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Golden Throne - View topic - Richard Dawkins.
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 Richard Dawkins. 
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Post Richard Dawkins.
Now I'll start by saying that I am a big fan of the above, but for a while now I have had my doubts about his Atheism.

It may sound a bit laughable for me to talk about someone who has such a monstrous intellect, but to me being an Atheist doesn't mean you have to be fiery, but rather it is an acceptance that there is no afterlife, there are no spirits, and death is final... so in a nutshell if you will nothing really matters, save enjoying your precious life.

Now after reading his work ‘The God Delusion’, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. The book felt like it wasn’t written for atheist, but rather for those of a faith. Which I can’t help but feel is silly, as he does come across as quite harsh in the book, which can only be counter-productive. I see his aim, and I think it is a noble aim, as there has been a lot of damage done in the name of religion, of this there is no doubt... and as someone who once had a strong belief in God I can speak from personal knowledge that those of any faith (barring the extremists) will be all to aware of the errors of their faith.

So just who was the book aimed at? For the life of me I can’t see it being read by anyone with a strong conviction, and this leaves those who have their own doubts for whatever reason... those who I would say are already half way to being of an atheist mindset. These people may seem like the idea audience for this work... but again, I can’t help that there are much better ways and avenues open to people who are in that position.

I also find his atheism rather strange, he is so quick to be in an ironic way the secular example of what he rejects that I question what the basis of his atheism is. It reminds me of the man who masks his homosexuality in a heavy handed example of homophobia. I’m left wondering if deep down he does believe in a the metaphysical... and it scares him shitless, so in a strange way he decries against it in the hopes that it’ll go away.

I could be completely wrong, but I just got this small ‘hang on’ when reading his ‘The God Delusion’. His others works are I will happily admit works of brilliance. I’m rather fond of his ‘The Selfish Gene’, but I think he should tone down the preaching... this isn’t the point of Atheism, there is no ‘aim’ to Atheism.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
Being a religious chap - I must admit that ol Dawkins makes me want to done chainmail and call a crusade (joking, I would look like a fat pig in steel wool). Atheisim is a philosophical point of view, its not the only one and its not by any means perfect. Trying to have hate "God" as the leading banner for athesists is just going to polarise people, atheists and those devoted to religion.

I agree with your points, in particular I would say that his opinions on religion and its followers verge on the fascist. Though I am not joining in the producers of "Expelled" in their beleif that atheism heralds the coming of eugenics and in short death to the Jews. Though I would say that recently several enviromentalist/atheist groups have done little in the support of their cause (case in point the 10:10 campaign.)

Although I beleive that the views expressed by 10:10 and other radical atheists are in no way the view of the mass, it does however cause me to smile knowing that radicals exsists everywhere, not just with AK47s and crusader uniforms.

Overall I would say live and let live, I will put up with the evolution arguments and the indulgment in blasphemy everywhere 9especially American TV), if the atheists can put up with missionaries at the door once in a while.

live and let live.




least until the second coming and I will take gold bars for putting a nice word in on your behalf.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
As another note I would add Stonehorse, the hatred expressed towards some atheists by supposedly "righteous" individuals has made me ponder the "homophobic" theory as well.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I had a dream once, where I met Dawkins. He asked me, quite nicely, about my beliefs. So I told him I was a very bad Christian, as I always do when asked this sort of thing. Predictably, he launch into a long tirade against my beliefs, my intelligence and my character.

I lit a smoke, nodded, and said, "Alright man, whatever." Then walked away.

No, wait, sorry. This wasn't a dream. Nor was it Dawkins. I was some cat at the train station in Chicago when I was 19.

Point being, whether it's Richard Dawkins or some nutjob in Chi-town or any other aetheist; Why do they have to belittle peoples of faith? What do they care what I believe in?

In short: What the hell is wrong with these people? :x

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I dont know but it could all be ixed by farting more.

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Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:44 am
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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
Good post Marquis.

For me the problem with the term Atheist, is that it really does define itself by what it doesn't believe in rather than what it does. I come at this whole issue from the side of science, which means that I can't believe in God, due to the complete lack of evidence. However my personal moral code is mainly informed by a CofE Christian background. Therefore I am an atheist, but haven't come across a better way to live my life than a roughly Christian treat others as you would want to be treated. Others might go for a strict survival of the fittest, or a more "spiritual" belief in other things that there is no scientific evidence for. All these philosphies are atheist, but contain viewpoints to which I am vehemently opposed.

I really don't know what to call myself, but atheist alone just doesn't cut it. If you beleive in God, then you wouldn't just descibe yourself as a believer, you would say what religion and probably denomination you believed in. Atheism needs the same to be taken more seriously.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
Thank you!

I think there are two plausible arguments in answer to that, the first and most obvious might be to say, "Does Atheism not provide that then, through the various secular philosophies available under the atheist umbrella (for example Humanism)?", the second, and perhaps more difficult to argue, is that as Atheism (due to its inherent, irreligious nature) does not function in the same manner as the various systems of religious belief, it is logically not going to have a comparable system of factions...

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I think that the first case that you make is probably better for me personally. Belief is about two things; how we got here and how you generate your personal morals. Stating that you are a secular humanist or spiritualist or objectivist does that better than the label of atheist, and crucially , when talking to people who are religious, indicates more clearly what you do believe in and that your viewpoint has been rigorously thought out.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
Atheists care when a lot of the legal system, societal constraints and expectations they live under are dictated by religion. That is when it becomes an issue. Believing what you want in your own head, your own home and your own church is fine - imposing it in any way, no matter how small on me is disgusting.

That is the problem. Dont like gay marriage? Not forcing yo u to marry a man. Don't like media thats blasphemous? Not forcing you to partake in it. Don't agree with gambling, prostitution or drinking? Likewise. Keep your insanity to yourself.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I was going to jump in with the first post on this subject but on second thoughts I decided to hold off to see other posts. My comment however is unchanged from that which I would have posted to start with.

The things Dawkins says are not at all controversial. He has come forward as a siren call to other Atheists. His message is simple, it is OK to be an Atheist, there are other Atheists out there, as an Atheist your opinion counts so voice it.

Nothing he has said is in any way more outrageous that those words spoken by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope.

What scares the religious groups the most is that Atheists now have a standard bearer to rally around and with only 8% of the UK population regularly attending a Christian church on a Sunday, the writing is on the wall.

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

RISE UP MY ATHEIST BROTHER AND SISTERS, overthrow the dogma and mysticism of the past. Let us usher in a new age of reason and understanding.

It is OK my theist countrymen, your new Atheist overlords will treat you with compassion and equality as we will all other minority and fringe groups of people. Your only requirement for equal treatment and respect in our logical new world is to be human.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
Dawkins is just an IRL troll. I only utilize his published material when I am confronted by theocrats and need to defend my position. Atheists didn't need Dawkins to reach their life choice, Penn (and Teller) argued that the simplest way to become an atheist is to read the Bible form cover to cover.

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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I don't dislike Dawkins. If anything I quite like his logic, I love his work in the field of evolutionary science and I feel he has a right to discuss his beliefs about the world around him as much as he likes.

What you have to keep in mind is that being an atheist is controversial, and it sells a lot of books. I do think he enjoys de constructing religions (and I don't blame him) because I think he enjoys intelligent debate, and I think he answers all of the religious peoples questions with such finesse that it really does leave only two options:

1) You give up religion and start to explore other reasons for existence.

2) You blindly keep going with your faith. The important questions where answered way before Dawkins came along and made them accessible and eloquent. Now he has put them in a book for people who aren't sure and need some help to make up their mind.

So stonehorse, in answer to your initial post, I believe that is why he wrote the book, and I believe it was his target audience. It is for people who are agnostic and want to read the logical arguments against religion.

Of course, people who are religious will also read it, and anyone with the faintest inkling to pursue intelligent literary works will also want to read it. But his motivation isn't just militant atheism. I do believe he would do away with religions if he could, but the reason he keeps having these same old arguments is because it sells. It makes money. And even though he is retired, his first love is evolutionary science. And you need funding for that science. And he has hit on one hell of a cash cow. God, much like sex, has been around forever. And money is made by the shit load by both. I think his arguments against religion are very clever.

I find the fact that he is using that hatred of religion to further his work in evolutionary science so ironically brilliant that I cannot help admire the man.


****************************************************

Now on a personal note because we all have an opinion on this subject, I'm an atheist, I have been since I was dragged to church every single Sunday until i was 12 and suddenly realised "this is nonsense".

I remember the day like I remember who my first girlfriend was, or the first book that changed my view on the world.

This was such a profound day for me. I'd been so sure that God looked after me because I'd been taught to believe that. But then suddenly I just knew it was all a sham. I'd read the Bible, and it spurred me to study all the other religions at great length to try and find some sort of answer.

I haven't found any, it's all just man made "good living" guides with a smattering of narcissistic masochism thrown in.

Now, I wanted there to be more to this life. I have studied and studied these subjects. I have gone as far back as the origins of Gods and the first religions. I, like most humans, had the vain craving that I didn't want this painfully short attempt at existence to be it. I wanted to carry on forever.

I spend so much time these days mourning the days I will never have. I want to see the world in a 1000 years time, I want to keep experiencing things more and more. I look out at the galaxy and think "I wont be here to see all of this wondrous thing I'm living in". And it saddens me. I cannot put into words the deep feeling of sadness I get knowing I can't keep going on forever, and that this is just a temporary state of being.

I wish there was an afterlife, but I know there isn't. This gift of life is double edged. We get such a small taste of it before its snuffed out and we never get the time to appreciate it and realise what it is we have.

I don't really know how anyone else feels, but I know religion is just a crutch. The mind developed it so that we could deal with the higher conscience we evolved. If we honestly all realised that actually this is all pointless, that there is no point other than re production then the race would have faltered.

I wish I did believe in God, because I wouldn't have to go through life with this burden of knowing on my shoulders. Some times I think ignorance really is bliss.


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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I think my counter point to what you say Shazam is that you don't need religion, or any religious icon to look up to in order to live like that.

I try to be as good a human being as I can, I take things in moderation and do well to other people.

There is no prize at the end of the road for living well, it's all about the here and now, and treating people how you want to be treated so that your current existence goes as smoothly as possible.

I don't need to religion to be a good person, I think people who say they need it to be like that haven't thought it through, or are doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you cut out the "middle man" that is religion, you can still do all those good things and be a good person without having to "rely on the crutch" that is religion.

I'd also like to point out that I don't disrespect you for having a religion, I think on a board like this it takes some nerve to come forward with your faith. So fair play to you and nothing but respect!


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Post Re: Richard Dawkins.
I think really the thing that seperates us is a testimony - I have often thought that, good people exsist in all walks of life, it would be terribly judgmental of me to have an opinion counter to that.

In response to Marquis; No there is no personal motivation to it, its a beleif thing the fact that there is an afterlife is rather immaterial to me (shocking I know), I think its something you need to see from my perspective. I think its a thing that will seperate us on this - I beleive we are put here for a higher purpose. That seperates me, its no crutch in some aspects its a burden, for me I see atheists as a burdenless people free to do what they please, yet here am I chosing to do other. In someways its very comforting in my perception I am doing right or at least trying (no I dont think others are doing wrong I would not dare judge), there is no doubt, and there is limitless freedom and joy in that thought. I think I can sum up all in "I know in whom I have trusted."

In my faith I DO things not just help with vespers or turn up on any given sunday. In all other faiths I have had contact with, this one stands out different, it is due to the fact that we do not sit on some pew somewhere to increase some vain Gods ego. We do things, we help others, we go out of our way to care for people I would have never ran into before, yes this can be done in other non-religious organisations (which I have done also) yet there is nothing like knowing that I work as an intermediary for my Saviour, and there is no carrot there I would do it without the reward (frankly sometimes I dont think I deserve the reward anyway.)

Religion is a crutch when I am weak a burden when I am strong and a loving family above all other things.

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