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CBC News: Sunday - Richard Dawkins - Comments

debaser71's Avatar Comment 1 by debaser71

Haven't watched it yet but what's with the blurb? It reminds me of a Fox News blurb...ex: can democrats be trusted?

eta" what a terrible introduction as well. I expect better from CBC, but perhaps I shouldn't.

eta2: wow my brain hurts. I envy Richard's ability to answer the same questions over and over, and patience when dealing with people who clearly haven't read the books.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:00:00 UTC | #95477

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 2 by Matt H.

'BBC documentary'?

Channel 4 more like.

The guy screwed up in the pre-interview, and then in the interview himself he went beyond just playing devil's advocate... he was actually openly aggressive and dismissive.... at one point I thought he was going to turn into Dinesh D'Souza.

Richard held his own as always, I nearly cheered when he defiantly said 'Which we are' in response to the 'if we are evolved apes' question. But I could see him getting very annoyed by the end, and rightly so. The interviewer was a moron.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:12:00 UTC | #95480

papavb's Avatar Comment 3 by papavb

what a prat that interviewer is

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:19:00 UTC | #95482

FreeThink25's Avatar Comment 4 by FreeThink25

Wow....I'm always impressed with how Dawkins deals with these snide questions and biased journalism.

Good to see that Skippy from "Family Ties" has found work these days....

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:21:00 UTC | #95483

phatbat's Avatar Comment 5 by phatbat

Some good comebacks from Richard there.

Cant believe the Stalin thing is still coming up. I think the response to this now needs to be changed to try and get it into people's heads.

Perhapse something along the lines of:

When you bring up Stalin, Hitler and Pott you are just bringing up other ideologies that we are anti just as we are about the religious ideologies we are discussing now. They are all bad for many different reasons but it is through reason that we justify why they are bad.

Probably not that well worded but something along those lines that groups those crazy ideologies in with religion while leaving atheism out of it.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:23:00 UTC | #95484

thedrewjones's Avatar Comment 6 by thedrewjones

Even if you only take the first minute they claim 'The root of all evil' was a BBC documentry and say RD's goal; is nothing less than ridding the world of religion' and '...especially at this time of year he is the Grinch that is trying to steal Christmas'

How much research of facts do you need nowadays before you can call something journalism or news?

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:24:00 UTC | #95485

tatestreet's Avatar Comment 7 by tatestreet

Despite the interviewer's irritating manner, he pretty much gave Dawkins softball questions. Nice to see RD swings a pretty big bat.

Horny to be good. Well, there are many horny priests out there.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:25:00 UTC | #95486

Thanny's Avatar Comment 8 by Thanny

That interviewer is a moron. There is no way in which any reasonable person can claim anything more than a decent probability that MLK was inspired by religion. The evidence suggests he was inspired by human decency, and used religion as a tool.

And what's with the lead-in garbage about ridding the world of religion, stealing Xmas and other religion holidays, etc.? Is he really that stupid that he can't even read what Dawkins has actually said on "religious" holidays?

Update:

Good grief. I should have watched the second half before commenting. That interviewer isn't just a moron, he's a complete wanker. Listening to his drivel is demeaning to human intelligence in general.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:25:00 UTC | #95487

tatestreet's Avatar Comment 9 by tatestreet

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:27:00 UTC | #95489

debaser71's Avatar Comment 10 by debaser71

I think the interviewer was trying to throw fastballs but he ended up lobbing softballs at Dawkins. And Dawkins, of course, hit homeruns.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:28:00 UTC | #95490

tatestreet's Avatar Comment 11 by tatestreet

I like that RD, when the interviewer says "Darwin says we evolved from apes," says, "We did." The interviewer clearly didn't not want to admit that. It's like he was just itching to say, "I didn't evolve from an ape."

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:29:00 UTC | #95491

seanwupton's Avatar Comment 12 by seanwupton

I can't take that interviewer seriously, and the quicker we get rid of the ridiculous "Stalin, Hitler" debate the better, as it has absolutley no validity and is entirley off topic.

Dawkins was fantastic as usual.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:29:00 UTC | #95492

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 13 by Cook@Tahiti

Almost nothing this interviewer said was factually correct.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:31:00 UTC | #95495

tatestreet's Avatar Comment 14 by tatestreet

I can't take that interviewer seriously, and the quicker we get rid of the ridiculous "Stalin, Hitler" debate the better, as it has absolutley no validity and is entirley off topic.

Dawkins was fantastic as usual.


I think Dawkins would agree with you. "You're not seriously going to bring up Hitler?!"

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:33:00 UTC | #95496

Aaron's Avatar Comment 15 by Aaron

I have to disagree with Dr. Dawkins on his theory that altruism towards strangers is a misfiring of our moral mechanisms.

I think an argument can be made that the process that articulates morality within the brain starts with senory information about the state of being of any individual and when that state of being is made better our reward centers fire and reinforce the act of making the state of being better for other individuals and that the genes that code for this mechanism and process have been selected because they promote a healthy environment for their propagation within offspring. This means the rule by which this mechanism functions would state something like "Increase the well being of individuals within your environment to ensure it is safe for your offspring."

This idea maintains the selfishness of genes and gets rid of the idea disliked by many (including me) that morality towards strangers is a malfunction of some kind.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:36:00 UTC | #95499

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 16 by Steve Zara

This was actually rather good. The interviewer was blunt, but at least dealt directly with important issues, and gave Dawkins a chance to respond. Especially compared with the relative lack of engagement in other debates, this was useful. It was nice to see Dawkins being so forceful as well. People may mock the interviewer, but I would far rather see the direct posing of questions that most religious actually ask than the vagueness of, say, a McGrath.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:37:00 UTC | #95501

spiderdancer's Avatar Comment 17 by spiderdancer

Absolutely top marks to Dawkins here. I've watched so many of these and this one was very good. Seemed to talk at a higher tempo than normal and with a smile. Not so aggressive but full of fluent answers.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:39:00 UTC | #95502

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 19 by Styrer-

This is perhaps the best performance from the Professor I have seen in his many TV interviews. Absolutely superb.

There is a terrific speed of attack here, rapid and compelling dispatch of the key arguments, and above all a supremely energetic confidence in delivery. Unmatched.

After seeing this, I am thrilled to recognise that there really is no greater fighter against superstition and irrationality out there today.

I feel rather moved!

Best,
Styrer

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:42:00 UTC | #95505

matiuk's Avatar Comment 18 by matiuk

I feel bad as a Canadian watching a fellow Canadian appearing as a disrespectful and (it seems more so a) dense journalist. Perhaps some people are still not old enough to talk about sex.

Keep coming to Canada Dr. Dawkins, we can still be saved!


-M

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:42:00 UTC | #95504

clatz's Avatar Comment 20 by clatz

Fancy Darwin talk?

Halarious, this guy would have been king of the playground.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:44:00 UTC | #95507

Jon_Sociologist's Avatar Comment 21 by Jon_Sociologist

I think we need to be careful how we try to "get rid of" the Stalin/Hitler debate. Many Atheists are saying "we shouldn't debate the body count argument", many "neutral" observers are going to take this as a tacit admission of defeat. The problem with public debate is that the public has a very poor collective memory. I think that we, as defenders of Atheism, need to challenge and refute the 'body count argument' every time it is brought up publicly. Any failure to counter it, including saying, "we shouldn't debate the body count argument", is a defeat in the court of public opinion. While Dawkins tried to avoid it in the first place, he did respond in the end with a refutation rather than a dodge.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:45:00 UTC | #95508

entheogensmurf's Avatar Comment 22 by entheogensmurf

The interviews duration was not long enough. However, Prof. Dawkins explained the concepts well enough within the permitted time.

Thanks for the posting of this video.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 08:46:00 UTC | #95509

Ole's Avatar Comment 24 by Ole

Richard was great!

The sad thing to meet all the time are people like this interviewer who never gave any quality time to understand Darwin and evolution.

It is not enough to know a few words, like natural selection etc.

A great paradox - Darwin's dandy idea is possible to grasp with some intellectual efforts, while Einstein's theory of relativity is much harder to understand.

I'm sure this interviewer would not start talking about the "horny" mass-energy equivalence, E = mc2. ;-)

Ole

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:03:00 UTC | #95519

MarcCountry's Avatar Comment 23 by MarcCountry

The childish interviewer made an ass of himself. I too am embarrassed by him, as a Canuck.

Just because the Christians don't want to claim Hitler as one of their own, I don't see why we should have to take him in...

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:03:00 UTC | #95518

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 25 by Matt H.

'Horny to do good?'

Heh, Richard gave him a right bollocking when the interview said that. Just look at his face. Go, Richard!

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:07:00 UTC | #95521

maton100's Avatar Comment 26 by maton100

This interviewer looks like Sean Hannity in training.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:16:00 UTC | #95526

Madonna's Stardust's Avatar Comment 27 by Madonna's Stardust

My favourite RD line in this is "You're not going to bring out Hitler and Stalin again are you?"

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:19:00 UTC | #95528

Henri Bergson's Avatar Comment 28 by Henri Bergson

Someone slap that thick spastic interviewer hard in the face... We have not only evolved benevolence but also malevolence.

The only only mistake Dawkins makes is to suggest that 'evil' is a real thing. It's relative.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:20:00 UTC | #95529

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 29 by Diacanu

That went well.
*Thumbs up*

I'm not gonna be too hard on the interviewer though.

His questions were a combination of what the average person might ask, and his incredulity reactions are from that christianity is so used to dominating the cultural landscape, and going uncriticized, that it's in flabberghasted shock.

Long as that flabberghasted incredulity doesn't bare its fangs like with Coulter/D'Souza I mentally pat it on its head and give it a cookie.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:21:00 UTC | #95530

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 30 by Steve Zara

I'm not gonna be too hard on the interviewer though.

His questions were a combination of what the average person might ask, and his incredulity reactions are from that christianity is so used to dominating the cultural landscape, and going uncriticized, that it's in flabberghasted shock.


Absolutely. Those being hard on the interviewer misses the point: he represents the reality of mass Christian opinion, which is why this interview was so useful.

There is no way in which any reasonable person can claim anything more than a decent probability that MLK was inspired by religion.


They clearly could, as King was a Baptist minister, who helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It is clear that his philosophy was inspired by religion in general, even if it was non-specific. This is shown by his statement:

"In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation."

Its the bizarre yet familiar 'objective morality argument'.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:23:00 UTC | #95531