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On the Topic of Richard Dawkins...

SovereignDream
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4/20/2013 2:47:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'd like to ask specifically atheists what your thoughts are on Dicky Dawkes, if I may. Do you think he's a figure for the atheist to be proud of? Is he a wise man? A good spokesperson for atheism? A public intellectual? Or are you more inclined to see him as an impediment to atheism? Or to public, intellectual discourse? Or perhaps as a very unwise, unlearned man?
Lordknukle
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4/20/2013 2:54:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/20/2013 2:47:41 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
I'd like to ask specifically atheists what your thoughts are on Dicky Dawkes, if I may. Do you think he's a figure for the atheist to be proud of? Is he a wise man? A good spokesperson for atheism? A public intellectual? Or are you more inclined to see him as an impediment to atheism? Or to public, intellectual discourse? Or perhaps as a very unwise, unlearned man?


I don't really see how you can call a phd evolutionary biologist "unwise" and "unlearned."
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
tkubok
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4/20/2013 2:55:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/20/2013 2:47:41 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
I'd like to ask specifically atheists what your thoughts are on Dicky Dawkes, if I may. Do you think he's a figure for the atheist to be proud of? Is he a wise man? A good spokesperson for atheism? A public intellectual? Or are you more inclined to see him as an impediment to atheism? Or to public, intellectual discourse? Or perhaps as a very unwise, unlearned man?

Well, hes the Dicky D, hes got his PhD. And as the chruchies run around, shouting why god oh why, hell still be popping his collar making more dollars than allah.

In all seriousness though, meh. I dont really find Dawkins as an especially good representative of Atheism. hes better as a biologist, imho. Id go with someone like Hitchens, and if Jesus could raise him from the dead...well, i doubt hell be an atheist then, but still.
muzebreak
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4/20/2013 2:57:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Richard Dawkins is a man who is amazing in his field, evolutionary biology, but ended up stepping out of his field a few too many times in debate. He gained an image he couldn't live up to.

Interesting fact, Richard Dawkins created the term 'meme'.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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4/20/2013 2:59:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/20/2013 2:47:41 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
I'd like to ask specifically atheists what your thoughts are on Dicky Dawkes, if I may. Do you think he's a figure for the atheist to be proud of?

No.

Is he a wise man?

I never use that term.

A good spokesperson for atheism?

No.

A public intellectual?

Somewhat.

Or are you more inclined to see him as an impediment to atheism? Or to public, intellectual discourse? Or perhaps as a very unwise, unlearned man?

He's good at attacking creationists and multiple aspects of religion. However, in other areas he has little sophistication or credible reasoning. His hostility is also unwarranted in my view. He's extremely overrated, but I wouldn't be too hard on him. Better than Sam Harris at least.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
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4/20/2013 3:03:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/20/2013 2:55:29 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 4/20/2013 2:47:41 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
I'd like to ask specifically atheists what your thoughts are on Dicky Dawkes, if I may. Do you think he's a figure for the atheist to be proud of? Is he a wise man? A good spokesperson for atheism? A public intellectual? Or are you more inclined to see him as an impediment to atheism? Or to public, intellectual discourse? Or perhaps as a very unwise, unlearned man?

Well, hes the Dicky D, hes got his PhD. And as the chruchies run around, shouting why god oh why, hell still be popping his collar making more dollars than allah.

In all seriousness though, meh. I dont really find Dawkins as an especially good representative of Atheism. hes better as a biologist, imho. Id go with someone like Hitchens, and if Jesus could raise him from the dead...well, i doubt hell be an atheist then, but still.

Hitchens is more of spokesperson for secularism than atheism in my view. His attacks are mostly leveled at religion but his refutations of the arguments for God don't usually amount to much, so I'd be more inclined to put him as a spokesperson for secularism than atheism.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
bladerunner060
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4/20/2013 4:20:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think he has a justified anger at the religious institutions today, combined with a refutation of their justifications for their position. But he's also somewhat pretentious and arrogant. Of course, less so than, say, your folks like WLC, but still, more so than I'd like. I think if you're going to go pretentious/arrogant/jerkish, you do better being witty, and Hitch had him pretty well beat on that.
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Wnope
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4/20/2013 7:37:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I see Dawkins as the atheist analogue of the gay pride parade. Antagonizing towards conservatives but gives closeted atheists more of a feeling of community/others believe what they believe.
glassplotful
Posts: 52
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4/20/2013 8:56:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's nothing particularly wrong with his approach to atheism, but he seems to be a bit militant-leaning, which turns me off sometimes.

He's not a good debater, and he's not a good lecturer. He frequently stumbles over words and gets too intimidated when he's up close and personal with someone. He stutters often. He's essentially the anti-Hitchens in this regard. Also, he has one of the worst fanbases of any atheist fanbase.

On the other hand, he is actively promoting secularism which is something I believe the country needs more of. Studies have shown that just by knowing atheists exist in a community, the community tends to be more tolerant towards atheism. Dawkins is really the leader in this regard- he's the one ruffling feathers and forcing people to acknowledge a large portion of atheists exist in America. Perhaps he is one of the primary reasons behind why there has been such an explosive growth in secularism over the years (or perhaps that's just the internet, who knows).
boss1592
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4/20/2013 10:25:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think he can often be petty and inflammatory in his remarks, but he's obviously an exceptional scientist. A few people have criticised his speaking skills, but I think he more than makes up for it with his writing, he's a terrific writer and expositor (currently in the middle of reading The Greatest Show on Earth for the second time). Certainly I think people like Hitchens do a better job, but Dawkins isn't so bad if you can look past his abrasive nature... but that's a big if
SovereignDream
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4/21/2013 1:28:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/20/2013 4:20:15 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think he has a justified anger at the religious institutions today, combined with a refutation of their justifications for their position.

I dunno, I haven't much refuting coming from Dawkins.

But he's also somewhat pretentious and arrogant. Of course, less so than, say, your folks like WLC, but still, more so than I'd like. I think if you're going to go pretentious/arrogant/jerkish, you do better being witty, and Hitch had him pretty well beat on that.

How is Bil Craig supposedly pretentious and/or arrogant? He's at least willing to be part of the public intellectual dialogue on the subject matter (not to mention that he always carries himself professionally and you'll never see him pettily insult another individual, especially when engaging in debates).
bladerunner060
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4/21/2013 4:59:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 1:28:47 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 4/20/2013 4:20:15 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think he has a justified anger at the religious institutions today, combined with a refutation of their justifications for their position.

I dunno, I haven't much refuting coming from Dawkins.

Then I assume you haven't read his books on the subject. That's not particularly his fault.

But he's also somewhat pretentious and arrogant. Of course, less so than, say, your folks like WLC, but still, more so than I'd like. I think if you're going to go pretentious/arrogant/jerkish, you do better being witty, and Hitch had him pretty well beat on that.

How is Bil Craig supposedly pretentious and/or arrogant? He's at least willing to be part of the public intellectual dialogue on the subject matter (not to mention that he always carries himself professionally and you'll never see him pettily insult another individual, especially when engaging in debates).

You're going to claim WLC isn't pretentious and arrogant? As he hypocritically refuses to debate some people based on an arbitrary rule he breaks whenever he feels like, while at the same time pulling a Clint Eastwood on Dawkins despite Dawkins explaining exactly why he wouldn't debate him?
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Rational_Thinker9119
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4/21/2013 5:30:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/20/2013 2:47:41 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
I'd like to ask specifically atheists what your thoughts are on Dicky Dawkes, if I may. Do you think he's a figure for the atheist to be proud of? Is he a wise man? A good spokesperson for atheism? A public intellectual? Or are you more inclined to see him as an impediment to atheism? Or to public, intellectual discourse? Or perhaps as a very unwise, unlearned man?

He's excellent at debating creationists when it comes to evolution (as he should be, he is an evolutionary biologist). However, he is quite the poor philosopher sometimes, and makes some categorical errors with regards to his arguments for Atheism.
SovereignDream
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4/21/2013 6:11:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 4:59:29 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/21/2013 1:28:47 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 4/20/2013 4:20:15 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think he has a justified anger at the religious institutions today, combined with a refutation of their justifications for their position.

I dunno, I haven't much refuting coming from Dawkins.

Then I assume you haven't read his books on the subject. That's not particularly his fault.

I read the magnificent God Delusion. Yuck.


But he's also somewhat pretentious and arrogant. Of course, less so than, say, your folks like WLC, but still, more so than I'd like. I think if you're going to go pretentious/arrogant/jerkish, you do better being witty, and Hitch had him pretty well beat on that.

How is Bil Craig supposedly pretentious and/or arrogant? He's at least willing to be part of the public intellectual dialogue on the subject matter (not to mention that he always carries himself professionally and you'll never see him pettily insult another individual, especially when engaging in debates).

You're going to claim WLC isn't pretentious and arrogant? As he hypocritically refuses to debate some people based on an arbitrary rule he breaks whenever he feels like, while at the same time pulling a Clint Eastwood on Dawkins despite Dawkins explaining exactly why he wouldn't debate him?

I'm not sure what rule you are speaking of. And, on the matter of the alleged Dawkins debate, there's a couple of points to make. One, the debate/event wasn't organized by WLC. It was organized by a third party who invited both. Two, the reasons Dawkins gave for not wanting to debate Craig not only seemed to contradict prior statements he made (see: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...), but were clearly red herrings and excuses for not wanting to defend his indefensible God Delusion (if you're feeling theatrical: ). Even a number of fellow atheists and public personas criticized Dawkins' unwillingness to participate in debate:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk...

http://www.independent.co.uk...

http://www.guardian.co.uk...
unitedandy
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4/21/2013 6:12:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
As a popular science writer, I'm not sure if there is anybody better. Dawkins as a writer is fantastic. His works, like the Greatest Show on Earth, are clearly written by a passionate, articulate pioneer of evolution.

As an atheist, pretty much the opposite. His gambit is perhaps the single worst argument for atheism. He publicly refuses to debate or defend atheism with the best and brightest opposition in person or in print. And to top it off, he's arrogant, disrespectful and just a bit of numpty. I've said before that is a large number of theists on here that would school Dawkins in a God debate, because his knowledge of philosophy is appalling.

Not got anything against him as a person though. He seems like a pretty cool guy, when he's not foaming at the mouth at creationists.
SovereignDream
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4/21/2013 7:03:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 6:12:45 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a popular science writer, I'm not sure if there is anybody better. Dawkins as a writer is fantastic. His works, like the Greatest Show on Earth, are clearly written by a passionate, articulate pioneer of evolution.

As an atheist, pretty much the opposite. His gambit is perhaps the single worst argument for atheism. He publicly refuses to debate or defend atheism with the best and brightest opposition in person or in print. And to top it off, he's arrogant, disrespectful and just a bit of numpty. I've said before that is a large number of theists on here that would school Dawkins in a God debate, because his knowledge of philosophy is appalling.

Not got anything against him as a person though. He seems like a pretty cool guy, when he's not foaming at the mouth at creationists.

A nitpick here and there aside, I'd say this is spot on.
Eitan_Zohar
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4/21/2013 7:09:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
As a biologist, he's fine.

As a philosopher, he's clueless and boring.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
medv4380
Posts: 200
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4/21/2013 7:25:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
He's a rude offensive soft spoken man. As a note, I hate Southern, or British charm. I watched an interview of him were he defended his offensive statements by saying that they weren't offensive. Really? What type of drugs do I have to be on to think that calling someone delusional isn't offensive?

As a scientist he's only made himself out to be a quack. Don't get me wrong. As long as he stays in the general area of Biology he's great, but when he gets into anything dealing with Social Evolution he's crazy. It's not like a lot of the Social Evolution of Insects and Humans is all that new ether. There's just more proof now, and he comes off like a YEC when he argues with it.
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StevenDixon
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4/21/2013 8:01:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 1:28:47 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 4/20/2013 4:20:15 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think he has a justified anger at the religious institutions today, combined with a refutation of their justifications for their position.

I dunno, I haven't much refuting coming from Dawkins.

But he's also somewhat pretentious and arrogant. Of course, less so than, say, your folks like WLC, but still, more so than I'd like. I think if you're going to go pretentious/arrogant/jerkish, you do better being witty, and Hitch had him pretty well beat on that.

How is Bil Craig supposedly pretentious and/or arrogant? He's at least willing to be part of the public intellectual dialogue on the subject matter (not to mention that he always carries himself professionally and you'll never see him pettily insult another individual, especially when engaging in debates).

Watch this video
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/21/2013 8:01:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 7:09:22 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
As a biologist, he's fine.

As a philosopher, he's clueless and boring.

That's pretty much what I said lol
SovereignDream
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4/21/2013 10:19:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 7:38:43 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
@ SovereignDream

You haven't heard about WLC's chicanery?

http://www.patheos.com...

So WLC doesn't flatly debate anyone or everyone who wishes to debate him (I'm sure he has his reasons). I'm not seeing the problem here.
bladerunner060
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4/21/2013 10:36:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 10:19:47 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 4/21/2013 7:38:43 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
@ SovereignDream

You haven't heard about WLC's chicanery?

http://www.patheos.com...

So WLC doesn't flatly debate anyone or everyone who wishes to debate him (I'm sure he has his reasons). I'm not seeing the problem here.

FTA:

"Now Craig can debate or not debate whoever he wants, but given Craig"s antics in response to Dawkins" refusal to debate him"including "Eastwooding" Dawkins (Craig"s term, not mine) by "debating" an empty chair on at least two occasions"the hypocrisy is striking."
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Nur-Ab-Sal
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4/21/2013 11:28:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You know, I don't think I'd have the guts to be William Lane Craig and go out there to "popularize" Christian philosophy which would otherwise be limited to academia. While I'm not the biggest fan of his approach to theistic philosophy, I at least admire his resilience to atheists attacking his ministry.

I just can't stand the thought of people across the Internet watching a video of mine and then half-assing a critique, while offering it up as a substantial rebuttal to my case... not that everyone here does that, but it's still a revolting thought to not be able to address all of the opposition directed at me.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
thett3
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4/21/2013 11:30:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
He's a brilliant biologist, terrible philosopher and too arrogant for my taste, but at least he has things to be arrogant about.
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: thett was right
bladerunner060
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4/21/2013 11:44:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 11:28:28 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
You know, I don't think I'd have the guts to be William Lane Craig and go out there to "popularize" Christian philosophy which would otherwise be limited to academia. While I'm not the biggest fan of his approach to theistic philosophy, I at least admire his resilience to atheists attacking his ministry.

I just can't stand the thought of people across the Internet watching a video of mine and then half-assing a critique, while offering it up as a substantial rebuttal to my case... not that everyone here does that, but it's still a revolting thought to not be able to address all of the opposition directed at me.

Do you have the same admiration for those on the other side of the aisle?
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thett3
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4/21/2013 11:46:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 11:28:28 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:


I just can't stand the thought of people across the Internet watching a video of mine and then half-assing a critique, while offering it up as a substantial rebuttal to my case... not that everyone here does that, but it's still a revolting thought to not be able to address all of the opposition directed at me.

Omg yes this.
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#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Nur-Ab-Sal
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4/21/2013 11:50:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 11:44:39 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/21/2013 11:28:28 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
You know, I don't think I'd have the guts to be William Lane Craig and go out there to "popularize" Christian philosophy which would otherwise be limited to academia. While I'm not the biggest fan of his approach to theistic philosophy, I at least admire his resilience to atheists attacking his ministry.

I just can't stand the thought of people across the Internet watching a video of mine and then half-assing a critique, while offering it up as a substantial rebuttal to my case... not that everyone here does that, but it's still a revolting thought to not be able to address all of the opposition directed at me.

Do you have the same admiration for those on the other side of the aisle?

Obviously, I have a bias since I think they're wrong. But yeah, I think anyone who is resilient to opposition after presenting a strong, well thought-out philosophical argument, only to have troubled teenage YouTubers randomly tap letters of their keyboard in an attempt to refute him, is worth respecting.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.