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Thread: Richard Dawkins and Peter Singer

  1. #21
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    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 Tzortzis’s Muslim creationism, or Ken Ham’s fundamentalist creationism, or Hugh Ross’s old earth creationism, or Biologos’s theistic evolution. I despise you all equally."
    I'm quite partial to the hypothesis that the universe is a fully-immerse virtual-reality computer game (a MMORPG) and that we are all players in it. That's a deist view because obviously the creators of the game (quite possibly us) engineered the basic features of the universe (e.g. the 'fine tuning') to support the kinds of life they wanted to have in the game, and it's arguably a religious view because it implies possible life after 'death' (either that we respawn as a new character at some point in history or that we fall out of the game and back to 'reality' - I use quotes because Elon Musk and others have persuasively argued that there's no reason such computer games / simulations can't be multiple levels deep... unless of course we are in-game creations of the simulation and then of course we'd actually die upon death which seems to be Elon Musk's own view.). You might want to say that because I am very open to such a view that I am therefore open to "Intelligent Design creationism" in some sort of general sense... but I would regard myself as subscribing to "New Atheism" simply because it seems so clear that the kind of omnipotent God of monotheism does not exist, so I am an 'atheist' (not-theist) because I explicitly rule out all common theistic beliefs.

    All of which is to say that though I despise the way the people who call themselves "Intelligent Design" creationists shamelessly try to manipulate science and mislead the public, and don't for a second think their religiously-motivated views should be allowed anywhere near either schools or serious scientific journals, nonetheless as a "New Atheist" I am open to a strain of "Intelligent Design" in and of itself (as it exists theoretically rather than as it exists in practice) and would thus not necessarily agree with your quote from Myers - unless he is talking about the people who currently peddle "Intelligent Design" as a disingenuous justification to try to slap a pseudo-scientific label on the religious views that they are really trying to peddle via the deception, rather than the theoretical concept of 'intelligent design' itself.
    Last edited by Starlight; 01-11-2017 at 03:39 AM.

  2. #22
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    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 Tzortzis’s Muslim creationism, or Ken Ham’s fundamentalist creationism, or Hugh Ross’s old earth creationism, or Biologos’s theistic evolution. I despise you all equally."
    PZ Myers has it about right. None of those beliefs are evidence-based nor are they espoused by the vast majority of those in a position to know, namely scientists.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  3. #23
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    I'm quite partial to the hypothesis that the universe is a fully-immerse virtual-reality computer game (a MMORPG) and that we are all players in it. That's a deist view because obviously the creators of the game (quite possibly us) engineered the basic features of the universe (e.g. the 'fine tuning') to support the kinds of life they wanted to have in the game, and it's arguably a religious view because it implies possible life after 'death' (either that we respawn as a new character at some point in history or that we fall out of the game and back to 'reality' - I use quotes because Elon Musk and others have persuasively argued that there's no reason such computer games / simulations can't be multiple levels deep... unless of course we are in-game creations of the simulation and then of course we'd actually die upon death which seems to be Elon Musk's own view.). You might want to say that because I am very open to such a view that I am therefore open to "Intelligent Design creationism" in some sort of general sense... but I would regard myself as subscribing to "New Atheism" simply because it seems so clear that the kind of omnipotent God of monotheism does not exist, so I am an 'atheist' (not-theist) because I explicitly rule out all common theistic beliefs.

    All of which is to say that though I despise the way the people who call themselves "Intelligent Design" creationists shamelessly try to manipulate science and mislead the public, and don't for a second think their religiously-motivated views should be allowed anywhere near either schools or serious scientific journals, nonetheless as a "New Atheist" I am open to a strain of "Intelligent Design" in and of itself (as it exists theoretically rather than as it exists in practice) and would thus not necessarily agree with your quote from Myers - unless he is talking about the people who currently peddle "Intelligent Design" as a disingenuous justification to try to slap a pseudo-scientific label on the religious views that they are really trying to peddle via the deception, rather than the theoretical concept of 'intelligent design' itself.
    Myers is making it crystal clear that he despises virtually anyone who believes in God not just ID advocates.

    I'm always still in trouble again

  4. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  5. #24
    tWebber MaxVel'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 that explicitly counters all possible objections that could be dreamed up...
    Can you cite two then, specifically where they do this?


    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight
    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.
    Uh, no.

    How about you cite one of Dawkin's discussions of philosophical arguments and we can analyse his efforts together?
    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

  6. #25
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Myers is making it crystal clear that he despises virtually anyone who believes in God not just ID advocates.
    This is just the standard sense of persecution that Christians so enjoy. PZ Myers does not "despise" theists, he just thinks they are silly:

    "This does not mean that scientists can't be religious. We can encompass irrational beliefs without regret and without obligation—I can, actually, look at my kids in a different way than I would an experimental subject under my microscope. I also do not pretend that I view my children rationally and objectively, untainted by emotion or history, and I'm not ashamed of that at all. So, a scientist should have no problem demanding one standard of logic and evidence in the lab, and dropping that demand if they choose to go to church on Sunday - "What should a scientist think about religion?", 29 June 2006
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  7. #26
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    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.
    So then you DON'T agree "people are morally obligated to give the most they possibly can to help save the lives of people in the 3rd world" after all. Got it.

    And you also claim that Singer was just blowing smoke when he said that. OK. Makes sense.

    You think protecting an animal's life is more important than protecting a human's.

  8. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  9. #27
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    This is just the standard sense of persecution that Christians so enjoy. PZ Myers does not "despise" theists, he just thinks they are silly:
    What part of "I despise you all equally" are you have trouble with?

    I'm always still in trouble again

  10. Amen One Bad Pig, Chrawnus, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
  11. #28
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    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.
    I don't think that this is even remotely true. Most of the population (Christian, atheists, etc) simply are not informed and have limited critical thinking skills.

    I challenge you to pick your favorite or the most "impactful" argument from the God Delusion and I am willing to bet that I can rip it to pieces. Please note that I am not saying that I will prove to you or other atheists that the argument is wrong and God exists, I am saying that I will show you why the argument itself fails as an argument.

    There are a number of arguments against God's existence that actually have some weight to them, they are not found in the God delusion AFAIR.
    Last edited by element771; 01-11-2017 at 04:53 PM.

  12. #29
    tWebber firstfloor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    Really? That's hilarious.


    From a real philosopher:
    "Christian philosopher" is an oxymoron.
    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
    “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott
    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell

  13. #30
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstfloor View Post
    "Christian philosopher" is an oxymoron.
    you're just a regular moron.

  14. Amen Cerebrum123, Chrawnus amen'd this post.

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