Friday, October 24, 2008

Richard Dawkins: A Narrow Minded and One Dimensional Thinker

One feels sorry for Richard Dawkins and those who look up to him. He is poorly read, philosophically shallow, theologically illiterate and able to think only in concrete and one-dimensional terms. His latest crusade is on how to bring up children "scientifically." He thinks fiction (specifically, myth) is dangerous and that debunking the supernatural is crucially important. In fact, he thinks that teaching religious beliefs to a child is child abuse.

According to a story in the Daily Telegraph, he is going to write a book on children and, although he hasn't read Harry Potter, he is fairly sure it is dangerous material. An excerpt from the article:

"The prominent atheist is stepping down from his post at Oxford University to write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in "anti-scientific" fairytales. Prof Hawkins said: "The book I write next year will be a children's book on how to think about the world, science thinking contrasted with mythical thinking."

According to the story, he thinks people lack the ability to distinguish between fiction and fact and to draw inspiration, truth and hope from fiction. "If it isn't literally true - it isn't safe" is apparently his motto. He is quoted as saying:

"I think looking back to my own childhood, the fact that so many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes, whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality, I'm not sure. Perhaps it's something for research."

If I were an atheist I would cringe to have this person speaking for my beliefs. He seems to be a caricacture - almost a straw man - except that he is real. I'd be willing to wager that if Richard Dawkins did not exist and some Christian apologist invented him as a character in a dialogue between science and religion everyone would look at that character and accuse the author of creating the easiest possible straw man to knock down.

It does raise the question of how someone who, by all accounts, is very good at his narrow speciality in science could be so ill-educated generally. It is a black mark on modern education, I suppose, and its determination to turn out technicians rather than liberally educated men and women.

Or maybe, he is such an extreme case that one should be careful not to place all the blame on the educational system and treat him as simply a person who just isn't intellectually curious outside his narrow specialization. After all, for every Dawkins Oxford turns out there is also a Tolkien. People like Dawkins are hardly dangerous to educated people, but they are dangerous to those who lack discernment or whose educational background is shaky.


Peter William Lount said...

Clearly you're a nut job since you seem to be fervently involved in taking on the christian fairy tales as if they are actually more than just silly stories that a few attempt to use to control the masses, a crude but effective form of belief and faith based mind control. It's shocking that it works at all. Either you've not yet realized an ability to distinguish fact from fiction, reality from fantasy, myth and story from that which is actual, OR you have realized it and know the fraud of religion and you're one of those who conspire willingly to promote the vile evil hate filled doctrine of the bible to others.

The ability to distinguish mythology from reality is most likely the greatest challenge facing humanity.

So have your fantasies if you must but don't pretend that they are anything more than stupidity on your part. At least don't deceive yourself. You cross the line when you promote the hatred of the bible.

It's important to know that santa claus, superman and jesus are just fantasies. Men did land on the moon.

Jesus - if he existed - wasn't a son of any mythical god, he was simply a man. How do you know? Easy... human beings can't fly up off the Earth into Orbit of Earth without spaceships or airplanes. human beings can't walk on water without cheating with a trick of some kind. Human beings don't come back from the dead once they have suffered organ, brain and cellular death. It just can't happen in reality.

But then you'll ignore any of these inconvenient facts of existence since they don't fit your dogma.

Only fools fall for faith. Only idiots believe in magical invisible mythical gods.

Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have it right, your faith is a god delusion that poisons everything.

Robin Edgar said...

It would appear that Peter William Lount, like his "guru" Richard Dawkins, is the very model of an Atheist Supremacist. ;-)

Peter William Lount said...

I'm not a supremest of any kind. That kind of ingorant bigotry is left for the faithful and belief stricken.

Faith and belief in things you can't prove such as mythical invisible gods simply reveal a lack of thinking on the part of the faithful.

Taking on "faith" that Jesus walked on water is proven false every time you step into a bath tub filled with just water in it. You sink to the bottom of the tub without variance every single time, as would a man named Jesus, or a man owith any other name.

Simple basic science that anyone can do PROVES the myths of the bible are just that, mythical stories told to comfort you and others from the harsh realities of life.

It's just that folks like you, likely otherwise smart and good folk, take the myths as if they are real and not just stories to help you interact with others - people seem to take these myths as if they are real.

That is why faith and belief is such a horrifying thing.

It's as if someone belived in superman as if he's actually real and when told that it's just a character in a comic book the person says "no way, superman is real because it's in the bible". Jesus and superman are the same, mythical characters from the imaginations of imaginative human beings.

It's sad that you can't see that. It's sad because it's a waste of a life to believe in magical fantasies as if they are real. It's sad when a person thinks that a mythical character will save them from the harsh realities of life.

May you go about your life in the humble peace knowing that in objective reality that this is all there ever is. Make the best of your life and make a positive difference in the lives of others without harming them.

Now that is a good message from the bible and many other value systems and stories. One need not take on any magical beliefs to promote that value that affirms life and the good natural side of people.

Peter William Lount said...

Oh, Richard is NOT my guru. I've never even met the man. He is simply a well spoken and strident promoter of provable aspects of objective reality. It's just that the story of the story of objective reality as told by scientists and other astute observers eliminates ALL POSSIBILITY that your faith and beliefs in supernatural gods and other magical characters are just that, myths and the imaginings of the human beings who wrote the bible.

You don't like what you hear so you condemn the science and say nasty things about those who tell you that there is no god in objective reality.

I don't make up this stuff. It's simple science. People can't walk on liquid water. Sure I've walked on ICE on a lake, but that's cheating as that's not what the bible says. So the bible stories are just a story like those being make in Hollywood. It's just the story tellers of today have movies and multimedia whereas the story tellers and those attempting social control by faith-and-belief-stricken-based-mind-control techniques had and have the bible as their gimmick and sales stick.

Go outside and get a breath of fresh air. That is real.

The stories of the bible are just that stories, mostly horrifying actions by the faithful against those who aren't in their variant of the god cult or who aren't in any god cult at all.

As a person who thinks and acts for himself I have no gurus, nor any need of any.

My certainty of knowing comes from being able to prove that which is known - this is especially so in the realm of knowing the difference between faith fantasies and what is real in objective reality.

It's ironic that the lost souls are those that are belief stricken with bronze age myths as if they were real.

Peter William Lount said...

At least Richard Dawkins thinks in one dimension! That's something more than the zero dimensions of religious mind goo.

Religion prevents thinking. Case in point: dead bodies don't rise from the dead as is proven every time someone dies and their body passes the point of no return after cell, brain and organ deaths. However, religion sweeps all those inconvenient facts of objective reality aside as if none of that matters. Religion is for those who don't want to do the hard work of thinking for themselves. Religion is for those who don't want to face the harsh reality of life that when living organisms die that's it for them, no magical afterlife except to be recycled by mother nature and provide a renewal in the cycle of life (assuming the entire planet doesn't get destroyed).

The real story of Nature is so much richer than any bronze age imaginings of a bunch of scared men and women who wrote the bible.

Get over it. It's simply a story. Live your life unencumbered with mythology as blinders keeping you from experiencing objective reality as it really is.

May you go in peace knowing that we have an opportunity to make a positive difference in our time alive. What positive non-harming difference will you make?

Robin Edgar said...

Thanks for providing even more evidence that you are an Atheist Supremacist aka fundamentalist atheist aka anti-religious bigot P.W. No doubt you're a devotee of P.Z. Myers too.

Peter William Lount said...

"Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never hurt me."

So Robin Edger resorts to name calling when confronted with someone who says religious beliefs are fairy tales as determined by very simple tests of science that just about anyone can perform or observe.

That's all you got Robin Edger?

FYI Haven't met Meyers either. Not a guru although he does seem to dig up a lot of good points about objective reality that are worth noting.

As for for false empty and hollow charge of being an anti-religious bigot, I simply take reality over myth.

Clearly Robin Edger you're one who takes faith and belief over what your own eyes have told you (no magical walking on water, no miraculous rising of the dead, no flying up into the sky without technology, etc...). That is stupidity and willful ignorance on your part, not bigotry on my part.

Just because you don't like it pointed out to you doesn't make the person pointing it out evil. In fact I'm attempting to save your non-soul existence in the here and now from the myths that likely control and destroy much of your life - given your comments.

However, it's the lowly mind that says oh PWL says something that goes against Robin's or another believers wish based faith delusional nonsense thus he is evil and being a bigot. No, I'm not a bigot, I'm a friend saying your full of nonsense with your faith and whacked out mythical beliefs.

Get over it and the world will be a much better place.

Craig Carter said...

You are like a fundamentalist preacher waving your arms, making wild assertions and giant claims you barely understand. In all your rantings you have not made one actual argument against the existence of God in favor of your atheist faith.

Most people who read this blog have gone to college and anyone who has had even one philosophy course can see that your reductive materialism is highly problematic from a logical point of view. All your conclusions are in your premises, so logically you have asserted nothing but your feelings.

In order to prove God's non-existence by science you have to assume God is part of the material universe, since the reach of science only extends to the realm of empirical experimentation. But no educated Christian sees God as material; even the ancient Platonists did not do that. You are on the level of the Soviet cosmonaut who radioed back to earth that he was in outer space and couldn't see God so God must not exist.

Why don't you go back to your atheist club where you can preach at people who share your prejudices? You are only feeding the stereotype.

Peter William Lount said...

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "Peter, You are like a fundamentalist preacher waving your arms, making wild assertions and giant claims you barely understand."

I don't understand that no one can walk on water? How is it that I don't understand that basic fact of physics?

I don't understand that no one can rise from the dead? How is it that I don't undertand that basic fact of biology, chemstry, physics and information science?

I don't understand that no one can fly up into the sky without machines? How is it that I don't understand that basic fact of physics?

I understand these facts and many more about objective reality that PROVE your silly faith based fantasies of gods and jesus to be false. It's not possible for gods to exist. You will all die permanently without any magical jesus saving your ass from an eternity of nothingness. Sorry but those are the facts of life.

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "In all your rantings you have not made one actual argument against the existence of God in favor of your atheist faith."

I have no faith in atheism for a number of reasons two of which are that I'm not an atheist nor am I one with any faith. I am a faith destroyer. Faith is for idiots.

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "Most people who read this blog have gone to college and anyone who has had even one philosophy course can see that your reductive materialism is highly problematic from a logical point of view."

The logic is grounded in objective reality which is the final judge. Mother Nature rules over all your silly god concepts and she says, nope to god. Note that that's just a way of speaking for Mother Nature doesn't exist except in the minds of humans. It's just a way of saying that god doesn't exist due to the laws of nature that we've been able to determine with that methodology known as science and actually thinking, something that people of faith and believe based delusions known little about since they fail at it every time they conclude that a god could exist. Netwon proved it with his famous (and flawed as Einstein proved) laws of gravity!!! Einstein proves that gods can't exist with the speed of light.

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: All your conclusions are in your premises, so logically you have asserted nothing but your feelings."

Nonsense. Objective Reality takes presidence over your silly beliefs in a god. Prove your god eixsts! You can't or won't because you can't since it's easy to show that gods can't exist by the laws of physics.

Simple science proves that Jesus could not have walked on water. Heck you don't even need much science to prove that! Simply fill your bath tub with water, oh say a foot deep, and repeatedly step into it. Not once will you be able to walk on top of that water, not once. Neither could Jesus. Simple fact of physics that YOU PROVE every time you step into your bath tub filled with water to take a bath! You know I'm right. It doesn't take a idiot with a philosophy degree to know that that is correct. The bullshit comes from your brain Craig Carter. Stop it and live your real life now not a fantasy life after you don't exist anymore. I'm here to save you from yourself and your stupid beliefs that defy basic bathtub physics that you've proved evey time you've been in a bath tub in your entire existence!!!

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: " In order to prove God's non-existence by science you have to assume God is part of the material universe, since the reach of science only extends to the realm of empirical experimentation."

By it's very definition the Universe includes ALL which would mean that it includes all entities pretending to primitive societies that they are gods. Haven't you ever watched Star Trek? Of course you have so you'd know that all that exists exists within the Univese.

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "But no educated Christian sees God as material;"

That is why they are idoiots. They let the silky smooth con men talkers like you polute their thinking with religious double speak nonsense mind poo like gods are immaterial.

Immaterial means unimportant and non existent. So you admit that your god is non-existent making my point!!!

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "even the ancient Platonists did not do that."

So what?

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "You are on the level of the Soviet cosmonaut who radioed back to earth that he was in outer space and couldn't see God so God must not exist."

God can't exist due to the laws of physics. Even gods must obey laws of physics otherwise they'd not exist!!!

Belief Stricken Craig Carter: "Why don't you go back to your atheist club where you can preach at people who share your prejudices? You are only feeding the stereotype."

I'm not preaching. I'm simply countering your evil and vile propaganda so that people out there know how evil you are by promoting easy to disprove beliefs. If I can't save you maybe I can save one or more of your readers from a fake life like you live believing in the mind poo of christian faith or whatever it is that you believe in. Yes, I'll admit I'm in your face but no more than you are in mine with your evil and vile web site and it's toxic notions of faith that defy obvious facts of life.

You're much like the other welcoming christians that I've met - not very nice at all when it comes to someone attempting to open a dialog with you. Obviously you've become frozen in your beliefs that you can't or won't even consider that your are simply WRONG. You've got it wrong. The universe is NOT the way that you thing it is. In order to find out how the universe is you've actually got to test it against your theories.

Here is a test. Gather together a million believers in Jesus or God and have them jump off a cliff at least 500 meters high without any outcroppings or trees or the like that might save anyone. Before jumping pray. Whatever prayer you want. Now jump off the cliff. You'll go splat. None will survive except for those who jump last and land on the pile of the first half million since they'll be piled high and dead.

Now of course I don't actually want you to do that experiment. The point is that your mythical non-existent god, whom you insist isn't material and thus is non-existent and thus can't save you, won't save you for he doesn't exist.

It's a sad day when someone lops off their rational thinking capabilities in favor of faith based bronze age (and earlier primitive non-educated) delusional beliefs in the supernatural.

The supernatural doesn't exist, except as an ad slogan for British Columbia.

God can't travel faster than the speed of light (actually the speed of "c"), nothing can. For gods to exist they'd need to but since they can't they can't exist. Too bad for you.

Grow up Craig. Let go of your Demons known as Jesus and God(s).

Deep down you know it's all a fraud on your part and that god doesn't exist, otherwise you've been conned.

Peter William Lount said...

Do you believe in the Gods Thor or Apollo or Zeus?

No, I don't think so thus you are an atheist yourself.

I simply don't believe in any gods nor do I disbelieve in any gods.

I require EVIDENCE. I require PROOF.

Provide evidence and proof and not just I will "convert" but so will hundreds of millions of unbelievers across the world. You can't can you?

Unfortunately for you and your beliefs science can prove that things can't happen. People can't jump to the moon, that is proven by even Newton's inaccurate laws of gravity just like those laws prevent gods from existing.

Sorry. Life is short. Enjoy it. There is no heaven. There is no afterlife - except rotting dead bodies and those - if any - who remain alive after you.

Sam Rae said...

You are obviously very passionate and ardent in you belief that a) God does not and cannot exist, b) Jesus (if he existed) was only a man, and c) objective reality is the only truth.
I can see and respect that you are a man who desperately seeks the truth and at all costs wants to avoid being hoodwinked along the way.
However, I would like to challenge you in the sense that I believe that you posses the same amount if not more faith than Dr. Carter or I do, to believe that there is a God.
You see, both atheism and belief in God operate on a faith premise. For both positions the evidence or objective realities only take us so far, and there comes a point where you have ridden the ramp of reason as far as it goes and you must take a leap of faith. For me, the evidence has resulted in belief in God, for you, the opposite. But both are faith filled premises so I think it is a shallow critique of Dr. Carter to say that because he operates on faith he is therefore wrong.
I cannot speak for other Christians but I arrived at my beliefs not by swallowing a pill or being brainwashed but by careful analysis of the facts and coming to a logical conclusion.
God Bless and Keep You