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Richard Dawkins
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 15-05-2003 11:52    Post subject: Richard Dawkins Reply with quote

had a strange idea when watching an interview with him.
do you all think it's possible that someone would one day start a religious movement based on his ideas? he does seem to have quite a large theology looking at his works. it would be ironic if what he fought (in an iterlectual sense) against grew into an instituatuion based round his work.
but in the mean time i like the guy. more power to richard dawkins.
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BilderbergerOffline
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PostPosted: 15-05-2003 12:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I can't imagine any cult around his "personality" but to a certain extent, your scenario has already been achieved.

By that, I mean the idea of science as religion - which is a feature of our current culture.

Dawkins would shoot me for saying that (and not go to hell - which doesn't exist etc).

P.S. I am also quite a fan of his work- rather dogmatic - but never less than well researched/argued.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 15-05-2003 12:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

you hit the nail right on the head. i suppose a science of religion has been developing since the enlightenment. are there any good post-modernist critiques of Dawkins? i think the old "you can't prove if it does or doesn't exist" line would spark some interesting ideas in responce to dawnkins works.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 15-05-2003 12:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dawkins is certainly charasmatic enough IMO but surely he would reject the whole idea of a cult based around him, or maybe he would have no say in the matter. If i had to join any 'cult' this would be the one I admire the man tremondously.
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PostPosted: 15-05-2003 12:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a biiiiiig Dawkins fan. My son bought me his latest book and got RD to sign it specially for me.

I like his absolute certainty that religions etc are all in the mind. Especially as he is careful not to say it to Muslims- scientific pragmantism or mere cowardice? Very Happy

He is on my '6 Degrees' list as he has lunch regularly with my son's infant teacher's son...........

I read his books as they come out. The experience of spending a loooooong summer afternoon in Newborough Forest, Anglesey, enjoying 'The Blind Watchmaker' while the half-dozen kids I'd brought climbed trees and ate fruit convinced me- yes, it's all true, we are apes after all..................... Smile
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 15-05-2003 12:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

i did like his critiques of design theory.
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BilderbergerOffline
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PostPosted: 15-05-2003 13:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

escargot wrote:

I like his absolute certainty that religions etc are all in the mind. Especially as he is careful not to say it to Muslims- scientific pragmantism or mere cowardice? Very Happy


Not sure if I've missed the point of what you are saying, but I would have thought that this famous article is nothing less than critical of the Muslim religion.............

http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,1300,552388,00.html
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Rrose_SelavyOffline
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PostPosted: 17-05-2003 17:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I am an Atheist , like Dawkins, and there is much that I would agree with him on, my personal feeling is that when I have seen him speaking on TV he does not particularly come across very well nor with any "charisma" which ironically is a term of religious origin. Like say, James Randi. not without faults but a useful and all too rare, skeptical counter voice against superstition.

I think one needs to distinguish between the majority of Theistic Religions and the non-theistic ie Buddhism. Perhaps the exception but it does acknowlege that for most of us there are simply concepts that we are unable to comprehend such as Eternity and Infinity (how big is the universe and how can it ever really end - or begin?).
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-05-2003 17:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like him on telly. he's a bit grandad-ish. he's often isn't his best when interviewed (espescially if there is a panel newsnight style) he goes from being antagonistic to meek with in a couple of sentances. but i think i like that ecentricity about him.
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PostPosted: 17-05-2003 17:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

His books are excellent, but on TV he sometimes comes across as a bit dogmatic and aggressive.

A pity as he could shred most of his opponents through sheer strength of argument without getting sneery.

On a trivial note he's married to Lalla Ward (Romana:2 in Doctor Who), apparently he gets quite sharp when people compare him to the Doctor.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-06-2003 16:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funnily enough Richard Dawkins was responsible for my 'conversion' to atheism. I read an article in which he explained very clearly why astrology could not be true. I found that I couldn't argue with anything he was saying, therefore I was forced to agree with him!

It is no exaggeration to say it changed my life, as up to that point I had been regularly reading tarot cards etc. After reading that article I couldn't do that anymore as it just seemed completely pointless.

So yes, I would agree that Dawkins' views could be considered a 'religious belief'. It certainly had an unexpected emotional impact on me.
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Guest
PostPosted: 22-06-2003 00:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a big fan of Dawkins. He seems to think that, in order to describe a circle, you have to have one angle of arc of greater import than any other.

A common scientific error. Wink
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 27-01-2004 15:28    Post subject: A Devil's Chaplin - the rise of aggressive atheism Reply with quote

I've just finished "A Devil's Chaplin", a compendium of articles published by Richard Dawkins over the past few years.

The tone of some of the more recent pieces surprised me.

What's always made the professor's full-length works so compelling is his passionate desire to inspire in readers a sense of awe at the scientific method and its success in revealing to us some of the fundamental truths of the universe. But lately, by his own admission, he has become more interested in hounding religion and religious beliefs than expounding scientific wisdom for its own sake.

The Guardian article mentioned above in Bilderberger's post, and which appears in the new book, is a perfect example.

And while I applaud Dawkins' efforts to show up the idiocy of much "wooly thinking" (astrology, crystal healing, biblical creationism etc.), he is on dodgy ground when he attacks the notion of spirituality itself.

It doesn't help that he's becoming increasingly arrogant. This is a man with an unshakeable belief in himself and a quite breathtaking contempt for anyone who doesn't "get it". He sounds as though he's frustrated that there are still people out there who have instinctive religious beliefs, but here he's overlooking one big point.

For as long as the really big questions - for example, "why is there something instead of nothing" and "what gave life to the first cell", remain the preserve of philosophy, Dawkins has a problem.

To a certain extent, if you can't answer everything, you can't answer anything. This does not mean we should put religious belief on a par with scientific theory. The fact that answers (or credible guesses) to these "big questions" are currently lacking does not leave the way clear for strongly held beliefs for which there are no evidence (Dawkins's own definition of faith) to be upheld as truth.

But it does make room for a "God spot" in society at large, as well as individual consciousness.

The situation in which we find ourselves is an absurd one. Clinging to a rock ninety million miles from a giant ball of gas, somehow imbued with the ability to contemplate our own existence, and fighting to preserve it long enough to reproduce and pass on a set of coded genetic information.

Science can currently tell you how many of the curious physical laws of the universe operate. It can divide the "fundamental forces" into four categories of wildly differing strengths. It can tell you what particles get up to at magnifications thousands of times beyond the purvey of the naked eye.

But until it can paint a broader and still more complete picture (and I share Dawkins' belief that, given enough time, it could divulge the answers to everything), science cannot squeeze religion completely from the picture.

It needn't harm you to leave space for spirituality. If those feelings give rise to a conviction that one or other faith has the answers, that can give you comfort and needn't harm anyone else either.

In fact, it just might make you a nicer person than Richard Dawkins.
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 27-01-2004 16:00    Post subject: Re: A Devil's Chaplin - the rise of aggressive atheism Reply with quote

Conners_76 wrote:

In fact, it just might make you a nicer person than Richard Dawkins.


Don't judge a man solely by his work. Any friend of the great and gregarious Douglas Adams can't be all bad. There's a video of his speech at DNA's memorial service here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/celebration/dawkins.shtml

You can be a fierce creature in debate and still be as nice as the day is long. Smile
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giantrobot1Offline
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PostPosted: 27-01-2004 16:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the dogmatism of the guy rather annoying, mainly because of the fact that I used to be just like him: a dogmatic, argumentative atheist and radical materialist. I'm not anymore, and am now a very religious person and I can see the huge arena of human experience the guy's missing. There are things out there that he will never have come across, experience-wise. Since I can see both sides of the religious divide, or rather materialistic/spiritualistic divide, I have no real truck with people who only shout from one side or another - they haven't left themselves open for the big picture.
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