A Fire-side Reading of Dawkins' Hate Mail

Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkin's Hate Mail

Postby wollemi » 23 Mar 2011, 15:21

BigJohn wrote:OK, read some stuff to get a general feel for the debate. A few quick points:

1) Dawkins is no theologian, but then again, of course he isn't. He's a scientific philosopher.


He is an evolutionary biologist who got sidetracked with all this hocus pocus about trying to rationalize the existence or not of God and the effect religion has on society.

Put down The God Delusion and pick up The Selfish Gene.
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkin's Hate Mail

Postby BigJohn » 23 Mar 2011, 22:39

wollemi wrote:
BigJohn wrote:OK, read some stuff to get a general feel for the debate. A few quick points:

1) Dawkins is no theologian, but then again, of course he isn't. He's a scientific philosopher.


He is an evolutionary biologist who got sidetracked with all this hocus pocus about trying to rationalize the existence or not of God and the effect religion has on society.

Put down The God Delusion and pick up The Selfish Gene.


I read the Selfish Gene decades ago - an excellent book.

I think I'll read the God Delusion,just for fun. It's clear that if I want my opinion to be heard in this rather bookish thread I need to do some research! Ha ha! A foray into a new area of debate, for me, online that is!

Anyone want to lend me a copy? If yes, PM me. I'll be nice to it, and get it back to you in two weeks, plus give you a deposit.

If not, I'll do the Amazon thing.

Cheers!
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkins' Hate Mail

Postby BigJohn » 23 Mar 2011, 22:44

I just got an offer to lend me the book, so no need for any others to step forward.
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkins' Hate Mail

Postby jimipresley » 23 Mar 2011, 22:47

BigJohn wrote:I just got an offer to lend me the book, so no need for any others to step forward.


Us atheists are on a mission from God:

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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkins' Hate Mail

Postby zender » 23 Mar 2011, 23:00

Taipei City Library, on the east side of Da'an Park, has The God Delusion.
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkins' Hate Mail

Postby jimipresley » 23 Mar 2011, 23:02

Libraries? Urgh! They're full of lumpen proletarians! :raspberry:
You can live here and have a great life and not be the least bit into living the local life. Clowns will try to diss you for it saying you gotta get down with the program, but fuck em, treat this place like a buffet and yous be on a diet. Take what you want and nothing extra, slam those oysters, but leave the bread sticks and dinner rolls behind. - Deuce Dropper

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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkins' Hate Mail

Postby BigJohn » 24 Mar 2011, 00:51

jimipresley wrote:Libraries? Urgh! They're full of lumpen proletarians! :raspberry:


Really? I never knew you went to libraries, you lumpy prole!
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkin's Hate Mail

Postby Tempo Gain » 24 Mar 2011, 02:28

Fortigurn wrote:It's clear that Kent Hovind rejects the premise of evolution. Given that, what would be the point of him going into it in detail, or citing literature? In both cases the point is explaining on what rational basis you reject the premise, and engaging with those who are actually formally educated on the subject in order to test whether or not your rejection is legitimate. Dawkins rightly objects to Fundamentalist thinking, but wants to indulge in it himself. He does little or no fact checking, and avoids testing his claims against those knowledgeable in the relevant fields. This is selection bias of the worst kind, and it is inexcusable in a professional of science, a field to which such behaviour is anathema.


I'm not sure about your comparison. It might be better to point out someone who "rejects the use of the scientific method to determine if evolution is a valid theory," as what Dawson is rejecting is "the use of the ontological argument to determine if God exists."

First off, I'd say that Mr Hovind is free to reject the premise of evolution however he wants. I have no idea on what basis Mr Hovind he does so; for all I know he has based it on ample literature and citations. Dawkins however is advancing a much simpler concept than the refutation of evolution here, to paraphrase, "a word game can't prove the existence of God." Having rejected the very premise of the argument (which he does explain briefly) what's the point of examining it in detail? You may disagree with him, but I can't see calling it inexcusable, fundamentalist, etc. At the very least, the scope of the book doesn't warrant a detailed explanation of every such argument. Based on what you said here in another post I think you may have misunderstood me:

The only point I made is that in 38 pages of reference to the ontological argument, Dawkins includes only one page actually describing and addressing it, and in that page does not present a coherent case for rejecting it


38 pages are dedicated to "arguments for god's existence," only 6.5 to "the ontological argument." He does explain his objections to the concept within those pages, and states that those of a more philosophic bent may take it more seriously as well as where more detailed refutations can be found. :idunno:
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkin's Hate Mail

Postby Charlie Phillips » 24 Mar 2011, 02:49

Gao Bohan wrote:The Biblical passage makes the context quite clear. The Israelites have conquered an enemy, taken captives, and are taking wives from the captives. Let's consider how this plays out. The Israelites wage battle against an enemy, slaughter many, and take the rest as captives. An Israelite warrior takes a woman, moments after butchering her relatives or taking them as slaves. Josephus even notes that she may have been married, so the new "husband" could literally just have killed her previous one. Do you seriously believe that a woman in these circumstances is entering this arrangement willingly?

The Bible is full of barbaric practices that the authors claimed were approved by God. If we saw them happen today we'd be repulsed, so what's the point in defending these practices when they happened then?


Quite off topic when considering the subject of discussion, which is Dawkin's refutation of the existence of a supreme being and his detractors.

How would the Israelites treatment of captives be different to any other tribe's treatment of captives? What did Germanic, Hittite, and other tribes do with captives at that time and how did they treat their women? How did European invaders of America treat the native American women and visa-versa?

You have the luxury of criticizing these ancient rules because they actually existed and were written down. At least there's some semblance of ethics here. It's rare to find it among any other tribe then or since.

If one had been killed by the troops of Attila the Hun, I doubt one's wife would have been given a 30 day grace period to mourn her dead husband and come to terms with her new position. If you need a more up to date example, think Bosnia.
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Re: A Fire-side Reading of Dawkin's Hate Mail

Postby Gao Bohan » 24 Mar 2011, 05:23

Charlie Phillips wrote:Quite off topic when considering the subject of discussion, which is Dawkin's refutation of the existence of a supreme being and his detractors.


True, the mods are free to split off this sidebar when and if they choose.

How would the Israelites treatment of captives be different to any other tribe's treatment of captives? What did Germanic, Hittite, and other tribes do with captives at that time and how did they treat their women? How did European invaders of America treat the native American women and visa-versa?


Your comparisons are irrelevant to the discussion. I am not claiming the Israelites were more barbaric than their contemporaries, so your questions are red herrings.

You have the luxury of criticizing these ancient rules because they actually existed and were written down. At least there's some semblance of ethics here. It's rare to find it among any other tribe then or since.


I am not criticizing the Hebraic rules. I'm saying they do not refute the fact that the women under discussion were raped.

If one had been killed by the troops of Attila the Hun, I doubt one's wife would have been given a 30 day grace period to mourn her dead husband and come to terms with her new position.


So what? It's still rape. I realize that Fortigurn's intent here is to contrast the Israelite treatment of captive women with those of their contemporaries. OK, so maybe the Hittites or whoever would just rape the women on the battlefield or drag them off and rape them that night. The Israelites, on the other hand, raped them a month later, after the women, uh, "voluntarily" converted to Judaism. Ah yes, the women, whose husbands and fathers had just been murdered by the Israelites, just couldn't wait to get in bed with their enemies. See, they shaved their heads! They mourned! So it all must be a purely consensual arrangement. Is that what you believe, Charlie? :ponder:
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