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The Evolutionists' Fundamentalist Preacher

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Excerpts from...

From The Times

May 10, 2007

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondednt

GOD....IN OTHER WORDS

Richard Dawkins may be Britain’s foremost atheist, but he is willing to be inspired and uplifted. Is he a believer after all?

Richard Dawkins believes that children should grow up reading the Bible and has a “soft spot” for the Church of England. He also believes some of the historic atrocities of human behaviour were not inspired by religion, but were a result of our “ruthless Darwinian past”. And he believes in the possibility of a transcendent “intelligence” existing beyond the range of present human experience. It is just that he refuses to call it God.

These are just some of the more surprising confessions to come from the man variously described as Britain’s angriest atheist and the self-appointed Devil’s chaplain.

I put it to him that negative criticism can finish off a book or a play, especially intelligently argued criticism, and that one of the ambivalences I feel about interviewing him is that his mission in life seems to be to destroy something that’s my livelihood.

“I think it’ll see you out. I think there’ll be plenty to write about. And under the banner of religion you can write about what I call Einsteinian religion, which I subscribe to and so do many scientists as a sort of reverence for the Universe and life, which has nothing to do with anything supernatural.”

In GD, Dawkins quotes Einstein as saying that he prefers not to call himself religious, because that implies “supernatural”. But Einstein acknowledged that behind everything “there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly”.

Dawkins admits: “If that’s what you call religion then I’m religious.” But when I suggest that, in this case, he is in touch with the transcendent, he accuses me of “playing with words”. He says: “If by transcendent you mean what Einstein believed then yes, but what I think, to come back on your statement that more intelligent and sophisticated religious people believe something close to what Einstein and I believe, that may be true, but they are a tiny minority of religious people in the world. It’s the majority of religious people in the world that we have to worry about.”

He does suggest in GD, however, that some of the irrationality of religion may stem from the same place as the irrationality of love. “I think it’s right to say anthropologists would tell us that all human cultures have some form of religion. Which might make it hard to get rid of. It certainly doesn’t make it true.”

He denies that he is setting up an alternative religion, an atheistic lack-of-belief system. He also resists the conclusion that, if God and religion are no more than human creations, his attack on religion is an attack on humanity, perhaps evidence of a certain degree of misanthropy. “There’s a lot to criticise in humanity that has nothing to do with religion, but that doesn’t detract from the importance of criticising religion as well and I would criticise the brutality of Stalin and Hitler, the idiotic beliefs that they had.”

He is equally critical of fundamentalist Darwinism. “A lot of what is good about human history has been an emancipation, a weaning, of humanity away from our ruthless Darwinian past,” he says. “As a Darwinian, I see that.” He even agrees that religion might have helped “a bit” in this civilising process, and that something is needed to stop humanity slipping back into the extremes of Darwinian natural selection.

By now it is clear that the thing Dawkins really detests is not so much God, or even religion, but superstition.

But was there not, in his mind, a tiny possibility that one of these future physicists could discover God in one of these dimensions?

“Well, I’m convinced that future physicists will discover something at least as wonderful as any god you could ever imagine.” Why not call it God? “I don’t think it’s helpful to call it God.” OK, but what would “it” be like?

“I think it’ll be something wonderful and amazing and something difficult to understand. I think that all theological conceptions will be seen as parochial and petty by comparison.” He can even see how “design” by some gigantic intelligence might come into it. “But that gigantic intelligence itself would need an explanation. It’s not enough to call it God, it would need some sort of explanation such as evolution. Maybe it evolved in another universe and created some computer simulation that we are all a part of. These are all science-fiction suggestions but I am trying to overcome the limitations of the 21st-century mind. It’s going to be grander and bigger and more beautiful and more wonderful and it’s going to put theology to shame.”

The day before we met I received by e-mail a promotion from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for a new DVD series for children, Growing up in the Universe. It looked superb and I will buy a set for my young son. I tell him how similar it was to receiving text from a religious company, the blurb almost like a creed. “You’re very close to being right,” he admits.

How could I be more right? “To be spot-on would be to say that this had nothing to do with the sort of religion that believes in a divine creator who forgives sins, answers prayers and listens to your innermost thoughts, cares about your sex life, does all the things that the Christian God is supposed to.” It would be a “mysterious-beyond-present-comprehension physics of the future”. He has no name for it.

Again, I lob in the words “transcendent” and “numinous”, which I believe sum up what he is trying to describe. God, in other words. “I suspect they don’t mean anything at all,” he says. But being a good scientist, he leaps from the sofa for a dictionary. He reads: “Numinous: divine, spiritual, revealing or indicating the presence of a divinity, awe-inspiring.” A moment’s pause. Then: “I’ll go along with awe-inspiring. Also, aesthetically appealing, uplifting. I’ll go along with aesthetically appealing and uplifting. Those aspects of it, yes. Let’s look for transcendent.”

He finds a definition to do with lying beyond the ordinary range of perception. “That’s probably all OK and I could go along with that. Going beyond the range and grasp of the presently experienced. Maybe transcendent would be a good word to adopt.”

So there we are. Dawkins sums up our conversation: “I don’t think you and I disagree on anything very much but as a colleague of mine said, it’s just that you say it wrong.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/f...icle1767506.ece

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That interview wasn't supposed to be my opening for this thread....but its content surprised and floored me. So many questions about dah man.

Is Dawkins re-defining his stance? Subtly preparing and paving the way for the right time when he'll formally proclaim it?

Is it just conceit and pride that stop him from coming outright and throwing his support behind Intelligent Design/Intelligent Designer theory?

Is it just conceit and pride that force him to stay with his refuted theory of evolution....even though he knows that the ID theory carries more weight?

Is he "softening" his fundamentalist Atheist attitude towards God and religion....because he realize it's only making people skeptic about his motive, thus hurting the credibility of true science?

He sounded wishy-washy. I know he is brilliant..., but like some brilliant men...is he "losing" it?

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Is Dawkins re-defining his stance? Subtly preparing and paving the way for the right time when he'll formally proclaim it?

Is it just conceit and pride that stop him from coming outright and throwing his support behind Intelligent Design/Intelligent Designer theory?

Is it just conceit and pride that force him to stay with his refuted theory of evolution....even though he knows that the ID theory carries more weight?

Is he "softening" his fundamentalist Atheist attitude towards God and religion....because he realize it's only making people skeptic about his motive, thus hurting the credibility of true science?

Uhhh... no.

You see, this is basically just a different form of 'quote mining'. Remember in the other thread when you repeatedly took some statement Darwin made out of context to suggest it meant something that it didn't? Well, this is just another form of that.

What Dawkings is referring to is not that he'll start believing in some supernatural 'god', or that he's about to refute evolution. He's referring to the belief that many people have that, as we learn more about the universe, we'll uncover more about how things and why things were created.

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And even Dawkins himself recognizes that atheism does not provide organizing principles, except for those that directly threaten free thought and freedom of speech. Dawkins himself coined the term "herding cats," as an explanation for the difficulties of organizing atheists, even though we are larger in total number than most religions! We don't share common beliefs, so Dawkins views on religious education and raising children are his, and his alone. We don't have a pope or some preacher that demands adherence to doctrine like the god believers do.

In England, where Dawkins lives, the government is trying to pass blasphemy laws that will make it an offense to criticize religion; all this at a time when an aggressive new religion (Islam) that tries to stomp out competing religious systems and take control of government, law, business and culture (theocratic fascism in other words) is growing and trying to carve out their own little territories in immigrant neighbourhoods. The spineless leaders of the Church of England and the Catholic Church, are all in favour of blasphemy laws, and that's part of the reason why atheism-advocates like Dawkins and comedians Eddie Izzard and Richard Condell, are the few people speaking out.

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uhhh..no.

You see, this is basically just a different form of 'quote mining'.

What are you on about this "quote mining" nonsense?

Of course I'm going to quote sources that will prove or support my argument. Just because I find a lot of sources that help my argument, and mostly bust yours...you're crying waaaah "quote mining! Not fair! Waaah!

Look at your response. "Uhhh...no." AND???? And what??? "No" to all, I assume. You're pretty sure about that, right?

Actually I advise you to do the same....dig! Mine those quotes.

Like as if I'd take your word just like that!

Most especially not after your rant about mythological stuff! :lol:

So you don't like seeing the quotes. Well then, I guess this thread will give you nightmares.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Edited by betsy

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And even Dawkins himself recognizes that atheism does not provide organizing principles, except for those that directly threaten free thought and freedom of speech. Dawkins himself coined the term "herding cats," as an explanation for the difficulties of organizing atheists, even though we are larger in total number than most religions! We don't share common beliefs, so Dawkins views on religious education and raising children are his, and his alone. We don't have a pope or some preacher that demands adherence to doctrine like the god believers do.

In England, where Dawkins lives, the government is trying to pass blasphemy laws that will make it an offense to criticize religion; all this at a time when an aggressive new religion (Islam) that tries to stomp out competing religious systems and take control of government, law, business and culture (theocratic fascism in other words) is growing and trying to carve out their own little territories in immigrant neighbourhoods. The spineless leaders of the Church of England and the Catholic Church, are all in favour of blasphemy laws, and that's part of the reason why atheism-advocates like Dawkins and comedians Eddie Izzard and Richard Condell, are the few people speaking out.

What do you think about his musings on the possibility of you know...the Name he doesn't want to invoke?

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“Well, I’m convinced that future physicists will discover something at least as wonderful as any god you could ever imagine.” Why not call it God? “I don’t think it’s helpful to call it God.” OK, but what would “it” be like?

“I think it’ll be something wonderful and amazing and something difficult to understand. I think that all theological conceptions will be seen as parochial and petty by comparison.” He can even see how “design” by some gigantic intelligence might come into it. “But that gigantic intelligence itself would need an explanation. It’s not enough to call it God, it would need some sort of explanation such as evolution. Maybe it evolved in another universe and created some computer simulation that we are all a part of. These are all science-fiction suggestions but I am trying to overcome the limitations of the 21st-century mind. It’s going to be grander and bigger and more beautiful and more wonderful and it’s going to put theology to shame.”

What's he on about here?

He's definitely talking - in a gibbly-de-gook way - about Intelligent Design/Designer. No matter how he tries to avoid saying ID, at the very least that's what it is!

Otherwise, he's definitely talking about God or a god!

Edited by betsy

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What are you on about this "quote mining" nonsense?

Of course I'm going to quote sources that will prove or support my argument. Just because I find a lot of sources that help my argument, and mostly bust yours...you're crying waaaah "quote mining! Not fair! Waaah!

Actually, if you read the other thread, I give a more complete definition of what quote mining is.

You see, Quote mining is not simply searching for a statement by someone, it also involves taking that statement and taking it out of context.

In your Darwin example you took a quote where he was discussing how certain material wasn't going to be published in one particular book, and stated that it referred to the fact that he didn't believe the theory as a whole.

In this case you're taking comments that Dawkings made regarding origins of the universe, and you are warping them to suggest he might support creationism or intelligent design.

Now, before you post any more of your nonsense, please go back and re-read this post. Pay close attention to the part where I point out that quote mining involves taking quotes out of context. I'm sure we'll be seeing you do it again and again. (After all, creationists are some of the most dishonest people around.) But when I point out future incidents of you engaging in that practice, I want you to understand what exactly the term means.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quote_mining

Quote mining is use of the fallacy of quoting out of context, repeatedly employing misquotation in an attempt to skew or contort the meaning and purpose of the original author regarding a controversial topic. .

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What's he on about here?

He's definitely talking - in a gibbly-de-gook way - about Intelligent Design/Designer. No matter how he tries to avoid saying ID, at the very least that's what it is!

Otherwise, he's definitely talking about God or a god!

There is nothing intelligent in how we were designed. If you call that intelligent designing.. then someone did a half assed job.

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There is nothing intelligent in how we were designed. If you call that intelligent designing.. then someone did a half assed job.

If you've got nothing substantial to contribute on this topic, kindly move aside. Thank you.

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This is really getting interesting. About a year later from that interview...

Excerpts from...

IS RICHARD DAWKINS STILL EVOLVING?

by: Melanie Phillips

Thursday, 23rd October 2008

"On Tuesday evening I attended the debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox at Oxford’s Natural History Museum. This was the second public encounter between the two men, but it turned out to be very different from the first. Lennox is the Oxford mathematics professor whose book, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? is to my mind an excoriating demolition of Dawkins’s overreach from biology into religion as expressed in his book The God Delusion -- all the more devastating because Lennox attacks him on the basis of science itself.

In the first debate, which can be seen on video on this website, Dawkins was badly caught off-balance by Lennox’s argument precisely because, possibly for the first time, he was being challenged on his own chosen scientific ground.

This week’s debate, however, was different because from the off Dawkins moved it onto safer territory– and at the very beginning made a most startling admission. He said:

A serious case could be made for a deistic God."

http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips...-evolving.thtml

Edited by betsy

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Now, before you post any more of your nonsense, please go back and re-read this post. Pay close attention to the part where I point out that quote mining involves taking quotes out of context. I'm sure we'll be seeing you do it again and again. (After all, creationists are some of the most dishonest people around.) But when I point out future incidents of you engaging in that practice, I want you to understand what exactly the term means.

Do you even know what the word "excerpts" means? I gave you the links, didn't I?

If you're going to be disruptive and trashy....kindly do it on your own thread.

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Betsy .. in case you missed in in the other thread. Here is my entire post...... To add to this, it was almost unbearable to listen to the logic that Hovind presents. And I ask the question. Is there a difference in beleifs on creationims?? Do creationists even have a common science? Or are they all different? And if so.. why so?

-------------------------------------

Betsy, you have made me watch some vids the last few days. Here is what I find. I wonder how much creationsist views differ between religions.

Ken Hovind - Creationist. LOL tastic

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-84...hl=en&dur=3

Wonderfull series about creationism versus evolution

Part 1

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=istxUVBZD2s...feature=related

There are about 20 in this series

Dover Trials

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-40...trial&hl=en

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Afterwards, I asked Dawkins whether he had indeed changed his position and become more open to ideas which lay outside the scientific paradigm.

Kind of hard to combat fairy tales, when you move the focus out of the scientific paradigm.

Even more jaw-droppingly, Dawkins told me that, rather than believing in God, he was more receptive to the theory that life on earth had indeed been created by a governing intelligence – but one which had resided on another planet. Leave aside the question of where that extra-terrestrial intelligence had itself come from, is it not remarkable that the arch-apostle of reason finds the concept of God more unlikely as an explanation of the universe than the existence and plenipotentiary power of extra-terrestrial little green men?

Well, we could just be aliens. Who really knows. I doubt you do Betsy.

For example, I put to him that, since he is prepared to believe that the origin of all matter was an entirely spontaneous event, he therefore believes that something can be created out of nothing --

It seems God made everything out of nothing. And where did God come from anyways? How does an ever omnipotent all seeing being even exist before creation? How did he get there?

You can do better Betsy.

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Betsy .. in case you missed in in the other thread. Here is my entire post...... To add to this, it was almost unbearable to listen to the logic that Hovind presents. And I ask the question. Is there a difference in beleifs on creationims?? Do creationists even have a common science? Or are they all different? And if so.. why so?

-------------------------------------

Betsy, you have made me watch some vids the last few days. Here is what I find. I wonder how much creationsist views differ between religions.

Ken Hovind - Creationist. LOL tastic

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-84...hl=en&dur=3

Wonderfull series about creationism versus evolution

Part 1

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=istxUVBZD2s...feature=related

There are about 20 in this series

Dover Trials

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-40...trial&hl=en

Gosthacked,

In the other thread, as I've stated, my being a creationist is not the point. You are insisting that it is....but I know that it isn't. You refuse to understand what I was saying in that thread, and I refuse to be manipulated into what you seem to want to be discussed instead.

I've repeated my point in that thread several times. It's up to you if you want to check them out.

I have no wish to go on a pointless circular discussion. I've said all I have to say in that thread.

Now, I've created this particular thread solely for the discussion of Dawkins....or musings about and/or the study of Dawkins. I purposefully started this thread out of respect for the original poster of that other thread. You can join if you wish to...but I hope that you try to remain on topic.

There's no room for logic in this thread, GotsHacked. Please move along!

You should tell Cybercoma he can go on and move along without you. He found his way in here on his own...therefore he can find his way out without you holding his hand. :lol:

Tell him to mind his own business. He's not your keeper. And I assume you're not his sitter.

Btw, you didn't drag him in this thread against his will, did you? :)

He just couldn't keep away from illogical people. I've always wondered why he carries that name...Cybercoma. Just woke up? He must still be disoriented...confused. :lol:

Edited by betsy

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Science will eventually fill in the gaps as we provide working models. Our understanding of everything is growing and will continue to grow. You seem to have more answers about everything than Dawkins or Darwin. You must admit that even religious types have differences in their beleifs of who and what god is.

At least I don't claim to have all the answers. Dawkins never claims he has all the answers as well, and he admits there are discrepancies. Dawkins fills in the gaps were Darwin could not, and as we keep on learning, we are able to fill in those gaps remaining. Hell Darwin would have loved to have access to modern research technology. I wonder how many of the gaps he could alone fill in now.

Not only that. Dawkins is not the end all be all solution to the answer of evolution. I would not put him up on the pedastal like you.

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Science will eventually fill in the gaps as we provide working models. Our understanding of everything is growing and will continue to grow. You seem to have more answers about everything than Dawkins or Darwin. You must admit that even religious types have differences in their beleifs of who and what god is.

At least I don't claim to have all the answers. Dawkins never claims he has all the answers as well, and he admits there are discrepancies. Dawkins fills in the gaps were Darwin could not, and as we keep on learning, we are able to fill in those gaps remaining. Hell Darwin would have loved to have access to modern research technology. I wonder how many of the gaps he could alone fill in now.

Not only that. Dawkins is not the end all be all solution to the answer of evolution. I would not put him up on the pedastal like you.

Dawkins intrigues me. After all, he is the self-proclaimed "redeemer" of the terribly oppressed atheists, and practically declared war on followers of religion. He seemed to have sought the controversy so avidly what with all the slew of books attacking faith of those who believe in God. His focus is not on science.

But something seems to be happening inside this man....

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Anyway, back to the article by Melanie Phillips. Dawkins backtracked from that "blooper."

Even so...twice now so far on this thread shows a glimpse of what might not be a "blooper" after all.

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Dawkins intrigues me. After all, he is the self-proclaimed "redeemer" of the terribly oppressed atheists, and practically declared war on followers of religion. He seemed to have sought the controversy so avidly what with all the slew of books attacking faith of those who believe in God. His focus is not on science.

But something seems to be happening inside this man....

I'd personaly be very critical of any self proclaimed redeemer or mesiah anywhere.

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Don't forget to link religion and politics: Science can become a (state) religion when a government wants to persuade school children to choose a scientific vocation.

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Don't forget to link religion and politics: Science can become a (state) religion when a government wants to persuade school children to choose a scientific vocation.

That's a good point. We see how "science" plays quite a very powerful role in society today....even involved in political games!

Some scientists use their clout.

Suzuki successfully managed to stake his claim as the environmental guru....his words are commandments that fundamentalist environmentalists absorb and follow without question.

Dawkins uses science, his popularity and unquestioning faith of his fundamentalist followers in promoting what seems to be his main priority: trashing religion, and faith in God. Establishing the religion of Atheism.

Edited by betsy

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I'd personaly be very critical of any self proclaimed redeemer or mesiah anywhere.

That's only practical. Quite a few of them out there I imagine. When you've got intelligence, the gift of gab, good packaging/marketing, the clout....not difficult. Dawkins probably, sincerely think he is!

If he's starting to change his thinking/stance on the existence of God or a god or "Intelligent Designer,"

It will be very hard for him to come out and just proclaim it....perched on such an exalted position, as the self-proclaimed redeemer and leader/god of atheists. That's power.

Several learned men, some of them from the scientific field had set out to investigate, research and learn about Jesus...ending up as believers. They didn't embrace the faith out of "ignorance."

Check out the other thread, "Rejoice On This Day!"

Edited by betsy

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Don't know why some hate the term "intelligent design" and prefer to accept this miracle that is the endless universe as some stupified accident...as if eternity was duller than a a rock...as if only they with their blip of grey gelitan called a brain was the only designer and the endless universe is to be ignored - now that is arrogant and ignorant - not to mention a rebellion against goodness which is intelligent. It's all about the way mankind percieves smartness - they are willing to call Steven Hawkings intelligent - and what he studies and knows as stupid...I don't get it?

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Kind of hard to combat fairy tales, when you move the focus out of the scientific paradigm.

Yeah. Abstract. How can we prove or dis-prove? Can he truly say "there is no God?"

However, we do know that some scientists have convincing arguments that there is at least, Intelligent Design/Designer. Arguments and evidences enough to convince hard-core atheist philosopher Antony Flew (a legend among atheists I'm told) to change his position from atheism to deism.

Someone told me that personal interviews shouldn't be considered when trying to learn about the man.

That "his books will tell what he truly thinks."

Will they? Truly?

What if you're writing for a special audience...will you reveal your innermost thoughts that may somehow cast doubt on what you're trying to sell? That may cast doubt on your credibility?

I think personal interviews can reveal something about a person. It'll be hard to check out what you said and there'll be no editing it several times to your heart's content until it shows how you want it to be seen by your target audience.

Edited by betsy

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