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Comments by Quine

Go to: The godless guru

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 1869 by Quine

Checking, again to see if this thread is still active and if I can put in a link to my own blog.

(Edit: Seems so.)

Tue, 13 Aug 2013 17:59:53 UTC | #951405

Go to: Lying for Jesus?

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 9030 by Quine

Oh no, here we go again. Ray and his banana are back. I have written about it here.

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 20:13:38 UTC | #951403

Go to: Dealing with William Lane Craig

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 1713 by Quine

Enkidu90046, it is an old but very interesting thread. I think you will enjoy reading it.

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 22:46:30 UTC | #951127

Go to: Talking to people works!

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Quine

Well, ZD, it is a tough sell. I have tried to explain to people of faith how the unconscious part of their brains will step in and give them things that they ask for, but attribute to the deified Jesus. This seems to especially apply to folks who need "a higher power" to "straighten out their lives." My missionary neighbor goes to great lengths to explain to me how messed up he was before he "turned his life over to Jesus." Unfortunately, it is necessary for me to spend a great deal of time explaining neuroscience to him to get him to the point where his rational brain can start to see the power of the parts he cannot directly access. Of course, I am not able to 'prove' it to him so it could still be deified Jesus (or Joe Pesci).

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 07:32:01 UTC | #950990

Go to: Simply ... should I read the bible?

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Quine

Yes, I agree with others, above, read it all. Then, read some book about who wrote it and when. Pay special attention to the redaction of the OT at the time of Esra, and all the versions and copy errors and translation errors we have in in the NT. It's a Hell of a story.

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 02:48:08 UTC | #950920

Go to: Talking to people works!

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Quine

Yes, I think talking to our friends and neighbors is important. I have written more about that on this thread:

http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/645240-what-do-you-say-to-your-faith-based-neighbors

However, I do admit that I have never tried talking to them about the importance of masturbation.

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 02:30:37 UTC | #950919

Go to: A lawsuit too far?

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Quine

No, it is not too far. It is the job of the FFRF to complain about anything brought to their attention that may be a violation of law. It is not their job to determine if it is a violation; that is the job of the Court system. They mostly win, but will sometimes lose. If they never lost, you would suspect that they were being too conservative and did not press some cases in the gray area.

Of course, the other side is going to see it as overreach and evidence of a "war on religion" and start fanning out a whole deck of victim cards. Sorry, but because of our adversarial legal system and the position of the FFRF in that system, that characterization is unavoidable.

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 20:06:23 UTC | #950901

Go to: A Baltimore Catechism for the New Atheists

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Quine

[off topic] I was sitting at the Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco today, when someone announced that the Barton book had been pulled. We had been watching a "separation of Church and State" film, and many in the audience applauded.

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 08:19:18 UTC | #950710

Go to: A Baltimore Catechism for the New Atheists

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Quine

I am really afraid to click the link now. It sounds like intellectual hell.

Well, some Purgatory, maybe.

Tue, 07 Aug 2012 17:41:37 UTC | #950504

Go to: A Baltimore Catechism for the New Atheists

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Quine

Hi Mike, you have a good point. I could have left #3 alone, but the word "purpose" is a very big can of worms. It is true that you can have a viewpoint that gives you a subjective feeling of "purpose" but it may not be generalizable past that viewpoint. I got the impression that the way Oakes was putting it was to hold it up for ridicule as self-contradictory.

Mon, 06 Aug 2012 20:01:04 UTC | #950457

Go to: A Baltimore Catechism for the New Atheists

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Quine

After calling him out for mischaracterizing Krauss, I reworked his "Catechism" points as follows:

1) Apart from nature, which includes human beings and our cultural creations, there is nothing. There is no God, no soul, and no life beyond death.

Apart from nature, which includes human beings and our cultural creations, there is no objective evidence for any deities, souls, or life beyond death.

2) Nature is self-originating, not the creation of God.

Nature shows the ability to be self-organized without a requirement for divine creation or intervention.

3) The universe has no overall point or purpose, although individual human lives can be lived purposefully.

Points and purposes are relative to the positions of observers; humans are the only known beings capable of this kind of observation.

4) Since God does not exist, all explanations and all causes are purely natural and can be understood only by science.

Methodological Materialism is the only known process for the development of reliable knowledge. Other knowledge may exist, but there is no other way to reliably know.

5) All the various features of living beings, including human intelligence and behavior, can be explained ultimately in purely natural terms, and today that usually means in evolutionary, specifically Darwinian terms.

Progressively more and more of the various features of living beings, including human intelligence and behavior, can be explained in purely natural terms, and today that usually means in evolutionary, specifically Neodarwinian terms.

6) Faith in God is the cause of innumerable evils and should be rejected on moral grounds.

Dogma is the cause of innumerable evils and should be rejected on moral grounds.

7) Morality does not require belief in God, and people behave better without faith than with it.

Morality does not require faith; we can think our way to better behavior.

I got some positive feedback from one poster: "As for Quine's moderate restatements of atheistic broadsides, while not stupid they are not compelling." Working up to "not stupid" is quite high marks when compared to the usual "burn in Hell" reply. Perhaps some progress is being made. Anyone have any other ideas on these 7 points?

Mon, 06 Aug 2012 18:04:58 UTC | #950449

Go to: A Baltimore Catechism for the New Atheists

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Quine

Thanks Paul, no, that was not going off as all that is useful to set the context of the piece. There is quite a bit of back and forth on the comments there at FT, and I may try to get some of that worked in. Thanks, again.

Mon, 06 Aug 2012 17:02:06 UTC | #950440

Go to: Against All Gods

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 91 by Quine

Mignostic:

True and that's because "origin" and "the explanation why something exists" is the same thing (at least according to my usage of those expressions).

Some would use "origin" to describe events. Do you have a way to make a distinction between events and and explanations of events?

Mon, 30 Jul 2012 23:48:53 UTC | #950325

Go to: Loss within the truth

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Quine

If you develop advanced Alzheimer's you won't "see" your children even if they are standing right in front of you in this reality, because there will be no neural circuit in your brain to make the connection. Going from there to dead is not going to help with that.

Mon, 30 Jul 2012 23:18:15 UTC | #950323

Go to: Atheist wins "The American Bible Challenge"

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Quine

Unfortunately, any game show is going to be about regurgitation of text, and not about how it came to be or issues of truth.

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 16:53:59 UTC | #950288

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by Quine

Comment 57 by Radesq:

The High Horse.


Sweet.

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 04:14:52 UTC | #950206

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Quine

Re Comment 50 by Zeuglodon:

In order to keep the competition as realistic as possible, there never is a witch. Choice of whom to burn is not a point factor, just how much "evidence" can be piled up around the pyre, and how fast one can get it flaming. Experts in this event know how to quickly assess the panel to find the most convictable, while being careful to remember that low social status of the burnt offering is the best insurance against blowback.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 17:40:54 UTC | #950064

Go to: Do we need objective morals?

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Quine

A very complex subject at the least. Yes, I also recommend Sam's book to all as a starting point if you are not already coming from a Philosophy of Ethics background.

I am sure we all have had these discussion with our theist friends and family. Sometimes it is stated as "absolute" v. "relative" morality. Most theists I have met associate relative morality with some kind of "relativism" which is then held out as inferior or even subversive.

As Jos mentioned above, you really can't have morals that are completely independent of any minds, not the least of which is the mind that controls the actions that result from some kind of understanding, or interpretation, of said morals. Then we still have the question of when "subjective" ends and "objective" begins. Are there things that are neither clearly objective nor subjective? Are there moral positions that people generally recognize as "not even wrong"?

Hume still stands in his observation that you can't work out how things ought to be from knowledge of how things are. And if you could, you only have the knowledge of the world that we have today; what if something we find out from, say, brain research changes the "objective" moral position we did work out from what we know today? Beyond, knowledge, there are issues of knowability. An adult can generally know things that are not possible for a very young child to know. What if to get to "objective" morals we would need to know things that not possible for our brains to process at this point in our evolution? Perhaps we need to wait to grow another layer over the existing cortex so as to see all the current neural workings and motivations in abstraction.

Can an objective analysis from subjective data yield objective results? Could there be a crowd sourced algorithm that got subjective input from everyone, but did not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone, be constructed to give us objective results? Andy Thomson has done quite a bit of work putting together problems in which to test potential moral positions. What if we could test algorithmic positions that way?

Bottom line, there is no way to know if we have, or can have, truly "objective" positions, and whatever we decide to use is what we are going to use, regardless.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 05:19:07 UTC | #950020

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Quine

Historically, religion had this as Auto-da-fé. I think Roger Zelazny may have seen this modernization coming in his Auto-da-Fé.

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 21:13:31 UTC | #950005

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Quine

Which Witch? -- Contestants are each presented with a panel of people, all claiming to be innocent, and must find the witch, and using only a large pile of sticks, get a fire going and get that witch burnt in record time.

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:55:23 UTC | #950003

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Quine

Re Comment 24 by Steve Zara: Exactly.

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 01:39:55 UTC | #949952

Go to: Meme Theory, Zahavi's Handicap, and the Baldwin Effect

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Quine

Busted. :-(

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 00:57:05 UTC | #949947

Go to: Meme Theory, Zahavi's Handicap, and the Baldwin Effect

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Quine

Zeug, sorry your thread got shut down. I was reading up to be able to post, but did not get there in time.

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:54:07 UTC | #949940

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Quine

Altar boy hide and seek.

I thought that was already covered under "Alter boy hide the salami."

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:31:20 UTC | #949936

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Quine

Holy Water Sports. I won't paint that picture, but rather, will leave it to the imagination.

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 20:33:46 UTC | #949919

Go to: Religious Olympics

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Quine

"deepity dive-athon" ;-) sweet.

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 17:49:15 UTC | #949908

Go to: 2012 Project Reason Video Contest

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Quine

Oops, sorry, thought I had them all in there, my bad:

Perfect Faith

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 00:47:06 UTC | #949535

Go to: Refuting supernatural

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by Quine

Thanks Susan, I love that clip.
-Q

Sun, 15 Jul 2012 07:17:09 UTC | #949231

Go to: Oxford Gift for Poor Students

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Quine

This, together with the recent stories about Melinda Gates' contraception project, make me feel better about people, in general. Thanks for posting.

Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:58:51 UTC | #948980

Go to: Primary school indoctrination (UK)

Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Quine

Comment 19 by IA (Paul), nice. (And re proposals: You'll be fight'n 'm off with a stick.)

Sun, 08 Jul 2012 21:48:14 UTC | #948782