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Are You a Believer? Take The Dawkins Test. - Comments

mmurray's Avatar Comment 1 by mmurray

Albert Einstein: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." score: 4.0

Einstein said many things including:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.[8]

So first define the word God in this scale. If it is personal God then Einstein is a 7.

Michael

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 05:06:17 UTC | #933208

Mee Peestevone's Avatar Comment 2 by Mee Peestevone

Also, "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

Comment 1 by mmurray :

Albert Einstein: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." score: 4.0

Einstein said many things including:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.[8]

So first define the word God in this scale. If it is personal God then Einstein is a 7.

Michael

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 05:31:10 UTC | #933211

some asshole's Avatar Comment 3 by some asshole

Uh... How does editing the buy-bull preclude one from being an atheist? Isn't it well known that Jefferson simply and only appreciated the actual moral teachings of Jesus?

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 05:38:20 UTC | #933212

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 4 by Premiseless

It's a staggering arrogance to jump from, "That lady just founded a scientific discovery." to "Her benevolence towards humanity suggests we ought to insist everyone worship her with every waking breath, then hypothesize about everyone should live due our speculations about whether this might meet with her approval and furthermore how her rewards and thus ours for accepting her then entitles us to fantasize about everlasting life."

And so it goes with the Jesus problem. Thinking that may inspire a cure for societies sorrows is most certainly the reverse when it insists upon how to think and projects ritual speculations as undeniable truth.

The Jesus/Muhammad/et al poison is the point at which the human is claimed more than human. Mortality and equality, to each of who we each are, is paramount to the relevance of any worth each so called prophet has in relation to all of us. When you permit your mind to breach such a boundary you go to war with humanity. You immediately dispose millions as worthless and of inferior status.

In speaking for humanity:,

"You meet with my utter contempt for such a stance and I reserve every malice you point toward me in return. I am, without choosing, the mirror of all your hatreds, just because of how you have chosen to think! This is your poison."

Beware of belief for this is the evil it propagates.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 06:20:04 UTC | #933215

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 5 by Russell Blackford

Many of these out-of-context quotes don't prove much at all.

I agree with #1 above that Einstein definitely did not believe in a personal God. He was pretty vehement about it. Also, he meant something very different by that quote when you read it in context.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 06:40:21 UTC | #933217

TeraBrat's Avatar Comment 6 by TeraBrat

Can I say I'm a 4.5?

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 06:48:04 UTC | #933219

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 7 by strangebrew

A 6.99 recurring will do me!

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 07:35:08 UTC | #933224

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 8 by Chris Roberts

Pascal's Wager is a clever device to dispatch the debate about the existence of God, but gives little insight as to whether Pascal actually believes in God's plausibility.

It's only clever if you take it at face value, ie there can only be one god so there is no risk of choosing the wrong one. As many people have pointed out, this is a rather blinkered view and when looked at with an open mind, it isn't clever at all. It is fallacious and transparent, an ill-conceived attempt to apply sense to nonsense.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 08:24:02 UTC | #933229

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 9 by Alan4discussion

Comment 8 by Chris Roberts

It's only clever if you take it at face value, ie there can only be one god so there is no risk of choosing the wrong one. As many people have pointed out, this is a rather blinkered view and when looked at with an open mind, it isn't clever at all. It is fallacious and transparent, an ill-conceived attempt to apply sense to nonsense.

Pascal's Wager is indeed a rather blinkered view. You have nothing to lose except a worthwhile satisfying life studying & understanding reality!

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 08:48:51 UTC | #933231

G*O*D's Avatar Comment 10 by G*O*D

I was always puzzeled by Dawkins being less than 7, leaving the door open to an unlikely, but still possible scientific proof. Could someone enlighten me on how such proof might look like? What miracle should happen in front of us that we cannot blame on misfiring neurons or on all powerful aliens, that would shake a 7? Turning water into wine does not cut it.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:09:55 UTC | #933236

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 11 by AtheistEgbert

I don't believe in belief. Religion is about trusting authority in others, and has nothing to do with philosophical knowledge. So put me down as an 8, or a gnostic atheist. I know God does not exist.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:09:55 UTC | #933237

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 12 by hellosnackbar

Blaise Pascal was a very bright lad; but I suspect his wager was to secure his employment. H L Mencken is one of my favourite quotation sources. He said:Religion is an attempt by the rational to believe the impossible. He was much reviled by the Bible belt.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:10:21 UTC | #933238

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 13 by Schrodinger's Cat

Oh dear. Yet again we have this mis-representation of 'agnostic' as somehow equivalent to 'centerist' on the political scale. I'm always at a loss to understand how 'I don't know' gets translated into a half way position. The whole notion that one can 'half believe' something is precisely why agnosticism exists.....as a refutal of that notion. Agnosticism is a rejection of mere belief ( or disbelief ) as absurdly subjective. The universe is the way that it is......my belief is not going to affect it one iota. I want to know.

The absurdity is.....the only reason why arguments about the 'probability' of God exist is precisely because people don't know. So anything less than a 7 on the Dawkins scale is by definition an agnostic.

And no.....theists dont 'know' God exists. They merely pretend they do.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:21:47 UTC | #933243

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 14 by ZenDruid

Comment 11 by AtheistEgbert :

I don't believe in belief. Religion is about trusting authority in others, and has nothing to do with philosophical knowledge. So put me down as an 8, or a gnostic atheist. I know God does not exist.

You mean, you 'gno' God does not exist. [geeky Jung joke]

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:22:06 UTC | #933244

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 15 by Mr DArcy

GOD:

Could someone enlighten me on how such proof might look like? What miracle should happen in front of us that we cannot blame on misfiring neurons or on all powerful aliens, that would shake a 7?

Next week's football and racing results published in full, in the sky, and in all the world's media, at least 7 days in advance, might go some way to persuading me! Who was it said he respected the unknowable? Ah yes of course, Lord Bragg, on this very site! (In his rant about Richard about a month ago).

In the meantime I'll settle for 7. Unless of course God is nature. I do believe in nature!

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:28:30 UTC | #933246

mmurray's Avatar Comment 16 by mmurray

Comment 10 by GOD :

I was always puzzeled by Dawkins being less than 7, leaving the door open to an unlikely, but still possible scientific proof. Could someone enlighten me on how such proof might look like? What miracle should happen in front of us that we cannot blame on misfiring neurons or on all powerful aliens, that would shake a 7? Turning water into wine does not cut it.

I always thought 6.9 was chosen just to avoid having to deal with the table turning manoeuvre that says "OK you prove God doesn't exist". You want the emphasis on them to prove that their god exists.

Michael

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:28:38 UTC | #933247

mmurray's Avatar Comment 17 by mmurray

Comment 15 by Mr DArcy :

GOD:

Could someone enlighten me on how such proof might look like? What miracle should happen in front of us that we cannot blame on misfiring neurons or on all powerful aliens, that would shake a 7?

Next week's football and racing results published in full, in the sky, and in all the world's media, at least 7 days in advance, might go some way to persuading me!

Advanced alien technology. It's virtually impossible to rule it out.

Michael

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:38:43 UTC | #933248

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 18 by Mr DArcy

mmurray:

Advanced alien technology. It's virtually impossible to rule it out.

True, but if the aliens could predict the future then I would have to worship them, - just to get some good racing tips you see!

Instead of Little Green Men, they would have to be Little God Men!

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:51:09 UTC | #933254

bob_heaney's Avatar Comment 19 by bob_heaney

I like the idea that we are all atheists. I just believe in one god less than most.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 10:05:34 UTC | #933260

jel's Avatar Comment 20 by jel

First off, this deity has to be defined. What exactly is meant by the word "god"? If we are talking about the Abrahamic god, then I'm a 10, this creature, as envisioned by the faithful (of whatever stripe) most certainly does not exist.

If we are talking about any of the gods that the human race has invented over the years, then again, I'm a 10. Non of them existed.

Could their be some sort of deist "thing" outside of the universe, that has no interaction with the universe? By definition, this "thing" cannot be tested by anything in the universe so it is impossible to say either way. That would make me a 3.5 for this "thing". Do I think that this "thing" exists? No, I do not but because I cannot prove it one way or the other, I'm a 6.9 on this.

What evidence could change my opinion? Having been at the Dawkins/Grayling conversation in Oxford last year, I have to agree that there is nothing that would actually be good enough to prove to me that any god exists.

I live my life as a 7.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 10:07:30 UTC | #933261

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 21 by Stonyground

This article was a lot less interesting than I expected. You would need to know the people in question pretty well to be able to speculate what their beliefs are. The single quote given is quite obviously insufficient to justify the numbers given.

My position is pretty much identical to that described by jel in comment #20. Apart from the temporary deviation to 3.5 for the vaguely defined deist type god. I would go straight to 6.9 for the deist god but am a 7 for all the religious gods that are descibed in all their untenable details by the religions themselves.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 10:34:02 UTC | #933263

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 22 by drumdaddy

Rating myself as a 7 on this scale has nothing to do with the silly charge of claiming to know all. It's more akin to my 7 regarding the Easter Bunny.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 10:56:03 UTC | #933266

guwest's Avatar Comment 23 by guwest

atheists pwned by Bach. I'm listening to this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NevbNyAV4YA

does that mean I'm a fail?

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:05:59 UTC | #933268

StephenH's Avatar Comment 24 by StephenH

I was at the shoreline once at low tide, and decided to lay down a challenge for God

"if you can hear this, prevent the tide from coming in this afternoon"

The Moon's gravitational influence did it's usual daily thing, and the ocean gradually covered the shoreline

Perhaps he/she/it was busy answering other's people's prayers at the time shrug

I'm a 6.9 recurring

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:25:25 UTC | #933274

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 25 by Mr DArcy

Comment 23 by guwest

atheists pwned by Bach.

Bach was an atheist before he became a Christian!

Incidentally, Bach is No. 1 for me, - especially the religious music! B Minor Mass takes some beating IMO!

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:26:57 UTC | #933275

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 26 by Premiseless

Of course this whole topic gets people arguing over who has a foot on or off the yellow brick road, completely discounting the wide expanses beyond it as if trivial and of less consequence.

So long as they can get a note of "La" out of you they cheerfully go on "Lallalalalalalalallaallaallalalalllaallaallalalallaallaallalalaa..........." but turning BPD on you if you then care to debate the relevance of each yellow paving slab.

Yup, believers are largely "Lalla" people who just want you to shut the FU while they each do their own "Lalla" and suck on their dummy god.

Reason and debate are avoided like some evil that is likely to change the colour of their road.

In Paxmans recent "Empire" it was striking how rich British churchgoers, who were the height of respect amongst their nation, would own many slaves and in some carefully recorded cases string up a black female by her hands above her head to a tree and repeatedly gang rape her, inviting colleagues to somehow infect this heathen with believing semen. Paxman quotes one chap as having recorded over 2 thousand instances in which he performed this ritual. (funny how his series has only clips now available)

This is the kind of history that belief has lived with. This is the kind of unholy alliance belief has with religious doctrine. This is how belief justifies itself time and again throughout history.

Let's take a look at world religions today and run reason over their claims that god wants to arrange marriages or god wants to invade how children think and feel, even their genitals cut here and there, as if they are born evil and need to pretend they are something other than human unless they do as the higher up deluded leaders dictate.

This is preaching slavery.

Belief is out to rape your mind and it has a long history of success only too vivid the world over this very day.

In my view belief is not a debate about whether world religions are valid. That argument is already won. Religious institutions are invalid as far as belief is concerned. They are charlatan and devoid of sensible plausible foundation. The real task is whether belief is valid, in relying upon something we have not yet come across or have hardly touched on.

What we have that represents belief is clearly putrid and a poison to reason and everything of value as relevant to a unified framework for the whole of humanity.

How to escape the clutches of the current poisons of world religions and their political agendas is as much the real debate about what belief even is, rather than what it is about per se - which usually dominates all discourse and goes BPD on any conversation.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:31:31 UTC | #933277

taxi_driver's Avatar Comment 27 by taxi_driver

Are members of this forum allowed to believe in the plausibility of a God hypothesis? And where on this 1 to 7 scale would such a belief sit?

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:32:58 UTC | #933278

Cestriana's Avatar Comment 28 by Cestriana

I'm at 7. No point in shillyshallying about.

(Mr DArcy: oh yes, Bach is unbeatable. I hope Handel's 'Dixit Dominus' also does it for you, though.)

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:53:30 UTC | #933279

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 29 by Premiseless

Comment 27 by taxi_driver :

Are members of this forum allowed to believe in the plausibility of a God hypothesis? And where on this 1 to 7 scale would such a belief sit?

Excellent question:

As soon as you God hypothesize you are behooved to reason it out in respect to everyones position in relation to the one you insist upon. Such is community belief rather than individual belief (which may be nearer any truth belief deserves to be respected for indulging in - just so long as it doesn't come up with a notion that it can go rape your women/children - any unkindness fro that matter).

We are talking community belief more often than we realise it and it is this which poses a massive problem. There is no universal sustainable belief that I ever heard that can then insist we all reason as if it were a universal truth. It is no longer a belief as soon as it takes such a stance. It is a statement of dominance and control. This is how belief sneaks in as badly defined - probably a different mutated definition in the minds of almost everyone thinking out whatever arguments they are having with each other.

If you believe in the plausibility of a god hypothesis, you are, if you are still in possession of your thinking faculties and not already a slave to another's mind, bound over to explore the validity and rational relevance of such thoughts you may have, to enquiry and critique of whether it in any way can be said to hold any truth or even a smidgen of being taken seriously. And this is before we ever approach the terrain as to what such a God hypothesis might wish to impose on all humanity. In fact I would say belief does not include such a stage. Belief would be more about a sense of how we behave towards one another in a shared and common goal to live equitably. This would be a sense of belief rather than a belief per se - that some fundamental and universal consciousness might wish this of us.

Religion as it stands is none of those things. It is an arcane bully that has survived most usually through killing off opposition to its demands down the ages and thus provided a bullies haven for those wanting to shower themselves in tribal fantasy.

This is the position I find humanity is in - the wrestling with a definition over what this word "belief" means in relation to ALL humanity rather than the inherited one of a tribal-centric set of dogmas it feels itself servile to keep replicating due the mummy and daddy and grandpa/ma and our dead leaders and soldiers having pitched their loyalties there.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:59:31 UTC | #933280

some asshole's Avatar Comment 30 by some asshole

FYI to the "6.9 recurring" crowd: 0.9 recirring equals 1, so 6.9 recurring equals 7. Just sayin'.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 12:08:02 UTC | #933281