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Giving the Lie to Dickie Dawkins.


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Initial post: 12 Feb 2009 14:38:18 GMT
Laurence says:
Dickie Dawkins is the present day spiritual leader of middle class atheists and is generally defended to the hilt by them (in a web based chat forum, house husband kind of way that is). Sadly for these atheists (a.k.a. 'Dickies'), Dickie isn't much of a leader to have. I hereby explore some central tenets of the Dickies' faith but shall in the process, mercifully, ignore the characteristic rhetoric: "All scientists/intelligent people worth their salt don't believe in God" or "Religious experience is based on ignorant people ignorant of the facts (that I know) or deluding themselves with pitifully wishful thinking" and other non sequiturs--I am sorry to say that such atheist dogma is comparable with something I would have asked as a misbehaving teenager to annoy the RE teacher and is not worth pursuing.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 1.
"Religious people are a threat to society and scientific inquiry."
Religious people are only a threat to those unethical, anti-human aspects of modern western society and scientific enquiry. Dawkins, clearly upset by this, then essentially argues in his book for the devaluation of this human life.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 2.
"Morality doesn't need religion to be pursued";
Dawkins has made for himself in Oxford an ivory tower of unprecedented height that more or less makes his views redundant when applied to real life situations and real people; how else could someone claim, in all seriousness, that human beings behave--left to their own devices--in an empathetic way.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 3.
"Many religious people are very hostile to everyone who is not of their beliefs.";
Some obvious examples of the reality of lived experience, contrary to Dawkins's professed persecution of atheists by 'religious people', are as follows:
1. Dawkins was and is the--very public--face of Oxford for many years and is, I understand, lauded within the college for his promotion of atheism.
2. Dawkins's views are compatible with the spiritual acedia in mainstream modern society, giving the lie to Dawkins's professed minority status.
3. Endemic acedia in the western media has resulted in, at best, a lack of information or, more worringly, misinformation on matters of Christian teaching, ethics and charity.
4. I am sure it has not been lost on Amazon readers, the vociferous and alramingly quick responses to adverse comments of Dawkins's books on Amazon (usually from the same small militant group).
5. Dawkins's round of soft BBC interviews, feature length sermons on television and received lectures, all given in Dickie's characteristic faintly aggressive manner.
Hardly a world where Dawkins is persecuted for his (non)beliefs.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 4.
"Children should be protected from being taught religious beliefs by their parents/society."
How about protecting children from the adverse effects of modern Western, ATHEISTIC media culture; a source of harm to children (unfortunately only obstensibly obvious to state) far greater than reading the Good Book.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2009 15:09:45 GMT
AJ Murray says:
Straw Man much?

Posted on 12 Feb 2009 15:17:26 GMT
David Carey says:
Dickies' tenet of faith No. 1.
"Religious people are a threat to society and scientific inquiry."
Religious people are only a threat to those unethical, anti-human aspects of modern western society and scientific enquiry. Dawkins, clearly upset by this, then essentially argues in his book for the devaluation of this human life.

So those religious people who flew into the Twin Towers weren't a threat to society at all, oh no. The World Trade Centre was clearly just unethical and anti-human.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 2.
"Morality doesn't need religion to be pursued";
Dawkins has made for himself in Oxford an ivory tower of unprecedented height that more or less makes his views redundant when applied to real life situations and real people; how else could someone claim, in all seriousness, that human beings behave--left to their own devices--in an empathetic way.

I don't see you actually putting forward an argument here. All I see is an ad hom against Dawkins.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 3.
"Many religious people are very hostile to everyone who is not of their beliefs.";
...
4. I am sure it has not been lost on Amazon readers, the vociferous and alramingly quick responses to adverse comments of Dawkins's books on Amazon (usually from the same small militant group).

Given the way you are ridiculing Dawkins in your OP, the irony-meter is way off the scale here.

Dickies' tenet of faith No. 4.
"Children should be protected from being taught religious beliefs by their parents/society."
How about protecting children from the adverse effects of modern Western, ATHEISTIC media culture; a source of harm to children (unfortunately only obstensibly obvious to state) far greater than reading the Good Book.

I am sure Dawkins would agree that religious texts aren't the only danger to the free development of childrens' minds. Which ATHEISTIC media did you have in mind?

Incidentally, repeatedly referring to him as Dickie Dawkins just makes you look childish.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2009 15:46:36 GMT
Laurence says:
Don't you mean wicker?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2009 15:57:42 GMT
Laurence says:
Huzzah, the usual suspects.

"So those religious people who flew into the Twin Towers weren't a threat to society at all, oh no. The World Trade Centre was clearly just unethical and anti-human."
As usual, you ignored the reasoned argument and played the '911' card.

"I don't see you actually putting forward an argument here. All I see is an ad hom against Dawkins."
Not so, what I am saying is that Dawkin's thinks that everywhere is like the common room.

"Given the way you are ridiculing Dawkins in your OP, the irony-meter is way off the scale here."
Again, you ignored the more salient points. Nevertheless, the Amazon figures speak for themselves.

"I am sure Dawkins would agree that religious texts aren't the only danger to the free development of childrens' minds."
Where has Dickie, sorry Richard, ever said this?

"Which ATHEISTIC media did you have in mind?"
Just about all of it. As an aside, isn't the timing of Dickie and Polly's bus advertisements, in the middle of a depression, absolutely brilliant?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2009 16:02:20 GMT
AJ Murray says:
- Don't you mean wicker?

Ha! Yes indeed :D

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2009 22:18:51 GMT
David Carey says:
"As usual, you ignored the reasoned argument and played the '911' card. "

Well, when you claim that religious people are not dangerous you do leave yourself open to that card. It's not just religious people. Anyone who believes in something so firmly and unquestioningly that they are beyond the reach of reason or persuasion is dangerous, it's just that this very commonly applies to religious viewpoints.

"Dawkin's thinks that everywhere is like the common room."

I don't really see this. True, he approaches things in a rational and scientific way, but how else would a scientist and an academic have written such a book? Do you not think that the same criticism might apply to C S Lewis?

"the Amazon figures speak for themselves."

What figures? That TGD is still in 49th place several years after its release? I wish I could write a book that could get that kind of figures.

The bus advertisements were launched before the depression kicked in. I don't think you could claim they were an attempt to exploit peoples' desperation as a result of the economic downturn.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2009 09:02:14 GMT
Laurence says:
"you claim that religious people are not dangerous"
Are you claiming that religious people are (dangerous)? Have you ever seen Christian charity in action, inter alia amoung the homeless, in famines and with people deliberately oppressed in caste systems? Christian, particularly Catholic, charities are frequently the only organisations helping, in a sustained manner, on a daily basis, literally billions of dispossessed people worldwide. When atheists are as similarly charitable, let me know and I might come around to your thinking. In the meantime (I suspect we will be waiting a very long time), please realise that the Dawkins's of this world are only a tiny elite minority, effectively useless and self-serving. Do yourself a favour and stop putting your energy into backing up a millionaire celebrity academic.

"True, he approaches things in a rational and scientific way"
As far as I can tell, Dawkins did not apply the scientific method in this dubious work.

"Do you not think that the same criticism might apply to C S Lewis?"
Yes I do, that is why C.S. Lewis is recommended to beginners in theology.

"The bus advertisements were launched before the depression kicked in. I don't think you could claim they were an attempt to exploit peoples' desperation as a result of the economic downturn."
I am not claiming this; I am simply remarking on the futiliy and arrogance of liberal, atheist elites telling ordinary people on buses "not to worry" and "there's no God" (which sounds like there's no hope) when the same people are in negative equity, can't afford the mortgage repayments and the boss is using all this against them.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2009 14:10:49 GMT
Neutral says:
"repeatedly referring to him as Dickie Dawkins just makes you look childish" - whatever happened to an appreciation of humourous comment.

1 9/11 was a political statement dressed in religious language which immediately reduced support amongst the Muslim world for the extremism of Osama Bin Laden.

2. I think the argument is that Dawkins lives in an ivory tower away from the reality of ordinary life.

3. Dawkins is extremely hostile to people who do not share his opinions as indeed are you otherwise you would not use the value laden phrase "the same small militant group"

4. You appear to be unaware of the revolt against violence in modern film.

To sum, what is sauce for the goose is equally so for the gander. Enjoy the debate.

Posted on 13 Feb 2009 14:51:04 GMT
David Carey says:
"whatever happened to an appreciation of humourous comment."

Funny how you people suddenly lose all your 'appreciation of humourous comment' when anyone dares to make fun of your sky-fairy. I can still remember all the appreciative roars of laughter from the religious community when the Life of Brian was released. Not.

1 9/11 was a political statement dressed in religious language which immediately reduced support amongst the Muslim world for the extremism of Osama Bin Laden.

So you're telling us the 9/11 terrorists were really not religious at all. Presumably the suicide bombers that go off every other day in Iraq and elsewhere aren't religious either. And where do you get your evidence that the 9/11 attacks reduced Muslim support for Bin Laden? It seems contentious to say the least.

2. I think the argument is that Dawkins lives in an ivory tower away from the reality of ordinary life.

And it's a cheap shot. Dawkins is an Oxford academic and therefore knows nothing about the real world. Whereas we Christian apologists really have our fingers on the pulse of real life. lol.

3. Dawkins is extremely hostile to people who do not share his opinions as indeed are you otherwise you would not use the value laden phrase "the same small militant group"

If you'd read this thread more carefully you'd have noticed that I didn't use that expression. It was the OP that spoke of 'the same small militant group'. How embarrassing for you.

4. You appear to be unaware of the revolt against violence in modern film.

Erm...was there a point to that?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2009 15:16:03 GMT
Neutral says:
David.

I don't believe in sky fairies so you're wasting your time. I've never seen the Life of Brian so am unable to make any comment on it.

1. It's not contentious. Read any informed book about Osama Bin Laden. The attack on America was an attack on America's foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere.

2. This point is cheaper than the pound against the euro and not worth replying to.

3. Embarrassed about what?

4. There was and you appear to have missed it. I shall waste no more time enlightening you.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2009 15:41:42 GMT
Laurence says:
"I shall waste no more time enlightening you."

Ahem, allow me; 'Neutral' (the hint is in the moniker) made 4 No. estimable points: 2 No. referred to your good self and the latter 2 No. to myself. "How embarrassing for you."

Posted on 13 Feb 2009 17:00:12 GMT
David Carey says:
Not embarrassing at all. If that's his game he should make it a bit clearer rather than dropping by, scattering unsupported assertions in various directions from a supposedly superior 'neutral' viewpoint and then sitting back.

Apropos of your point about charity, Laurence, it's not fair to claim that only religious people do charity work, though I will acknowledge that a lot of religious people do very valuable work. One of the world's leading philanthropists is Bill Gates who is an atheist. It is also possible, in some cases, to question the motives of religious charity workers - if you do good works you'll get your reward in heaven so you could claim there's an element of selfishness to it, whereas humanist philanthropists are presumably not working under such motivations. In addition, religious charity support often comes with strings attached.

Posted on 16 Feb 2009 09:27:05 GMT
Laurence says:
I think your criticism of Neutral is unnecessarily harsh. In any event, although Bill Gates's philanthropy is commendable, are you saying (i.e. is the atheist position) that billionaire philanthropic disbursement is on a par with ordinary charity (refer to the parable of the Widow's Mite for my view on this).

"if you do good works you'll get your reward in heaven so you could claim there's an element of selfishness to it"
Only if heaven exists would it be perceived as a reward, in which case genuine, no-strings-attached charity woudl be doubly commendable; i.e. giving of oneself, to one's own detriment, with no possibility of an earthly reward. Selfishness cannot coexist with genuine Christian charity. (Although I would agree that there is a tendency to purport to be Christian and charitable when everyday actions and motivations suggest anything but, which I believe is what you're driving at.)
"humanist philanthropists are presumably not working under such motivations". In contrast, atheist philanthropists may be thinking of a reward here on earth (in Bill Gates's case I understand he's gunning for a Nobel peace prize--could not get more strings attached if you were to meet the Three Fates in person, in my opinion).

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2009 19:33:44 GMT
Neutral says:
Laurence

My understanding of the parable of the widow's mites was not the amount she gave but that she gave both mites. She could have kept one back whereas the Pharisees gave more money but only a percentage of what they had.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 10:39:35 GMT
Laurence says:
Neutral-
That is my understanding as well. The Widow gave all, whereas the others gave well within their means; thus, the Widow was deemed more charitable in the Christian sense as opposed to the greater material charity of the others. An obvious parallel can be drawn with Bill Gates!

Re. your previous point on "the revolt against violence in modern film". I am indeed unaware of this; as welcome as this is, could the same be applied to all modern media? I do not believe so, hence my belief that children are being harmed by modern, atheistic media far more than could ever be possible by reading the Good Book. (This may sound ridiculously obvious but, unfortunately, to Richard Dawkins isn't.)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 11:16:44 GMT
Guy Dalziel says:
The idea that religion is good just because people do charity work is logically incorrect. Doing charity work is merely a result of the opportunity to do so, not out of a compulsion to do it. If people did charity work for religious reasons then it would be selfish because it ultimately ends in them being rewarded for doing a good deed, therefore to be unselfish it has to be devoid of expectation.

I'm sure it seems noble to give everything you have to charity, but to me it just seems very cultist. Rather like Jesus claiming that you cannot be his follower if you do not give up your family. Just a few months ago I gave a bag of clothes to a charity store, and I'm as atheistic as they come. You should be grateful for what you receive, desiring everything is just greedy, and therefore to expect everything propagates that greed.

"hence my belief that children are being harmed by modern, atheistic media far more than could ever be possible by reading the Good Book."

Would you care to give an example? You've made a very general statement with some very strong claims but you haven't given a single example to back this claim up. I can't help but wonder in what way you consider these children to be "harmed".

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 12:29:15 GMT
Laurence says:
"The idea that religion is good just because people do charity work is logically incorrect".
It would be [incorrect] if this is actually what I said, which it isn't.

"Doing charity work is merely a result of the opportunity to do so, not out of a compulsion to do it."
I don't catch your drift; are you saying that charity is only ever done when it is easy to do so (like giving 50p to a chugger or some such)? If so, sorry but you could not be more wrong.

"If people did charity work for religious reasons then it would be selfish because it ultimately ends in them being rewarded for doing a good deed,"
Tell that to an acquaintance of mine (a man of the cloth) who was castigated, imprisoned and wrongly accused because of his work with saving orphans in the Phillipines abused by Western.....'tourists' (the Filipino authorities are embarrassed that he is bringing attention to this sordid aspect of Filipino life and ceaselessly attempt to silence him).

"Rather like Jesus claiming that you cannot be his follower if you do not give up your family."
You are quoting out of context; this should, in my opinion, be taken in the context of ministry.

"You should be grateful for what you receive, desiring everything is just greedy"
Who are you accusing of being greedy? Sorry but this is quite funny; I'm picturing a Richard Dawkins type character with a bag of clothes in his hand in a charity shop remonstrating with the aghast volunteer behind the counter.

"Would you care to give an example?"
I could give many, many examples. An obvious one would be the endless supply of sadistic modern videogames, pornographic magazines purporting to be for a mass audience and, of course, the unspeakable horrors of the web. These are just some potent examples of general acedia in the west readily accessible to children, an anti-Christian media, produced by callous atheists who have no fear of repercussions from any God and therefore behave as they will (and this is the result of this atheist agenda: damaged children).

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 12:54:35 GMT
Guy Dalziel says:
"It would be [incorrect] if this is actually what I said, which it isn't."

So you don't believe that religion is good because of the aid and charity work it does? That seems a strangely illogical position for someone who places so much apparently value upon charity work, you seem to place "ordinary charity" pretty highly above those who donate some money. All I did was make a logical inference.

"If so, sorry but you could not be more wrong."

Yet you have not explained why I am wrong when I have clearly explained my argument. This is not a criticism at all.

"Tell that to an acquaintance of mine (a man of the cloth) who was castigated"

I doubt that he tried to help people with the intention of being imprisoned, therefore his consequences are merely an unfortunate side-effect of his desire to help them. This is a classic small sample fallacy, your argument is the same as, "they say smoking is bad for you, but I knew one man who smoked 40 a day and lived to 100, therefore it can't be true." Again this is not an appropriate criticism.

I would hardly call that evidence of damaging our children. For starters "sadistic modern videogames" are usually rated 18, so why would a child be playing them? That sounds like a case of bad parenting to me. When my sister's friend's sons came over my house I refused to let them play GTAIV, it's as simple as that. Pornography has been around for decades, any kid with an id who was high enough to reach the top shelf could buy it, it's just more easily accessible now and provides a medium where any amature can upload pornography. The Pagans had a very open attitude towards sex, viewing sexual content as perversive is a very Christian concept.
As for the internet only around 12% of it is pornography, and any negative aspects of it would be expected in a medium where any tom, dick, or harry can share information. These negatives will also be highlighted more often than the positives, and thus create a bias towards a negative image. The fact is people were always doing these things, they just did it behind closed doors where your eyes never fell upon such things.
As for anti-Christian media I await examples.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 13:44:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Feb 2009 13:46:10 GMT
Laurence says:
"So you don't believe that religion is good because of the aid and charity work it does?"
This sounds like you are being deliberately mischievous. Remember, you originally said that:
"The idea that religion is good just because people do charity work is logically incorrect".
In reply, I therefore said that this is incorrect; i.e. religion is not good just because people do charity work, it is good for many reasons, charity included.

"Yet you have not explained why I am wrong when I have clearly explained my argument. This is not a criticism at all."
You originally said that: "Doing charity work is merely a result of the opportunity to do so, not out of a compulsion to do it." In reply, it is clearly not--through lived experience--that this is the case.

"I doubt that he tried to help people with the intention of being imprisoned, therefore his consequences are merely an unfortunate side-effect of his desire to help them."
On the contrary, he helped them knowing well that harrassment (and possible imprisonment) awaited. A big difference from some hitherto unknown "unfortunate side-effect".
P.S. Slight correction here, he has been tried and threatened with imprisonment, not actually imprisoned (they, i.e. the Filipino authorities, had, like Pilate, nothing on him).

"his is a classic small sample fallacy"
Not at all; such classical examples of persecution of those in the cause of right have been happening and continue to happen to countless souls down the ages.

"For starters "sadistic modern videogames" are usually rated 18, so why would a child be playing them?" Why indeed, but yet you answer your own question within a few short lines: "any kid with an id who was high enough to reach the top shelf could buy it, it's just more easily accessible now".

"The Pagans had a very open attitude towards sex, viewing sexual content as perversive is a very Christian concept."
Are you suggesting that pornography is suitable for children?

"As for anti-Christian media I await examples."
There's so much I wouldn't know where to begin. For example, in the main, mainstream print media never report on positive Church values and endlessly drag up past wrongs; for example, the Catholic church and the (appalling) clerical sex abuse cases. This despite the fact that 99% of historic sex abuse cases are known to be due to lay men and women. Any reports on anti-Christian topics, for example human embryonic stem cell research and abortion, always seem to be prefaced by secularists. Some senior members of the BBC (Andrew Marr I seem to recall) admitted that there was an institutional bias against Christianity within the BBC. Finally, the media, Dawkins included, would never say the sort of openly derogatory things about Islam or any other grouping (religious or otherwise) in the same way they characteristically deride Christianity (have you ever seen an 'animation' (I use that term in the loosest sense) called South park--truly abysmal).

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 14:03:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Feb 2009 14:05:16 GMT
Guy Dalziel says:
"This sounds like you are being deliberately mischevious."

Please don't insult me, I have gone to the trouble of addressing your points very precisely with language that wouldn't be perceived as hostile, and the best you can give me is: "This sounds like you are being deliberately mischevious."?

"it is clearly not--through lived experience--that this is the case."

Again, this is not an argument.

"On the contrary, he helped them knowing well that harrassment (and possible imprisonment) awaited."

The fact that his work made him feel good I'm sure was all the expectation he desired. Helping these children made him feel good and thus he gained something from it. Now whether doing that is worth going to jail for is up to him, but we cannot deny that he enjoyed helping them.
The problem now is you've forced me to call all charity selfish, and I'm sure you'll pick up on that point. But what's so wrong about being seflsih? In the natural world there is reciprocal altruism, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

"yet you answer your own question within a few short lines"

Actually no I don't. You were speaking of the "moral corruption" that is happening today, and I was speaking of what people used to do in the past. These two things are completely seperate. No I'm not suggesting pornography is suitable for children, what I am saying is that you're not going to get anywhere by telling children that sex is wrong and you'll go to hell for it. It's about the attitude that we install in them, this isn't about letting them run riot and look at naked women.

"the Catholic church and the (appalling) clerical sex abuse cases."

How is this considered anti-christian, the media is doing exactly what it should and reporting to the public a very important fact. Would you prefer that it just be swept under the carpet and let the abuse continue? These people were in a position of trust, and they abused that trust. Your anger should be with them, not the media.
So let me get this straight, anyone who disagrees with what you teach is "anti-christian"? Do you realise how fascist your attitude is? You're basically saying, "if we don't agree with you we'll censor you". If you had read Dawkins book properly you would have noticed that he chooses Christianity purely on the basis that it's what he's the most familiar with. You should applaud a man who acknowledges his limits.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 16:02:42 GMT
Laurence says:
"Please don't insult me, I have gone to the trouble of addressing your points very precisely"
Says you; your statements were self-contradictory, hence the comment.

"The fact that his work made him feel good I'm sure was all the expectation he desired"
I don't know about you but I'd "feel" even better if I got the hell out of that Manilla slum/court room and never went back. Instead, this courageous Christian, one of thousands in the world today, chose--and still chooses--to stay and fight this terrible evil; if he does not, who will speak for these forgotten children? Richard Dawkins?

"But what's so wrong about being seflsih?"
Well there's the rub. I think our differences could be condensed down to this very point. I believe that selfishness is wrong and is a product of free-will while you and Richard Dawkins believe that "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". In the latter world, no one would ever help anyone else unless they were certain of something roughly equal in return; no such system could be self-sustaining (there is not enough energy in the system); moreover it is arguable that such a system could not properly commence (who would be spontaneously altruistic enough in the first instance); by the way, I don't know about you but my experience is that "reciprocal altruism" doesn't exist: how often have you helped someone and obtained nothing (sometimes less than nothing!) in return?

"You were speaking of the "moral corruption" that is happening today, and I was speaking of what people used to do in the past. These two things are completely seperate"
Really? People in the 1980s were completely different to people now?

"you're not going to get anywhere by telling children that sex is wrong and you'll go to hell for it."
Who the blazes says this? If you think that this is Vatican teaching you've proved my point on anti-Catholic misinformation in the modern media (please refer to Dignitas Personae).

"Would you prefer that it just be swept under the carpet and let the abuse continue?"
Hello!...You may have noticed it was me who raised this issue.

"Do you realise how fascist your attitude is? You're basically saying, "if we don't agree with you we'll censor you"."
You what? Fascist? Moi? Apart from being highly selective, you seem to be copying Dawkins's faintly aggressive manner. For the record, here are some more examples of mainstream anti-Christian bias: Dawkins was and is the--very public--face of Oxford for many years; Dawkins's soft BBC interviews; Dawkins's feature length sermons on television.

"You should applaud a man who acknowledges his limits."
If only Dawkins would acknowledge said limits w.r.t. theology instead of dismissing all religion and God out of hand; put simply, Dawkins doesn't have a clue about religion or anything outside his sphere of research, which is apparent to anyone who listens to him (and if you don't believe me, listen instead to Professor Keith Ward, Anthony Flew et al.).

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 16:30:34 GMT
Guy Dalziel says:
"I believe that selfishness is wrong"

But *why* is it wrong, because your scripture says so? because society says so? Why is it wrong. You claim that selfishness is unsustainable and that's the closest thing I've got to an answer, but where is the proof of this. If my father asks to borrow a couple of hundred pounds I quite happily do so without a second thought, why? because 1. I trust him, and 2. I know he would do the same for me. Now imagine he wouldn't do the same for you, and he asked to borrow a couple of hundred pounds, would you just hand it over?
When it comes to my friends I know they would help me out when I need them, so if they needed help I would be there in a shot. How many people do you know that give money to charity because it makes them feel bad?

"People in the 1980s were completely different to people now?"

Of course they were. Every generation always feels alienated by the next generation, people just a generation ago would most likely have got a clip around the ear as punishment. Children these days are spoiled with liberal philosophy. People in the 1980s didn't have the internet either, most of them didn't even have computers. Human beings are not static beings, as society becomes more complex so do our brains, and more complex brains create more complex societies. Each generation is completely different.

"you seem to be copying Dawkins's faintly aggressive manner."

Oh I see, so if I happen to bare some resemblance to Richard Dawkins I clearly must be copying him. How black and white your world view must be.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 17:08:30 GMT
Laurence says:
Well in spite of your convenient ignoring of most of the previous response and a somewhat tangential approach to the points raised, in answer to your question I believe selfishness is wrong because, as you demonstrate, people end up only helping either people they know or people they know they'll get something in return from. Dispossessed people have nothing to give, so presumably an atheist such as yourself wouldn't bother helping them, is what you're saying.

"Now imagine he wouldn't do the same for you, and he asked to borrow a couple of hundred pounds, would you just hand it over?"
The answer is yes if your Father was in need.

"Oh I see, so if I happen to bare some resemblance to Richard Dawkins I clearly must be copying him. How black and white your world view must be."
I think you should give yourself a moniker: 'Non sequiter'.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2009 17:21:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Feb 2009 17:26:10 GMT
Guy Dalziel says:
Actually no, if helping someone makes me feel good then I have gained something from it, regardless of whether or not that person will repay the favour. If you want to go helping any old Tom, Dick, or Harry that's your own business, if that makes you feel good then you've gained something from it.

"The answer is yes if your Father was in need."

Maybe you missed the bit where he wouldn't do the same for you, as in no matter how many times you lend him money he would never help you out when the time comes. There comes a time when you can only help someone with tough love, and in this situation just handing over the money will not solve the problem no matter how good or moral you feel about it.

It's interesting how you point out that I ignored parts of your post when all I did was remove the cruft, and yet you haven't addressed a single point of my post and then you go and drop some inflammatory remark. Like a typical theist you resort to insults when your back is against the wall. I've got two words for you: grow up.
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Discussion in:  The God Delusion forum
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Initial post:  12 Feb 2009
Latest post:  3 Jun 2013

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The God Delusion
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Paperback - 21 May 2007)
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