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

← Interview with Dan Dennett

Interview with Dan Dennett - Comments

transylvanian's Avatar Comment 1 by transylvanian

"A man who has had to "forgive" his friends for praying for him during a life-threatening heart illness..." That's a little extreme, eh?

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 08:35:00 UTC | #159397

Angels On a Pin Head's Avatar Comment 2 by Angels On a Pin Head

If anyone would like to convert this to an mp3...

You can download the MP3 podcast version from the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/stw/

(Probably available until next Monday)

[Edit: the article has now been updated with this MP3]

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 08:37:00 UTC | #159400

maton100's Avatar Comment 3 by maton100

Tell it like it is Dan!

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 08:40:00 UTC | #159404

Corylus's Avatar Comment 4 by Corylus

Translyvanian

That's a bit extreme, eh?

Bit out of context would be a better way of putting it :-)

Why not check out the statement he released after having his heart op?

http://richarddawkins.net/article,280,THANK-GOODNESS,Daniel-C-Dennett--Edgeorg

It is a great piece of writing.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 08:44:00 UTC | #159409

JemyM's Avatar Comment 5 by JemyM

Daniel Dennett is my greatest hero. Sorry Richard.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 09:39:00 UTC | #159465

EeekiE's Avatar Comment 6 by EeekiE

Why the 'Sorry Richard' JemyM?

I don't think Richard comes here for an ego boost hehe. Besides I think he'd probably agree with you. Richard has said before he really looks up to Dan.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 09:58:00 UTC | #159481

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 7 by Matt H.

Richard has described Dan as his 'intellectual hero' (AAI 2007) and they are good friends, so I don't think he'll mind.

Dan is a very funny, very warm, very intelligent larger-than-life character and I always enjoy hearing him speak.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 10:03:00 UTC | #159485

RSP's Avatar Comment 8 by RSP

The bit before he interviews Dennett is insufferable.

Also, wtf is that weird feminine squeek noise at 18:49 and 18:56?

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 10:09:00 UTC | #159493

black wolf's Avatar Comment 9 by black wolf

I wouldn't even mind if Richard took in a dose of ego-boost from here once in a while. After all, we're only human, and we can only take so much nonsense at a time without losing it. Reading or hearing some supportive words once in a while is very important if we don't feel like becoming nihilistic or misanthropic in face of all the child-molesting, witch-hunting, suicide bombing, physician threatening, education demolishing insanity going on around all of us.
Besides, there are many experts in many fields of natural science, social science, engineering, mathematics, medicine, philosophy and economics active around here, who can and do provide a lot of material, evidence and reasonable thinking for Prof. Dawkins to put to good use. Which he occasionally does to enrich his lectures.
I think it is very telling that so many different intelligent people think that these issues are very important to discuss, as it highlights the fact that humanity can no longer afford to give unquestionable ideology a free pass. The idea that this criticism must include religion isn't new, but it has only gained significant acceptance and vigor during the most recent decades of our species' existance. It is dawning in the minds of the armchair ivory tower theologians that unrestricted critical thinking and free speech can no longer be shrugged off with ridicule or persecution, two modes of handling it they had gotten well accustomed to over millenia. The fact that the rate of growth in the number of people who leave religion altogether per annuam has reached double figures even in the US is provoking, and the reactions are as manifold as they are accelerating, from 'flea' books to the Pope shaking hands with the Mullahs to 'vanquish' atheism.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 10:25:00 UTC | #159512

MaxD's Avatar Comment 10 by MaxD

And lest we forget, Dan Dennett is quite the pimp!

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 10:31:00 UTC | #159516

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 11 by Border Collie

I didn't catch who said it ... But we're still in the old "separate from nature" argument and we're not "connected to the universe" like other earthly beings? WHAT?! Hey, read a six grade science book.

"It's not bleak, it's breathtaking!" Damn if it ain't! (That's a Texas saying.) Thanks, Dr. Dan!!!

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 10:36:00 UTC | #159520

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 12 by phil rimmer

The bit before he interviews Dennett is insufferable.


Which bit? Why?

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 11:06:00 UTC | #159547

bertin.ouellet's Avatar Comment 13 by bertin.ouellet

Your the best Dan!

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 11:45:00 UTC | #159602

rchoquette's Avatar Comment 14 by rchoquette

Damn good work!

I always learn so much from Professor Dennett; we all learn from him, incredibly so!

He is working so hard to contribute to the advancement of our species.

The great collective of those to whom he imparts this valuable perspective, us, and others, will most certainly have a profound impact in the long term.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:10:00 UTC | #159632

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 15 by Matt H.

The bit before he interviews Dennett is insufferable.


Which bit? Why?


I think he means the guy who said our minds aren't just in our brains, but in our entire body... something I disagree with.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:16:00 UTC | #159641

MorituriMax's Avatar Comment 16 by MorituriMax

Why is the beginning part even in this supposed "interview with dan dennet"? Couldn't whoever posted this say where we can click in the timeline to skip the opening boring discussion?

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:30:00 UTC | #159670

chuckg's Avatar Comment 17 by chuckg

One of my favorite concepts that i believe we can attribute a great deal to Dan, that many who profess to believing in god actually believe in believing in god. They feel that it is good for society and their friends, and they go through the motions, but deep in their hearts, they doubt, sometimes to the degree that they have no real faith at all, ergo Mother Teresa, Ted Haggart, etc. This kind of thought process must be very common in amoungst the very pious, and thus makes them particularly dangerous.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:36:00 UTC | #159680

DarrenGriz's Avatar Comment 18 by DarrenGriz

I beg forgiveness for this rant in this thread: the quote came up and I reacted to it out of the context. So, with apologies...

"If god is dead, then everything is permitted"

Is anyone else as fed up as I am with hearing this quotation? It is the lowest sort of scaremongering argument because if you take its point, the truth of existence/non-existence is irrelevant. Please point out this hypocrisy to any Christian who dares bring it up.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:42:00 UTC | #159694

Angels On a Pin Head's Avatar Comment 19 by Angels On a Pin Head

If god is dead, then everything is permitted

Whether gods exist or not, they are used by believers to justify everything.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:54:00 UTC | #159707

Sam Slater's Avatar Comment 20 by Sam Slater

Why is the beginning part even in this supposed "interview with dan dennet"?


To be fair, the BBC didn't advertise this podcast as 'an interview with Dan Dennett'. If the title seems misinforming, that is the fault of the guy who put up this page.

It's a weekly podcast called 'Start of the Week' where they always interview 3-4 people over 40 mins.

"If god is dead, then everything is permitted"

Is anyone else as fed up as I am with hearing this quotation?


Yes, but the interviewer was just playing the devil's advocate. It wouldn't be a very good interview otherwise.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 14:13:00 UTC | #159767

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 21 by SilentMike

Just wondering. Will an audio/video version of that debate with Robert Winston we keep hearing about be made available any time soon? I really like the way Dennett very politely pulverizes his opponent in debates.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:00:00 UTC | #159778

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 22 by Matt H.

Just wondering. Will an audio/video version of that debate with Robert Winston we keep hearing about be made available any time soon? I really like the way Dennett very politely pulverizes his opponent in debates.


True, but often that gives his opponents an advantage. Sometimes a Hitchens approach is best. Remember the 'debate' between Dan Dennett and Dinesh D'Souza? D'Souza literally screamed his way through, all the way. Mind you, Robert Winston isn't a little prick like D'Souza, so maybe it went ok.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:03:00 UTC | #159780

DavidJGrossman's Avatar Comment 23 by DavidJGrossman

""A man who has had to "forgive" his friends for praying for him during a life-threatening heart illness..."

That's a little extreme, eh?"

Not really. What if they were praying to the wrong god?

- Dave

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:08:00 UTC | #159782

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 24 by phil rimmer

I think he means the guy who said our minds aren't just in our brains, but in our entire body... something I disagree with.


You need to read a little Antonio Domasio. Interestingly Dennet wasn't averse to THOSE ideas.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 16:03:00 UTC | #159801

ofir's Avatar Comment 25 by ofir

And why do they insist on the one God theory which they automatically assume is superior to the multi-god theory.

After all one god is just one of infinite possibilities.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 16:35:00 UTC | #159814

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 26 by dragonfirematrix

God is not dead...

...because God (any version of it) never existed. Therefore, one who never existed can never be dead.

That is why everything is permitted.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 18:26:00 UTC | #159859

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 27 by Frankus1122

Dan is a very funny, very warm, very intelligent larger-than-life character


...and he looks like Santa Claus too.
How can you not like the guy?

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 19:25:00 UTC | #159886

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 28 by robotaholic

i like the quote "the mind is what the brain does" - incidentally right now - Miscavage's own daughters are defecting from the church of scientology- it's on nightline-
mabye it's too soon to tell but it sounds like the whole thing is impoloding (hopefully) and mabye anonymous is having something to do with it- what do you think?

Edit - it was his niece not daughter- oh well

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 19:56:00 UTC | #159892

Quine's Avatar Comment 29 by Quine

I think the part about Sartre's spots was more than I needed to know.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 20:25:00 UTC | #159896

heyzeuscreasetoe's Avatar Comment 30 by heyzeuscreasetoe

Dennett was good, I haven't read much about Sartre so that part at the end definitely got me interested in checking out his work. As for the beginning, I was wondering if that was the right mp3 cause it was a bit nutty.

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 21:53:00 UTC | #159900