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  1. #101
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    So you do not like the man, morally speaking. But what do you have against his ideas, since you're speaking of dishonesty?

    He's just a man.

    Most of the time, when I met him I always thought he was simply saying simple truths theistic people just don't want to hear. He wasn't a douchebag: he was very nice, educated, and obviously very talented. But perhaps than when you face death threats every week, you can become aggressive especially in front of some biased medias.
    I wish I could quote some things from this specific documentary of the danger of religions, but it's been a while since I saw it, so I don't remember the exact things he said. But I do remember him explaining facts and assessments about religions that were kinda true, but with glaring omissions that made his points invalid. It's like he didn't really understand the religions' teachings, positions, and histories before coming to conclusions about them. The whole thing was just very misinformative, which isn't fair to other people unfamiliar with the religions, as it just exploits getting their favorable opinions using their ignorance.

    In the Maher interview, he made a claim like all intelligent scientists are atheists, or you can't be an intelligent scientist without being atheistic. Then Maher said that Francis Collins, the head of the Genome Project, is a notable scientist that believes in God, and further in Christianity. Dawkins reacted firstly with a "well Collins was a manager of the project, not a scientist, and I don't think he adheres to biblical teachings." Maher says "yes he does." The Dawkins says "He does?! Then he is stupid!"

    This was more than enough to turn me off. His work in this field is shoddy. I'm not familiar with his science, but maybe he's better at that.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  2. #102
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I definitely disagree. I understand that to many on either side of the isle, the position seems so obvious or at least boolean that they can't accept an indefinite answer, but in general acknowledge that one does not know is not necessarily a sign of deficient analysis, but is sometimes the product of wise critical thought. One shouldn't be like my second-oldest brother, who is hampered by his inability to accept uncertainty.

    For me, explaining my stance on a "higher power" is slightly complicated by the fact that there are so many different concepts of God. The more it moves toward a transcendent, impersonal force as the concept of God, the more agnostic I am. Conversely, the more it moves toward a tangible, willful being with rather anthropmorphic sense of purpose, the more athiestic I am.
    When you arrive at a completely uncertain standpoint on this subject you are basically saying that just because something can't be proven or disproven the possibility of its existence is just as equal to the possibility of it not existing. I also understand where you come from, the inability to know if a higher power exists is something we all must come to terms with. I am also agnostic but when I think about it a little deeper I end up reasoning that just because I do not see the evidence for the existence of a deity (or anything supernatural) but cannot dismiss the possibility of its existence because future evidence could reveal itself doesn't mean it is just as likely to exist as it is likely to not exist. The line between Agnostic Theism and Agnostic Atheism is very thin, I imagine someone claiming that position to be standing on that thin line and losing their balance one way or the other, to the discretion of their reasoning.

  3. #103

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    To be honest I think the greatest critiques of Dawkins there are are not from theists but his peers in philosophy, sociology, psychology and even biology.

    Terry Eagleton has commented on it and there's other athiests who detest both Dawkins style of argument and tendency to try and create metanarratives and relate absolutely everything, often multiple and incongruent disciplines to a single idea or, effectively, ideology. Its the reason I personallly dislike his reasoning and writing, along with what has been already mentioned as conceit, although I would see these as all qualities of UK academia too.

    I knew a lecturer in social policy once who had a fixation with Herbert Spencer, he was a very, very clever guy but he would try to link every single thesis, topic, lesson to first socialism vs. individualism, as he understood those terms, then Herbert Spencer.

    On Radio 4 lately I heard a talk delivered to the Royal Society, I think it was the Royal Society, it was an elite science group anyway, the guy mentioned two things, that he thought quantum physics had been mired in oriental mysticism and that Dawkins foray into psychology was harmful too.

    Having looked at Memetics I dont like it as a theory because I think its creation has more to do with explaining and attacking the endurance of ideas which Dawkins detests with sectarian vitriol. Sociologists and Psychologists have researched how institutions and ideas reproduce themselves since those disciplines came into existence and never before has such a shocking derivative and reductive notion as "its all a virus" been released upon the field. I mean when Freud relates all human psychology to physiology and particularly sexual physiology he gets criticised as myopic, blinkered and absurdly reductive but Dawkins is treated as credible, why?

    To be honest I think that other half of his theory the selfish gene is nonsense and horrifically vulgar too for different reasons. In fact I think memetics emerged when he realised that as thinking beings individuals might sacrifice themselves before vindicating his selfish gene theory. Which makes me extremely suspiscious of him altogether to be honest, its too much like the mirror opposite of religious fundamentalists and creationists which I think he rightly challenged at a time.

    I'm a big fan of Darwin, via Bowlby who took his The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals (or something similarly titled, I'm not sure) as a masterpiece, and I think that Dawkins does him no favours, Darwin himself as agnostic I've read and simply said it was impossible to know or tell conclusively about afterlife etc.

  4. #104
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    I wish I could quote some things from this specific documentary of the danger of religions, but it's been a while since I saw it, so I don't remember the exact things he said. But I do remember him explaining facts and assessments about religions that were kinda true, but with glaring omissions that made his points invalid. It's like he didn't really understand the religions' teachings, positions, and histories before coming to conclusions about them. The whole thing was just very misinformative, which isn't fair to other people unfamiliar with the religions, as it just exploits getting their favorable opinions using their ignorance.
    1/ Where are your facts?

    2/ Are you aware your comments perspire hate and misinformation as well?

    In the Maher interview, he made a claim like all intelligent scientists are atheists, or you can't be an intelligent scientist without being atheistic. Then Maher said that Francis Collins, the head of the Genome Project, is a notable scientist that believes in God, and further in Christianity. Dawkins reacted firstly with a "well Collins was a manager of the project, not a scientist, and I don't think he adheres to biblical teachings." Maher says "yes he does." The Dawkins says "He does?! Then he is stupid!"
    Dawkins is right. And I can bet one hundred dollars most famous scientist of our time would have had exactly the same reaction. For instance, Einstein deeply despised Theists, and called them "weak minds". And that already was along time ago.

    So I'd say that what you blame to Dawkins's speeches, paradoxally is his HONESTY, because the man is obviously saying loud what everybody in the Academia is really thinking in secret. I know it's not politically correct, but then, it's closer to the truth.

    Do you think I'm a fanatical Atheist if I say I agree with Dawkins?
    It doesn't mean I want to hurt you or that you submit to my so-called "faith". It's just a debate of Ideas. Then would you call me a "moderate"?

    Once again, do you feel offended by Atheists or by these kind of Ideas?
    I don't feel offended by your Ideas.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #105
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    1/ Where are your facts?

    2/ Are you aware your comments perspire hate and misinformation as well?



    Dawkins is right. And I can bet one hundred dollars most famous scientist of our time would have had exactly the same reaction. For instance, Einstein deeply despised Theists, and called them "weak minds". And that already was along time ago.

    So I'd say that what you blame to Dawkins's speeches, paradoxally is his HONESTY, because the man is obviously saying loud what everybody in the Academia is really thinking in secret. I know it's not politically correct, but then, it's closer to the truth.

    Do you think I'm a fanatical Atheist if I say I agree with Dawkins?
    It doesn't mean I want to hurt you or that you submit to my so-called "faith". It's just a debate of Ideas. Then would you call me a "moderate"?

    Once again, do you feel offended by Atheists or by these kind of Ideas?
    I don't feel offended by your Ideas.
    I've already said explicitly that I don't remember much of that documentary, save my reaction and the reason for it. I'm sorry, but it's just not worth it to me to find it and watch again. It's a documentary about the danger of religions, how he thinks they cause violence, it may be in pieces on youtube if you want to find it. Anyone can judge its merit by themselves, I'm just saying I think the documentary is misleading because it omits and poorly grasps important information.

    The fact is he was trying to defend his claims and position, or the reason for it, by blatantly discrediting Francis Collins. That was unprofessional and dishonest. It was an argument with poor and cheap substance. It's got nothing to do with bluntness, it's just failure to consider facts that don't contribute to his cause.

    I don't know what you're getting at with the radical and moderate atheism. Let me just cut to the chase and say The God Delusion was a bestselling book. I don't know why anyone aware of other atheists, would think agreement with Dawkins guarantees radicalism or moderation.

    Other atheists apparently are critical of his work too, so it's clearly not just that I personally hate the guy...
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  6. #106
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    I'm an atheist but it's one of those things I personally don't feel defines me any really big way. I don't have bumper stickers and I don't feel the need to announce this to every person I meet. I don't feel any need to change the minds of anyone with beliefs, among my friends are many religious folks.

    I do get vocal on certain issues. Just like I myself wouldn't want an atheist teacher ever sitting a kid with beliefs down and telling them they are wrong, I would not want a teacher with beliefs influencing children with their personal religion either. Stuff like that.

    I live in a rural area where you can throw a rock in the air and it'll hit some kind of church. I don't announce my lack of belief in organized religions, but I never lie when directly asked. This has indeed brought a lot of crap down on me in my lifetime. Still, I take people ONE AT A TIME. Just because one Christian a-hole gives me crap doesn't mean the next person who is Christian will do the same thing. Same with any other religion. This can be hard for me, I won't lie. I've gotten a lot of crap.

    Still, I truly enjoy it when diverse folks can all have discourse in relative harmony and respect. Idealistic stuff, yes, but that's what I like. I endeavor to toss stereotypes and preconceived notions to the side (hence, I don't like making assumptions based on MBTI type on this very site either). I really, really, really, really, really like it when others do this for me too.

    Also, Richard Dawkins annoys the living shizzle out of me too. I admire a lot of his works, but his attitude sucks as far as I'm concerned. I have much more time for Sam Harris
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  7. #107
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Banded atheist unite and we shall over come the hatred for us!!!!!!
    Reserved Calm Unstructured Egocentric Inquisitive Clown

    Johari Nohari

  8. #108
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  9. #109
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angell_m View Post
    What?
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    I wish I could quote some things from this specific documentary of the danger of religions, but it's been a while since I saw it, so I don't remember the exact things he said. But I do remember him explaining facts and assessments about religions that were kinda true, but with glaring omissions that made his points invalid. It's like he didn't really understand the religions' teachings, positions, and histories before coming to conclusions about them. The whole thing was just very misinformative, which isn't fair to other people unfamiliar with the religions, as it just exploits getting their favorable opinions using their ignorance.

    In the Maher interview, he made a claim like all intelligent scientists are atheists, or you can't be an intelligent scientist without being atheistic. Then Maher said that Francis Collins, the head of the Genome Project, is a notable scientist that believes in God, and further in Christianity. Dawkins reacted firstly with a "well Collins was a manager of the project, not a scientist, and I don't think he adheres to biblical teachings." Maher says "yes he does." The Dawkins says "He does?! Then he is stupid!"

    This was more than enough to turn me off. His work in this field is shoddy. I'm not familiar with his science, but maybe he's better at that.
    thunderf00t

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