Monday 9 April 2007 6.05pm
The Lady Miss Jo Jo wrote:
What, all of it?
It has some interesting stories, but it's packed full of violence, bigotry and prejudice. It's also riddled with contradictions and historical inaccuracies. Some of the claims - particularly those in the Old Testament - are simply laughable. Take the story of Noah's Ark for example. I just can't believe there are people who actually, seriously believe this happened. Over 60% of Americans take the Bible literally, btw.
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
b)I would beware however of saying "all this nonsense" in case you seriously offend those who are
But most religious text is
nonsense. I'm talking mainly about the supernatural stuff here, but there are many other aspects. Written and re-written hundreds of years after the events happened; not a shred of tangible evidence left behind; riddled with fairy tales and myths; etc.
How else am I supposed to describe it, other than nonsense? Sorry if these people are "deeply offended" but maybe it's time they woke up and started to view things rationally. I don't see why I should have to "respect" people who think the Earth is less than 6,000 years old, for example - as far as I'm concerned that's delusional.
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
c)I was present at a HUGE debate a couple of weeks ago in Central Hall Westminster of Intelligence Squared (a debating forum)
The motion was "Would we be better off without religion?".
For the motion were: Richard Dawkins, Anthony Grayling and Christopher Hitchens.
Against the motion were: Roger Scruton, Julia Neuberger, Nigel Slater, an impressive line up you will all agree.
The discussion was riveting, each participant being of spectacular intellect. The result was 1000+ people in favour of the motion, 700+ against. 100+ dont know. I tell you this because although a majority agreed that religion is not a good thing, a substantial part of the audience didnt agree. This was a highly educated bunch of some 2000 people listening to six brilliantly articulated points of view...and there was no hard and fast conclusion.
Glad to hear the majority recognized the truth. Religion has caused more wars, misery and suffering than just about anything else in the history of mankind. It's a dangerous and divisive force that controls people, exploits them, halts scientific and technological progress, and actively discourages our understanding of the Universe. Faith - the concept of belief without any evidence - is actually taught as a virtue.
There are, as Jackie says, people who are quite intimidatingly intelligent who are religious. There are, in fact, many, many, many such people.
Maybe they should use that intelligence to think logically and rationally about the world around them. A planet full of delusional people isn't healthy.
It's also worth noting that most academic atheist societies have distanced themselves from Dawkins' work on the grounds that it has no firmer an empirical foundation than theism. Joe Public loves it but, academically speaking, it's been a complete flop.
Sorry, but that's just rubbish. Are we even talking about the same person here?
In any case, surely the opinion of "Joe Public" is more important here. Over the years I've seen hundreds of respected atheist websites, books, newspaper articles, journals, documentaries, etc. and everywhere I look, Dawkins is consistently regarded as the #1 spokesperson for atheists in the world. He's received tons of awards, got people genuinely questioning their beliefs, and got the world talking about atheism like never before. All of his books have become international bestsellers.
The guy is a genius. He completely demolishes the arguments of Christians and explains things so clearly and articulately.
I kind of lost any academic conference in that link in the first post when it started talking about Muslims on Mars and God reattaching severed heads.
The link I provided has a list of excellent questions which demand answers and are perfectly fair, sensible and intelligent. Why shouldn't they be considered "academic" or worthy of answering? You have to admit - it's rather interesting that God never heals amputees, for example...