This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← The empty myths peddled by evangelists of unbelief

The empty myths peddled by evangelists of unbelief - Comments

toddaa's Avatar Comment 1 by toddaa

How stupid is it? You can actually smell the stupid.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:38:00 UTC | #92589

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 2 by sidfaiwu

The idea of progress in society - of humanity advancing throughout history to higher levels of life - was unknown. This idea of progress is a post-Christian myth.


How can any cosmology that begins with Eden and ends with Armageddon be considered progressive?

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:39:00 UTC | #92590

SomeDanGuy's Avatar Comment 3 by SomeDanGuy

I have to wonder if posting and reading the constant stream of inanity and illogical 'arguments' from various religion-supporters is going to cause long-term damage to our brains.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:41:00 UTC | #92591

Arcturus's Avatar Comment 4 by Arcturus

"The chief difference is in the quality of the myths. Though they are not true or false in the way scientific theories are true or false, myths can be more or less truthful in reflecting the human situation. In this sense the Genesis story is a truthful myth. It tells us that knowledge need not give humanity life or freedom; it may only bring slavery and death. There is no prospect of a return to innocence - once the apple has been eaten from the tree of knowledge there is no going back. Modern secular thought contains nothing as profound as this ancient biblical story."

HAHAHAHA REALLY FUNNY!

Just read "His Dark Materials", the story is much better than the Bible :))

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:42:00 UTC | #92592

JFHalsey's Avatar Comment 6 by JFHalsey

I can't even read articles like this any more.

It's like when I try to tell my 2-yr old daughter, "No, you can't wear a skirt outside, it's too cold," and she just shakes her head vigorously and says, "No it isn't!" over and over again. I give up!

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:44:00 UTC | #92595

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 5 by Cook@Tahiti

We can see a taxonomy of these standard responses from so-called "intellectuals" - very predictable, superficial and misinformed. Dawkins has addressed the first wave of responses in the prelude to the paperback edition of The God Delusion.

Perhaps it's just newspaper editors trying to generate debate by being "balanced" and giving these articles exposure that they normally wouldn't deserve.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:44:00 UTC | #92594

jakelovatto's Avatar Comment 7 by jakelovatto

Dawkins deals with this in the endnotes to the Selfish Gene.

If anyone wants to read the quote, its the end paragraph to chapter 11- Memes: the new replicators.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:49:00 UTC | #92596

crazy4blues's Avatar Comment 8 by crazy4blues

This guy makes D'Souza sound positively professorial! Seriously, this is like a really bad freshman essay that assistants have to suffer trough while doing Eng 101. Frankly, I'd have more respect for a top-shelf Liberty U. student than this simpleton!

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:50:00 UTC | #92597

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 9 by Quetzalcoatl

But there is far more to religion than belief


Say what?

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:51:00 UTC | #92598

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 10 by Cook@Tahiti

"While theologians have interrogated their beliefs for millennia, secular humanists have yet to question their simple creed. Evangelical atheism is the mirror image of the faith it attacks - without that faith's redeeming doubts."

An amazing display of cognitive gymnastics! Up is down, left is right, black is white.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:52:00 UTC | #92599

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 11 by phasmagigas

anybody want to join me in deepest peru to convert a few natives to atheism??

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:54:00 UTC | #92603

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 12 by Don_Quix

As a sceptic
(spoken in Church Lady voice)

A skeptic of what I wonder? ...hmmmmm.....

Could it be...

EVOLUTION!

While theologians have interrogated their beliefs for millennia, secular humanists have yet to question their simple creed. Evangelical atheism is the mirror image of the faith it attacks - without that faith's redeeming doubts.
Again, always equating atheism with secular humanism. I guess going by his logic that makes Stalin a secular humanist.

Does. Not. Follow.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:55:00 UTC | #92604

Arcturus's Avatar Comment 14 by Arcturus

He should watch the talks from "Beyond Belief 2", they talk a lot about these issues.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:56:00 UTC | #92606

jeepyjay's Avatar Comment 13 by jeepyjay

One searches in vain in the company of militant unbelievers for signs of the creative doubt that has energised many religious thinkers. While theologians have interrogated their beliefs for millennia, secular humanists have yet to question their simple creed. Evangelical atheism is the mirror image of the faith it attacks - without that faith's redeeming doubts.


On the contrary "creative doubt" could be one way of describing scientific method, which is the basis for secular humanism.

To describe secular humanism as some sort of blind faith in progress is just a straw man. No humanists I know believe in the inevitability of progress:- who could after the history of the 20th century.

These and other familiar evils can never be finally overcome. Continually reappearing under different labels, they have to be fought in every generation.


Secular humanists are only too well aware of this. The old gains have to be continually struggled for. It's a form of entropy:- without continual action of reasonable men and women, unreason and disorder will return supreme.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:56:00 UTC | #92605

drl2's Avatar Comment 16 by drl2

"In this sense the Genesis story is a truthful myth. It tells us that knowledge need not give humanity life or freedom; it may only bring slavery and death. There is no prospect of a return to innocence - once the apple has been eaten from the tree of knowledge there is no going back."

What I get from the Genesis story is "Knowledge and reason = bad. Stay stupid."

"Modern secular thought contains nothing as profound as this ancient biblical story."

If by "profound" you mean condescending, irrational, inconsistent, and often just plain malignant, then I'm in full agreement. I can think of nothing in secular thought that comes close to for that kind of inspiration.

For real profundity, a glance up at the sky on a clear night, coupled with a layman's understanding of the sheer size and scope and awe and mystery of what's out there, is an experience that would only be cheapened by slapping on a "GOD DID IT" sticker.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:59:00 UTC | #92608

BMMcArdle's Avatar Comment 15 by BMMcArdle

I didn't tell a lie, I told a 'truthful myth'!

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 10:59:00 UTC | #92607

notsobad's Avatar Comment 17 by notsobad

"militant unbelievers"

And what about the militant moustache-weavers?

From where does Dawkins derive this faith in human freedom? Not from science. It comes from Christianity, which has always held that humans are different from all other animals in possessing free will.

What's next? Are they gonna tell us Jesus invented democracy? Or that Greeks were Christians?

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:06:00 UTC | #92613

Theocrapcy's Avatar Comment 18 by Theocrapcy

Wow, can you distill so much crap into one short anti-atheist rant? Did he miss anything?

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:06:00 UTC | #92614

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 19 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Err... well... it is certainly true that there is more to "religion" than belief... Any atheist who denies that is lying to themselves... or is just an idiot...

One of the reasons religions are so pervasive is that they encompass culture and nationalism and law AS WELL AS resting on a foundation of supernaturalism.

But that foundation is not the religion itself, that foundation is God-belief (or theism).

We atheists need to quit making the same error the religious are making.

When we criticize RELIGION, we need to focus only on religion. When we criticize god-belief/theism, we can safely ignore religion and abstract away from it.

They are two separate issues.

Other than that though, this article is quite stupid.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:08:00 UTC | #92616

Rational Thinking's Avatar Comment 21 by Rational Thinking

Has he actually read the Selfish Gene? If he has read it, I have my doubts about whether he understood it.

The article is just plain dreadful. Then again, having glanced at the synopsis of the book he has written, that sounds dreadful too. Methinks a mutant flea arises ...

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:10:00 UTC | #92619

Theocrapcy's Avatar Comment 20 by Theocrapcy

"A new breed of missionaries is trying to convert the world. Evangelists of unbelief..."

See what I mean, they always wheel out the "you're just as bad as us, so there" argument. Every single time.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:10:00 UTC | #92618

Quine's Avatar Comment 22 by Quine

Truthiness in Genesis, isn't that Steven Colbert's territory?

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:19:00 UTC | #92623

PJG's Avatar Comment 23 by PJG

dr12

What I get from the Genesis story is "Knowledge and reason = bad. Stay stupid."


What I get from Genesis (apart from a good laugh) is that, by his own admission, God is a liar... so why would anyone:
a) believe a word he says?
b) take moral guidance from him?
c) worship him?

God told Adam that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, he (Adam) would die (on that day). The serpent told Eve that this was not true. Eve believed the serpent and ate, and gave some to Adam, and they didn't die but, as the (honest) serpent had told them, they gained knowledge of good and evil.

Then God punishes them (basically because he got found out!) The serpent was also punished, presumably for ratting on God the Liar.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:23:00 UTC | #92625

HumanisticJones's Avatar Comment 24 by HumanisticJones

In his book The Selfish Gene, Dawkins argues passionately for the Darwinian view that the human species is a product of natural selection: humans are "gene machines" programmed by evolution to replicate themselves. Yet in the same book he declares: "We, alone on Earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators." From where does Dawkins derive this faith in human freedom?


I'd have to say observational evidence. Behold my central heating and air and constructed shelter removing the need for me to be selected for or against based on my ability to adapt to the heat and cold. Marvel upon out contraceptive devices that allow humans to enjoy sexual intercourse with no reproduction or swapping of genetic material. Stand in awe of hair dyes, colored contacts, botox, face lifts, plastic surgery and cosmetic devices that allow us to alter our phenotype to ones more visually appealing than our own.

It's nothing to do with some intrinsic privilege that we can do it, its that our evolutionary branch happened to angle towards tool building, society constructing, language development, and environment tuning. No longer do our genes have to tune us to the environment, we now tune the environment to our genes. When another species on the planet demonstrates a persistent ability to do the same, I'm certain that Prof. Dawkins would revise that line to read "Only two rare specimens, humans and *species here*, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators." After all, scientist gladly correct old mistakes, unlike religion that would have us believe that people 2000 years ago never got anything wrong about human nature and how the universe works.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:25:00 UTC | #92626

JemyM's Avatar Comment 26 by JemyM

"Let's keep this bad ideology because other bad ideologies which we have already abolished were just as bad".

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:28:00 UTC | #92628

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 25 by sidfaiwu

Hello HumanisticJones! I haven't seen you around in quite a while. Great comment, by the way.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:28:00 UTC | #92627

JackR's Avatar Comment 27 by JackR

From where does Dawkins derive this faith in human freedom? Not from science. It comes from Christianity, which has always held that humans are different from all other animals in possessing free will.

Okay, that's a whole new level of stupid. That's double-concentrated stupid to the power of ten.That's a level of stupid several kilometres below whale shit.

This... utter IMBECILE... seriously thinks that:

a) Humans are the only animals that possess free will?
b) Christianity is the only belief or philosophy that accepts free will?

Dawkins derives his "faith" in human freedom the same place most of us do: simple observation of how humans actually behave.

This writer displays a level of unintelligence which leaves me gasping for air.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:34:00 UTC | #92629

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 28 by Gymnopedie

Hilarious. Sad.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:43:00 UTC | #92631

BicycleRepairMan's Avatar Comment 29 by BicycleRepairMan

Looks like we are back to square one again, Dawkins does something public (an interview on Have Your Say) and the same nonsense comes back once again, "Hitler/Stalin/Mao", this time from a Fox news house-priest, and now "Atheism is also a religion" from this nutter.

Seriously folks, you just HAVE to do better than this. Please, for the love of Goodness, atleast TRY to come up with a good argument in support of Gods existence, just one. Infact, forget "good" , just an argument.

This is just getting boring.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 11:56:00 UTC | #92639

3legcat's Avatar Comment 30 by 3legcat

i just scan for stalin now

crimini

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 12:00:00 UTC | #92641