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Richard Dawkins Vs Religion

  1. Oct 20, 2006 #1

    Another God

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    I'm posting this in social sciences because it seems like Richard Dawkins is on a crusade against the social aceptance of religion. So this topic is sort of a religion topic, sort of a biology topic, sort of a physics topic, but allin all its about our society and how we accept beliefs.

    Anyway, Richard Dawkins has just written a new book called "The God Delusion" and so I have been watching a few videos on You Tube.

    Personally I agree with virtually everything Dawkins says and think his logical consistency and philosophical integrity is unsurpassable. The potential ramifications of this 'crusade' I'm not so sure about though. (though I don't disagree with him doing it at all)

    Anyway, watch these films and tell me what you think of what he is saying.

    Interview
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kfnDdMRxMHY

    The root of all evil
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=AB2vmj8eyMk
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=C10sSC2kB3Q&mode=related&search=
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=wr_qZ3P4nl4&mode=related&search=
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=-cZGGD5grkQ&mode=related&search=

    And a funny interview with Stephen Colbert
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=X1fTkvefu5s

    Shane
     
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  3. Oct 20, 2006 #2
    I wish religion was held to the russia ideal
    trust BUT VERIFY

    and of course no one can verify any belife
     
  4. Oct 20, 2006 #3

    arildno

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    It is an excellent program, I've seen it before.
    In particular, Dawkins' clear analyses and unremitting stance that religion IS irrational, and for the most part, im-MORAL is definitely needed in our world today. It is also about time that a prominent scientist says flat out what religious indoctrination of children is:
    It is child abuse.

    There are too many cowardly scientists about. Thanks to all non-existing gods that Dawkins is not one of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2006
  5. Oct 20, 2006 #4

    selfAdjoint

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    Anyone's reaction to Dawkins' anticrusade seems contingent only on his or her prior conceptions of religion. I mostly agree with him myself, but gee! we don't need another pro and con thread on the rationality of religion. There's one already down on Philosophy; it's called So basically. In my opinion that's where it belongs.
     
  6. Oct 20, 2006 #5
    A bit of nonsense if you ask me. :smile:
    While I do not disagree that the belief in supernatural powers including deities is actually irrational I strongly disagree that we can judge under the pretense of science that something is moral or immoral.
    Morality is in the eye of the beholder IMHO.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2006 #6

    Another God

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    What do you think would happen in a world where Dawkins was essentially successful though? Lets say the worlds major religions were proven to be wrong, what would the religious of the world do?

    I'm worried that many of them, without faith in God, would turn immoral. I have heard that argument do many times in anti-evolution threads, Christians saying that without a god there is nothing to stop them from raping etc. It sounds ludicrous to us atheists that anyone would be so morally retarded, but I wonder if religion actually does stiffle the moral development of people by using absolutes and a father like figure version of morality. Suddenlt losing their only concept of morality may indeed leave them not knowing how to behave, and result in a huge increase in criminal behaviour. Serious criminal behaviour.
     
  8. Oct 20, 2006 #7

    Doc Al

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    Dawkins says no such thing. But he does argue that religion provides no rational basis for morality.

    Read the book! Dawkins addresses this issue and much more.

    Dawkins kicks ass... with class.
     
  9. Oct 20, 2006 #8

    Another God

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    LOL, i intend to read the book. I only just found out about it!
     
  10. Oct 20, 2006 #9
    Well I can agree with that. :smile:
    But why would it need a rational basis anyway?

    There is no rational basis for morality IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2006
  11. Oct 21, 2006 #10
    I watched one of the videos, and found it somewhat dissappointing. For instance, he rumbled over the issue of consciousness in a matter of seconds. During an interview, some guy claims that "we can be faily sure that consciousness is produced by the brain", after which Dawkins replies: i completely agree. It is no surprise that after making such a huge assumption, that some of the things religion claims (god, survival after death) can be dismissed. I fully understand however that he didnt want to make a long philosophical tv program. He had a purpose with this show, and had to decide what to keep in and what to keep out of it, and at the same time have it remain interesting for viewers. Its probably an eyeopener for religious people who have never really thought about reality very deeply.

    Also, in the same video: he suggests our morality evolved because altruistic behaviour has an evolutionary advantage for the individual. What he doesnt mention, is that some bacteria also show signs of altruistic behaviour. This claim thus assaults his own earlier idea (that brain produces consciousness), because if bacteria have a morality, then of course they are also conscious. Instead, the video only showed a group of chimpansees interacting with eachother. While this obviously is aimed at convincing religious people that we evolved from common ancestors, i think he should have explored our evolutionary origin a bit further, instead of just the part that serves his goal (attacking religion). Even though he may perhaps do this in his books or elsewhere, the videos could give a wrong impression to its viewers (im not familiar with his books).

    I havent watched the other videos yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  12. Oct 21, 2006 #11

    arildno

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    Since I didn't ask you, your comment is just irrelevant and uncalled for. :smile:
     
  13. Oct 21, 2006 #12

    selfAdjoint

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    Her assertian that there is no rational basis for morality is at least a positive, if slightly OT, contribution to this thread, and it seems to me a legitimate topic for a social sciences forum.. What does Dawkins say about this? Any studies?
     
  14. Oct 21, 2006 #13

    arildno

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    I was commenting the sub-part of her post that my post was a bit of nonsense, which I didn't ask for, and hence, makes that comment irrelevant by her own words "if you ask me" .
     
  15. Oct 21, 2006 #14
    I was not suggesting that your posting was "a bit of nonsense" but instead that Dawkins' alledged claim was.

    I took from your statement that Dawkins in his book has a clear analysis that religion is for the most part immoral.
    That I find a bit of nonsense.
    Now if he actually claims that in his book is yet another issue, I don't know, since I have not read the book.

    :smile:
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  16. Oct 21, 2006 #15

    arildno

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    That immorality bit is a slight interpolation of mine over Dawkins' view.
    Feel free to regard that bit of nonsense to come from me. :smile:
     
  17. Oct 21, 2006 #16

    LJM

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    Dawkins misrepresents science as an agenda, remember he is considered as an authority. I think what he's doing is frankly disgusting, and using tired arguments such as 'evidence' to dispel belief are obvious and easy.

    If you base your arguments on the current climate of religious ideals, and use science as an anchor, then it's completely flawed. The scientific method is irrelevant to 'belief' and the only notion spurring Dawkins 'is' current climate, which is not a reflection of belief outside of science. It is a daft and misguided premise that is prompting conflict between religious factions and science. Such things do have an effect, and I think it's a gross misrepresentation of science if such publications are presented to the public.

    I'm not religious, before anybody asks.
     
  18. Oct 21, 2006 #17

    selfAdjoint

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    I repeat, the duelling preconceptions have no place in a serious forum. Dawkins means to be provocative and he is. Can't we all just deal with that without consuming Greg's bandwidth to fume in?
     
  19. Oct 21, 2006 #18
    No problem, I realize that more than occasionally I am not nonsense free either :biggrin:
     
  20. Oct 21, 2006 #19
    Dawkins is an amazing scientist. I am immediately skeptical of any religious individuals ability to think rationally. It's always refreshing to see members of the scientific community reveal religion to be the disorder that it is.
     
  21. Oct 22, 2006 #20

    Another God

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    That is a wild assumption without basis. 'Moral' behaviour is not based upon consciousness. In fact 90% of the time morality is driven by emotions, which are genetically programmed if-then statements. Bacteria can quite clearly benefit from assisting their nearest rneighbours because usually their nearest neighbour is an offspring with virtually identical DNA. Thus any DNA which programs a phenotypic behaviour which promotes an altruistic behaviour in Bacteria (whatever that is) will inevitably be at the benefit of that one piece of coding.....

    Consciousness is not required in the least.

    The only application for consciousness in morality is in revising our emotional instincts. Evolution has trained us for a pre-industrial world. Has the invention of contraceptives changed the reality of sexual intercourse, and thus our hundred thousand year old instincts are now no longer relevent? ETC Plus the individual application of those instincts may change, so consciousness may allow individual consaiderations....
     
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