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Vitalic's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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Go to: Dawkins calls for 'Catholic' honesty

Vitalic's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by Vitalic

There's no revelation here, and if you think you are going to ridicule devout believers into unbelief, then you are not just not using a whole lot of reason and logic.

I would have thought it's obvious he is not trying to, the devout believers are too brainwashed and indoctrinated and beyond any extent of logic or reasoning able to challenge their erroneous belief system. What I believe he is trying to do is etch away at the middle ground, like with The God Delusion which was aimed mostly at the fence sitters who perhaps hadn't given a great deal of thought to the question, this kind of ridicule is aimed at the cultural catholics who don't really subscribe to all of the nutty beliefs they are supposed to but haven't ever stopped to consider or give much thought to the inherent hypocrisy in holding such a position.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 14:03:48 UTC | #946565

Go to: Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss Tribute to Christopher Hitchens - 2012 Global Atheist Convention

Vitalic's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Vitalic

I too think there should be a complete as possible collection of Hitch video material assembled, even though many of his ideas are immortalised in his written works, I think of people in generations to come who will not have seen Christopher's mesmerising and inspiring oration first hand, and what a tragedy it would be if portions of it were lost due to the inherently transient nature of the internet, will YouTube still be around in 50 years to come? If YouTube were to cease to exist tomorrow how much of that material would be unrecoverable I wonder? His voice was such an integral part of his overall power as an intellectual that it has to be preserved and not allowed to gradually erode away over time. One good solution may to be to create a .torrent of the complete collection and allow it to be shared organically rather than having one single website responsible for hosting the material indefinitely, this is similar to what Wikileaks did with the "insurance" file which supposedly contained secret material that could be released if anything ever happened to the directors of the organisation. We need a Hitch insurance file, insurance against the chance that the material that I have spent inordinate periods of time and many a late night enjoying and absorbing is not available for future generations who will most likely still be fighting the same fight and therefore benefit from it immeasurably.

Sun, 27 May 2012 23:22:41 UTC | #943879

Go to: Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

Vitalic's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Vitalic

Just confirms what we suspected all along, that the only reason religious people are good is because they want to please god and get into heaven.

Tue, 01 May 2012 14:34:04 UTC | #938682

Go to: The Consolation of Philosophy

Vitalic's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Vitalic

It appears some of these counter-arguments are no different to the arguments used by theologians, similar to the concept of "non-overlapping magisteria" or that science and philosophy can "peacefully co-exist", you are looking for other areas or voids that philosophy can fill just like theologians look for gaps in knowledge that God can fill. The bottom line is that classical philosophy makes scientific truth claims about the universe and if the reality doesn't match those claims then tough, it's time to change the claims, as Lawrence often says the universe is the way it is whether we like it or not.

Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins are saying, when they claim that our common logical principles can become obsolet when facing directly the experience of reality ? Funny, because in my common ignorance about science, these are resolved epistemological issues (resolved by philosophers such as Piaget) and because they are resolved, it is a kind of consolation for me

This is the kind of sentimental thinking you would normally associate with the religious, I'm surprised to see an outpouring of it on a site like RDFRS. How on earth are these issues "resolved", unless they have been backed up by evidence, theories that makes predictions or repeated observation then the thoughts of some philosopher(s) are not anything close to a resolution. Everything should be open to challenge, even your most cherished and closely-held beliefs, and if those beliefs have to be discarded then that's just hard luck, the universe doesn't owe you any consolation.

Tue, 01 May 2012 14:22:09 UTC | #938679

Go to: The Consolation of Philosophy

Vitalic's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Vitalic

science has gotten by for 250 years without anyone thinking it necessary to take into account the nature of our primary observing tool......conscious experience

What has conscious experience got to do with anything? Relativity works whether you can experience it or not, the universe would operate exactly the same if all life in existence were wiped out tomorrow. It seems that 'current scientific thinking' takes into account the fallibility of subjective human experience rather well, which is why we don't use "intuition" or "i've just got a funny feeling" as a valid type of evidence.

I'm not remotely swayed by any of these arguments that philosophy still has a key role to play in answering such questions, it is obsolete as far as I'm concerned. It's quite obvious that many intellectuals are reluctant to admit this, because the realisation that you simply can't contribute to the advancement of our scientific understanding of the universe without a very deep understanding of mathematics and the physical sciences is discomforting. Christopher Hitchens actually said a similar thing when speaking about Stephen Hawking's remark that philosophy is dead, and remarked "I certainly hope not" but admitted it was a possibility in this context.

The role of philosophy in the 21st century seemed to be encapsulated perfectly by the moderator in Richard's debate with the Archbishop, which is essentially the perpetual generation of obscurantist nonsense that only serves to obstruct and hinder proper debate.

Tue, 01 May 2012 00:11:23 UTC | #938503

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