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This will shut atheists up - theist PERFECTION


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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jun 2008, 17:01:39 BST
Hi,

I looked at amazon.com, their discussion on this book, and found this:

http://christthetao.homestead.com/articles/thegoddelusion.pdf

It is a response to 160 faults and mistakes in TGD, and very well-reasoned and -written.

I hope we can discuss some of the things that are in this book, but I suspect there will be little to discuss afterwards, since it is nothing short of brilliant.

In my (theist) opinion.

Regards,

Jesper

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 22:11:15 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2008, 23:06:45 BST
Drew Jones says:
I read a bit of this. It's not really a solid critic against the God Delusion. It's just the usual misunderstanding, simplification or wilful misrepresentation of Dawkins arguments and quotes to make them easy for the writer to rebuff and only serves to impress theists, like yourself, who clearly haven't read the book being discussed and convince them that there is no challenge to be had to their believes.

It starts with questioning the title 'Is God a delusion?'. The evidence it suggests for this not so is that the writer would be wasting his time studying theology along with many who rise early on a Sunday, say grace or look in the Bible for answers. The point that people's behaviour has no bearing on the validity of the beliefs from which the derive however sincere, seems hardly worth pointing out.

We then move on to the nature of Christian faith. Dawkins sates that faith is belief in the face of evidence and that if you have good reason or evidence then you no longer need faith. Marshall states that Christian faith is based on reason and points us to his books for examples instead of elaborating on those reasons here and quickly moves on to quote Alister McGrath; 'I have no hesitation in asserting that the classic Christian tradition has always valued rationality'. Unfortunatley we are still not privy to this rational.

Point two is 'Just how touchy are believers, anyway?' going on to quote Dawkins "The rest of us are expected to defend our prejudices. But ask a religious person to justify their faith and you infringe 'religious liberty.'"

Marshall replies "This is not in fact the response Dawkins' attacks have met with from Christian thinkers. I do not
recall having ever heard a Christian make such a complaint. The implication that an appeal to religious freedom is the usual response a request for evidence is met with, is unbelievable."

I hardly need to point out to you or any casual reader of these pages that this is not true of all theists!

The rest carries on with false assumptions, poor logic, misunderstanding and non-answers. It even tries to support or at least rescue ID. At best this is simply an attempt (and in my opinion a poor one) at the debunking of Dawkins arguments, it certainly does nothing in advancing an argument in favour of God's existence. Even if all of Dawkins arguments are fallacous, the healthy sceptism of atheism is still our best option in the complete lack of deity-shaped evidence this leaves us with.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 22:34:31 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2008, 22:42:11 BST
JA Foxton says:
Drew,

I must admit that I thought it was very weak.

#127 Starved for love in a cave? "Starved of male company, (Lot's daughters) decided to make their father drunk and copulate with him."

That's the Phil Donahue version. The biblical account offers more understandable motives for the girls' seduction of their father (from the ancient Middle Eastern perspective): the desire for prodigy. [end quotation of point #127]

The desire for prodigy? Shouldn't that read 'progeny?' Anyway, does this mean that, if you desire offspring, then incest becomes an acceptable means of achieving this goal?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 22:36:53 BST
(and in my opinion a poor one)

As I think Dawkins is a poor debunker of religion. Isn't that odd? But at least, this guy is much less insulting and belittling than Dawkins. Will you give me that? Seems there are _some_ benefits to having a religious background, at least, that is my opinion. And the more I look at the evidence, the more clear it becomes to me that is actually the case. It is more or less consistent in fact. Dawkins himself is insulting and so are most of his followers. Most of the religious people here have been courteous, except me, but I am trying to leave atheism behind, after having been so for twenty years, making me (still) a poor exemplar of religious virtue. But I am getting there. I extent that invitation to everyone here. And if you want to learn more, respectfully, about the Catholic faith, jump over on www.catholicforum.com and ask away, but respectfully. That means, you have a right to the truth, but you also needs to be respectful in the way you ask for it, it is not a matter of right and wrong, but of sharing views. Also, it will give you an impression if not theists are more courteous than atheists, to a great extent.

Don't buy the hype your hypocritical teachers have been telling you. See for yourself. Learn for yourself. You haven't even scratched the surface of religion. But the invitation goes out, all the same.

Be respectful and you will be treated respectfully. Be disrespectful and you will be ignored, and after enough time, banned either for a period of time or permanently, from the forum. But that takes a lot. The option exists though.

Sincerely,

Jesper

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 22:38:23 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2008, 22:47:53 BST
Hi Foxton,

"The desire for prodigy? Shouldn't that read 'progeny?' Anyway, does this mean that, if you desire offspring, then incest becomes an acceptable means of achieving this goal?"

What if the alternative is extinction? Everything is relative. Lesser of two evils. In that situation, what would you do? Get drunk and have a family, grandchildren? Or just die out? What do you think the biological drives inside of you would try and get you to do? Theoretically speaking!!

Does that mean, by the way, you have no problem with the first 126 points? I doubt it, but is it the case??

Sincerely,

Jesper

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 22:54:56 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2008, 23:11:11 BST
Drew Jones says:
You are right. Dawkins is intentionally provocative, though not as rude as he could be, since any criticism of faith is meet with the theistic cries of respect needed to be shown to their unsubstantiated beliefs. Why should he or anyone be polite about a falsehood, especially falsehoods with power over others?

"See for yourself. Learn for yourself. You haven't even scratched the surface of religion."
How hard do I need to look into religion before I get a good idea or understanding of religion? Haven't I looked into everything you have asked and found it pointless? It seem to me that someone will never have understood religion enough to satisfy you until they give up and agree with it all. How much longer do I need to study to satisfy you that my opinion whichever way inclined is merited?

"As I think Dawkins is a poor debunker of religion."
So I haven't looked into religion enough to make a valid decision on it yet you can read half a book and comment. Who was it on these boards that warn us of becoming hypocrites?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 23:08:18 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2008, 23:08:41 BST
"You are right. Dawkins is intentionally provocative, though not as rude as he could be, since any criticism of faith is meet with the theistic cries of respect needed to be shown to their unsubstantiated beliefs. Why should he or anyone be polite about a falsehood, especially falsehoods with power over others?"

So, the correct way of dealing with lies (in your opinion, they are, at least) is to throw back abuse? Do you think that is how judges should act as well? Don't you see that Dawkins is over the top and that frankly it shows how immature he is? Don't you think that a well-researched, polite response would have been much more devastating? As it is, he only demonstrates that he has no alternative lined up for religion. He is as bad as the people he is going after. So what's the point of defending atheism, if that is all it leads to? Unnecessary abuse. Also, is abuse in key with reason? Isn't Dawkins supposed to be a pillar of reason?

I have never heard a reasonable man resort to abuse. Is Dawkins somehow a reasonable, abusive man?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2008, 23:22:39 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2008, 23:23:53 BST
Drew Jones says:
The abuse that Dawkins deals out is not unnecessary. Religion has had a free pass on critical debate for millennia. It needs to be opened up to debate just like any other subject. The ridicule both percieved and intended that is contained within the God Delusion is no greater than any other field of inquiry would come into. I, like many others, am faced with it everyday in my job. Why do you want religion and yourself to be protected from insult when nothing else is?

And how long do I need to study religion until you except my opinions of it as valid?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 06:40:59 BST
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2008, 06:50:01 BST
Hi Drew,

So critical debate is the same as abuse, in your world?

Does that mean you think me saying, I think there are certain flaws in your reasoning, these are the things I have a problem with, what is your response to these things - holds the same merit as saying, you are all barking mad and good riddance to bad rubbish when everything you do and stand for is thrown down the toilet!! If you only knew, in your pathetic little heads, how utterly dumb you are, why that would truly be a miracle!!

Doesn't that say as much about the argumentor, as it does about the argument, the last version?

Is it called for?

Is this another case of atheists defending the indefensible? Was it ever called for? Or is it perhaps more correct to conclude that Dawkins is barking mad, since he acts more like a rabid dog than a man of science and reason?

But, I have mentioned many good things done in the name of religion, or in connection with it, such as massive charity. Why does Dawkins not mention these in his book? Is he not interested in painting a fair picture? If he hasn't done so, then the image he has created of religion is of course - wait for it - a delusion!

Do you think that when one person attacks another person (or an institution, made up of people) that he is in his right to do so, unfairly? For instance, if you were brought to trial, by your neighbour, would you consider it normal for only him to stand up and defend himself, and for it to be accepted out of hand, what he presents, without having it challenged?

Is bias the highest good we are striving?

"Why do you want religion and yourself to be protected from insult when nothing else is?"

Because insult in it's very nature is immoral. It is offensive. It does no good, serves no good purpose. That is why. Are you starting to catch my drift, you ignorant monkey-brain? The turtles on Galapagos Island could beat you at any IQ test. I mean, you are so frickin dense, why do I even bother? It is like trying to teach a monkey write or ride a bicycle. I can't believe you are so stupid, this has been going on for too long. I can only imagine what your family must be like, good riddance to bad rubbish.

Cheers,

Jesper

(do you think I was making a point with that last paragraph, or are you going to react to it like a girl, and assume that 'YOU MEANT EVERY WORD OF IT YOU HORRIBLE LITTLE MAN!!'. Because, I was merely making a point. Please GET THAT this time. And _what_ could that point be I wonder..??? Could it be that insults are ***? Think about it please, if you will).

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 08:09:19 BST
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2008, 09:09:05 BST
Drew Jones says:
Hi Jesper,

I think that critical debate is sometimes hard to except and contains insults but it is only in your world where critical debate is the same as insult. To you placing the term 'faithhead' within an argument renders the whole thing invalid because you have taken it on yourself to be insulted and want the whole debate withdrawn until a more gentle critic is offered.

Yes insult is or can be offensive but it is not immoral. Religion for far to long has preached this in order to continue it's exception from critical thought. That is wrong and dishonest.

Your post contains a lot of intended insult but little to absolutely no critical evaluation. The single point you are trying to make is to get me to feel insulted but as you say insult in itself serves little purpose. It really isn't a problem for me, to be insulted for the sake of insult is pointless and there is no challenge to any of my ideas offered here so there is nothing here for me to worry about. For instance, you argue religion is validated by it's good deeds but these deeds are either not exclusive to religion or shallow if only done to win favour with God for the believer carrying them out. This is acknowledged and dealt with in Dawkins book so is he being bias or just reaching a critical opinion you don't agree with? How do you even know if you haven't read the whole thing because you are feeling insulted?

As I said earlier I and everybody else encounter critical evaluation everyday and this is not always wrapped in cotton wool to make us feel good or withdrawn because we don't like it. Why should religion and the faithful get a free card on this?

And please answer my other simple question how long will it take for me to have studied religion before you are happy to accept my opinion as valid? Will you only be satisfied when I except it all?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 12:28:55 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 Jun 2008, 12:39:00 BST
Hi Drew,

"I think that critical debate is sometimes hard to except and contains insults but it is only in your world where critical debate is the same as insult."

NO! Please get this!! It is Dawkins who is insulting. It is _him_ that equates these two. And this is why I don't want to read his book. Because, as _you_ say, it is pointless.

"As I said earlier I and everybody else encounter critical evaluation everyday and this is not always wrapped in cotton wool to make us feel good or withdrawn because we don't like it. Why should religion and the faithful get a free card on this?"

That is _not_ what I am saying. I don't mind being challenged. I mind being _abused_. Do you see the difference? Between a reasoned debate and throwing mud? Dawkins throws mud, and on every page. Having to suffer through it is more than I, as a sensible human being, is willing to do.

His tone defeats the purpose of the entire book because it drives believers away. In the end, he will only preach to the converted. His book fails, I am a good example, I have thrown it out not because I didn't like the ideas, I thought they were interesting and challenging, even if some of them were easy to take apart, counter, but because I _don't like abuse_.

Do you get that, you little monkey turd?? If there is one thing that never ceases to amaze me it is the ignorance and arrogance that seemingly go hand in hand in all atheist, you are certainly a _prime_ example of that. And, their constant reasoning for the fact, that what is immoral is in fact normal, even decent, the 'right' thing. The average atheist mind is a cess pool of ignorance, condecension, stupidity and moral degradation. Something which you have proven often in here, dear Drew.

Take care of yourself,

Jesper

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 13:03:00 BST
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2008, 13:15:36 BST
Drew Jones says:
Hi Jesper,

I don't think there is anything I am not getting. I agreed that Dawkins critical thinking uses insult and insult is part of critical thinking. Any insult or derogatory remark made though needs to be backed up be reason and logic. It is you who can't separate unsubstantiated jibes and negative terms that are backed up with reason and logic. Remember when you asked be to withdraw the word 'vapid' from my evaluation of a passage you asked us to consider because you didn't like it's connotation even though I gave reasons to how I had reached the conclusion.

"The average atheist mind is a cess pool of ignorance, condecension, stupidity and moral degradation." This is your opinion and as such perfectly fine however opinions have been likened to one of your favourite unsubstanciated insults: a-holes, in so far that everybody has them. Without offering reason to how you reached this opinion it is no better than anyone else's and until such a time as you do give the reason it is certainly not on the level of the critical thought or of any value just like religion.

If you can counter Dawkins arguments like you say you can then do so. In doing this the insults attached to the arguments and logic will be unfounded and in turn meaningless and thus no longer insulting! This is why I am not bothered by your intended insults. They have no logic to them and so no merit or power.

Once again I have to finish by repeating my simple question. How long will it take for me to have studied religion before you are happy to accept my opinion as valid? Will you only be satisfied when I except it all?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 16:20:54 BST
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2008, 16:22:51 BST
Hi Drew,

13:03 BST "I agreed that Dawkins critical thinking uses insult and insult is part of critical thinking."

08:09 BST "I think that critical debate is sometimes hard to except and contains insults but it is only in your world where critical debate is the same as insult."

Which is it? Is it part of critical thinking (as the first quote, by you, says) or not (as you say in the second quote)? I don't quite follow.

Sincerely,

Jesper

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 16:46:55 BST
Drew Jones says:
Insult, negative words and derogatory remarks are found within critical thinking. It will be found along with reason, logic and explanation, without these things insult maybe critical in it's nature but it doesn't mean it contains thinking and this is the difference you can't see.

There is no contradiction in my explanation or argument. I think you are only confused because you want to believe that critical thinking and insult are exactly the same so you can throw the whole lot out and carry on with your religion unhindered.

Once again I have to finish by repeating my already repeated simple question. How long will it take for me to have studied religion before you are happy to accept my opinion as valid? Will you only be satisfied when I except it all?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 22:06:53 BST
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2008, 22:11:02 BST
"Insult, negative words and derogatory remarks are found within critical thinking."

Why? What purpose do they serve? Do they further the critical thinking?

Or, that I can't say 1+1=2 without saying you are an a-hole?

Also, isn't this in fact critical thinking, of what you are saying? If so, where are the actual insults?

Cheers,

Jesper

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2008, 22:31:21 BST
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2008, 09:48:44 BST
Drew Jones says:
"So, you are saying it is impossible to say, I think you are wrong without putting in the same sentence, the words, I think you are an a-hole?"
No. I think it is not right to call someone an "a-hole" without justification of using that word. It's a very poor example. You won't find it in much critical thinking since no one is an actual, literal a-hole so it would be hard to support. Can you find Dawkins using it directly in The God Delusion? I think you should find an example of a derogatory passage that insulted you and we can discuss that to see if it was unfounded abuse or simply an impolite logical argument.

The examples of scientist you give were putting forward new hypothesises for consideration and not at this point engaging on critical thinking of other theories. I think Newton, you and I would all use the negative word 'stupid' to describe anyone who was entering into a critical debate and arguing that gravity doesn't exist. They maybe insulted but we would be justified wouldn't we?

If I get the book you recommend read it and then study for a further 30 minutes will you except my opinion without claiming I haven't looked at religion properly?

[edit: this was a response to the original posts contents. The response to the new post is below.]

Insult, negative words and derogatory remarks are expressive of how the critic feels about the subject and arguments encountered. It will also test the respondents argument. If they highlight the logic attached to the insult as poor then the insult fails and sometimes in the case of words like 'stupid' or 'pointless' are reversed.

You can call me an a-hole but you need to back it up with reason or it is simply ill-founded abuse. I think you miss the point that any insult made requires explanation from the person making it and can not be simply banded about in anger or frustration.

Sorry if this hasn't fully answered your points but I'm not sure I understood the last half of the post.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2008, 19:55:19 BST
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2008, 20:30:41 BST
Hi. I just read through this discussion, and it seems like you are discussing what and insult is, and whether Dawkins is insulting in is criticism or not.
I looked up the word at wikipedia, and it seems that the definition of an insult is hard to pinpoint. If you read what it says on wikipedia, it's more of a subjective opinion whether something is an insult or not.
Personally i haven't yet felt insulted in any way by what Dawkins writes. I'm about 130 pages into the book, and the things he says seems like good arguements as well as good quotations from other people that are both theists and not.
What I've experienced by the book so far, is no direct personal insults. Why should a beliver feel insulted in any way by what Dawkins writes any more than a non beliver should feel insulted by the bible?
Insults in general insult our own ego. It's the size of our ego that measures up how insulted we get, in my opinion. If I hard necked belive my dad is stronger than someone elses dad is, i would feel insulted if they dared to say he isn't, even though this might be the real life fact. Of course, this is a childish claim and to prove me wrong is easy. And in the heat of the moment, I would feel insulted, but after some time of looking back at it, I would understand that it wasn't ment as an insult at all, but it was a fact that could be proven or disproven, ergo, no insult, just criticism of my belife that my dad is the strongest man alive. And after understanding this I would not feel insulted in anyway anymore.

In an arguement, there will always be some sort of "insulting", based on what people find insulting. Ergo, it is in fact a subjective feeling to feel insulted.
The arguer may not mean what he is arguing to be insulting, but there are always someone that will feel insulted.
You can't make a statement in this world without someone being insulted in some way.
But, what you said about ALL atheists are ignorant and arrogant is to me a personal insultment, not an insult to what i belive.
To criticise a person for what he is, is not necessarily an insult, but in most cases it is. But to criticise faith, the belive in a God (or more), religion or theism in it self, are to me not personal insults, and therefor Dawkins is not insulting.

This is an interesting arguement, and I hope this will get some replies (unless I'm way out of context here or misunderstood the idea of this, hehe)

Thanks for reading my post and bear in mind I am norwegian and my english might be a bit rusty at points!

-Tony

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2008, 11:59:35 BST
R. J. Lister says:
Not wishing to sound like a nihilist, but I would venture that it's not possible to unsult someone who is not willing to believe something on the basis of blind faith (a tautology if ever there was one). A simplistic example: A Christian tells me that Earth is not four and half billion years old. If he seeks to convince me with physical evidence which disputes that which is already plentifully documented by science, I will humbly change my point of view. If he seeks to convince me by furnishing me with a story penned by numerous authors over a period of several hundred years, which provides no scientific evidence to the contrary, then I will not. Either way, insulted is not how I'll feel.

I would imagine the only people in all this with the right to feel insulted would be those scientists who devote their lives to understanding the functions of the world, tirelessly building a map of our vast and wonderful world with the ink of reason, logic, and evidence - a world which so many seem willing to destroy in the name of outdated moral guidebooks whose relevance dissipates further with every passing generation.
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Discussion in:  The God Delusion forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  17 Jun 2008
Latest post:  24 Jun 2008

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