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View Diary: So this Stewart-Dawkins debate (40 comments)

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  •  Dawkins is his own worst enemy (0+ / 0-)

    He is a brilliant biologist and great writer. But his ad hominem attacks at people who are spiritual or humanistic doesn't do him any good at all. He provides the worst possible caricature of a scientist...even though I love the way he can describe natural science.

    We do not need to attack people of faith, just their illogic.

    •  Can you give an example... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beelzebud, denise b

      of professor Dawkins attacking someone solely for being a person of faith, and not for his or her actions?

      •  Absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        He gave a major speech on the Mall last fall doing just that. And in a beautiful book of science for children (The Magic of Reality) he devotes two pages to saying how stupid the story of Fatima is. Why should that be in a science book at all?

        •  Because you want children to develop a (0+ / 0-)

          critical understanding of what is possible and what isn't?

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 03:03:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wait...why is it one or the other? Hebrew school (0+ / 0-)

            didn't deprive me of critical thought (in a lot of ways it probably improved it.  I'm with Tribble that it seems out of place in a science book.  'Hi, kids, today we're going to talk about quarks--and the Red Sea parting?  That's just dumb!'

            •  At what point then... (0+ / 0-)

              should people begin to be incredulous about a fantastic claim?

              •  what? people should always critically evaluate (0+ / 0-)

                their surroundings.  One doesn't preclude the other.  People should be allowed to hold wild beliefs if they so desire without others regarding them as stupid or whatever, so long as they don't try to use those beliefs against others.

                •  I don't think you mean that. (0+ / 0-)

                  This is a site that, to a large degree, is dedicated to the idea that other people's beliefs are stupid.  This is typically limited to political beliefs, but there is almost no pushback here whatsoever to regarding people as stupid if they hold indefensible political beliefs.  Even quasi-religious beliefs like young-Earth creationism can be freely mocked without much fear of disapproval. Had Dawkins cited the example of the Cottingley Fairies I'm guessing he would have received no pushback at all.

                  •  and this site is very often appalling for that (0+ / 0-)

                    very reason.  I can understand when people mock the other side for policy-oriented reasons--because they affect other people outside of themselves.  Not for beliefs themselves.  Take abortion.  I have no problem with someone being pro-life.  That's fine.  If they see aborting a fetus as murder, I have no issue with that--except to the extent that it is used to legislate against OTHER people (women in this case)

                    But mocking the beliefs?  I have no time for that.

                    So yes, I mean exactly what I said.

                      •  that diary supports my argument. (0+ / 0-)

                        I have no problem with the beliefs--I have problems with using them to influence policy.  How you see that as contradictory is odd.  

                        Further, it's a bit disturbing that you felt the need to scroll through a list of my past writings here to dig up something you thought you could use against my argument, even though it didn't work as you thought it did.  I assume you were just tired.  I'd expect that more in the cut-throat realm of politics.

                        Seriously, though, couldn't you find something of mine that was ACTUALLY contradictory?  I've posted about 9,000 comments here.  I'm sure I've mocked religion at times contrary to my point.  

                        Go ahead--I'll wait.

                        •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

                          Or maybe it's just a rationale to exempt yourself from the rules that you have created.  Maybe you think that this is justified because those people you mock hold beliefs that are less important or less valid than those you hold dear.  It is worth noting that your above comment to me is mocking in tone even though my stated belief does not directly influence policy.

                          •  re: 'mocking in tone' (0+ / 0-)

                            The tone is absolutely on par with yours.  Although trying to dig someone's material up to try to use against them probably goes beyond mockery--it's more in the realm of creepy.

                            re:  the rest of your point:

                            Since you obviously didn't understand my comment, yet chose to use it to project anyway, there's not really much to discuss.

        •  I do not accept... (0+ / 0-)

          that your example qualifies as an attack on people of faith, or even that it is an accurate description of what he actually said.  I have seen his presentation on the book, perhaps it was different when you saw it, but the one I saw he used the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima as an example of an event  non-eye-witnesses should apply critical thinking to, in order to determine the credibility of the claims.  That is well within the scope of the book.

          Either way, it is certainly not an ad hominem.

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