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carlptr's Avatar Comment 1 by carlptr

Richard Dawkins intellectual stature and literary brilliance are closely matched by his courage.
My humble suggestion is that professor Dawkins could have gone a little further. The fact is, Gerin Oil cartels have the governments in their pockets. One of the main side effects from Gerin Oil addiction is a high and very sad level of gullibility for the addicted consumer, not to mention blindness to any basic attempts at mental manipulation. This is extremely convenient for all the politicians on any side of the spectrum and this is why they so promptly line up with the cartels and promote the addiction.
The current crescendo of terrorism caused by fatal cases of addiction to this drug is causing an interesting dilemma for the politicians in the "Western Democracies". They have no tools to deal with this problem because they can't denounce its real cause, which is an extreme level of Gerin Oil intoxication, overdose really. They are simply shuffling around the issue and stating that "our oil is good, their oil is bad" but unfortunately for the ones killing themselves and the ones being killed this will not take us anywhere. The problem is being exacerbated by a reaction leading to higher levels of consumption of particular, sometimes disguised, brands of the oil in the west. In the past few thousand years this always ended up in vast amounts of bloodshed from the innocent but gullible population to strengthen the position of one cartel or the other.
There is hope however, so long as a few Richard Dawkins's come along every now and then.

Sun, 14 Jan 2007 21:29:00 UTC | #15605

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 2 by deadaluspark

Francis Crick called. He wants his hallucinogens back.

---

As an atheist, I honestly used to think Atheism wasn't a religion. I guess you are out to prove me wrong, Dawkins.

This entire debate you create about all the bad things religion has caused completely ignores social factors that lead to religious penetration. Whatever religion we're talking about, all of them have their differences. Some Muslims live in societies where drinking alcohol is tolerated some don't. Some Christians drink wine, others don't. Some Jews abstain from Pork, others don't.

Cultural influence is part of why religion isn't static in its beliefs, why it morphs and changes with the time period it exists in.

While religion can often fan the flames of horrible actions such as the devastating attacks in America on September 11th, 2001, we cannot forget that science can be its own enemy.

Adorno once said the Holocaust was the inevitable result of the enlightenment. People, realizing some folks had "better" genetics than others, wanted to destroy the "bad" genetics completely. With this horribly uninformed view of genetics, as well as cultural influence of general antisemitism already alive in Germany, the Nazi party rose to power.

Seriously, I'm not religious or a religious apologist, but to just blame everything on religion, as if that's the one thing making people stupid or evil, is a straw man so big that it makes Burning Man feel insecure about body image.

---

So, do us all a favor, Dawkins. Write a science book. Or, if you really want to keep writing philosophy, sit down and read some it, please. I know you tore apart Lacan and Deleuze & Guattari around 10 years ago without really trying to understand what they were trying to say.

"But a philosopher who is caught equating the erectile organ to the square root of minus one has, for my money, blown his credentials when it comes to things that I don't know anything about."

That was you on Lacan. Sure sounds a lot like:

"I don't know about all this fancy science, but the Bible has all the answers I need, so I don't need to investigate this demonology further."

Point being: if you don't even try to understand a differing way of thought, then you're being just as ignorant and reactionary to new ideas as many religious people. You reduce these complex systems into simplistic systems. If someone did that to biology, you'd throw a shit fit, and with good reason.

Either read some philosophy and really try to understand it or stop writing non-scientific articles bitching about non-scientific things, okay?

Thanks, from everybody.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:02:00 UTC | #214822

Sciros's Avatar Comment 3 by Sciros

WTF hey buddy the bridge called it needs its troll back.

EDIT: this troll was also a necropost. Ignore and move on...

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:09:00 UTC | #214825

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 4 by deadaluspark

So, I guess disagreeing with someone elses opinion and trying to back that up with facts and ideas is now being a troll?

Who knew?

You've got some rabid fans there, Dawk' old boy.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:14:00 UTC | #214831

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 5 by Steve Zara

deadaluspark-

You are going to be thought of as a troll unless you actually post sensible arguments. So far you have just thrown out what seem like a series of random rants.

I am afraid using the good old straw man of claiming that Dawkins or anyone is blaming religion for everything does not illustrate clear thinking.

Dawkins has a specific agenda. He is interested in the public understanding of science, indeed passionate about it, it seems. We have a major battle with religion attempting to corrupt and stifle science. His attacks on religion are well-founded.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:20:00 UTC | #214836

Sciros's Avatar Comment 6 by Sciros

You didn't even read the article, dumbass. You joined just to post about some bullshit strawman that is wholly off-topic to boot. Either contribute something meaningful or shove off, there's no shortage of idiot trolls to replace you.

EDIT: steve beat me to it

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:23:00 UTC | #214837

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 7 by deadaluspark

I feel like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

"I'm just DISAGREEING with you!"

If Dawkins is passionate about the public understanding of science I am passionate about the public understanding of philosophy.

I'm not really sure why my ideas came off as "random rants." The first half was meant to stipulate Adorno's very true statement that the enlightenment, a period of great scientific and philosophical upheaval, led us to realize that humans can use science for evil just as well as they can use religion.

Humans are not rational beings, while we often try to consider ourselves as such. On one hand, religion has caused all sorts of wars. On the other hand, historically speaking, religion gave us our first institutions of learning in recorded history. So, while I agree with much of the bluster Dawkins provides against religion muddying up science, I often think he goes from being "reasonable" to just kind of being a jerk.

The second half of the post was referencing an article Dawkins wrote about ten years ago about certain French Philosophers who he thought were crap because they used "psuedo-scientific" ideas. I was referencing it because when you look at what he wrote in context, he never even really tried to find out what their ideas were really about. Yes, their work is serpentine and often confusing, but it can also be amazingly brilliant work if you suffer through thinking about thought. No, philosophy isn't scientific, in fact, the authors who he referred to mostly work with the transcience of thought. My point being, you can't bitch and moan about other people not listening to your own ideas when you don't listen to ideas that could positively influence you (Specifically, Deleuze & Guattari have a lot to say that could have easily influenced the modern idea of the "meme.").

So, there. I hope my "random rants" make a little bit more sense now. Hopefully when I return I won't still feel so much like Michael Douglas.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:33:00 UTC | #214848

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 8 by deadaluspark

@sciros

Actually, I read TWO articles.

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/dawkins.html

Thats the second one i refer to in my post.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:34:00 UTC | #214849

AllanW's Avatar Comment 9 by AllanW

deadaluspark; you spent many electronic letters saying nothing. Make a point, please. Do you resent Dawkins' fame? His scientific credentials? His influence? His money? Do you actually disagree with him (it's not clear from your rant)? Do you have anything substantive to offer as a critique of his article here? Or are you just another 'I'm an atheist but he really is shrill' kind of troll? Please let us know because I agree with the only point I could fathom from your first post which is that it can be useful to consider someone elses point of view sometimes.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:39:00 UTC | #214851

Sciros's Avatar Comment 10 by Sciros

... realize that humans can use science for evil just as well as they can use religion

If you ask the question "which of those two, science and religion, encourages evil as we see it?" the answer will be "only religion."

The philosophy bit is completely off-topic and pretty pointless. If Richard didn't buy into some "good" ideas because they were obscured from him by what he saw as a lot of rubbish, that's honestly the philosophers' problem and no-one else's. If every good idea Richard had were also buried under a lot of crap such as "thinking about thought" or whatever, you might have something to discuss but as it stands this is all hardly worth "ranting" over.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:41:00 UTC | #214854

AllanW's Avatar Comment 11 by AllanW

Many thanks for your last post; you make a lot more sense in it. So you don't actually disagree with his points just the extent to which he espouses them, do I have that right?

As for the post-modernists (whether French or not) I'm on the side that thinks that there is absolutely no value in their 'serpentine and confusing' thoughts despite repeated attempts to discern any. They are fake in virtually every respect. Worthless. Inconsequential.

Are you related to them in any way? It might make your obvious feelings of hurt more understandable to me if you were.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:45:00 UTC | #214858

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 13 by deadaluspark

"If you ask the question "which of those two, science and religion, encourages evil as we see it?" the answer will be "only religion.""

Been to Communist China lately, man? Last I checked, technology was doing a great job of creating the most oppressive government regime on the planet.

So, you may want to backtrack on that one a little bit.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:46:00 UTC | #214860

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 12 by Steve Zara

Comment #226716 by deadaluspark

Adorno's very true statement that the enlightenment, a period of great scientific and philosophical upheaval, led us realize that humans can use science for evil just as well as they can use religion.


And that point of that is what, exactly?

Yes, their work is serpentine and often confusing, but it can also be amazingly brilliant work if you suffer through thinking about thought.


I suspect you may be missing the point of what Dawkins is saying. I am no expert in philosophy, being merely an enthusiastic amateur, but what the philosophy I have read can be difficult, but clearly written and with appropriate metaphors. The criticism of Deleuze and others by scientists (such as Sokal and Bricmont) is that he abuses science and mathematics by using terms in arbitrary ways. It may be fashionable in some philosophical circles, but it is sloppy and is a real barrier to acceptance of views.

I have seen scientists abuse philosophy (and it is embarrassing to see). It should be equally embarrassing to see philosophers abuse science. It was entirely appropriate for Dawkins to complain about this.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:46:00 UTC | #214859

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 14 by Steve Zara

Comment #226729 by deadaluspark

Where in the practice and methodology of science is there any ethical position that encourages evil?

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:50:00 UTC | #214863

Sciros's Avatar Comment 15 by Sciros

Ohh, so it's SCIENCE's fault that non-theocratic oppressive regimes are oppressive. You're a moron.

Allow me to borrow a quote from the left-hand side of this website:

"(Religion) With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion"

Steven Weinberg

You can start from there.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 13:51:00 UTC | #214864

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 16 by deadaluspark

Actually, no its not sciences fault. Its HUMANITIES fault.

Science and Religion aren't inherently evil themselves. They can both be used for a hell of a lot of evil. They become evil from humans use of them.

Basically my point is: I am fairly sure humans are generally evil/stupid, by nature. If this is the case, bitching about one or the other being wrong isn't helping anything.

Also, Steven Weinberg obviously has very black and white views considering "good" and "evil," which makes the argument problematic since those concepts are merely vague ideas created by humans in the first place. What is really good and really evil? Can't a good person do a little evil without it involving religion? Can't an evil person do a little good without it involving science?

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:02:00 UTC | #214871

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 17 by Jay Cee

Gerin Oil sounds like Geraniol which is an unsaturated alcohol used in flavourings.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:06:00 UTC | #214872

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 18 by Steve Zara

Comment #226740 by deadaluspark

Basically my point is: I am fairly sure humans are generally evil/stupid, by nature. If this is the case, bitching about one or the other being wrong isn't helping anything.


There is a profound difference between science and religion. Science works through scepticism. It does not privilege the personal viewpoint. Religion by its very nature encourages individuals to consider themselves to be superior (such as to have the ability to perceive the supernatural) and panders to prejudices (personal feelings are said to have come from, and agree with, the Creator), and that pandering is actively encouraged by most societies. If someone religious feels that homosexuality is wrong, that is considered acceptable simply because it is a religious view.

Religion is thinking without a seat belt. Just because most get away with it, it does not mean it isn't a fundamentally bad idea.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:09:00 UTC | #214875

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 19 by deadaluspark

"Are you related to them in any way? It might make your obvious feelings of hurt more understandable to me if you were. "

Oh, its quite all right, I mostly appreciate you willing to be able to see my point without flaming me, thank you.

I understand they're not for everyone, but on a personal level, I thought "A Thousand Plateaus" was just a book ABOUT memes, long before the idea was ever espoused by Dawkins. It's much more in depth of how memes work and are changed in thought. It's definitely psuedo-science, but I can't personally think of a way to actually scientifically observe the things they are discussing, unless you hooked D&G up to a brain scanner while they wrote that book so you could consider what kind of brain activity they were having while being involved in their "plateaus of thought."

I generally think of what they do is "creating tools for critical thinking." I don't think they are the heroes of philosophy or anything, and they have ideas I disagree with, just like Dawkins.

I mean, I'm a big Dawkins fan here, I've loved and read him for years, I just personally tire of people acting like science is the only thing worth studying.

After World War 2 we had the "Disillusionment" period, which came from being part of a modern technology driven society that we thought was good and right. After seeing the horrors of that war, Humanity had to come to grips with its own evils, whether they bred from religion, technology, or apathy.

While science is of utmost importance for technological development, we still need thought development. We still need critical thinking. We need people willing to challenge old ideas and ways of doing things. Just because we are men of science does not make us not animals. We are still deeply tied to our emotions and natural instincts, unfortunately.

I personally think philosophy better helps us understand our own ways of thought and allows us to change thought and direction.

---

Shit, gotta go to work. Thanks for the lively discussion, all.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:13:00 UTC | #214878

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 20 by JHJEFFERY

dead:

The problem of postmodernism (a philophy in search of an idea), is that it wants to creat categorical imperatives (there is no ultimate truth) to contend that there are no categorical imperatives. I have never heard a postmodernist admit it, but I am convinced that they took hostage the language of Einsteinian relativism and made it into a philosopy (Einstein warned against it).

Postmodernists lack the sublety of mind to understand that, whether there is an ultimate truth does not inform on the question of whether some things approach truth more closely than others.

Foucault, Leotard and the others simply lacked the ability to discriminate between those things which might be truer than others and lumped them all together into some sort of dark matter.

Foucault invented the concept of "power relations", which is after one wades through the verbosity, the idea that between and among people and all entities, there is a power continuum that varies with location, wealth, size, desire, and other factors. He discovered this sometime in his thirties (memory only here). Most people get it by the time they are six. Foucault had a nice vocabulary (and used it to befuddle instead of illuminate) but understood almost nothing. Perhaps that's why he died of aids after engaging in years of sadomasochist behavior.

BTW: Technology has nothing to do with Chinese oppression--it's been going on for thousands of years.

Cheers

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:14:00 UTC | #214880

J Mac's Avatar Comment 21 by J Mac

These defenses of religions saying "not only bad things come from religion" is just foolish. Especially in response to this article. The main thrust of the article was not that "oilers" do BAD things, but that they are robbed of their intellect and their critical thinking is hindered.

Even IF a religion had nothing but good effects I would want nothing to do with it (Some atheists may disagree here, but this is my view). Surrendering our rationality to any dogma is extremely dangerous in the long run.

This is why I am quite frustrated with the recent surge of "atheist" Buddhists...

As with other drugs, refined Gerin Oil in low doses is largely harmless, and can serve as a lubricant on social occasions such as marriages, funerals, and state ceremonies. Experts differ over whether such social tripping, though harmless in itself, is a risk factor for upgrading to harder and more addictive forms of the drug.


Well said, "low dose" Gerin Oil or "moderate" religions including Buddhism may not be harmful in themselves, but they are a gateway drug.

I don't reject religion because it causes wars and terrorism, though these are worthwhile reasons. I reject religion because all forms of faith are a detriment to scientific reasoning and critical thinking.

So while you may keep using the No True Scotsman defense, claiming that not all religions are bad, you are missing the point. Any surrendering of ones intellect is inherently dangerous, whether or not it leads to genocide.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:25:00 UTC | #214883

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 22 by Steve Zara

Well said, "low dose" Gerin Oil or "moderate" religions including Buddhism may not be harmful in themselves, but they are a gateway drug.


I don't really agree. The real problem with religion is dogma and faith. There are types of Buddhism which encourage scepticism. I think that is healthy.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:37:00 UTC | #214885

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 23 by mordacious1

Wow, back in 2007, a thread could end with one post. How things have changed in a year.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:40:00 UTC | #214886

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 24 by mordacious1

twp

Get over here with your tire ir..er cricket bat.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:43:00 UTC | #214887

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 25 by Bonzai

dead

While science is of utmost importance for technological development, we still need thought development. We still need critical thinking.


If you think science is only the servant of technology and that somehow you don't need critical thinking to do science you clear have no clue what you are talking about,

On the other hand, I see very little thinking, critical or otherwise, emanating from those Pomo writers you seem to be so fond of. It is all unargued assertions mixed with incomprehensible psycho-babels dressed up in polysllable words, it is a collage of words and sound, it may be an interesring art form for the aficionados , but it has absolutely nothing to do with critical thinking.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 15:48:00 UTC | #214907

deadaluspark's Avatar Comment 26 by deadaluspark

"Foucault invented the concept of "power relations", which is after one wades through the verbosity, the idea that between and among people and all entities, there is a power continuum that varies with location, wealth, size, desire, and other factors. He discovered this sometime in his thirties (memory only here). Most people get it by the time they are six. Foucault had a nice vocabulary (and used it to befuddle instead of illuminate) but understood almost nothing. Perhaps that's why he died of aids after engaging in years of sadomasochist behavior."

While I am glad you are putting your opinion forward how you feel about Foucault, I think perhaps you could refrain from Ad Hominem attacks to prove your point.

Seriously: "Perhaps that's why he died of aids after engaging in years of sadomasochist behavior."

Do you not realize how close that kind of thinking is to many Christian viewpoints? Judging someone for what they did in their life, as though it is proof positive of how worthwhile/worthless their existence was.

Which brings back my points about the Englightenment. It was about realizing how Fascist we can all really be as individuals, without even realizing it. Writing an intellectual off like that just because you disagree with him is tantamount to how many Religious people write off the tenets of science.

I am merely stating that cannot let ourselves be corrupted by our own beliefs and ideologies to the point that our "non-belief" becomes so vehement that we wave our copies of "The God Delusion" in the air acting like its infallible, just like many religious people do with their Bibles/Korans/Bhagadavita/What-have-you.

Nothing is infallible, not science or human thought. We must be able to accept competing ideas for what they are. We don't have to agree with them, but calling names and acting like they are stupid for considering things in a different way is more than childish.

While you may disagree with my sources for disagreeing with Dawkins, please do not act as though their thought is foolish and useless lest you expect someone to do the same with your lifes worth.

Thanks for the consideration.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 15:51:00 UTC | #214908

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 27 by thewhitepearl

I just received a Bat Signal??

deadaluspark

[WHACKSMACK-WHOMP-BANG-CRUSH-WHACKSMACK-BOOSH-THUDTHUD-WHACK]

And THATS just from reading the first few sentences of your first post. When my headache goes away (really I do have one, hence the delay)I shall return to address what I am sure is the biggest plop of bullshit we've had in awhile.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 16:01:00 UTC | #214912

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 28 by Bonzai

dead

I am merely stating that cannot let ourselves be corrupted by our own beliefs and ideologies to the point that our "non-belief" becomes so vehement that we wave our copies of "The God Delusion" in the air acting like its infallible, just like many religious people do with their Bibles/Korans/Bhagadavita/What-have-you.


Who does?

I notice that you have conveniently ignored JHJEFFERY's more substantial points and focused instead on one throw away sentence about Foucault,--which by the way I do think it is in bad taste.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 16:04:00 UTC | #214914

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 29 by JHJEFFERY

"While I am glad you are putting your opinion forward how you feel about Foucault, I think perhaps you could refrain from Ad Hominem attacks to prove your point."

An ad hominem attack is one directed at the speaker--this was a sin I did not commit. I am sorry you did not understand the thrust of my comment. Foucault, and his brethren whom he often tried to deny, simply lacked connectivity to reality. Foucault spent his life searching for the same truth he wrote did not exist. His own life is a clear example of his inability to see life clearly. His writings, are, of course, another. After a master's level class on the subject, I realized there was a synonym for postmodernism--blather.

Your last sentence betrays your prediliction that all thoughts are equal--they are not. Anyone can criticize my thoughts at any time and I will listen--and I will critcize theirs (and yours), and this is how it should be--this is the free exchange of ideas that the postmodernists would shut down, prefering political correctness to truth (ask Larry Brown). You may do so if you wish (and you will be wrong) but I will not, so don't even ask.

Ciao

JHJ

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 16:05:00 UTC | #214915

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 30 by Bonzai

dead,

"But a philosopher who is caught equating the erectile organ to the square root of minus one has, for my money, blown his credentials when it comes to things that I don't know anything about."

That was you on Lacan. Sure sounds a lot like:

"I don't know about all this fancy science, but the Bible has all the answers I need, so I don't need to investigate this demonology further."


In order for the analogy to hold you need to show that there is indeed some similarities between "fancy science" and Lacan's writing. So without us making uneducated guesses and thus making fools of ourselves before sophisticated people maybe you can kindly explain to us what profound truth is revealed by equating the square root of -1 to an erected penis?

Thanks in advance.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 16:13:00 UTC | #214918