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I think you’re being harsh on Dawn Butler here Bostonian. @stressederic made a good point about how Butler’s experience and the type of thing you are talking about is linked. Over the recent period Bu

If you can't make a defence of taking down statues of slave traders racists and eugenicists you shouldn't be doing politics. it is just right that the leader of the labour party waits for the cou

Ha ha. I’m also an excellent driver, have you considered that?

it's not just that the arguments are circular it's that they are s***, unscientific and arbitrary. Harris is pretty much the same, Hitchens was by far the better philosopher.

 

Dawkins biology is wonderful though and it's a shame he feels able to use his expertise in one field to talk s*** in another.

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His militant atheism was becoming tedious anyway (although I think The God Delusion is a good book, and it helped me shake off some residual superstition). But the way it has evolved into specific Islamophobia is disturbing to say the least. And it's disingenuous of him to ignore the context in which he's doing it - Muslims are currently scapegoats in all non-Islamic societies, and at very real danger of persecution. For an intelligent man like Dawkins to be stoking the fire is disgusting.

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His militant atheism was becoming tedious anyway (although I think The God Delusion is a good book, and it helped me shake off some residual superstition). But the way it has evolved into specific Islamophobia is disturbing to say the least. And it's disingenuous of him to ignore the context in which he's doing it - Muslims are currently scapegoats in all non-Islamic societies, and at very real danger of persecution. For an intelligent man like Dawkins to be stoking the fire is disgusting.

 

Well said.

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it's not just that the arguments are circular it's that they are s***, unscientific and arbitrary.

 

 

he knows this though, he has surely spent his whole professional life considering his methodology, so he is either deliberately attacking and provoking disharmony, mostly for money but also for celebrity, or his personal instincts are so deeply mired in bigotry that they unintentionally spill all over the science and make a mess all down his front

 

either way, his media presence is becoming more and more relevant to the edl than it is to academia

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Dawkins posted a response to the stick he took about the nobel prize stuff on his website the other day

 

 

http://www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2013/8/9/calm-reflections-after-a-storm-in-a-teacup

 

The tweet was clearly provacative and easy to misinterpret. By design it seems judging by the rebuttal.

 

This does seem to be his MO now which is a shame as it distracts from the points he's raising.

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I started to read it but gave up, he just seems to get into circular rows with people who are diametrically opposed to him. They must get bored of each other at some point.

Not when it comes to the nature of humanity, people will keep banging on about that forever.

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Only that it says nothing really, some questions are so fundamental that they are valid for exactly as long as someone bangs on about them.

I didn't think I was posting anything revolutionary, just a comment in a conversation, I think you've imposed a self regard on it that was not my intention.

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His militant atheism was becoming tedious anyway (although I think The God Delusion is a good book

 

Yeah?

 

I've not read it, I probably should at some point.

 

I was put off by Michael Ruse reviewing it and saying it made him 'embarrassed to be an atheist' to be honest.

 

From other stuff of his I've looked at it always seem that his arguments are powerful in a populist sense but lack much depth - and I got the impression that The God Delusion was just a rehashing of what he's already said, for the most part.

 

We spend a good bit of time covering him at A Level and the students quite enjoy him on a superficial level, but they generally find the views of the likes of Marx, Durkheim and Feuerbach to be more intellectually rigorous when it comes to critiques of religion I think.

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That's hardly apples with apples though is it?

 

Dawkins on religion is populist and polemical. I don't think he would claim philosopher status for himself.

 

He wouldn't but if he's taking on philosophical arguments he needs to address them better. His representation of the infinite regress was particularly poor.

 

That said I think you're right in that he's populist and polemical but if what he's trying to do is reach out and convert people he's not doing it right. It's alright preaching to the choir then sound but whatever.

 

Actually this is a bit s*** so I'll expand, he's condescending and that's annoying when he's presenting the worst of someones arguments, if you want to take on the best arguments presented the best way then condescend sound but try not to be a t*** when taking on the easier arguments to take on. He's also an scientist academic he should be more careful with a term that has a specific meaning in psychiatry and apply it in order to denigrate the beliefs of those that hold to it. If you are going to do that step up and take on better arguments.

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Been about seven years since I read it, so you'd have to remind me why he was weak on infinite regress. He probably addressed it simplistically, but I've never read a philosophical defence of it that was anything other than obfuscation.

 

It's an argument that's inherently presumptive so any philosophical defence can be attacked as being arbitrary, I still tend to think he needs to establish the argument before attacking it which is my recollection. It's also been a while but I seem to recall him getting the premise and conclusion stated in the wrong order but I'll have to check this

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That's hardly apples with apples though is it?

 

Dawkins on religion is populist and polemical. I don't think he would claim philosopher status for himself.

 

It isn't, but they all come in the same unit of work for us as part of a Philosophy of Religion course so was just coming at it from that angle really - not many candidates choose to write about him because I think they feel there is more sunstance to the others' arguments.

 

I think part of the problem with Dawkins is that whilst he might not 'claim philosopher status for himself' nor does he really acknowledge that his arguments amount to little more than 'Boooo for religion'.

 

There is actually nothing wrong with that kind of argument and strictly speaking nor is it 'unphilosophical' - it is sort of equivalent to ethical emotivism for example.

 

It does mean he ends up being 'guilty' of making leaps and generalisations of the sort that he professes to despise when found in religion and so leaves himslef open to the charge of hypocrisy.

 

He seems to get caught bewteen two stools of offering a functionalist critique of religion and a philosophical/intellectual one and so ends up doing neither as well as others.

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