to call atheism anything they wish in the privacy of their own home in the same way that anyone is free to refer to religions as anything they want in theirs.

But when speaking publicly, one should remember that one's opinion is NOT a fact and that RESPECT goes both ways. In other words, I as an atheist have as much right to expect that atheism not be called a religion on a public venue such as this one than religious people have in expecting that their religions not be called a delusion. Again, respect is a multi-lane highway, NOT a one way street.

But he does say that children should be denied being taught about religion until they are adults, but does teach children about his POV, which deliberately promotes his views, while imhibiting other views. That is indoctrination at its purest.


Please cite exactly where Dawkins promotes or encourages in any way shape or form the indoctrination of children, let alone to promote his own point of view. And if you're not prepared or willing to do that, then I suggest that you stop propaganding your opinions as facts.

Perhaps you're confusing teaching children how to think for themselves and showing them HOW to use their critical thinking skills with indoctrination, which is the EXACT opposite of indoctrination??

Dawkins occupies the same role for atheists as many slick evangelists do for many religious groups.


Please don't ASSUME to know what anyone thinks or knows other than your own self. And stop making statements like there is any basis of truth in them.

That statement is not even qualified with "some" or in my opinion or I think or believe. To generalize is intellectually dishonest at best and to assume to know what any atheist think, let alone what ALL atheists think is laughable.

And yes, omitting the word "some" implies ALL. It's the same as if someone says that religious people think or are this or that. How do you or anyone know what each and every atheist knows or thinks?? Isn't that the very thing that many religious people accuse (some) atheists of doing? Pot calling the kettle black??

Now, we have lots and lots of pro-atheist sites, that accumulate lots of attacks on religion, that are quoted verbatim on this site regularly, let alone any other sites.


Attacks??? ATTACKS?? Since when is posing a question or questions an attack? Having and stating an opposing point of view as an opinion is an attack????? And why is it okay for one group of people to be able to quote their sources verbatim and not okay for another?? Why and how are my sources any LESS valid or relevant than theirs?

Anti-religious people don't even have to think anymore. They just go to a pro-atheist site, and cite some questions. Talk about ammunition.


And religious people think MORE than anti-religious people do? Ha! Don't they just go to some book(s) or some site(s) and cite some passages??? Talk about hypocrisy.

Then, when you answer their attacks, they often ignore your answers, and just keep focussing on the attacks that you haven't addressed yet. Then, when you answer ALL of their attacks, they claim you write too much, or just ignore you, and attack someone else.


Stating an opinion is NOT an attack. Asking questions is not an attack. Assuming to speak for others is an attack. Assuming to know what a person knows is an attack. Assuming to know what a person thinks is an attack. Assuming that others are ignorant and need to be preached to is an attack.

Implying over and over again that atheists can't think for themselves IS an attack. Disrespecting atheism over and over again by calling it a religion IS an attack and is insulting in the same way that an atheist calling religion a delusion is an attack and insulting to (most) religious people. And I personally ignore or try my best to ignore anything that is off-topic to the subject at hand so if someone goes on tangents talking about this when the topic is about that, I ignore it.

What is more annoying, though, is so many people who actually believe him, when everything I've read or seen by him, is full of holes.


Very few (if any) atheists could be accused of "believing" in anything OR anyone. In fact, the word believe is the very antithesis of what atheism stands for. For someone to suggest otherwise means that they know nothing about atheism.

And it annoys me to no end to have people who know nothing about atheism speak for atheists and what atheism means and stands for. THAT is as full of holes as it gets in my opinion.

And speaking of holes, isn't the bible and any other religious texts for that matter FULL of holes? And following that logic (?) , doesn't that mean that the bible should be declared invalid because of those holes? And if not, why not? What makes a hole or holes any more or less valid (or holier ) than others?

I applauded one poster, because she brought her kid up learning about lots of religions, and atheism, and let him make his own decisions for himself.


ALL (yes all) atheists/agnostics and lapsed or former believers that I know do this. Both my children and my granddaughter for example have gone/go to catholic schools. All of them were taught and exposed to many different religions/belief systems from an early age and given the freedom to explore each and every one at will.

That is in fact what most atheists "believe in" if atheists are to be accused of "believing" in anything...they believe in the FREEDOM of CHOICE, including the freedom of and FROM religions/indoctrination.

And teaching and exposing a child to various faith/belief systems is the exact opposite of indoctrination. And just because atheists are not a group thus can't/don't brag as a group that their children are being taught about and exposed to religions does not mean that it's not a reality for most of them.

Also, assuming that just because one or two posters only have made mention of it makes it a rarity is just that, an assumption. It's also an illogical fallacy and makes as much sense as assuming that atheists starve their children just because they don't mention that they feed them. Yet the very same people who make the majority of those fallacious statements are often the same people to claim or at least STRONGLY imply to be smarter than the average bear.

I would heartily agree if Dawkins called for more education of religious diversity in schools, as even if no-one changed their views on religion, that would still increase tolerance for others. I would heartily agree if Dawkins called for more examination of scientific concepts like evolution, and a call for more rigour in those theories, to prove them beyond any possibility, almost mathematically.


Hmm...that's pretty much what Dawkins is calling for. So what and where is the problem exactly?

It makes me think that we are living in a time when people just buy any old claptrap, become intolerant of others, and then insult others on that basis.


This old tired argument makes me think that some people would like us live in a time where we were forced to believe in any old claptrap, stay intolerant of others, and then continue to insult others on that basis.

I want to live in a world where people THINK before making up their minds about something.


And I want to live in world where people are ALLOWED to think BEFORE making up their minds.

And that ^ is EXACTLY what I've been saying all along and yet I have been slammed many times for it. I want to live in a world where everyone, INCLUDING children, are allowed to think for themselves BEFORE making up their minds and being indoctrinated into ONE religion.

Yet the early indoctrination of children is the exact opposite of that statement and the sheer hypocrisy of those words is simply amazing. It is hypocrital to claim to want one thing for one group of people and to DENY it to others and the last time I checked, children were people!!!

Seriously, if you want to read something worthwhile, read anything by Isaiah Berlin, or anyone equally erudite. Read Dale Carnegie. Read anyone. Just don't take Dawkins word for it, until you've read enough to see his view in terms of a larger world, so you can understand that he is painting one strip in a giant canvas, and decide for yourself if it really fits within the massive tapestry of life.


Seriously and with all due respect, some people should stop ASSUMING that anyone other than themselves are incapable of thinking and researching things for themselves. All that preaching from a perceived or assumed higher position only makes one look arrogant in my opinion, not to mention insecure and close minded. In my opinion, a secure and open minded person would welcome any opportunity for anyone or anything to refute or question their beliefs or stance with open arms....I know I do.

Then, when you answer ALL of their attacks, they claim you write too much, or just ignore you, and attack someone else.


For the record, I personally attack(ed) no one. When people quit speaking for me or atheists and telling me/them what I/we think or know or should know, I will be more than happy to ignore them. But as long as some people continue to pass their opinions as facts and to claim to know what I or others think or know, I will continue to exert MY RIGHT to tell them that they have NO right to speak for me or anyone. And that is NOT an attack - having to constantly defend my RIGHT to think and speak for myself IS.

As far as Dawkins, I stand by my earlier posts (here or on some other threads) - Dawkins to me is what and who he is, no more and no less. One thing for sure, he seems to be at the moment the voice of atheism. Am I proud or ashamed to have him as a representant of my choice? NO. Why? Because anyone who knows anything about atheism KNOWS that no one represents or speaks for an atheist but his or her own self:).

However, I am happy that he's there for those who are just coming out of the closet and who might need a crutch to lean on while they learn to stand on their own two feet. I know from personal experience that the transition can be difficult...all of your life, you have been told what to do and say and think and even though you know that you need (and want) to fly out of the nest, that first solo flight can be scary.

So I'm happy that he's there to assist many in that transition process and I have no more fear that any self respecting atheist will think of him as a messiah than I do fearing that any self respecting religious person would believe me or anyone if we started evangelising that some pink elephant is the next messiah.

To me and in my opinion, both of those scenarios are equally ludicrous and only those of questionable intellect would fall for either one. Not to mention that an atheist needing or wanting a messiah to "believe in" and "worship" has got to be the biggest oxymoron (do oxymorons come in sizes?) I've seen in a long time.



IMHO
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 34
view profile
History
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/4/2009 8:10:17 PM
RE msg 33 by oldsoul:

I have even watched him use the EXACT terms that religious people used to use, about his own religion.
Atheism is NOT a religion. People saying that atheism is a religion over and over again does not make it one any more than people saying that religion is a delusion makes it a delusion.
I did not mean to say that atheism was a religion. I used the word "his" instead of "theirs". A typo. Dawkins has used the EXACT terms that religious people used to use about their religions.

But when speaking publicly, one should remember that one's opinion is NOT a fact and that RESPECT goes both ways. In other words, I as an atheist have as much right to expect that atheism not be called a religion on a public venue such as this one than religious people have in expecting that their religions not be called a delusion. Again, respect is a multi-lane highway, NOT a one way street.
I respect your view. I'd LOVE to see that.

But if you check the forums, you can see just how often posters called religion a delusion, or that G-d was "an invisible sky-fairy", or just claimed their opinions were "the truth", and refused to accept any evidence to the contrary. I've very rarely seen atheism called a religion on the forums, maybe once or twice. So I am not sure that this is a level-playing field.

Again, I respect your view that atheism is NOT a religion, and while many individuals who are atheists do have their own belief systems that are like a religion without the idea of G-d, or gods, that they don't all have the same views, and that some don't have a belief system that is in any way similar to any religion, and that some don't have a belief system at all.


But he does say that children should be denied being taught about religion until they are adults, but does teach children about his POV, which deliberately promotes his views, while imhibiting other views. That is indoctrination at its purest.
Please cite exactly where Dawkins promotes or encourages in any way shape or form the indoctrination of children, let alone to promote his own point of view.
He did a series of programmes on Channel 4 on UK TV.

And if you're not prepared or willing to do that, then I suggest that you stop propaganding your opinions as facts.
Please differentiate between opinion and fact. You don't live in the UK. Dawkins does. Dawkins regularly has been interviewed often in local newspapers, and has been many times on UK TV. Granted that a lot of that probably doesn't make it to Canada. So I can understand your surprise. But that still means that you just don't hear half the things Dawkins says, unless you watch enough British TV, and you read enough British newspapers, to have the same level of information about Dawkins as a reasonably well-informed Brit. I don't know enough about Pierre Trudeau to reject everything you might know about him, because I don't live in Canada. Why do you expect to know more about Dawkins than a Brit?

Perhaps you're confusing teaching children how to think for themselves and showing them HOW to use their critical thinking skills with indoctrination, which is the EXACT opposite of indoctrination??
I'd LOVE to see that. I've actually suggested that on POF forums before, a few times. Quite a few people didn't like it, mostly people who didn't seem to like religion at all.


Dawkins occupies the same role for atheists as many slick evangelists do for many religious groups.
Please don't ASSUME to know what anyone thinks or knows other than your own self.
I didn't. Dawkins said himself he's regarded as a rock star by atheists. He's made it clear that he sees himself as a prophet for atheists. But then, you'd know that if you watched his programmes. His book has been used as a basis for a lot of opinions stated on POF.

And stop making statements like there is any basis of truth in them.
Then stop questioning people who have the facts.

That statement is not even qualified with "some" or in my opinion or I think or believe. To generalize is intellectually dishonest at best and to assume to know what any atheist think, let alone what ALL atheists think is laughable.
Atheists, in the collective noun, DO treat him the same way as evangelists are treated. If you think the guy doesn't speak for a decent segment of atheists, then show me the proof. Otherwise, I would be generalising about Dawkins and atheists, the same way that Newton generalised about Gravity and the stars. The fact that you think you can find holes in my views, using such poor logic, is ridiculous.

And yes, omitting the word "some" implies ALL. It's the same as if someone says that religious people think or are this or that. How do you or anyone know what each and every atheist knows or thinks?? Isn't that the very thing that many religious people accuse (some) atheists of doing? Pot calling the kettle black??
Omitting the word "some", implies all IN GENERAL. In any science class, science teachers all over the world teach that humans have sweat glands. But SOME, a rare few, aren't. They have an extremely rare genetic disorder. But we still say that humans have sweat glands.

As long as the vast majority do see Dawkins in that role, and the rest don't deny it, that is that case.


Now, we have lots and lots of pro-atheist sites, that accumulate lots of attacks on religion, that are quoted verbatim on this site regularly, let alone any other sites.
Attacks??? ATTACKS?? Since when is posing a question or questions an attack? Having and stating an opposing point of view as an opinion is an attack?????
A question is when you ask something, without any presupposition of what the answer is going to be. An attack is when you ask something, or state something, or deduce a conclusion, in order to destroy the other person's point of view. An unfair attack is when you ask something, or state something, or deduce a conclusion, in order to ridicule the other person's point of view.

And why is it okay for one group of people to be able to quote their sources verbatim and not okay for another??
Citing your source, with your reference, is perfectly valid. Quoting verbatim from a source, with citation, and no reference, in order to ridicule someone else's source, is not.

Why and how are my sources any LESS valid or relevant than theirs?
If you expect your sources to be valid, then so is everyone else's. If their source is the Bible, and your source is an atheist site, then both sources are still equally valid. That is STILL true, even if your source is trying to prove that the Bible is false. IF you want your sources to be taken seriously, then you have to argue from a level playing field.

But if you want to argue that something in the Bible is false, then you STILL have to argue from a level playing field. If they are using their own reason and sense to understand the Bible, and you want equality, then it would only be equal if you do the same, argue from YOUR reason and sense, and not just from something you read somewhere. When you read something somewhere, that doesn't mean you understand it. It is accepted in management techniques that to check if someone truly understands what was said, they can say what was said, in their own words, and not in the words that were said to them. If they have to use very similar wording, then chances are that they DON'T understand what was said. So, when most people I have come across, argued from their OWN reason and sense, even if they quoted somewhere else, they always added their own spin on it, to explain it in their own words. Even if they quoted verbatim, they still paraphrased it. So when someone quotes something verbatim, I always have to ask them to re-say it in their OWN words, to make sure they understood what they quoted. If they don't even cite the reference, when it is common practise to do that, like on the forums, I always get alerted, because they could, and it is common practise, and so there is almost certainly a reason why they did it. If they were lazy enough to leave out the reference, I would expect they'd be lazy enough to paraphrase it, and not quote verbatim. If they were copying and pasting, then it is just as easy to copy and paste the link. If they didn't have a reference, then it's not on a site, and that means they copied it out by hand, so how hard is it to write the book and page they quoted? The most obvious reason to me is that they don't WANT to quote the reference, because they don't want people to know, because if you look up the reference that made the quote, you find there is a contradiction there.

I see a lot of verbatim quotes from atheist sites, that AREN'T referenced, and when I have looked them up before, I found that the full context showed me a major flaw in their thinking. If it is a stupid person, I give them the benefit of the doubt. If they are intelligent enough that I would expect them to spot that, then I find that unfair play.

I found that has happened a lot on these forums.


Anti-religious people don't even have to think anymore. They just go to a pro-atheist site, and cite some questions. Talk about ammunition.
And religious people think MORE than anti-religious people do? Ha! Don't they just go to some book(s) or some site(s) and cite some passages??? Talk about hypocrisy.
Only if they quote a religious site, that equally well asks questions to atheists beliefs, in the same manner as the questions that the atheists posted. Usually, I find that they are simply looking up information with which to build a case to defend their beliefs, using reason and sense.

Remember, I am not talking about religious extremists here. Only those who simply have their own religious beliefs, yet find their views, and their religious sources, attacked and ridiculed regularly, by people who get very offended when others attack their beliefs.


Then, when you answer their attacks, they often ignore your answers, and just keep focussing on the attacks that you haven't addressed yet. Then, when you answer ALL of their attacks, they claim you write too much, or just ignore you, and attack someone else.
Stating an opinion is NOT an attack. Asking questions is not an attack.
Not if it is a question that is left open-ended, to be answered in whatever way the person being questioned sees fit, without any implication that any conclusion can be drawn until AFTER an answer is given.

Assuming to speak for others is an attack. Assuming to know what a person knows is an attack. Assuming to know what a person thinks is an attack.
I agree. If you don't do this, then please note that I didn't say that atheist people DON'T think any more, just that they don't HAVE TO. I generally DON'T assume that I know what others are thinking. But obviously, sometimes the way they write leaves me with little doubt, and sometimes, I do make a few mistakes here and there, in generalising. We are ALL human, and it is human to accept that none of us are perfect.

Assuming that others are ignorant and need to be preached to is an attack.
Where have I done that?

Implying over and over again that atheists can't think for themselves IS an attack.
Where did I say they CAN'T? You are reading a lot more into what I wrote than what I actually did. I simply said they DON'T HAVE TO, if they don't want to. It is my considered opinion that many DON'T give full weight to certain issues, because they can just read what someone else wrote. Religious people can do that as well, and many do. But I never stated anything that implied that every atheist did this, or that every religious person is either a thinker, or a non-thinker. Please stop being so on the defensive.

Disrespecting atheism over and over again by calling it a religion IS an attack and is insulting in the same way that an atheist calling religion a delusion is an attack and insulting to (most) religious people.
It was a TYPO. It was just a mistake of typing .It wasn't even an out and out generalisation, as even as it read, it still read that Dawkins has a religion, not necesarily ALL Atheists, any more than if I wrote that Einstein was a scientist, and Jewish, so ALL scientists are Jewish. Please stop reading far more into my words than I actually write.

And I personally ignore or try my best to ignore anything that is off-topic to the subject at hand so if someone goes on tangents talking about this when the topic is about that, I ignore it.
I have no idea why you have stated this. What exactly are you trying to say?


What is more annoying, though, is so many people who actually believe him, when everything I've read or seen by him, is full of holes.
Very few (if any) atheists could be accused of "believing" in anything OR anyone. In fact, the word believe is the very antithesis of what atheism stands for. For someone to suggest otherwise means that they know nothing about atheism.
AFAIK, atheism just means you don't believe in G-d or gods. Some like to understand the word to mean that you aren't sure if there is a G-d or gods, although this is personally not my understanding of the word. It bespeaks belief about theism in particular. But to say that atheists have no beliefs at all is laughable. Although I have no proof, I feel confident that 90% of atheists believe in the existence of Gravity. They just don't believe in the existence of G-d, or gods.

And it annoys me to no end to have people who know nothing about atheism speak for atheists and what atheism means and stands for. THAT is as full of holes as it gets in my opinion.
It annoys me to have people speak about atheism as though it is NOT a religion, and that it defies organisation, and then has the temerity to tell me that non-atheists cannot speak about what atheism means, as if it WAS an organised group.

And speaking of holes, isn't the bible and any other religious texts for that matter FULL of holes?
No, it's not. Many atheists say so, and many quote atheist sites verbatim as a result, and them have their views shot down, by clear explanation of the text based on its original language, and the culture of the time. I have seen the same questions on the Bible get asked over and over again, on POF, and every time, they have been answered, and yet I see them asked time and again. I feel like people on POF who think the Bible is full of holes don't understand the idea of a redundant thread, or a redundant question.

And following that logic (?) , doesn't that mean that the bible should be declared invalid because of those holes?
No. That would mean everyone would have to agree that the Bible is full of holes FIRST. That just doesn't happen. What I HAVE seen, is that many atheists pose "holes", get them answered, then ignore those answers, and just keep trying to dig for more. They still get answered. After a while, I get sick of someone who is looking to prove the Bible wrong. If you try and prove anything wrong long enough, you'll find a way. You'll find a way to claim that Jews should be killed, if you try hard enough. You'll find a way to claim that women should be denied the vote, if you try hard enough. You'll find a way to claim that the Bible is wrong, if you try hard enough, because eventually, people will just stop bothering to answer your questions. They'll realise that you're a jerk.

You don't have to be a jerk, if you don't want to. Why not just ask questions in an open-minded manner?

And if not, why not? What makes a hole or holes any more or less valid (or holier ) than others?
It's been shown that hormones do affect women's thinking during pregnancy. Does that mean that you can argue that women cannot think, or that they cannot think while pregnant? One argument is NOT always the same as another.


I applauded one poster, because she brought her kid up learning about lots of religions, and atheism, and let him make his own decisions for himself.
ALL (yes all) atheists/agnostics and lapsed or former believers that I know do this. Both my children and my granddaughter for example have gone/go to catholic schools. All of them were taught and exposed to many different religions/belief systems from an early age and given the freedom to explore each and every one at will.
That is nice to know. I cannot say the same. I only know of 3 off-hand, 2 from POF, and 1 woman I met in a coffee house about 15 years ago.

That is in fact what most atheists "believe in" if atheists are to be accused of "believing" in anything...they believe in the FREEDOM of CHOICE, including the freedom of and FROM religions/indoctrination.
I don't find this to be the case. Freedom of choice means that I have freedom of choice, and if I choose to believe something that you don't, then that does NOT mean I am in way less capable, intelligent or knowledgeable than you. That does NOT mean that I am obtuse, misunderstanding the text, or denying some aspect of science. That does NOT mean that I am "using a crutch", as I have been called, or in any way making my choices that differ vastly from yours, to make myself feel better about life. That does NOT mean that I am racist. That does NOT mean that I am deluded.

Freedom of Choice means that if I decide that G-d exists, that decision, that CHOICE, is just as valid as yours, in every way.

What ALL atheists treat ALL religious people that their beliefs are equally valid and based on just as much reason and knowledge as those atheists, THEN I could say that ALL atheists believe in Freedom of Choice. But as long as I see otherwise, I have to say that the otherwise is true.

I hope that one day, all atheists and all religious people come to believe in freedom of choice.

And teaching and exposing a child to various faith/belief systems is the exact opposite of indoctrination.
How is that DIFFERENT to what I wrote?

And just because atheists are not a group thus can't/don't brag as a group that their children are being taught about and exposed to religions does not mean that it's not a reality for most of them.
Well, it's NOT, at least, not for most that I've met. But then, atheism in the UK has been around for decades. It might be a bit different in Canada, if it's a new thing there.

Also, I suggest that you visit Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem. Most of the people there were raised in an atheist household in the US, although some were from Canada. They just went to Israel for a holiday. They decided to be religious purely off their own backs, and had the precise opposite of the type of education that you state. Their parents went loopy. They practically disowned them. Most of the people there I knew, who were in the hundreds, said that their parents only really came to terms with it, when they were presented with their own grandchild.

But I think my first meeting with atheism was my best friend as a kid. I knew him since we were 5. His father is an atheist, although his mother got the family to go to a few services and eat kosher in the house. When his older brother decided to become very religious, his father went loopy. Ironically, what made the children decide to become religious was that they were all sent to non-Jewish schools, where the other pupils asked them so many questions about Judaism that they decided to investigate it for themselves, and all decided to become religious.

When I was 15, one guy I knew, told us that his father threw him out, and threw all of his clothes on the lawn, because he decided to become religious. He spent the next 3 years living at friends.

Things are just not nearly like you claim, at least, not from the people I've met.

Also, assuming that just because one or two posters only have made mention of it makes it a rarity is just that, an assumption. It's also an illogical fallacy and makes as much sense as assuming that atheists starve their children just because they don't mention that they feed them.
Yes. But then, I'm NOT basing it on them. I'm basing it on the fact that in the UK, atheism is pretty much accepted, and so, I've met a LOT of atheists. We don't have any Religious Right lobbyist groups. The closest we have, is the fight to just be ABLE to have Halal meat, and shechitah, to be ABLE to practise religion. Some religious groups have had to fight for their own cemetary for decades, just to get government approval to build one, out of their own pocket. If your country doesn't have widespread acceptance of atheism, then you might not be seeing the same situations at all. I cannot say what will happen with atheists with your country, until your country DOES experience widespread atheism and acceptance thereof, like the UK and much of Europe.

Yet the very same people who make the majority of those fallacious statements are often the same people to claim or at least STRONGLY imply to be smarter than the average bear.
If you mean me, then I think you should know that if anything, people say I'm TOO smart for my own good. I know a lot of people who all think that if I had 1/10th the intelligence, and just 1/10th the common sense of most people, that I'd be a millionaire, but that because I'm too smart, I'm just getting by. Haven't dated since December 2000, and that's down to the fact that I'm so smart, that before I've said a word, I usually have thought of over 20 reasons why the relationship will eventually fail, that I talk myself into accepting that since I am already sure that it is terminal, most women wouldn't want to enter a relationship with a guy who knows it's only short-term, and lose my confidence. It's not always a plus, you know.


I would heartily agree if Dawkins called for more education of religious diversity in schools, as even if no-one changed their views on religion, that would still increase tolerance for others. I would heartily agree if Dawkins called for more examination of scientific concepts like evolution, and a call for more rigour in those theories, to prove them beyond any possibility, almost mathematically.
Hmm...that's pretty much what Dawkins is calling for. So what and where is the problem exactly?
He's NOT saying that. Not about anything. He's saying that the only people who doubt evolution, are those who haven't examined it with an open mind. He's saying that religious people ARE indoctrinated, and cannot think themselves. Check out his appearances on TV. In the UK, he appears on TV quite often.


It makes me think that we are living in a time when people just buy any old claptrap, become intolerant of others, and then insult others on that basis.
This old tired argument makes me think that some people would like us live in a time where we were forced to believe in any old claptrap, stay intolerant of others, and then continue to insult others on that basis.
You mean like now, when British psychologists go on TV, and publicly state that the current thinking of psychology has been that theists are suffering from a delusion, and thus mental illness, and are therefore treated intolerantly as a result? You mean like now, when posters on POF have consistently insulted me and my beliefs on that basis? You mean like now, when people are calling for my viewpoint to be denied to be taught to my future children, even in the midst of a range of viewpoints?


I want to live in a world where people THINK before making up their minds about something.
And I want to live in world where people are ALLOWED to think BEFORE making up their minds.
AFAIK, you ARE living in that world. Not everyone is, though. Some people are told that their country should invade a foreign country, because that foreign country is claimed to have WMDs that can reach them in 45 minutes, and despite protests, their country is sent to war, and when this is found to be false, and that there wasn't even evidence of that when that claim was made, that this is just ignored.

And that ^ is EXACTLY what I've been saying all along and yet I have been slammed many times for it. I want to live in a world where everyone, INCLUDING children, are allowed to think for themselves BEFORE making up their minds and being indoctrinated into ONE religion.
Well, if you want schools to teach EVERY religion, I have no problem with that. But kids need a structure, and if their parents live according to a structure, it doesn't work for many kids, if the parents live one way and the kids another. That is why in the UK, it is acceptable to raise your kids one way, and then they can make up their minds if they want to stick to that way, when they get to be an adult. That guarantees stability for the child, and the freedom to make up their own minds as well.

Most seem to be happy to stick with whatever way is easiest that fits in with their lifestyle, and if multiple ways exist, and one is the way that they were raised, or educated, then they often seem to stick to that, not because they choose, but because they really don't want to choose. Many people simply don't care. They just want a way of living, and as long as it works for them, that suits them. They are given the choice, but most seem to not really want that choice anyway.

Yet the early indoctrination of children is the exact opposite of that statement and the sheer hypocrisy of those words is simply amazing. It is hypocrital to claim to want one thing for one group of people and to DENY it to others and the last time I checked, children were people!!!
Children ARE people. But we DON'T give children the same rights as people. We DON'T let them have sex. We DON'T let them buy alcohol. We DON'T let them drive. There are a LOT of things we DON'T let children do. The reason is because children just aren't expected to make reasonable judgements of their own, at that age.

However, we DON'T state that it is indoctrination for children to be raised by people who own 3 cars, just because it might make them decide to buy a car, rather than use public transport when they grow up. We DON'T state that it is indoctrination for children to be raised by people who don't have PhDs, just because it might make them decide to not bother to get a PhD, when they grow up. We DON'T state that it is indoctrination for children to be raised by people who are moderate drinkers, or are teetotal, just because it might make them do the same as their parents, when they grow up. We DON'T state that it is indoctrination for children to be raised by people who always vote Conservative, or always vote Labour, just because it might make them vote the same ways as their parents, when they grow up.

We simply give children the right to make their own minds up, WHEN THEY BECOME AN ADULT! Children are simply deemed not yet capable of making a decision to either follow their parent's views, or to go a different way. Adults are.

If you think that religious people should not be allowed to raise their kids in their religion, then IMHO, all the above types of parents ALSO do not have the right to raise their kids in that environment either. Parents would NOT be allowed to let their kids ride in a car, until they buy one for themselves. Parents would NOT be allowed to ever discuss any of their political views, ever, or even allow their kids to read any newspaper that is clearly pro-Conservative, or pro-Labour. Parents would NOT be allowed to drink at home or anywhere else, so as not to influence their kids to do the same. Parents would NOT be allowed to state that in any way, they have any qualities that people with PhDs lack, so as not to influence their kids to not take a PhD.

I don't think you like that type of world. Although I am not sure, I believe that you would agree that this would be extremism, and would not be reasonable, because when kids grow up, they make up their own mind, and sons and daughters all over the world can be found who choose differently to their parents, WHEN THEY ARE ADULTS!

To espouse differently, IMHO, WOULD be indoctrination, in favour of whatever view is projected outside of the home, which tends to be what they see in schools, on TV, or on the internet, and 90% of the stuff that can be seen in most UK schools and UK TV is not religious and atheist. 90% of the stuff I have come across on the internet, seems to also take a secular and atheist POV. To just say nothing at all, would be to promote a belief in the validity of not having any religion at all, and to promote atheism, IMHO.

Maybe your country is different, and 9 out of 10 TV channels are religious, and 9 out of 10 schools are religious, and most stuff seen in Canada on the internet is from a theist's POV. I don't know. Is it?


Seriously, if you want to read something worthwhile, read anything by Isaiah Berlin, or anyone equally erudite. Read Dale Carnegie. Read anyone. Just don't take Dawkins word for it, until you've read enough to see his view in terms of a larger world, so you can understand that he is painting one strip in a giant canvas, and decide for yourself if it really fits within the massive tapestry of life.
Seriously and with all due respect, some people should stop ASSUMING that anyone other than themselves are incapable of thinking and researching things for themselves.
I'm not. I'm making a recommendation. People recommend things to me all the time. I don't immediately assume that they are thinking they think I am incapable of thinking or researching things for themselves, and AFAIK, nearly all those people don't think that of me, because they've told me so many times. Most of the time, when I make recommendations to intelligent and well-read people I know, they just listen, or say they have heard the same, and feel good that we both have come to the same conclusions, or will state they think the recommendation is incorrect, and state their reasons. But they only time I have found people DON'T like me to make recommendations, is when they think that I am just not capable of making any suggestions that they might consider worthwhile hearing, about anything. Personally, I'd rather they just come out and say that I'm a moron, because then at least I KNOW to not give them my time.

All that preaching from a perceived or assumed higher position only makes one look arrogant in my opinion, not to mention insecure and close minded.
I'm not claiming I'm in a higher position. I state things based on logic, because that is how I think. I read something, and question if it is true or false, and then work out if it is true or false. I don't make up my mind until I am pretty damn sure, that it cannot be false, and must be true. That's just how I am, which is why my posts are so long, because I try and put what I think is enough for others to make such a judgement. That's not insecure, that style comes from questioning until I am certain and secure. That's not closed-minded, that style comes from making an effort to be open to consider every possibility seriously, no matter how odd or strange-sounding it seems, no matter how much it goes against what I have previously known to be true, even if I have proved it to myself already. I keep myself open-minded to every possibility. That is how I am. If you find that arrogant, then so be it.

I would rather be certain and open-minded, and believed arrogant by you, than be accepted completely by you, and base my posts on supposition and closed-mindedness.

In my opinion, a secure and open minded person would welcome any opportunity for anyone or anything to refute or question their beliefs or stance with open arms....I know I do.
I don't question your beliefs. I don't want to offend you, or all the other atheists here. So 99% of the time, I do whatever I can to stay away from that. But IF you really want me to question or refute your beliefs, then please, email me, and I will.

But don't expect lightweight answers. I said the same about my doubts about evolution. One poster did email me, who I am certain is very intelligent, and well-read, and I gave my beliefs. He gave me a few quite dismissive replies, so I replied in detail to each and every reply. He wrote he had to read them and get back to me. He hasn't, in months.

If you still want my questions, but want them in a public forum, then I give you leave, to email me, and I will correspond to you, and once we are both satisfied that the questions have come to resolution, either that sufficient answers have been provided, or that no answers will be provided to satisfy these questions satisfactorily to both of us, then I will give you permission to post the entire correspondence on the net, or to summarise them, and send me the summary for my approval.

I do NOT want to invite a whole group of anti-religious posters here, to bathe me in a bloodbath of questions, that will just go on and on, because I have learned through psychology, that the human mind will NOT accept ideas that question its self-image, and so those whose self-image is defined in terms of their lack of belief in religion, will find it impossible to accept that any of my questions are valid, and unanswerable, and will continue to dismiss them, or provide inappropriate answers and then claim that they are appropriate, as I have experienced many times on this site.

I've aleady tried the latter. Didn't do anything, except to waste my time, and make me lose respect for atheists in general. Before I came to this site, I used to think although most atheists I'd met in the UK were not that intelligent, not that well-read, and quite amoral, that was because of the UK, not because of atheism, and that most atheists in general were on more intelligent, more well-read, and more moral people than theists, by far, than their equivalent religious counterparts. Since posting and reading posts here, I've come to really question my previous views, and to conclude that many atheists are just the opposite. That is what I've got from here, from these forums.

So anything else is just a waste of time for me, and even that is a waste of time, unless we are going to end in some sort of mutual agreement.


Then, when you answer ALL of their attacks, they claim you write too much, or just ignore you, and attack someone else.
For the record, I personally attack(ed) no one.
Did I say oldsoul? No. Did I say ALL? No. I wrote OFTEN. That doesn't mean ALL, and never did. I have no idea why you keep choosing to read yourself in my words.

When people quit speaking for me or atheists and telling me/them what I/we think or know or should know, I will be more than happy to ignore them.
When ALL atheists do this, THEN maybe religious people will stop talking about atheism. Despite what many people think, they just aren't that important to many religious people. Most religious people that I have come across, and watched, are far more concerned about how much atheists are continually protesting about how terrible religion is, and how deluded people are for believing in it, because those protests are affecting many people, to simply accept what they read, see and hear, in the media, without thinking about it, because it seems to me that most people now accept whatever they read, see and hear in the media, even if they question everything else in their life, and because those people who are affected, often become very unhappy in their lives, that hurts their families, and hurts them. They don't want that hurt to continue. They want their children to be happy. So when they feel their children are being indoctrinated to reject religion, not on a purely objective basis, but on the basis of subjective claims, a lot speak out against it.

Granted, this is probably not the views that might be found common in the Bible Belt. But then, I wouldn't start talking about Judaism or Islam there either. Wouldn't be right.

But as long as some people continue to pass their opinions as facts and to claim to know what I or others think or know, I will continue to exert MY RIGHT to tell them that they have NO right to speak for me or anyone. And that is NOT an attack - having to constantly defend my RIGHT to think and speak for myself IS.
Well, the same works for me. I am stating my experiences, not one, not two, but thousands. I've posted a heck of a lot here. So I have more than enough posts to form a considered view, and the fact that YOU claim that I state my words as facts, even when I use the words "often", "many", "I believe", "it seems", "it seems to me", and all sorts of qualifications, and have been doing so for well over a year of posts, tells me that you are the one who is describing my opinions and views as facts. If you don't like the fact that my opinions have been thought out over and over again, and researched again and again, until I had very strong reasons for posting what I have, then that is not my problem. That would be your problem, because that IS how much I deliberate and research before I post, and if you find them factual, it is only because you would consider that level of quality of information to be enough for you to accept it as fact, and that means that your own views would be in doubt.

For anyone who has the ability to not feel threatened by the truth, they don't need to call me on that. I cannot argue with those people, but have to agree to disagree, because they looked for, and found, reason and research to back up their views, just as much as I do. If I write something that just isn't true, then they do call me on it, and almost always provide a source, and I have to eat my words. Most times, I state they are right, as far as I can remember. I am not perfect, and can slip up. If you want to belong to that group, you have that ability to be in that group, any time you want.

As far as Dawkins, I stand by my earlier posts (here or on some other threads) - Dawkins to me is what and who he is, no more and no less.
I have no idea what that is, because you aren't stating here, what or be you consider him to be. So this just doesn't tell me anything at this moment.

One thing for sure, he seems to be at the moment the voice of atheism.
I thought you didn't like people speaking for anyone else:
But as long as some people continue to pass their opinions as facts and to claim to know what I or others think or know, I will continue to exert MY RIGHT to tell them that they have NO right to speak for me or anyone.
Aren't you people? Isn't Dawkins people?

Am I proud or ashamed to have him as a representant of my choice? NO. Why? Because anyone who knows anything about atheism KNOWS that no one represents or speaks for an atheist but his or her own self:).
As long as you understand that there are thousands of different religions, and hundreds of thousands of congregations, and no-one speaks for them all, then I respect that. But anyone who has ever complained about what one religious leader has ever said, and decided that that reflected the view of any religion, or any religious group, other than his congregation that he personally speaks to every week, who are composed of all the same people, and doesn't take into account that even in any congregation, that there will be people who attend services, keep their counsel in the service, and when that leader speaks, but state very different views outside, in private, or with friends, then I would regard that as hypocrisy, because religious people are no more represented by any one leader than atheists are, more so, because while all atheists share a common ground of not definitely believing in G-d, religious people have only common ground in that they all claim belonging to several thousand different POVs, that are all called "religion", and are so different in views, that without that term, there really is nothing to tie them together at all.

However, I am happy that he's there for those who are just coming out of the closet and who might need a crutch to lean on while they learn to stand on their own two feet.
If Dawkins wants to put up atheists who have been thrown out of their parents' house, then I applaud that. That is support. If Dawkins wants to tell atheists that they aren't automatically evil, just because they don't believe in G-d, or gods, and they have every right to believe what they want, then I applaud that. That is support. But if Dawkins says that G-d "probably" doesn't exist, and that theism is a delusion, then he IS telling people what to think, because medical professionals always say that no-one should tell you what to think, because that makes you dependent on THEM for your views, and then when you are faced with situations in which you have to stand by your beliefs, you aren't really sure in yourself, and you falter, and that's what often leads to mental breakdowns.

I know from personal experience that the transition can be difficult...all of your life, you have been told what to do and say and think and even though you know that you need (and want) to fly out of the nest, that first solo flight can be scary.
That transition is experienced by plenty of people who were brought up as atheists, and then find that they just don't buy that.

So I'm happy that he's there to assist many in that transition process and I have no more fear that any self respecting atheist will think of him as a messiah than I do fearing that any self respecting religious person would believe me or anyone if we started evangelising that some pink elephant is the next messiah.
If a talking pink elephant existed, then no. But I don't think that many people would agree with you on the equivalent, that you have no more fear that any self respecting atheist will think of him as a messiah than I do fearing that any self respecting religious person would believe me or anyone if any self respecting religious person started evangelising that some religious leader is the next messiah, or even a small child is the next messiah. Considering that he himself has openly stated on national TV that when he goes to atheist conventions, that he is regarded much the same way as a rock star is, and that many rock stars are called "rock gods" because they are treated almost as if they are gods.

To me and in my opinion, both of those scenarios are equally ludicrous and only those of questionable intellect would fall for either one.
Well, then in my opinion, a lot of people would be in that category. But heck, that's my opinion.

Not to mention that an atheist needing or wanting a messiah to "believe in" and "worship" has got to be the biggest oxymoron (do oxymorons come in sizes?) I've seen in a long time.
An atheist has no more or less need to believe in any messiah than any religious person. A messiah is just someone who comes to save you, like Neo in The Matrix, like Superman, or any other such mythical heroes. We have enough people who seem to like the idea of those. Just look at how people are already treating Obama. People are already afraid that he is being considered a messiah, a saviour, and that when he lets the people down, because he is just a human being, that will just make people feel worse than they do already.

In your own words:
People saying that atheism is a religion over and over again does not make it one any more than people saying that religion is a delusion makes it a delusion
If you feel they are on a par, then it only makes sense to me that if you would feel offended to see a book entitled "The Atheist Religion", then you should feel offended by Dawkins' book, because by your own premise tha they are on a par, if it is OK to publish a book entitled "The G-d Delusion", it should equally be OK to publish a book entitled "The Atheist Religion".

Whether you like it or not, there has been so much extreme anti-religious rhetoric on this site, that started so many flame wars, that the religion forum was shut down.

Check the forums. All the extreme pro-religious rhetoric was either ignored, or shot down by both atheists and religious alike. They just don't get a foothold here, because posters just don't accept religious extremism. But the same is not true of anti-religious extremism, and that let to flame wars. You might consider those posts to be moderate. But if you read them, they contain at best very thinly veiled disgust for anyone religious. There was a long-running thread there called "Religion is the greatest evil in the world". There is NO thread called "Atheism is the greatest evil in the world. To claim that any one religion has the exclusive truth is against POF rules. Has been so for over a year. Claiming atheism is an exclusive truth, that anything else is just false, is NOT against POF rules.

There is a bias here against religious views, and that is what I have been complaining about, because that sort of unevenness, and inequality, simply makes intelligent, tolerant and moderate religious people cast in the same boat as religious extremists, and that validates religious extremists to believe that as they are in the same boat as intelligent, tolerant and moderate religious people, that they too are intelligent, tolerant and moderate. It gives their extremism credibility. But it is the religious extremists who tell atheists they are "going to hell". It is religious extremism that makes it difficult for atheists and religious people to co-exist. It is religious extremism that presents ideas of Creationist Science and ID as a valid concept, with absolutely not the least common sense, logic, or any evidence to back them up, and gets them consistently thrown out of court. Intelligent, tolerant and moderate religious people see that the truth will speak for itself, and that if they are right, then atheists should be free to see that for themselves, not because they are forced to. Intelligent, tolerant and moderate religious people don't even campaign for teaching religion in state schools. They just ask for the right to develop faith-based schools, where they CAN teach about religion, as well as atheism, and many such schools teach RE, where the national curriculum demands that students learn about many religions, and I would imagine atheism too, although I am not sure of that. Intelligent, tolerant and moderate religious people are just not frightened of learning about other religions. They have friends of all religions, and atheists and agnostics too. They are comfortable in their beliefs, and have no problem with others.

But as long as non-religious people continue to see religion as a delusion, that religious people are immoral, or uneducated, or downright stupid, and that atheists are somehow superior to religious people, atheists will continue to suffer, because feeling superior to anyone is a sure sign of a superiority complex, and a superiority complex is just a cleverly hidden form of an inferiority complex, and anyone with an inferiority complex will continue to live their lives as though they are inferior, because as Carl Rogers said, the mind craves consistency above all else. People with an inferiority complex have a self-image that they are inferior, and will continue to battle against others to prove it is not so, but will almost always end up proving themselves wrong, because they cannot accept anything other than what they believe themselves to be.

Seeing yourself as worse than others is not freeing. Seeing yourself as better than others is not freeing. Only seeing others as your equal, maybe better in some ways, and worse in others, is freeing. Only that seems to bring happiness. So, AFAIK, in order for atheists to finally feel free to live as they see fit, they have to free the most important people in their lives, themselves. To do that, it seems to me that the only real way to do that, is to treat everyone as their equals, including religious people.

I don't think much of Dawkins. Not because he's an atheist, but because almost all of what he says, seems to me, to not add up to me at all, and doesn't even seem to me, to qualify as even a worthwhile argument to propose. I'd say the same about him if he was a religious leader of my own faith. MY views of him are not based on whether or not I agree with him or not. They are based on if what he says is actually worth listening to, or not.

I really should stop listening to him. But so many people seem to quote him so often, I keep feeling that I should give him another chance to convince me I'm wrong. I'm stupid that way. I'll give almost anyone another chance, even after 30 chances.
 oldsoul
Joined: 3/10/2007
Msg: 35
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/5/2009 1:00:34 PM

I state things based on logic, because that is how I think. I read something, and question if it is true or false, and then work out if it is true or false. I don't make up my mind until I am pretty damn sure, that it cannot be false, and must be true.


What you or anyone think is true and what IS true or a fact are NOT the same thing. People who generalise and lump an entire group of people on their assumptions does NOT make their generalizations or assumptions true, no matter how "true" they are to them. It's also clear that some people seem to think they are the holder of the one and only truth:


For anyone who has the ability to not feel threatened by the truth, they don't need to call me on that.


But of course I must be reading it all wrong. Whatever. It doesn't matter (to me) anymore. I seriously am done with this mental discourse that is nothing but a waste of my time IMO. Anyone who GENERILISES and who claims to know or to have THE TRUTH is not someone I feel I can discuss anything with.

I could easily post ten more examples of hypocrisy and double standards where atheists have to be open minded and respectful and not force their "stuff" on others and blah blah blah and how children don't have the capacity to make their own minds yet it's OKAY TO FORCE RELIGIONS down children's throats from the moment they're born, but why bother?!

I can tolerate many many things but I will not tolerate hypocrisy OR intellectual dishonesty. Someone wants to tell me they should have the right to indoctrinate their children "because"??? FINE! But I don't need to be patronized or for someone to insult my intelligence by claiming that children are too young for this or that for one thing but not too young for another just so it can fit their personal agenda. That's when I'm done listening to anything those people have to say because I know for a fact (fact to ME) that they are being dishonest. And that's my truth.

As far as Dawkins, all I have left to say is thank gawd he's there for the many people, specially the many kids and teenagers, who were/are brainwashed (my opinion) into this drivel (my opinion) like I was (a fact).



IMHO

 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 36
view profile
History
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/6/2009 8:15:50 AM
RE msg 35 by oldsoul:
What you or anyone think is true and what IS true or a fact are NOT the same thing.
I always believed that, and don't claim different. Check my posts. So I am a bit mystified why you are accusing me of something that I clearly don't believe. But equally, I think that what you think is true and what IS true are equally NOT the same thing.

People who generalise and lump an entire group of people on their assumptions does NOT make their generalizations or assumptions true, no matter how "true" they are to them.
I agree, and have pretty much believed that for most of my life. But equally well, if you generalise about anyone, about religious people, or about atheists, that too does not make them right. Even if all of your friends who are atheists teach their kids about all religions, that still is a generalisation to claim that all atheists do that.

It's also clear that some people seem to think they are the holder of the one and only truth:
Yes, I don't think I hold the exclusive truth. I DO try to work things out objectively. But I certainly don't want anyone to take my word for it. That would be indoctrination. Not by me. By themselves. Equally, I don't think you have the exclusive truth either.

But of course I must be reading it all wrong. Whatever. It doesn't matter (to me) anymore. I seriously am done with this mental discourse that is nothing but a waste of my time IMO. Anyone who GENERILISES and who claims to know or to have THE TRUTH is not someone I feel I can discuss anything with.
Then I see no reason for you to stop with this debate.

I could easily post ten more examples of hypocrisy and double standards where atheists have to be open minded and respectful and not force their "stuff" on others and blah blah blah
I am sure you could. I don't know if I could. I've never tried to look up all the examples of hypocrisy that at least some atheists have done. I've seen examples. But I just don't want to post them. What would it gain, to hurt atheists? That would be against my own religious principles.

and how children don't have the capacity to make their own minds yet it's OKAY TO FORCE RELIGIONS down children's throats from the moment they're born, but why bother?!
I'm not so worried about teaching kids religion, because pretty much every person I've ever met, has questioned what they were taught about religion at least once in their life. I'm far more worried about parents who tell their kids they are stupid, or ugly, because that seems to stick, even when they are proved otherwise, and acknowledge that what they were taught was wrong.

I can tolerate many many things but I will not tolerate hypocrisy OR intellectual dishonesty.
Just because I see hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty in society, doesn't mean I will automatically call people on it. If I did, I would be posting 24 hours a day, and I need to work and sleep. I just try to call people on it, when I can, and when I feel it will do some good.

Someone wants to tell me they should have the right to indoctrinate their children "because"??? FINE! But I don't need to be patronized or for someone to insult my intelligence by claiming that children are too young for this or that for one thing but not too young for another just so it can fit their personal agenda. That's when I'm done listening to anything those people have to say because I know for a fact (fact to ME) that they are being dishonest. And that's my truth.
As you stated:
What you or anyone think is true and what IS true or a fact are NOT the same thing.
I'd prefer it if you stuck to your own words, because then you'd wouldn't be a hypocrite, and you'd be intellectually honest. But maybe I'm wrong. You tell me, according to your own words, are you intellectually honest?

As far as Dawkins, all I have left to say is thank gawd he's there for the many people, specially the many kids and teenagers, who were/are brainwashed (my opinion) into this drivel (my opinion) like I was (a fact).
I cannot comment on how you were brought up, so I cannot say that you were brainwashed. All I can say is that of the people I've met, I've met many people who were brought up in atheist households, and said as adults, that they were brainwashed as children by their parents, and I've met many people who were brought up in religious households who said as adults, that they weren't brainwashed at all, including myself.

I just think that what you are writing seems to only be from your viewpoint, and just doesn't seem to me, to take into account that not everyone has the same views as you at all. I only hope that you can learn to write in a more pluralistic manner, as I agree that just because we think something is 100% true, doesn't make it so.
 god_of_rock
Joined: 1/17/2009
Msg: 37
Richard Dawkins
Posted: 3/6/2009 9:15:23 AM
I think he is reacting to militant religion (esp. Xian in N. America) being constantly rammed down people's throats

I mean really, why do people 'swear on a a bible' in court or when taking oaths of allegiance?

AS IF that really prevents them from lying their heads off, anyway..

probably 90% + of defendants in criminal cases, and both parties (plaintiff & defendant) in civil cases, are lying at least about some points.. many witnesses in both kinds of cases, as well, often including cops testifying, etc.

WTF is having the 'bible' to swear on, supposed to accomplish?

or spouting a few words (so help me god)..?


Aggression won't help your cause. Setting a good example will. Spitting on religion from your ivory tower and calling creationists laden and simpleminded to their face is most likely going to do the opposite of what you intended. I don't know about you, but if I were a creationist and heard the condescending and elitist attitude put forth by many of these people, I'd most likely say, "Wow, these guys are pricks. I don't want anything to do with them." If you're a good person and not a****about it, maybe people will understand that they don't need the whole religion thing and ask you more about it. Dawkins' religious stuff is mostly preaching to the choir.


hmm , but that's exactly what most religious people do..regard those who do not hold their beliefs as 'lesser' than they are.a.ct very smug & superior.

I've heard plenty of Xians say that atheists must have no moral values, etc.

as if moral values could only come from believing in some ancient book and its myths ?
 3rdmediumfish
Joined: 1/22/2015
Msg: 38
Infinite and consciousness
Posted: 1/31/2015 7:49:46 PM
I think Dawkins needs to expand his mind.
That and a high dose of puppy hugging 3 times a day for up to a year or until he comes to his senses.
If he only gets to common sense, that will be enough.
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