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

Comments by Explorer

Go to: The Case for Naturalism

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Explorer

The problem with the term "atheist" is its connotations with Marxism and communism, and all the brutal acts that happened under those regimes. It is Reagan's "godless monster". So it is more of a marketing issue in my opinion, and it is important, if we are at all interested in gaining ground on religionists, to use a term that does not have these negative connotations.

Having said that, even the rather less provocative term, "secularist" is now a dirty word, at least in some areas of religious life in the UK. Semantics do matter, even though they shouldn't.

Tue, 08 May 2012 07:03:04 UTC | #940496

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

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Explorer

Comment 9 by MsChelle :

Anyway, I have seen many life-long church members, agnostics, and atheist display apathy and hatred toward those who are not like them. So, I don't think it is necessarily something based upon a person's level of religious belief. Compassion is something that I think we all feel should just come naturally, but may actually be more influenced by what others teach us, rather than how we should naturally react.

So, because there are un-compassionate believers and non-believers, I think that it's more a matter of being less compassionate because you've been taught to be that way, rather than being less compassionate because you are deeply devout in your religious beliefs.

The difference between your conclusion, and that of the article above, is that your opinion is based on only limited and personal anecdotal experience, whereas the latter is a scientifically controlled experiment using much larger samples of the religious and non-religious populations..

Wed, 02 May 2012 06:43:50 UTC | #938945

Go to: Sidebar: Pastor’s loss of faith started with loss of hell

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Explorer

We are social animals, and if we share an interest in real change, as far as relgious belief is concerned, then we do it better together. There is no point in denying our herd and tribal instincts. If the relgious call our non-belief a religion in itself, or a cult, then we have to deal with that as and when. "New" atheism, if it is anything, is a movement and a force for change. As a disparate group of individuals, which has characterised atheism in the past, we cannot hope to make any meaningful change.

Tue, 01 May 2012 10:23:05 UTC | #938613

Go to: Belief in God found in decline

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Explorer

I am older, and as a result much wiser, so I ditched religion. I was much more scared of dying when I was a child.

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:18:57 UTC | #935561

Go to: Destroy all churches in the Arabian Peninsula – Saudi Grand Mufti

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Explorer

After the furore, he said:

"Well, you did ask!"

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 07:06:10 UTC | #928228

Go to: Afghan clerics' guidelines 'a green light for Talibanisation'

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Explorer

Comment 51 by JeffVader67 :

Can't believe we've just lost six more soldiers in this backward hell hole. The truly depressing aspect is that Islamic countries overthrow one set of tribal thugs, get a vote and promptly elect another set of lunatics. I despair!!!!!

BBC news tonight who had got access to a Taliban spokesman quoted him as saying "We are proud of it"

We went in along with the Americans and others to get OBL. He has now been got. To try and install some kind of western values into that hell hole was bound to fail, and not in the intial remit. Let us go now before we waste anymore young lives for nothing.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 18:16:00 UTC | #925433

Go to: Afghan clerics' guidelines 'a green light for Talibanisation'

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Explorer

Comment 29 by Layla

*Comment 8 by Explorer :
No more involvement please,. If that is what they truly want then let them have it. However, if they threaten western secular values again by supporting terrorism in our neck of the woods, in whatever form, then give them what they deserve.*

"It's not what they truly want, though, is it? It's what some men want. What about what the female half of the population might want? Such as basic human rights."

I agree entirely with you, but I don't see how women are going to be protected in the long run, as much as I wish that to be the case. Women are being educated there now, and that is amazing and so welcome, but it will all come to nought when the Taliban return. As someone has said above, change has to come from within, we cannot impose change and hold it with troops, theirs or ours.

If the Taliban come back, and I was a woman who had tasted education, I would get out if I possibly could.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:35:55 UTC | #925198

Go to: Afghan clerics' guidelines 'a green light for Talibanisation'

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Explorer

Comment 8 by Explorer

No more involvement please,. If that is what they truly want then let them have it. However, if they threaten western secular values again by supporting terrorism in our neck of the woods, in whatever form, then give them what they deserve.

They who? The women? The Christians? The Gays? The Atheists? The secularists? The children?

I am not about to say that there is a working solution that the USA can implement on it's own, or that bringing peace, equality and democracy is the goal, but stop and think for a second.

Not all members of society are equally responsible for the state of that society. That is the whole fucking point! Don't condemn the victims along with the tyrants. That logic would lead to us just nuking them. How would you feel about that?

Who was condemning the victims? I certainly wasn't! Who mentioned "nuking them? Only you!

The "they" that I was referring to were the clerics and those that support them. But surely that was obvious to anyone reading my post, except you.

Are you also suggesting that if we do get another major attack in the west from Taliban inspired and sponsored terrorism, we do nothing at all?

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:00:32 UTC | #925073

Go to: Afghan clerics' guidelines 'a green light for Talibanisation'

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Explorer

No more involvement please,. If that is what they truly want then let them have it. However, if they threaten western secular values again by supporting terrorism in our neck of the woods, in whatever form, then give them what they deserve.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 20:48:34 UTC | #924954

Go to: Trouble in paradise: Maldives and Islamic extremism

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Explorer

Comment 22 by huzonfurst :

Global warming will have its revenge on the Maldives when rising sea levels will simply drown the place. Maybe muslimes will take it as a sign of disapproval from All-ugh.

Bring it on!

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 19:51:16 UTC | #922169

Go to: Enemies of Science Can Stop Gloating About the Fast Neutrinos

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Explorer

Krauthammer can't be all that bad if his Wiki entry description is to be believed:

"Krauthammer has been called a conservative. However, on domestic issues, Krauthammer is a supporter of legalized abortion; an opponent of the death penalty; an intelligent design critic and an advocate for the scientific consensus on evolution, calling the religion-science controversy a "false conflict; a supporter of embryonic stem cell research using embryos discarded by fertility clinics with restrictions in its applications."

He also describes himself as "non-religious".

Perhaps physicists were "upset" and even "devastated", with the original neutrino speed results, a natural reaction as a consequence of this startling result, but this did not mean they were bad scientists, or that they believed an error had not been made. Even the news as it was broadcast at the time for general consumption included the caveat that the experiment would have to be repeated and checked for errors before any firm conclusions could be drawn.

Kraughthammer's sin seems to be in his last sentence where he infers that scientists will find an error come what may, if only to keep the Einsteinian status quo.

Sat, 25 Feb 2012 21:44:53 UTC | #921901

Go to: Atheist in memory lapse and slavery shock [Also in Polish

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Explorer

Comment Removed by Author

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 23:27:06 UTC | #921326

Go to: Atheist in memory lapse and slavery shock [Also in Polish

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Explorer

Comment 29 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 11 by Explorer

Nice comment.

Can I ask what it was about 'The God Delusion' that had such a profound effect on your way of thinking?

I only ask, because there are a number of commenter's on the site who insist that a certain etiquette be employed when engaging the the 'believer' or 'fence sitter' and I'd be interested to know of your experience since you brought it up......purely for research purposes of course.

By the time I read TGD, I was already somewhat pre-disposed to move to the other side, except for the issue of moral values. Even though I had been losing what faith I had in the institutions of religion, I always retained the connection with Christian" moral values as a guide for life, that, coupled with a little god friend in my head that I had created since childhood .By the way, my little god imaginery friend was the most difficult demon to exorcise after my atheism took hold.

Richard's chapter on morals without religion, and the "atheist ten commandments", convinced me that it was perfectly possible to be a "good person" without religion. It was also at that point I suddenly realised that the religious instruction that I received in school regarding "The Sermon on the Mount", in particular, was not so impressive for me for its original wisdom, but that in reality, it simply corresponded to my own existing innate feelings about good behaviour toward my fellow human beings.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 22:55:02 UTC | #921309

Go to: Atheist in memory lapse and slavery shock [Also in Polish

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Explorer

Comment 4 by Andres Heredia Why do people hate Richard so much!? seriously, all I ever read on the comment section whenever I read these artciles is religious people making personal attacks towards RD.

I can remember reading "The Selfish Gene" by Richard ,soon after it was published all those years ago, when I was then, a Christian, albeit "lite", believer. The book was not about relgion of course, but I can still remember the rather indignant feeling inside me at the time, when Richard stated that it was the gene, and its blind "selfishness" that was the principle, and thus the most important aspect of our continued existence as a species. In my eyes then, he appeared to denigrate the human to a mere vehicle for our genes, which of course it is, in reality (but no less wonderful for it).

At that time I found this new way of thinking about ourselves as totally unacceptable, and as a consequence, really hated Richard for what he was trying to do. I would have been quite happy then to target the man and not the argument. Happily today, I now view Richard's work in an entirely different way, and his subsequent books have moved me over to the side of reason, culminating in The God Delusion, which had a profound effect on my way of thinking.

How many others out there have had a similar experience to my own, I wonder. Have we now simply got down to the hard core of religious bigots who we are never going to break. Judging by the Mori survey, and at least as far as Christianity is concerned, excellent progress is still being made, so take heart!

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:05:10 UTC | #920953

Go to: BBC RADIO 4 PHONE IN THIS MORNING: IS RELIGION IN THE UK BEING ERODED?

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Explorer

Comment 32 by sycorax

What is Warsi's real agenda.?

A career politician really has only one agenda, and that is whatever policy stands a chance of getting more votes. In this case she, Cameron and Pickles obviously think their recent outbursts will.give them some electoral credibility and advantage, without costing a penny of taxpayer's money. They live in a closeted environment and never truly have an understanding what real people are actually thinking. Their shrill and strident outbursts following the Bideford case and the Mori poll, strongly indicate they are not only frightened, but also that they have chosen a politically sterile direction.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:36:53 UTC | #920457

Go to: Is Britain a Christian country?

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Explorer

"Wake up guys and stop hamstringing yourselves by calling your opponents idiots. It can only help them."

Thems are "crafty" idiots!

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 07:41:48 UTC | #919910

Go to: Councils win prayer 'rights' as ministers fast track Localism Act powers

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Explorer

*Comment 45 by Varifocals

Nice to see this has annoyed you and the NSS. Doesn't take much doing.*

On the contrary, the NSS are delighted. This case has brought secularism to the fore and as a consequence they have a host of new members, including me!

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:12:27 UTC | #919210

Go to: Councils win prayer 'rights' as ministers fast track Localism Act powers

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by Explorer

I know of three other councils near to Bideford who don't say prayers. Holsworthy, Hatherleigh and North Tawton . The latter recently voted instead for a "period of quiet reflection" after a proposal by one humanist member. Even the quiet period has now been dropped, as nobody could be bothered, so don't give up hope folks, it seems at least as far as West Devon is concerned, Bideford is the exception, and not the rule.

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:09:46 UTC | #919209

Go to: RDFRS UK/Ipsos MORI Poll #1: How religious are UK Christians?

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Explorer

Comment 9 by Aztek A very interesting read. Expected, but nevertheless very interesting. Are there any major newspapers that have picked up on this information?

Don't hold your hopes too high. The second headline on the BBC news website today leads with Baroness Warzi spouting on about "militant secularism". Some references to the above survey are relegated to the end, after she calls for more religion in public life.

They are asking for comments on this story, so I recommend that all "militants" reading this post get over there now and speak against this shocking nonsense.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 07:40:39 UTC | #917531

Go to: Council prayers ruling starts national debate

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 80 by Explorer

I joiined the NSS today, and thank you Dr Shell for convincing me that it was a good decision. I have never read such a litanny of claptrap in all my life.

I do not like thee Doctor Shell!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 22:32:08 UTC | #917346

Go to: Malaysia deports Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Explorer

I was in Malaysia last year, and they seem to rely heavily on well off Saudi tourists and their many wives, for a good proportion of their income, so I can see why the extradition ran so smoothly. Like others, I cannot see why the journalist thought that this was a good place to flee to safety.

Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:20:24 UTC | #916921

Go to: Lawrence Krauss Interviews

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Explorer

I do have some sympathy with Wright. He was saying that there is a mystery, not necessarily a religious mystery, but he wasn't getting any satisfactory answers from Krauss. Then Krauss went on to clarify by using the behaviour of electrons as an example and saying that it was "crazy". He then used that to support his inabilty to provide any classical explanations, plus words to the effect that he probably never will be able to.

This, it seems to me, will always leave a "gap" for religionists to attempt fill with their "god", even if Wright himself was denying he was doing that.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 08:50:49 UTC | #909086

Go to: Growing use of Sharia by UK Muslims

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Explorer

I do not recognise Sharia courts. Nobody asked me if they were acceptable in our democracy.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 19:24:23 UTC | #908908

Go to: Priests brawl in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Explorer

I think this is an ecumenical matter!

Tue, 03 Jan 2012 08:17:37 UTC | #904813

Go to: Tim Minchin song mocking Christ pulled from Jonathan Ross' Christmas special

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by Explorer

"He needs to learn a few things before he digs himself into a trench he can't get out of."

He has learned a few things, which is obviously why he is not worried about any imaginary trench or anything else imaginary, for that matter!

Fri, 23 Dec 2011 13:42:30 UTC | #902224

Go to: Richard Dawkins: "The tyranny of the discontinuous mind"

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Explorer

Comment 16

"Could we imprison a chimpanzee who kills another chimpanzee without just cause?"

We could, given that a peer jury of chimpanzees finds the defendant guilty, but would we want to?

Tue, 20 Dec 2011 08:26:47 UTC | #901288

Go to: David Cameron says the UK is a Christian country

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by Explorer

I didn't vote in a general election for a preacher to be our Prime Minister. Come to think of it, nobody elected David Cameron, he was self-appointed with the help ironically, of an atheist.

Sun, 18 Dec 2011 08:26:02 UTC | #900556

Go to: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 104 by Explorer

The world has lost a great champion and hero of reason. He will be missed, but will live on in the real afterlife of our memories and his writings, that have, and will continue to inspire future generations.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 08:17:55 UTC | #899515

Go to: To XMAS And Beyond!

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Explorer

As an ex-Christian, I always felt that the nativity was an an essential element in the magic of Christmas, unlike the last poster.. As a non-believer, and as a consequence of my later in life personal enquiry into the history of Christianity, I have felt cheated by the official church "cover up" of the actual facts surrounding this alleged historical event.

The cover up still goes on today, in the form of nativity plays in both faith and secular schools. My grandson is appearing in one today. Does this do any intrinsic harm? Probably not, as long as it is treated along with all the other cultural traditions this time of the year, as no more than a fun celebration of a myth, in keeping with all the other superstition based rituals.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 08:19:07 UTC | #898500

Go to: [Update: Catholic League takes down their contact link] “Adopt an atheist” campaign begins

Explorer's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Explorer

First Christmas comedy of the season. Very funny indeed, befitting of a Ricky Gervais script.

Christians are actually very good at adopting. When Christians built their churches in England they adopted the pagan sites, it helped them a lot to assimilate the new doctrine in a heathen country. They then went on to adopt the third week in December, the traditional Celtic winter pagan festival period, as a celebration of the birth of Christ, hence Christmas.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 17:06:04 UTC | #897153