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

Acumen's Profile

Acumen's Avatar Joined about 5 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by Acumen

More Discussions by Acumen

Latest Comments by Acumen

Go to: A note about the 'Richard Dawkins Award' being presented to Bill Maher this weekend

Acumen's Avatar Jump to comment 91 by Acumen

To address some comments above that brought up the idea of preferring more benign forms of irrationality like astrology or homeopathy to religion, I say this:

What's the point of getting rid of the particular form of anti-science nonsense that offends us the most and leaving the rest? It's like cutting out a tumor, and going no further with treatment. The underlying problem is still there. I think a lot of people here feel that way about liberal religious views, namely that they are not themselves as destructive as fundamentalism, but that they prop up and enable the dangerousness of zealotry. Why handle any other form of demonstrably erroneous and publicly expressed irrationality as if had any less capability for harm?

And as for numbers of people killed, the numbers for quackery v. the numbers for religious insanity: Imagine if anti-vaxxers (of which Maher is one) had had a significant voice in the public fifty years ago. Would we have gotten enough people vaccinated to get the chance to stop smallpox? How many millions of people would still be dying every year? What's the next disease we're going to be on the verge of eradicating that will continue to kill untold numbers because public figures were not called to task for spreading dangerous nonsense?

Bill Maher is a horrific enabler for people who think unscientifically. These would be, by the way, the kind of people who support Jenny McCarthy when she says she'd rather see polio resurface as a major childhood threat than have children receive vaccinations. He has a wide audience, and he is not minding his responsibility as a public figure and is abusing his position to spread dangerous misinformation about scientific facts. He does not deserve any award that recognizes in any part a contribution to science.

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 02:20:00 UTC | #402070

Go to: A note about the 'Richard Dawkins Award' being presented to Bill Maher this weekend

Acumen's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Acumen

I'm with Steve Zara, and would like to propose a comparison for your consideration:

"You don't need to get treatment from a doctor. Mainstream medicine is controlled by Big Pharma and poisons you. All you need to stay healthy is to get natural cures from alternative therapists."

"You don't need to get treatment from a doctor. Turning to medicine is showing a lack of trust in God and will endanger your soul. All you need to stay healthy is to trust in the Lord."

How, exactly, would the proponents of those two claims be any different? And why would you denounce one and give a free pass to the other?

Steve's got it dead on. Getting rid of religion won't do us any good if people just turn to homeopathy or quack treatments or astrology for comfort instead. Promotion of reason and science is the only way to solve the root of the problem that is irrational thinking, of which religion is only a symptom.

Tue, 29 Sep 2009 22:44:00 UTC | #401960

Go to: Official Confirmation that the United States is NOT a Nation Founded on Christianity

Acumen's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Acumen

It's no use, it doesn't work.

And that's from people who actually sat down and tried to reason out a counter-argument. Your average wingnut just dismisses it as "irrelevant" and continues to misquote Patrick Henry and claim our laws come from the Ten Commandments ("But if that were true, why isn't blasphemy illegal?" "It is!" "No, it really isn't." "Well, it should be.")

As my father likes to say about liberals and secularists, but which applies better to himself: "Don't confuse me with the facts, I know how I feel about it."

Sun, 26 Jul 2009 14:08:00 UTC | #382348

Go to: Father Ted creators back challenge to the blasphemy bill

Acumen's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Acumen

"to placate the craziest people on earth"

I knew I liked that Linehan guy.

As for these people who think blasphemy laws will work AT ALL these days: "I'm sorry, are you from the past?"

Mon, 06 Jul 2009 13:59:00 UTC | #376495

Go to: If You Open Your Mind Too Much...

Acumen's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Acumen

I didn't know who this man was half an hour ago, but between this and 'Storm', I think I love him a little.

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 16:51:00 UTC | #373303

More Comments by Acumen