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Thread: Richard Dawkins and Peter Singer

  1. #11
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post



    Source: Dawkins et al bring us into disrepute by Michael Ruse

    Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing. As I have said elsewhere, for the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the ontological argument. If we criticized gene theory with as little knowledge as Dawkins has of religion and philosophy, he would be rightly indignant. (He was just this when, thirty years ago, Mary Midgeley went after the selfish gene concept without the slightest knowledge of genetics.) Conversely, I am indignant at the poor quality of the argumentation in Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and all of the others in that group.

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    Ruse (who is an atheist) and the New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens et al.) do not get along and neither side makes any attempt to hide it.

    As Ruse says in Why God Is a Moral Issue:

    Source: Why God Is a Moral Issue


    The New Atheists are not a comfortable group of people. They have scornful contempt for those with whom they differ ó that includes religious believers, agnostics and other atheists who donít share their vehement brand of nonbelief. They are self-confident to a degree that seems designed to irritate. And they have an ignorance of anything beyond their fields to an extent remarkable even in modern academia.


    Source

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    And in "Fighting the Fundamentalists: Chamberlain or Churchill?" he has written about his disagreements with Richard Dawkins and other militant atheists

    Source: Fighting the Fundamentalists: Chamberlain or Churchill?


    I am on the outs with the militant atheist group because I do not see that committing oneself to science necessarily implies that one thinks that all of religion is false, and that those who worship a supreme being are in some respects at one with the fanatics who flew planes into the World Trade Center. Of course, I think some religious beliefs are wrong and dangerous. That is why I fight creationists. But overall, I donít think someone is silly or immoral if he or she is a practicing Christian or Jew or Muslim or whatever. Although I donít think you have to be a believer to be good, I fully accept that many believers are good because of their beliefs. Moreover, I think it is both politically and morally right to work with believers to combat ills, including creationism.

    The Dawkins-Dennett school allows no compromise. Religion is false. Religion is dangerous. Religion must be fought in every way. There can be no working with the enemy. Those like me who work with religious people are like the appeasers before the Nazis.


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    And from an article aptly entitled "Why Richard Dawkins' humanists remind me of a religion":

    Source: Why Richard Dawkins' humanists remind me of a religion


    Humanism in its most virulent form tries to make science into a religion. It is awash with the intolerance of enthusiasm. For a start, there is the near-hysterical repudiation of religion. To quote Richard Dawkins:

    "I think there's something very evil about faith Ö it justifies essentially anything. If you're taught in your holy book or by your priest that blasphemers should die or apostates should die Ė anybody who once believed in the religion and no longer does needs to be killed Ė that clearly is evil. And people don't have to justify it because it's their faith."

    In the caricaturing of "faith" as murderous fundamentalism, one hears echoes of the bloody and interminable Reformation squabbles between Protestants and Catholics. It is also of course to give help to the real enemy, those who turn their back fully on science as they follow their religion.

    There are other aspects of the new atheist movement that remind me of religion. One is the adulation by supporters and enthusiasts for the leaders of the movement: it is not just a matter of agreement or respect but also of a kind of worship. This certainly surrounds Dawkins, who is admittedly charismatic.


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    In article he explains his support for evolution and opposition to creationism but notes that because he is not like Dawkins, who sees science and religion at war, those in the latter's camp loathe him. P.Z. Myers refers to him as "a clueless gobshite." As Ruse notes, "because I will not bow down in praise of Dawkins and company, because I laugh at their pretentions and positions, I am anathema maranatha."

    And this second article he concludes his piece with

    Source:


    Call it a secular religion if you will, but the humanism I have been discussing in this piece does bear strong similarities to conventional religion. One finds the enthusiasm of the true believer. And as a non-believing Darwinian evolutionist, as one who is a humanist in the broader sense, this makes me feel rather ill.

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    I'm always still in trouble again

  2. Amen seer, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  3. #12
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Singer, who as you pointed out, advocates killing disabled babies up to 28 days after birth, won the 2003 World Technology Award for Ethics.
    Was it for "Bad Ethics?" Because if so, he really deserved it.
    Bacon

  4. Amen mossrose, Cerebrum123, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  5. #13
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Ruse (who is an atheist) and the New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens et al.) do not get along and neither side makes any attempt to hide it.

    As Ruse says in Why God Is a Moral Issue:

    Source: Why God Is a Moral Issue


    The New Atheists are not a comfortable group of people. They have scornful contempt for those with whom they differ ó that includes religious believers, agnostics and other atheists who donít share their vehement brand of nonbelief. They are self-confident to a degree that seems designed to irritate. And they have an ignorance of anything beyond their fields to an extent remarkable even in modern academia.


    Source

    © Copyright Original Source

    Yeah we can see that here in the contrast between, say, Sylas and Tassman.
    Bacon

  6. Amen Adrift, Jedidiah, Raphael, Chrawnus, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  7. #14
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Was it for "Bad Ethics?" Because if so, he really deserved it.
    Sort of like how Bill Maher received the 2009 Richard Dawkins award from the Atheist Alliance for his contributions to an increased scientific knowledge because of his movie attacking religion (Religulous) even though Maher had gone on record as a germ theory and HIV/AIDS denialist and anti-vaccine advocate

    I'm always still in trouble again

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Ruse (who is an atheist) and the New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens et al.) do not get along and neither side makes any attempt to hide it.
    Yep. I've read and listened to him on a number of occasions. I do believe that he has a very simplistic view of faith, and what that means to the believer, but he's far more patient and reasonable than any of those in the New Atheist camp.

  9. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  10. #16
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    hopefully we can have some good discussion in this thread.
    I guess not.

    A few people here just plain don't seem to understand that being able to find atheists who disagree with other atheists is not some sort of major coup, anymore than finding some religious people who disagree with other religious people... it's a big big world and people have a lot of views. I would say that The God Delusion remains the number one best selling book on atheism more than a decade after it was written because it is a very very good book. A few of the miffed philosophers quoted who had reviewed it were essentially objecting that it was not in the genre of academic philosophy and not written in a boring verbose way that explicitly counters all possible objections that could be dreamed up... which is true - Dawkins takes what I would say are many of the best philosophical arguments and lays them out simply and clearly and is able to cover a lot of ground and keep the audience interested precisely because he's not writing an book of academic philosophy and so doesn't need to waste time countering every one of 100 possible silly objections to every single statement he makes. He hits the nail on the head, and then moves on to hitting the next nail on the head, and doesn't stop to have an argument with a potential quibbler who might have an unusual view about the nature of the first nail.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    On Singer:
    He supports infanticide, which should make you happy Star.
    So does Dawkins if you watch the discussion in the OP.

    As Singer points out, it is fairly common for hospitals to actually do infanticide - in quite a lot of neonatal wards where the baby is born particularly early and is suffering serious complications due to it and highly likely to have serious disabilities for life as a result, the doctors will often offer the parents the option of simply ceasing all life support for the infant and letting it die rather than going to the effort to keep it alive to live a seriously sub-optimal life.

    And he has no problem with bestiality if it is mutually satisfying with no harm.
    Philosophers and laws have generally been all over the place on the subject. It is legal is some US states and not others, and legal in some Western nations but not neighboring nations. Most bestiality is legal, declared Canada's Supreme Court in 2016. And this article looks at bestiality practices in 10 nations ranging from Germany to Denmark to Colombia to Brazil to South Africa.

    I don't have really have a personal opinion on or any interest in the subject. I guess I agree with Singer that if no harm is being caused then there's no problem, but can see that you could easily argue that if it's legal then there's a potential for harm, e.g. the Enumclaw horse sex case where a man died due to having sex with a horse.

    Yes, [Singer] is a moral scumbag
    Dawkins describes him as the most moral person he knows. Singer's achievements include almost singlehandedly starting the modern animal rights movements, and playing a huge part in encouraging people to give all they can to charity to help save lives in the third world. The man is probably indirectly responsible for helping millions of humans and billions of animals, and is probably the single individual who has done the most of anyone living to help improve the lives of both humans and animals. But I guess in your up-is-down world, Seer, where you approve of the slaughter of captured soldiers, support torture and war etc, helping people and animals is immoral to you.

    As Rogue notes:
    Singer... won the 2003 World Technology Award for Ethics.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    If you truly believe human life is important and worth saving, then oppose abortion and infanticide.
    Like Singer, I don't think there is anything particularly special about human life, and think intelligent animals are worthy of our respect and serious moral consideration. What I and Singer see as important is 'intelligent' life by which we mean the wide variety of traits that include: Consciousness, ability to experience pain and pleasure, ability to have emotions, ability to remember the past, ability to have thoughts about the future, ability to feel that things are meaningful to you, ability to have purposes and goals which can be achieved or thwarted, having a sense of oneself as an "I" who exists over time, ability to reason, ability to place value on things etc. He and I both accept the general view that fetuses and infants only have the first two or three of the properties on that list as compared to the more intelligent animals which may have many more of things on the list, and thus hold that the killing of an intelligent animal (e.g. for food) is significantly more wrong than killing a human fetus or infant. We do not think that the human fetus cells happening to have human DNA in them is a relevant moral consideration anymore than I think exfoliating my skin is terrible because I am destroying cells containing human DNA.

  11. #17
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    A few of the miffed philosophers quoted who had reviewed it were essentially objecting that it was not in the genre of academic philosophy and not written in a boring verbose way
    Looks like Starlight's poor reading comprehension is rearing its ugly head again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    As Singer points out, it is fairly common for hospitals to actually do infanticide - in quite a lot of neonatal wards where the baby is born particularly early and is suffering serious complications due to it and highly likely to have serious disabilities for life as a result, the doctors will often offer the parents the option of simply ceasing all life support for the infant and letting it die rather than going to the effort to keep it alive to live a seriously sub-optimal life.
    Singer doesn't care if the child is suffering from serious complications. He is fine with all types of child murder, even when the child is otherwise healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    I don't have really have a personal opinion on or any interest in the subject. I guess I agree with Singer that if no harm is being caused then there's no problem
    I should be surprised, but I'm not. Absolutely pathetic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    Singer's achievements include almost singlehandedly starting the modern animal rights movements
    Oh yeah, we've seen how much Singer loves animals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    The man is probably indirectly responsible for helping millions of humans
    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    Like Singer, I don't think there is anything particularly special about human life...He and I both accept the general view that fetuses and infants only have the first two or three of the properties on that list as compared to the more intelligent animals which may have many more of things on the list, and thus hold that the killing of an intelligent animal (e.g. for food) is significantly more wrong than killing a human fetus or infant. We do not think that the human fetus cells happening to have human DNA in them is a relevant moral consideration anymore than I think exfoliating my skin is terrible because I am destroying cells containing human DNA.
    Deplorable.

  12. Amen Raphael, Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
  13. #18
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Yep. I've read and listened to him on a number of occasions. I do believe that he has a very simplistic view of faith, and what that means to the believer, but he's far more patient and reasonable than any of those in the New Atheist camp.
    The New Atheist view of those who have religious views can be summed up by a remark from P.Z. Myers:

    "I think Intelligent Design creationism is just as strained, just as ludicrous, just as fallacious as Tzortzisís Muslim creationism, or Ken Hamís fundamentalist creationism, or Hugh Rossís old earth creationism, or Biologosís theistic evolution. I despise you all equally."

    I'm always still in trouble again

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  15. #19
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post


    hopefully we can have some good discussion in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    I guess not.
    In Starlight's dark world apparently the only way to have a "good discussion" is if you agree with him.

    I'm always still in trouble again

  16. Amen Adrift, Cerebrum123, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  17. #20
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    Behold your gods.
    What do you even mean by that?

    I don't:
    - Worship them, pray to them, sing songs to them, or say "thank Dawkins" when something good happens to me.
    - Believe they created the world.
    - Believe they have supernatural powers.
    - Think things are true or right just because they say so, or believe everything they've ever written or said is correct.
    - Think they are the only intellectuals worth reading or listening to or believe they have some sort of vastly superior grasp of reality to other good writers that I like.
    - Feel that I am bound to do things just because they tell me I should do them.
    - Continually read and reread their particular writings religiously.

    I do:
    - Criticize them both in my head and to others when I think they are wrong about something.
    - Disagree with them both sometimes.
    - Occasionally recommend their talks or writings to others.

    In what way are they my 'gods'? I don't get what you are even meaning by that.

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