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Dawkins Down Under

Richard Dawkins on Australian TV waxes lyrical on science and religion, morality, the cross of Christ and the afterlife.

SCIENCE AND RELIGION

RICHARD DAWKINS: The implication you make is that there’s something about religion which is personal and upon which evidence doesn’t have any bearing. Now, as I scientist I care passionately about the truth. I think that the existence of a supreme being – a supernatural supreme being – is a scientific issue. Either there is a God or there isn’t. Either there are gods or there are no gods. That is a scientific issue. Yes, it’s a supremely important scientific question. If the universe was created by an intelligence, then we are looking at an entirely different kind of scientific theory than if the universe came into existence by natural means. If God or gods had something to do with the creation of life, then we’re looking at a totally different kind of biology.

So I think you can’t just say religion and science have nothing to do with each other. Science can get on and you let people have their own religious – of course you let people believe whatever they like. But you cannot say that science and religion are completely separate because religion makes scientific claims. It certainly makes scientific claims about miracles, and you cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in miracles or, I suspect, with a belief in supernatural creation. At least the very least you should say is that this is a scientific question.

MORALITY

RICHARD DAWKINS: I don’t think I want an absolute morality. I think I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, argued, discussed and based upon, I’d almost say, intelligent design. Can we not design our society, which has the sort of morality, the sort of society that we want to live in – if you actually look at the moralities that are accepted among modern people, among 21st century people, we don’t believe in slavery anymore. We believe in equality of women. We believe in being gentle. We believe in being kind to animals. These are all things which are entirely recent. They have very little basis in Biblical or Quranic scripture. They are things that have developed over historical time through a consensus of reasoning, of sober discussion, argument, legal theory, political and moral philosophy. These do not come from religion. To the extent that you can find the good bits in religious scriptures, you have to cherry pick. You search your way though the Bible or the Quran and you find the occasional verse that is an acceptable profession of morality and you say, “Look at that. That’s religion,” and you leave out all the horrible bits and you say, “Oh, we don’t believe that anymore. We’ve grown out of that.” Well, of course we’ve grown out it. We’ve grown out of it because of secular moral philosophy and rational discussion. Jesus said some wonderful things and the sermon on the mount is terrific. Modern morality goes back to that and says, yes, that’ll do. That’s very good.

We are not counting up the number of good things and bad things that have been done by people who happen to be religious or who happen to be atheist. We’re looking at whether there are religious or atheistic motives for doing good or bad things. Is there a logical pathway that leads from religious faith to doing bad things? Sure as hell there is. Is there a logical pathway that leads from atheism to doing bad things? No, you cannot make a logical pathway that way. Nobody would ever say, “Because I’m an atheist I’m going to kill somebody.” You could very well say, “Because I am a Christian I’m going to go and kills Muslims.” “Because I’m a Muslim I’m going to go to kill Christians.” This is something that’s happened throughout history.
 
Nobody has ever said, “Because I’m an atheist, I’m going to go and kill somebody.”
 
 THE CROSS OF CHRIST
 
RICHARD DAWKINS: The New Testament – you believe, if you believe in the New Testament, that God, the all powerful creator of the universe couldn’t think of a better way to forgive humanity’s sins than to have himself put on earth, tortured and executed in atonement for the sins of humanity? What kind of a horrible, depraved notion is that?
 
RICHARD DAWKINS: But the extreme is in the New Testament. I simply told you what is New Testament doctrine. That is St Paul’s view, which is accepted by Christianity. That’s why Christ came to earth, in order to atone for humanity’s sins. If it’s extreme, it’s not me that’s being extreme, it’s the new testament that’s being extreme. Do you think it’s admirable? You think it’s admirable that God actually had himself tortured for the sins of humanity? That is the Christian view. If you think that’s admirable, you can keep it!
AFTERLIFE

RICHARD DAWKINS: Let’s be realistic about this. We have brains. It’s brains that do the thinking. Our brains are going to decay. That will be that. But when you say, “Is this it?” How much more do you want? I mean this is wonderful. Wouldn’t an afterlife be incredibly tedious after the first thousand years or so?

 

 

 

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33 Responses to Dawkins Down Under

  1. Dawkins :”Nobody would ever say, “Because I’m an atheist I’m going to kill somebody.”
    Has he never studied history? What about Pol Pot? Was he not an atheist that killed people for opposing his views? If Dawkin was american, I could forgive him for not knowing France history and the massacre done by the Jacobins (the reign of terror) in the name of Atheism.
    Atheism as an ideology is responsible for the death of more people in the 20th century that all religions all together.
    Dawkin is in complete denial.

  2. Nice to see Richard admit that he’s at war with religion.

    Big Science has been at war with religion for over a century now, but the wolf has always worn sheep’s clothing. Darwin knew better than to attack religion head-on because then it would have become obvious that his theory was not purely disinterested science but was animated at least in part by an animus against religion.

    So too all of the leading voices of Big Science in the last century were very cautious about religion. They wanted to appeal to their base, but they knew they had to win the minds and hearts of enough people of religious persuasion to maintain their cultural hegemony. Gould even went so far as to propose separate magisteria for science and religion—a promise that he himself could not resist breaking.

    With Dawkinsharrismyers, this conciliatory feint comes to a close. The enemies of religion in Big Science feel a need to shed their sheep’s clothing and bare their teeth because their hegemony is in peril. The self-evident fact of design and the complexity of life expose the barrenness of Darwin’s theory, leaving them with no choice but to become more openly aggressive in the hope of saving their once-glorious empire.

    Cultural change is causing Richard to become less and less cautious about allowing his real self be seen. The Age of Science loses its ability to maneuver rhetorically and enters its end-game.

  3. Can we not design our society, which has the sort of morality, the sort of society that we want to live in…?

    Absolutely. Dawkins’ model worked eminently well for Adolf Eichmann; why not for the rest of us too?

  4. 4

    The program from which these quotes come is a Q & A session on the Australian Broadcasting Commisssion (ABC).

    I was amazed at Dawkins shallow understanding of the question of “absolute morality” and his total ignorance regarding the underlying theology of the “reparation of sins” by God made Man – Jesus Christ. Why it required a Man/God “sacrifice” to achieve the salvation of a fallen mankind. Dawkins is a smart talker but he’s also an ignoramous on many issues outside of his area of expertise – biology.

    Btw when is ID going to lose the “creationism” tag. This sort of misrepresentation based on ignorance prevailed throughout the program.

    Time for people like Stephen Meyers, Bill Dembski and Michael Behe to visit down under and sort out the misunderstandings, misrepresentations and distortions regarding ID.

  5. Kyrilluk @1,

    Atheism as an ideology is responsible for the death of more people in the 20th century that all religions all together.

    Blaming religion for what Jim Jones did in Guyana is just as wrong as blaming atheism for other incidences of sociopathic behaviour.

    The source of these tradegies are the result of individuals, usually in an attempt to cling to power.

  6. . I think that the existence of a supreme being – a supernatural supreme being – is a scientific issue.

    Good, now we can bring the question of God into the science classroom!!!!

  7. 7

    Is there a logical pathway that leads from religious faith to doing bad things? Sure as hell there is.

    But you don’t believe in hell, Professor. I’m confused. :(

  8. 8

    deric

    Dawkins is a smart talker but he’s also an ignoramous on many issues outside of his area of expertise – biology.

    Dawkins is a biology expert? Could’ve fooled me.

  9. I think that the existence of a supreme being – a supernatural supreme being – is a scientific issue. Either there is a God or there isn’t. Either there are gods or there are no gods. That is a scientific issue.

     
    So he is saying a debate about a supernatural being is a scientific issue.  But in countless other places he says science is purely the study of the natural world, and any reference to anything non-natural is out of the realm of science (and is indeed “bad science” or a “science stopper”).  In fact he says it in the very next paragraph:
     

    …you cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in miracles or, I suspect, with a belief in supernatural creation.

     
    Top it off with the notion that only what can be proven scientifically is believable and there you have a “proof” of the non-existence of God. 
     
    1.)  The existence of God is a scientific issue.
    2.)  Anything that is real is provable by science.
    3.)  Supernatural beings/acts are unscientific (in direct contradiction of premise #1).
    4.)  Conclusion:  No God.
     
    I have to state it again, because I find it hard to believe that someone like this is famous for his intellect.  Within a few sentences of each other, he says that the supernatural “is a scientific issue” and “you cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in (the supernatural)”.  Wow!  What an airtight case for atheism!
     

    Is there a logical pathway that leads from atheism to doing bad things? No, you cannot make a logical pathway that way.

     
    At this point I almost believe you got this transcript from The Onion.  He can’t be serious.  Atheism has the most logical pathway from beliefs to “bad things” than any other major religion.  Islamic extremists violate their beliefs for their own wishes.  The Inquistion and other atrocities due to Christians fly in the face of true Christianity.
     
    How about survival of the fittest?  If I go kill my neighbor and rape his wife, that is valued by natural selection.  No God means no moral absolute, no eternal consequences.  I’m not saying that is what all atheists are bound to do, I’m saying it is a perfectly logical pathway from atheism to doing bad things, if that is what your heart desires.
     

    Nobody has ever said, “Because I’m an atheist, I’m going to go and kill somebody.”

     
    Would the omniscent Dawkins please tell me this week’s lottery numbers?  Even if no one would kill simply for the cause of atheism (which I doubt severely…humans have killed for basically everything we have every been associated with, including religion, politics, mates, music, sports, video games, who got a parking space, etc.  I somehow doubt atheism would be the one single enterprise in the history of mankind that never lead to murder.), it’s obviously logical pathway (which he blatantly denies) can lead anywhere anyone’s heart wants it to lead, including “bad things”, because there is no absolute.  Who cares if there is a reasoned, socially-accepted norm.  Who is to say to the serial killer that his activities are fundamentally wrong?
     

    That’s why Christ came to earth, in order to atone for humanity’s sins. If it’s extreme, it’s not me that’s being extreme, it’s the new testament that’s being extreme.

     
    Extreme is not strong enough language.  It is infinite.  God is perfect, therefore any sin is infinitely horrible.  The only person that can make up for such an infinite failure is God.
     

    Let’s be realistic about this. We have brains. It’s brains that do the thinking. Our brains are going to decay. That will be that.

    Yes, because the most realistic, intuitive explanation of a conscious, intelligent human being is that it is entirely driven by electricity and chemicals.  This has never been scientifically demonstrated, but yes, Richard, let’s be “realistic”.
     

    But when you say, “Is this it?” How much more do you want? I mean this is wonderful. Wouldn’t an afterlife be incredibly tedious after the first thousand years or so?

    This statement is not even wrong. It is a crtique of what an afterlife would be like from an atheist perspective, which inherently does not allow an afterlife. Heaven, as described in the Bible, would never get tiresome. 

    His logic here is very similar to his “devastating” thesis for why there is no God, because He would apparently be very, very complex, much more complex than what he created, therefore highy unlikely to exist. This is a reductionist view of God which inherently rejects God to begin with. 

    It’s like I create the Pickles Are Gross Club and seek to prove once and for all that pickles are in fact gross. I use the central premise of the group, that pickles are gross, to judge all other theories. A competing theory comes along stating that pickles are tasty. Seeing that it violates the Central Dogma, it is automatically false. Welcome to the “science” of an Oxford biologist. 

  10. (Only quick log-in / log-out… I have read Dawkin’s comments but not many replies yet. So sorry for doubling up!)

    I can honestly say I am pretty shocked by the naivety of some of these remarks.

    First, I can honestly say that I had engaged some of these questions in greater depth by the time I was ten lying in bed at night than Dawkins does here. I don’t mean that as a cheap shot.

    Second, what surprises me more is the fact that he has been repeatedly corrected—or at least had his objections addressed—countless times by countless intellectual equals (and plain ordinaries) over the past twenty years. How on Earth have his arguments failed to advance one iota over this period?

    I remember once being quite impressed by Dawkins when I was younger, even a shade intimidated perhaps. I’m glad I never ended up putting any stock in what he said then. The guy’s a let-down.

  11. Richard Dawkins doesn’t even talk the way he believes.

    Richard Dawkins, “many wars have been fought in the name of religion.”

    Richard believes there is no such thing as God or a god.

    Richard: Humans are a result of evolutionary processes.

    If humans are a product of evolution, then religion (as he understands it) is a naturally occurring evolutionary process.

    If religion (as he understands it) is a naturally occurring evolutionary process AND wars were fought as a direct result, then evolution directly is to blame, NOT religion (as Christians understand it).

    Besides, WWII was fought as a result of an Atheistic dictator, Hitler. However if Hitler and his views were a natural result of evolution why then did evolution also produce a counter view (and nations)in opposition to Hitler’s? (thinking like Dawkins…)

    In fact if God does not exist then why is war also not considered a natural byproduct of evolutionary processes? Even atheists see war as a bad thing but if all things are a result of evolution then all things should be permitted? But they are not. Why? The atheist has no answer.

  12. “If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong? And for many years I simply refused to listen to the Christian answers to this question, because I kept on feeling ‘whatever you say, and however clever your arguments are, isn’t it much simpler and easier to say that the world was not made by any intelligent power? Aren’t all your arguments simply a complicated attempt to avoid the obvious?’ But then that threw me back into another difficulty.”

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because a man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too — for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist — in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless — I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality — namely my idea of justice — was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.“– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  13. I am at a loss for words- has Richard been reading my blog:

    Now, as I scientist I care passionately about the truth. I think that the existence of a supreme being – a supernatural supreme being – is a scientific issue. Either there is a God or there isn’t. Either there are gods or there are no gods. That is a scientific issue. Yes, it’s a supremely important scientific question. If the universe was created by an intelligence, then we are looking at an entirely different kind of scientific theory than if the universe came into existence by natural means. If God or gods had something to do with the creation of life, then we’re looking at a totally different kind of biology.

    I have been saying it for ages- HOW it came to be is essential for trying to understand it:

    The Design Inference- Why it matters

    Thanks Dicky D…

  14. “It certainly makes scientific claims about miracles, and you cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in miracles or, I suspect, with a belief in supernatural creation.”
    “Let’s be realistic about this. We have brains. It’s brains that do the thinking.”

    A brain built out of a single cell then one day brain thinks there is no such things as miracles or supernatural. My brain hurts.

  15. 15

    Wow, for once I actually agree with Dawkins, that the existence of God is a scientific issue because a God-generated universe is a different one than an accidental one.

    I disagree with uoflcard that
    “God is perfect, therefore any sin is infinitely horrible. ”

    The sins of finite creatures are not infinite. They are easily contained drops within the ocean of infinite goodness.

  16. Thanks Dicky D…

    Joseph,

    That’s Ducky D.

    Remember that thing he does with his head any time Stephen Meyer’s or Willliam Lane Craig’s names are mentioned.

  17. “You cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in miracles or, I suspect, with a belief in supernatural creation.”

    I’ve never understood this wholly illogical sentiment. How can the study of causality under the conditions of no miracles have any bearing whatsoever on what can or cannot happen should miracles be operative? Dawkins’ statement is a complete non sequitur.

  18. What I liked best before watching the programme was saying to my wife, ‘I bet they won’t have anyone there who will be able to speak scientifically, philosophically or be as knowledgably literate on the Bible as they should have for one as so demonstrably athiestic and antagonistic as Dawkins.’

    Lo and behold we have mainly well-meaning polticians with little substance on the areas that are presented. And that’s it.

    Why? Because the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) wouldn’t want to offend Dawkins by having REAL debaters to offer better replies … or retorts to Dawkins.

    Or, more likely, Dawkins was offered a critique or the fellow panelists and realised that there was no competition.

    CMI (Creation Ministries International) offered to debate Dawkins, Hitchens and co. whilst they were attending the International Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia. They all declined. “Not enough time”, “Won’t bow to giving any credence to the ID/creationists by debating them.”, etc.

    Cut and run, they do, when ANYONE with a substantial background on the issues offers to meet the challenge!

    Gutless wonders.

    They throw rocks from behind a wall.

  19. 15.) avocationist

    I disagree with uoflcard that
    “God is perfect, therefore any sin is infinitely horrible. ”

    The sins of finite creatures are not infinite. They are easily contained drops within the ocean of infinite goodness.

    If our sins were essentially meaningless to God, we would not need Jesus. Our sins do not affect God Himself, but it makes a perfectly intimate relationship with Him (i.e. Heaven) impossible. The Bible makes this very clear. Jesus didn’t need to die on the cross for God but for us. We are spiritually dead and separated from God without Jesus.

  20. Another thought from the Dawkins transcript:

    you cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in miracles or, I suspect, with a belief in supernatural creation.

    So apparently an “authentic” approach to science is a fundamental belief that nature is all that there it further clarifies the confusion with Richard and his odd arguments. He rejects the supernatural from the outset and justifies it by the fact that he rejected it from the outset (but desguises it as some type of unarguable, undeniable pillar of rationality).

    Richard Dawkins is nothing but a name. The more I read and hear from him, the less impressed I am. He has a wonderful knowledge of biology and should keep it his public speaking there.

  21. uoflcard @ #9 said,

    “Top it off with the notion that only what can be proven scientifically is believable and there you have a “proof” of the non-existence of God.”

    I agree with you.

    Not sur eif you’ve heard of Ravi Zacharias but he also makes a good point

    http://www.rzim.org/resources/.....8;pid=1764

    “Is Faith Delusional?” Can’t remember if it’s in part 1 or 2.

    He states that in order to prove a negative requires infinite knowledge.

    To say there are no such thing as God requires an infinite (observable) knowledge of our universe (or multiverses) in order to make such an absolute statement. And obviously Richard Dawkins has no such knowledge.

  22. Typical Dawkins drivel

  23. wagenweg:

    He [Ravi Zacharias] states that in order to prove a negative requires infinite knowledge.

    To say there are no such thing as God requires an infinite (observable) knowledge of our universe (or multiverses) in order to make such an absolute statement. And obviously Richard Dawkins has no such knowledge.

    Dawkins doesn’t claim to have proven that God doesn’t exist. He just argues that it is unlikely. Chapter Four of The God Delusion is entitled Why there almost certainly is no God.

    Your criticisms might be more persuasive if you actually had some knowledge of what Dawkins claims. How about reading The God Delusion?

  24. How does Dawkins explain more than 100 million people killed in the 20th century by their own governments – founded on atheism?

    See
    The Black Book of Communism Stéphane Courtois
    Harvard University Press

    Compare about 39 million killed in all wars during the 20th century.

  25. 23.) pelagius

    Dawkins doesn’t claim to have proven that God doesn’t exist. He just argues that it is unlikely. Chapter Four of The God Delusion is entitled Why there almost certainly is no God.

    Your criticisms might be more persuasive if you actually had some knowledge of what Dawkins claims. How about reading The God Delusion

    First, this is really a pointless argument because while he doesn’t claim to disprove God completely, by his circular logic he practically claims that it is impossible. Apparently God is “extremely complex” therefore highly unlikely to exist. While he doesn’t claim it is 100% proven, it is like saying it’s not 100% impossible to win the lottery 15 times in a row.

    But you miss the point. His entire argument is based on his personal worldview of naturalism. The “god” that he demolishes is basically a giant, reducible machine.

    Listen, Richard is a brilliant biologist. I love everything he writes about actual biology. But his theology is awful. Yes, he does a very good job of causing considerable doubt about the probability of a complex, mechanistic God. Unfortunately, I’ve never met a single theist who believes in the type of God that Richard skilfully demolished.

  26. 26

    I havent a clue who Hugh Hewitt is, but I just finished reading the transcript of an interview with Richard Dawkins by Hewitt in October 09.

    Amazing, I thought.

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog.....1ee54d9ea4

  27. Wm Lane Craig unpacks Dawkins here:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....38;id=7293

    Have to register, but its free.

  28. Summary of the Hugh Hewitt interview Upright BiPed alluded to:

    HH: I have some rope here would you like some?

    RD: Oh, thank-you. I’ll take that.

  29. “…you cannot reconcile an authentic approach to science with a belief in miracles or, I suspect, with a belief in supernatural creation.”

    Really? Better scientists than Dawkins have.

    “I don’t think I want an absolute morality.”

    Considering he’s an adulterer, I can see why. It’s so much easier to pick and choose what’s good and what’s bad rather than have to think about what the concepts of compassion, love, and justice really mean and how they should be applied equally throughout society.

    “We believe in equality of women.”

    So did Jesus, who appeared to women before appearing to his male disciples. The apostle Paul names women in his letters to various congregations.

    “We believe in being gentle.”

    “Clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” (Colossians, chapter 3)

    “The fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, mildness, long-suffering, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22,23)

    “We believe in being kind to animals.”

    The Old Testament warns against unevenly yoking animals such as donkeys and oxen. That man was to exercise dominion over the animals and care for them is made clear in Genesis.

    “ These are all things which are entirely recent. They have very little basis in Biblical or Quranic scripture.”

    Uh, no. Try actually reading the Bible, Richard. You’d be surprised at what’s in there.

    “Nobody has ever said, “Because I’m an atheist, I’m going to go and kill somebody.”

    Jeffrey Dahmer openly admitted to killing and cannibalizing people because of the teaching of evolution. Prisons today are filled with atheists who’ve committed horrible crimes. The sheer lack of logic Dawkins displays here is unbelievable.

    “Wouldn’t an afterlife be incredibly tedious after the first thousand years or so?”

    Not really. Consider what astronomer Robert Jastrow said when asked if everlasting life would be a blessing or a curse. Jastrow replied: “It would be a blessing to those who have curious minds and an endless appetite for learning. The thought that they have forever to absorb knowledge would be very comforting for them. But for others who feel they have learned all there is to learn and whose minds are closed, it would be a dreadful curse. They’d have no way to fill their time.”

  30. Prisons today are filled with atheists who’ve committed horrible crimes. The sheer lack of logic Dawkins displays here is unbelievable.

    Are you asserting that there are more atheists in prison than christians in general? Are there more atheits than christians based on their distribution in the actual population? Or are you simply making these things up and you actually don’t have numbers?

  31. hrun0815 @ 30: “Are you asserting that there are more atheists in prison than christians in general?Are there more atheits than christians based on their distribution in the actual population? Or are you simply making these things up and you actually don’t have numbers?”

    I am asserting that atheists commit crimes. Please prove otherwise.

  32. 32

    #28

    Yes JDH, that about covers it.

    I particularly liked this jewel of empericism:

    We don’t need fossils in order to demonstrate that evolution is a fact. We, I mean, it would be an obviously true fact even if not a single fossil had ever been formed.

    This, of course, can be read to mean:

    1) Fossils show things, and I dont like them.

    2) I am a professor and a teen idol; I cannot be distracted by evidence.

    3) My shoulders disappear in the general vicinity of my gluteus maximus.

    - – - – - –

    And if empiricism is not his strong suit, then it helps to keep in mind that this towering intellect is also the stage manager of a book about delusion:

    HH: But the universe is itself awfully complicated, Professor Dawkins. Where did it come from?

    RD: Well, the universe is not awfully complicated at the beginning. It has become very complicated through such processes as evolution by natural selection.

    HH: No, I’m talking about the whole cosmos. Where did that come from, 13 billion years ago?

    RD: It came from the big bang, which is not a complex process. It’s a simple process.

    HH: And what preceded the big bang?

    RD: Well, physicists won’t answer that question. They will say that time itself began in the big bang, and so the question what preceded it is illegitimate.

    HH: What do you think?

    RD: I’m not enough of a physicist to understand what I’m saying, but I have to say that that’s what physicists say.

    Isn’t this the same mahatma who thrilled his audiences by saying a Creator couldn’t exist because he would have to be more complicated than his creations?

    Ah well….I’m sure there is a compliment to either Steven Weinberg or Stephen Hawking in there somewhere.

  33. “We believe in being gentle. ”

    Nothing is as full of pablum as an atheist explaining an amoral morality.

    Morality is not about who I decide to be gentle to. That is a non starter. Thinking man’s morality is about who do we need to be non-gentle to. I think both atheists and theists would claim we should not be gentle to child molesters, murderers, thieves, rapists, etc.

    But morality is not as simple as just that. Its not just about imprisoning the violent. Its about providing positive guidance for youth.

    I am tolerant and gentle to those who choose to lead alternative life styles. Many people limit their sin to their private lives and their sin has limited public effect. But that stops when they choose to advocate their perversions or say that I can not publicly denounce their sin, or worse yet, the state has to officially sanction it and decree it as equal to other lifestyles.

    Making the decision to punish the violent is easy. Making real moral distinctions about what behaviors should be publicly encouraged and what behaviors should be shamed is the difficult part. Dr. Dawkins is a moral wimp. In a cowardly manner he proclaims “good” a consensus viewpoint which only makes a decision about what is easy.

    We don’t kill.

    Ok, good. Now what do you proscribe Dr. Dawkins for the people who have to make real decisions about how they live their lives. What moral instruction do you have Dr. Dawkins? “Be gentle” is no moral principle. It is dodging the issue. It is standing morality on its head and proclaiming tolerance as the only virtue.

    And the disaster waiting to happen is that a society which only thinks of tolerance and does not stand up against moral evil is exactly the kind of morality that allows a whole society to be led astray by the evil.

    Oh, but we don’t have to worry about that. Rationality will save us. There is just no way that following the scientific principles of Darwinism with no moral backing could ever lead an educated nation to commit great evil. Well maybe ein Zeit.

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