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Comments by Chayanov

Go to: Dawkins et al bring us into disrepute

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 179 by Chayanov

Thus, like a first-year undergraduate, he can happily go around asking loudly, "What caused God?" as though he had made some momentous philosophical discovery.


This tells me more about Ruse than Dawkins. I feel rather sorry for Ruse's students if this is his response to their level of knowledge, and even more so, their moments of discovery. Even if it's a reinvention of the wheel, so what? This is a teaching moment, a way of nurturing the development of knowledge and ideas. Instead, Ruse looks down his nose and sneers because Dawkins isn't at his level of philosophical knowledge. Don't bother to explain why this isn't a valid question, Michael. Just be condescending and insulting. Or maybe, perhaps, you really don't have a satisfactory response to that question...?

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 20:38:00 UTC | #411011

Go to: Karen Armstrong Weaves Bizarre Defense of Religion

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by Chayanov

"I find it ironic that PZ Myers attacks Armstrong for caricaturing atheist beliefs when I have never seen him do anything but caricatures of the religious."

"Well she makes Sam Harris seem even more unhinged and bloodthirsty than he already is."

Hmmmm. Pot, kettle, black.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 19:11:00 UTC | #409116

Go to: Richard Dawkins on The Colbert Report

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 125 by Chayanov

Isn't Dawkins supposed to be one of those extreme, militant atheists? Why wasn't he silencing Colbert, or assaulting him, or whatever it is that militants are supposed to do?

Fri, 02 Oct 2009 22:18:00 UTC | #403003

Go to: Who needs theology?

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Chayanov

Philosophy offers no practical benefits? What about ethics?

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 21:17:00 UTC | #401637

Go to: We are born to believe in God

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Chayanov

So religion is childish? I thought we already knew that.

Deplorable journalism. The author thinks we evolved to believe in God. By that reasoning, atheists have evolved beyond the need to believe, which makes us more developed. We're walking upright, while the religious are still on all fours.

We really do need better science journalists.

Sun, 06 Sep 2009 17:57:00 UTC | #394901

Go to: Christian right aims to change history lessons in Texas schools

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Chayanov

"Opponents have decried the move as an attempt to insert religious teachings in to the classroom by stealth, similar to the Christian right's partially successful attempt to limit the teaching of evolution in biology lessons in Texas."

Stealth? They're outright stating that the only good Americans are Christians.

Wed, 22 Jul 2009 19:32:00 UTC | #381508

Go to: Christian group's billboards denounce separation of church, state

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by Chayanov

"I'm a big fat liar who hates America" -- Terry Kemple

Hey, he could have said it.

Wed, 22 Jul 2009 12:58:00 UTC | #381430

Go to: Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Chayanov

"Sheriff’s deputies will be at the doors to check that openly carried firearms are unloaded, but they will not check for concealed weapons.

“That’s the whole point of concealed,” Mr. Pagano said, adding that he was not worried because such owners require training.

Mr. Pagano said the church’s insurance company, which he would not identify, had canceled the church’s policy for the day on Saturday and told him that it would cancel the policy for good at the end of the year. If he cannot find insurance for Saturday, people will not be allowed in openly carrying their guns."

I suppose they can keep carrying their concealed weapons, though. Too bad the church won't have an insurance policy anymore. How typical that a gun nut cares more about carrying a gun than he does in protecting people and property.

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:18:00 UTC | #374079

Go to: Does God answer prayers to do someone ill? (God as your private hitman)

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Chayanov

UncleVanya @ 19: Not only that, but prayer is also incompatible with free will. If you can get God to intercede on your behalf, then people aren't truly free in what they can do.

Also, Christians constantly tell me that the "bad" stuff in the Old Testament doesn't apply because of Jesus and the New Testament. But then we see where they go back to the Old Testament to try and get God to smite their enemies.

Christian hypocrisy. But of course I repeat myself.

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 13:21:00 UTC | #373614

Go to: another flea - 'Is GOD a Delusion'

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 131 by Chayanov

Yeah, yeah. "Dawkins only criticizes a simplistic view of Christianity, but my Christian/Neopagan/Buddhist/etc. beliefs are much more complex than that. Blah blah blah."

Give us some freakin' evidence other than "I believe it to be so."

Thu, 23 Apr 2009 22:17:00 UTC | #352766

Go to: Preacher says atheist ad campaign backfired

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Chayanov

Faith in God helps explain why innocent people suffer? Easy -- God's a jerk.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 20:08:00 UTC | #346539

Go to: For scholars, a combustible question: Was Christ real?

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Chayanov

Well, let's see. As far as I'm aware, there's zero archaeological evidence that Jesus existed. Theologians have absolutely nothing to bring to the table except their made-up fantasies. What's left?

Mon, 29 Dec 2008 13:50:00 UTC | #293419

Go to: Heaven for the Godless?

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Chayanov

Hard to say. I'd like to think this is a sign of the weakening of the Christian mindset. On the other hand, based on a lot of comments made by the students in my World Religions class over the years, many of them seem to believe that everyone worships God, regardless of what their actual religion is. Worship God and go to heaven, even if you're an atheist or a Buddhist.

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 14:13:00 UTC | #293056

Go to: The Dawkins debate

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 75 by Chayanov

It's peculiar. Young children are encouraged to believe in Santa Claus, with a reward for believing. But a few years later and they're encouraged not to believe, with no reward for their lack of belief, and also told not to "ruin" the moment for younger children, who do get the reward of belief.

How do we get the ordinary people to realize their god(s) fall into the same category as Santa Claus -- made up by adults who must supply the rewards themselves?

Edit: As I think more about it, the reward for older children is flattery that they're grown-up enough to know the "truth", which is that Santa Claus is childish foolishness. So we just need to flatter more adults into believing that they're too grown-up for such foolishness as well. :)

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 20:53:00 UTC | #67292

Go to: The Dawkins debate

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by Chayanov

Just yesterday a religion scholar I know told me that Dawkins is reductionist and hateful. She's never read a word he's written or listened to an interview with him -- her opinion comes from those of other religion scholars, some of whom have likely never read Dawkins either, based on their arguments (or was "The Selfish Gene" actually about a gene that was selfish?). I gather there's quite a cottage industry among religion scholars critiquing Dawkins without ever actually having read his books.

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 15:56:00 UTC | #67221

Go to: Griffin's 'offensive' Emmy speech to be censored

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Chayanov

Kathy Griffin more powerful than God and Jesus combined. Holy Ghost offers no comment.

Tue, 11 Sep 2007 17:31:00 UTC | #66104

Go to: Review of Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Response to the God Delusion

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 130 by Chayanov

"For a start, only religious nutcases take the Creation story literally..."

I am sick to death of religious apologists who start out with this non-argument. There are lots of people out there who do take it literally and are dead-serious about it, and if you think otherwise, then you're the one who is the nutcase.

And what was all that gibberish about angels supposed to prove?

Sat, 01 Sep 2007 13:52:00 UTC | #63649

Go to: Rational Atheism

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Chayanov

Regardless of what atheists do, the religious moderates are not siding with us against the religious extremists. There's always that tacit approval of the extremists because, after all, they're religious so they must have something in common, more so than those atheists. These are the blinders that religion puts over the eyes and minds of otherwise sensible people.

Wed, 22 Aug 2007 07:46:00 UTC | #61544

Go to: The age of endarkenment

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Chayanov

Veronique -- And they're so deadly serious as they go through the motions (pun intended), pretending they really can push away, pull out, or redirect the body's energies, and insisting they can physically feel it happening.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 16:44:00 UTC | #61017

Go to: The age of endarkenment

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Chayanov

Don't forget reiki -- you can cure someone's illness just by waving your hands over them.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 12:38:00 UTC | #60972

Go to: Why Richard Dawkins is right on alternative medicine - but not when it comes to religion

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by Chayanov

Religious apologists seem to all have the same arguments. When I tell an apologist acquaintance of mine about some new nuttiness from the Vatican, her response is always along the lines of, "Nobody listens to the Pope or believes a word he says." Religious apologists are just completely divorced from reality, living in their fluffy metaphorical world.

Fri, 10 Aug 2007 08:07:00 UTC | #59318

Go to: Another Flea is Born

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Chayanov

"Isn't that hate speech? I'm sure someone could sue for distress caused ;-)"

It should be considered a hate crime, given that motive is all-important for hate crimes. The motive in this case is to intimidate non-Christians through fear (never mind that the result is we laugh at them -- it's the motive that matters). Look at how some people went on about motive and intimidation with the flushing of the Koran.

Thu, 09 Aug 2007 18:56:00 UTC | #59182

Go to: Curriculum for Baptist School

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by Chayanov

"Students will examine the nature of God..."

If only.

"Through photography the students will understand that God is interested in beauty, that He is pleased with art."

Including Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ"?

Thu, 09 Aug 2007 18:49:00 UTC | #59179

Go to: OUT Campaign Launched, 'Scarlet Letter' Shirts Now Available!

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Chayanov

Sheesh. If there's anything we've learned from science and evolution, it's that humans are primates, which makes us social animals. There isn't a single one of us who lives their life as a true individual, completely isolated from society. We're members of all kinds of groups -- family, friends, work, hobbyist, neighborhood, etc. I can see where you might be uncomfortable proclaiming your lack of religious beliefs (after all, if you keep quiet, you can pass for one of the theists), but some of us are proud of who we are, what we've accomplished, and what we stand for.

Put away the Nietzsche and go out and enjoy the company of others.

Sat, 28 Jul 2007 18:30:00 UTC | #56107

Go to: Richard Dawkins on Hardtalk

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by Chayanov

Calling a 4-year-old a Christian just because he prays is merely using the most superficial of descriptions. Other religions besides Christianity invoke prayer. How do you know he's praying to the Christian god? How does he know what is meant by the Christian god? Could it be that he's really not a Christian at this point, but rather that you've placed the label of Christian upon him, which is precisely what Dawkins argues against?

In using your argument, if he shares his toys you should call him a Communist.

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 23:00:00 UTC | #55266

Go to: Response to the God Delusion

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Chayanov

Seriously, why don't the theists just say they have total, unquestioning, blind faith in their religion, they have no evidence beyond their beliefs, they don't want any evidence, and if any of it appears to contradict reality that's just because God can perform miracles and do whatever he wants precisely because he's God?

I would have absolutely no way to respond to that (beyond derision, that is, but what should they care? Supposedly they have faith).

Yeah, I know -- they worry deep down that faith isn't enough and they don't have any evidence to support their beliefs, but they don't have to let the atheists know that.

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 17:55:00 UTC | #54804

Go to: All the mistakes of the godly are merely metaphor

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by Chayanov

Just once I'd like to see these sophisticated religious apologists take their fuzzy metaphor with them to church -- say, a Southern Baptist church in Houston, and address the congregation.

"There is a man out there named Richard Dawkins. He says you're deluded, that your belief that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was resurrected, and ascended to Heaven, where he sits beside God the Father, and the two of them judge the souls of the departed, and those they find worthy rise to Heaven and those who have committed mortal sins descend into the fiery pits of Hell, that those beliefs are nothing more than lies and delusions.

"But Dawkins is wrong! Because you don't believe in any of that at all! Because those assembled here know that Jesus and the Bible are just a big story, a metaphor for the undefinable sense of something greater than ourselves. And when you pray to Jesus for forgiveness and guidance, you're not really praying to him at all, but to the metaphor itself."

And then find out how long he has to get out of the church before they run him out.

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 17:44:00 UTC | #54801

Go to: Brainwashed children plead to die as martyrs in Red Mosque siege

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Chayanov

Diplo #12:

I know a religious apologist (who is not a Muslim) who always blames "the culture of tribalism" whenever there are reports of Muslim violence. She especially does this whenever there are stories about Muslim violence toward women. But these people have been Muslim for how many centuries now? How on earth do you separate their religious beliefs from their "tribal" beliefs -- especially when they themselves claim they do what they do in the name of religion?

Tue, 10 Jul 2007 10:22:00 UTC | #52126

Go to: A force for good?

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by Chayanov

"Critics of religion get stuck somewhere between the infantile and adolescent stages."

This smug attitude has become very popular among the religious. I know many neo-pagans who have said much the same thing, that mainstream society is childish, and it's the pagans who are the adults (even though they play dress-up and run around pretending to cast spells and play make-believe).

Tue, 10 Jul 2007 09:16:00 UTC | #52110

Go to: A force for good?

Chayanov's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Chayanov

"There is a coherent social vision running through the Old and New Testament, focused on a God who demands justice, who takes the side of the poor and the marginalised, and who calls for a radical new understanding of human love, commitment and responsibility. That informs how I behave and treat other people."

If he behaves and treats other people as if he was the god of the Old Testament, I feel rather sorry for the people around him, what with all the stonings and everything. And doesn't this contradict his whine about how he believes in a vague and ill-defined god to begin with? How does he reconcile his belief in that god with his belief in the god of the Old Testament?

There should be some sort of buzzer that goes off whenever a theist uses Nazi Germany as their poster child of an atheist society, with an accompanying announcement that states their argument has now lost all credibility.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 22:49:00 UTC | #51936