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mcbender's Avatar Joined over 4 years ago
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Go to: Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI

mcbender's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by mcbender

This strikes me as though it could be a bit of a PR mistake, although I'm sure they thought through that before deciding to do it (or decided that that didn't matter, with which upon reflection I find myself inclined to agree).

In any case, if they can pull this off, it will be brilliant. I'm not sure how confident I am that this will work, however... and if it fails, it might send precisely the wrong message to the people we'd be hoping to reach.

Sun, 11 Apr 2010 01:59:00 UTC | #457864

Go to: An Apology

mcbender's Avatar Jump to comment 112 by mcbender

Professor Dawkins, thank you for this statement. I've admired you for many years, and this reminds me once again why that is the case.

While I was not and am not very active either on the forums or on the front page, I was very appreciative of their existence and am very sorry to see the forums go. That said, we shall have to wait and see whether the new format is better...

I would like to concur with previous commenters in asking that the forum be restored from a previous backup before it is made read-only so that the posts by user accounts which were deleted can be restored.

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 22:10:00 UTC | #445043


mcbender's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by mcbender

Is the Daily Mash an equivalent of the Onion?

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 14:20:00 UTC | #443413

Go to: Hear the rumble of Christian hypocrisy

mcbender's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by mcbender

Professor Dawkins, thank you very much for this article.

I am sick of the 'moderates' whining about respect for religious beliefs, without ever specifying what specifically it is they believe. They're too slippery for that - they'll never admit to believing what would embarrass them...

One only needs to read the inane comments over at the original article to know that pointing this out strikes a nerve.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 04:38:00 UTC | #436532

Go to: I Guess They Could Call It The International Non-Cross

mcbender's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by mcbender


That criticism has been addressed many times. Professor Dawkins even discusses it in The God Delusion, so I don't see how you're saying nobody's ever addressed it.

There's quite a simple answer, in any case. "X is comforting" does not imply "X is true", as Professor Dawkins puts it.

I'll put this another way. Suppose it gives me great comfort to believe that there is a chest of gold buried in my backyard. Objectively it's unlikely that there's any gold there, and I have no evidence for it. However, I 'know' that there's gold buried on my property and it makes me feel more confident; for instance, I'm more likely to make risky investments because I 'know' I have the gold to fall back on.

Would anybody hesitate one moment from telling me that I'm insane for believing in the gold? There's no gold there. It "helps me cope with horrific events" such as me losing all my money in the stock market. That doesn't mean it's true!

I'll go even further: it's easy to see that in my toy example, my belief in the gold is actually doing me active harm because it's affecting my ability to make decisions.

The extension of this example to your question regarding religious belief is perfectly natural.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 06:54:00 UTC | #434456

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