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Richard Dawkins branded 'secularist bigot' by veteran philosopher - Comments

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 1 by Laurie Fraser

"Flew has now apparently lost the ability to read a book, too..."

Nice one, Richard. you really know how to hurt a bloke ; )

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 21:54:00 UTC | #211666

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 2 by mordacious1

Sad, just very sad. Oh well, if we all live long enough, we will go senile too.

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 21:57:00 UTC | #211668

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 3 by Laurie Fraser

I already am, Mord - been trying to set up a voip phone all day, without success. It's driven me around the bend. I've had to resort to strong drink!

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:01:00 UTC | #211669

Goldy's Avatar Comment 4 by Goldy

Mord

Sad, just very sad. Oh well, if we all live long enough, we will go senile too.

Not me!
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole is maintained or even improved by the regular culling of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can operate only as fast as the slowest brain cells through which the electrical signals pass. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that while excessive intake of alcohol kills off brain cells, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.

Thus, regular consumption of beer, wine etc., helps eliminate the weaker cells, constantly making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. The result of this in-depth study verifies and validates the causal link between all-weekend parties and job related performance. It also explains why, after a few short years of leaving a university and getting married, most professionals cannot keep up with the performance of the new graduates. Only those few that stick to the strict regimen of voracious alcoholic consumption can maintain the intellectual levels that they achieve during their college years.

http://www.joedigi.com/alcohol/buffalo.htm
I am trying this theory out using Monteith's Winter Ale - a dopplebock of about 6%. Very tasty!

Laurie, you can see I have taken your advice :-)

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:06:00 UTC | #211673

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

Goldy

I killed off the weak ones a long time ago. Now I'm working on the few that are left.

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:08:00 UTC | #211674

flobear's Avatar Comment 6 by flobear

The whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not... an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt ... to spread the author's own convictions in this area.


This doesn't even make sense. Doesn't this apply to um... every single non-fiction book ever? How can anyone write something besides their own convictions?

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:11:00 UTC | #211677

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 7 by Laurie Fraser

Goldy - this is a brilliant thesis! I'm currently helping the cull by sipping on a particularly nice Belgian drop, whose name I can't remember, as it's been at least three minutes since I poured it.


Edit: But - I can remember it's only an hour to the Bledisloe.

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:13:00 UTC | #211679

Goldy's Avatar Comment 8 by Goldy

Ah, yes - this will be a match. Best get daughter and wife to bed early then. I will, of course, have to wait until the hoi polloi channel plays the game - saving money for beer so no Rugby Channel.
Might pop one of my honey wheat beers in the fridge for that. Only thing is that brew makes me fart like an Arab...wife might not be too appreciative...

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:17:00 UTC | #211681

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 9 by Laurie Fraser

What time's it over there? About 7:15?

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:19:00 UTC | #211683

Christopher Davis's Avatar Comment 10 by Christopher Davis

Goldy,

Well that explains it! Here I thought I was getting dumber because I'm trapped in a Muslim country with little connection to the outside world and surrounded by a bunch of ill-informed Christians to boot, but it's actually because I haven't had a Guinness in over 6 months.

Bravo man! Publish immediately!

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:31:00 UTC | #211687

Goldy's Avatar Comment 11 by Goldy

Laurie, it's 6:30. Soon having dinner - Wiener schnitzle. One good thing about taking my wife off to Europe for a holiday is that she can combine her love of cooking with Austrian cuisine which she really liked.
I am a very lucky man!

Chris
I can't - it is all down to Cliff in Cheers :-)
As for being trapped in a Muslim coutry - methinks it is more a case of being in a failed Muslim state. Beer is available in Malaysia (where my parents are living), along with cheap cheap cheap food and, the main reason for their move, no income tax (don't tell Fanusi - he'll be screaming about jizya and all that sort of shit!).

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:36:00 UTC | #211688

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 12 by Laurie Fraser

"don't tell Fanusi - he'll be screaming about jizya and all that sort of shit"


Hahahahaha

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:42:00 UTC | #211689

Dreadneck's Avatar Comment 13 by Dreadneck

I find this hilarious. Richard Dawkins is being taken to task because he has made a successful attempt at spreading his conviction that belief in a deity is delusional?

Once again we see the truth about religion. It has no qualms with proselytizing the masses, but woe to anyone who attempts to spread the truth about religious bunkum.

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:55:00 UTC | #211691

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 14 by Lisa Bauer

A "secularist bigot"? Isn't Flew confusing "secularist" with "atheist"? I thought "secularism" referred to the idea that church/religion and state should be separate -- it is possible to be both a believer and a secularist. I believe "atheist" is the word he's looking for...I think. (I don't know what he's thinking, or if he's doing much thinking at all these days, poor man!)

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:17:00 UTC | #211694

Elles's Avatar Comment 15 by Elles

"He is accused by Prof Antony Flew of being more interested in promoting his personal views than finding the truth, in the latest controversy over his best-selling book The God Delusion."

Now I seem to recall Dawkins saying something in The Blind Watchmaker... what was it again? Ooh... I think it went something along the lines of... "I am very passionate about what is true"?

But Antony Flew has got to be right, right? Therefore, Richard Dawkins, you are a lying arse!

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:23:00 UTC | #211695

Pony's Avatar Comment 16 by Pony

Goldy wrote:

"Thus, regular consumption of beer, wine etc., helps eliminate the weaker cells, constantly making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. The result of this in-depth study verifies and validates the causal link between all-weekend parties and job related performance. It also explains why, after a few short years of leaving a university and getting married, most professionals cannot keep up with the performance of the new graduates. Only those few that stick to the strict regimen of voracious alcoholic consumption can maintain the intellectual levels that they achieve during their college years."

Does this explain Christopher Hitchens?

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:30:00 UTC | #211697

Lev-CapeTown's Avatar Comment 17 by Lev-CapeTown

before he became convinced of the existence of a "divine intelligence" in 2004.


Prof Flew, now 85,

So glad the divine decided to reveal himself to you eventually. Any chance it has something to do with you being close to pegging it and that you are so spineless that you have to cover all your options.

I know I won't forget the evidence when I'm that age. If I have cancer, I don't want the doc to say its a common cold...

Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:49:00 UTC | #211702

Shane McKee's Avatar Comment 18 by Shane McKee

One Flew, over the cuckoo's nest.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 00:27:00 UTC | #211708

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 19 by Oystein Elgaroy

Thus, regular consumption of beer, wine etc., helps eliminate the weaker cells

In my case they are not eliminated, just transported to my belly.

I really don't understand Flew's obsession with Einstein. But I do feel sorry for him.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 00:47:00 UTC | #211712

Mike O'Risal's Avatar Comment 20 by Mike O'Risal

Shane McKee wins the internet!

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 01:16:00 UTC | #211717

stevencarrwork's Avatar Comment 21 by stevencarrwork

Here is what Dawkins writes on page 18 of The God Delusion

'A theist believes in a supernatural intelligence who in addition to his main work of creating the universe in the first place, is still around to oversee and and influence the subsequent fate of his initial creation... A deist too believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one whose activities were confined to setting up the laws that govern the universe in the first place.

The deist God never intervenes thereafter, and certainly has no specific interest in human affairs.'

Here is what Flew writes in his review :-

'A less important point which needs to be made in this piece is that although the index of The God Delusion notes six references to Deism it provides no definition of the word 'deism.'

The book that Roy Varghese wrote for Flew contains no definition of the word 'deism' and how it differs from theism.

Flew seems to have forgotten what is in his 'own' book...

He certainly has no idea what is in The God Delusion.

And it is very ironic that Flew attacks Dawkins for faults which are in Flew's book, not Dawkins.


That does not stop Flew rambling on about Gilbert Ryle, in paragraphs which have nothing to do with deism, The God Delusion or anything at all that is relevant to whether or not Flew's God of not-Christianity exists.


Incidentally, Flew charges Dawkins with not talking about Einstein's 'integrated complexity', when Einstein himself never talked about 'integrated complexity'.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 01:23:00 UTC | #211720

Raiko's Avatar Comment 22 by Raiko

..."scandalously" selected particular quotes from Einstein to back up his claims that God does not exist


He really has lost the ability to read a book.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 01:57:00 UTC | #211725

GBile's Avatar Comment 23 by GBile

Shaka,

Antony Flew is simply old and scared of dieing. He's reached the age were the fear of no afterlife has scared the crap out of him.


This surely must be a joke.

Mr. Flew maybe 'old', but I see no evidence that he is scared. His mental faculties may be doubtful, but beyond that we can draw no conclusions.
The second part of your quote above puzzles me. Are you suggesting that above a certain 'age' we are going to realize that there is 'no afterlife' and that we will get the 'crap' scared out of us because of that?

What age will that be? Can you be more specific?

Mr. Flew is certainly no 'joke'. Very few humans are. Religious people who think they can get away with exploiting others, may fall in said category though.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 02:46:00 UTC | #211733

black wolf's Avatar Comment 24 by black wolf

How can one define 'secularist bigot'?
A secularist is someone who advocates church/state separation with the strong conviction that the separation should not be softened or ignored for specific cases.
A secularist bigot would declare secularism immune from criticism.
Richard Dawkins is clearly not the latter, he does dicuss arguments, and allows completely free discussions on his own internet page. He's just not convinced by flowery language aimed at ceding privileges to religious ideals. Anything of that sort would be allowing stealthy theocratization of the state.
Flew seems to have lost the ability to discern the difference between secularism and extreme laicism or enforced atheism, or the ability to understand simple arguments (assuming he had read them which he obviously didn't). This would be a failing ground even for a beginning student.
Sad.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 02:48:00 UTC | #211735

Anna Lane's Avatar Comment 25 by Anna Lane

Pretty sad realy, sounds like a case of the 'green eyed monster'. A last ditch attempt at getting noticed!

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 03:12:00 UTC | #211743

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 26 by Friend Giskard

Prof Flew...was known as "the world's most notorious atheist"...

...by the five people who had heard of him.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 03:26:00 UTC | #211748

notsobad's Avatar Comment 27 by notsobad

Prof Dawkins, professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, is also said to have "scandalously" selected particular quotes from Einstein to back up his claims that God does not exist.

Actually, Dawkins said that Einstein's personal views on the existence of gods are irrelevant to the truth. But Dawkins talked about him to tackle a popular myth among theists that Einstein believed in a (personal) god, which is actually used by theists as evidence for the existence of the divine.

Shane McKee:
One Flew over the cuckoo's nest

exactly :)

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 03:37:00 UTC | #211751

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 28 by phasmagigas

Prof Dawkins, professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, is also said to have "scandalously" selected particular quotes from Einstein to back up his claims that God does not exist and that people who believe in a divine creator despite an abundance of contradictory evidence are delusional.


if i rememeber dawkins talks about einsteins lack of belief, he doesnt use that to back up his non belief, 'einstein doesnt and so dont i', hmmm im not sure thats how it went.

the last bit doesnt need commenting on though.

and as for the motive behind writing TGD, well as nothing can prove/disprove deities as RD knows its more to do with exposing religion as something not actually required and hopefully making some people realise that condom use for eg, will NOT send you to hell, its about making people realise that you dont actually have to live in fear of customs forced upon them by evil old men.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 03:41:00 UTC | #211756

King of NH's Avatar Comment 29 by King of NH

Prof Flew, a former Reading University philosophy professor, was known as "the world's most notorious atheist" before he became convinced of the existence of a "divine intelligence" in 2004 (which would be at the age of 81)


And my grandmother became convinced of little green men nibbling on her toes in 2002. I don't think this has any bearing on the actual existence of little green men.

And why, oh why, do these idiots insist that we be thoroughly learned about their "emperor's linen" before we can judge if it's there? I can easily make the assumption there is no god without your whiny complaint that I didn't know your god told the soldiers to bury their shit so he wouldn't step in it (Deut.). Prof. Flew is a babbling idiot, not a philosopher, if he never had the brain cells to think that one through.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 03:45:00 UTC | #211757

urn's Avatar Comment 30 by urn

Shane McKee:
One Flew, over the cuckoo's nest.


One Flew into the cuckoo's nest, sounds more appropriate to me.

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 03:47:00 UTC | #211758