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Richard Dawkins Documentary - Enemies of Reason

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If you've never seen this then I highly recommend a viewing! It's excellent!

About:
The Enemies of Reason is a two-part television documentary, written and presented by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in which he seeks to expose "those areas of belief that exist without scientific proof, yet manage to hold the nation under their spell", including mediumship, acupuncture and psychokinesis


Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1N1bGH1gb8

Dawkins points to some of science's achievements and describes it as freeing most people from superstition and dogma. Picking up from his superstition-reason distinction in The Root of All Evil? (while recycling some footage from it), he then says reason is facing an "epidemic of superstition" that "impoverishes our culture" and introduces gurus that persuade us "to run away from reality". He calls the present day dangerous times. He returns to science's achievements, including the fact that, by extending people's lifespan, it helps them to take more advantage of life. He turns his attention to astrology, which he criticizes for stereotyping without evidence. Having put astrology to the test and referred to larger-scale experiments, he then briefly describes the mechanics of astronomy, and then expresses frustration that 50% of the UK population -- more than are members of one religion -- believe in the paranormal.

Part 2: The Irrational Health Service

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCbVAr3iGWo

Richard Dawkins examines the growing suspicion the public has for science-based medicine, despite its track record of successes like the germ theory of disease, vaccines, antibiotics and increased lifespan. He notes a fifth of British children are currently not immunised against measles, mumps and rubella, attributing it to fears arising from a highly controversial report linking the vaccine with autism.

Dawkins criticizes the growing field of alternative medicine which does not pass the same objective and statistical rigour as scientifically derived treatments using controlled double-blind studies. Without verifiable evidence, alternative therapies must rely on biased anecdotes and word of mouth to perpetuate. Dawkins observes these treatments have fanciful rationales and rituals behind them, with many alternative treatments employing pseudoscientific jargon such as "energy", "vibration" or "quantum theory" to give themselves greater credence to patients.

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Oh boy. Just the man for the job. I think they chould have chosen someone who uses his reason better.

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He is rather famous or notorious, depending on your point of view.

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Dawkins insists on the unreasonable assumption that science is the extent of reason. He needs to include a bit about himself in the documentary.

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To be honest, I find him extremely unprofessional, It seems to me does science a disservice. I disagree strongly with both him and his mate Dan Dennett, but I find myself respect for the latter but having none at all for the former.

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Oh boy. Just the man for the job. I think they chould have chosen someone who uses his reason better.

 

 

Would you care to expound on your criticism or are you simply someone who cannot understand reason....

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That's a very loaded question. I do understand reason, being a student of the topic, but I don't want to talk more about Dawkins. Not worth the bother. I mean, if a person cannot see from his book on God that the guy is not an honest thinker then nothing I say can make any difference. What can he explain about the big issues, the metaphysical problems that underly his precious science? Nothing at all. This is because it requires the honest application of reason. But please let us not waste time on him.

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If you don't want to discuss Dawkins, why post in a thread about him? I implore you to elaborate on how he isn't a thinker because he refuses to believe in something that is "faith based". Have you ever read his "book on god", or are just making open ended assumptions?



Dawkins insists on the unreasonable assumption that science is the extent of reason. He needs to include a bit about himself in the documentary.

 

No, actually Dawkins insist that the scientific method is how one should explore the world. Again, he feels that anything that requires you to seek blindly, is lunacy. If you want to see unreasonable assumptions, watch his discussion with Wendy Wright.

Furthermore, PLEASE!! explain to me how you seek out reason? What method or approach have you concocted that supercedes the methods that have produced, well, EVERYTHING YOU SEE AROUND YOU!! Not to mention, when someone talks about themselves and who they are. It is to add credibility to their claims.AKA Why can you trust what I am saying about this subject. It's called academic writing..... Edited by moreinput

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Dawkins is unfairly maligned more than he is unreasonable, I think, and the abuse of him is unwarrantedly personal. He goes only so far, but is fine as far as he goes. Most of the harsher criticisms of his books involve basic misreadings and confused assumptions, followed by complaints about his arrogance and various accusations of dishonesty and misleading claims.

 

Then again, he does put his personality (including a robust ego) out there, and is engaging in a largely political arena. So he chooses to engage in a certain kind of conflict, and there's no reason to feel sorry for him.

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If you don't want to discuss Dawkins, why post in a thread about him? I implore you to elaborate on how he isn't a thinker because he refuses to believe in something that is "faith based". Have you ever read his "book on god", or are just making open ended assumptions?

Yes, perhaps I should not have done so. And no, I tried to read his book but it is so insane that I didn't make it past the first two pages. He does not seem to be able to differentiate between religion as it is and his crazy ideas about what it is. I agree with a lot of what he says about God and certain religious dogmas and approaches. but it hardly needs saying again, and it entirely misses the point. So blind faith is bad, Okay. So what? Religious people have been saying the same for millenia. His book is not useful to man nor beast. The only people who might learn anything from it are people who have never studied the topics. The index makes this pretty clear, and the intro makes it crystal clear. .

 

No, actually Dawkins insist that the scientific method is how one should explore the world. Again, he feels that anything that requires you to seek blindly, is lunacy. If you want to see unreasonable assumptions, watch his discussion with Wendy Wright.

 

Furthermore, PLEASE!! explain to me how you seek out reason? What method or approach have you concocted that supercedes the methods that have produced, well, EVERYTHING YOU SEE AROUND YOU!! Not to mention, when someone talks about themselves and who they are. It is to add credibility to their claims.AKA Why can you trust what I am saying about this subject. It's called academic writing.....

We should be honest is out approach if we are arguing for science. The dichotomy is not between the scientific method and 'seeking blindly'. More straw men and windmills.

 

Have you never heard of metaphysics? .What does Dawkins have to say about this? Nothing.at all. No surprises there. So if we take his approach we can never answer a metaphysical question such as 'Does God exist? His argument fails before it even starts. It is ridiculous that he does not see this. It is the same daft approach as people like Ayn Rand, who likewise seems to have never heard of logic.

 

If you want to prove that God does not exist then use metaphysics. It's the best method unless we wish to take up an empirical investigation. Physics is utterly useless in this regard. It is carefully and deliberately defined to be so. It is not concerned with absolutes. In metaphyscis we study absolutes, and we study reason, and the basis for reasonable decision-making is the dialectic. Waffling on like Dawkins does is just wasting paper.

 

The crazy thing is that Dawkins alienates people like me who basically agree with his view on theism and dogma. He ought to state his views on God and blind faith in two sentences and then concentrate on making some actual progress rather than flogging a dead horse at book length.

 

If you want a good argument against God I can do far better than Dawkins without breaking into a sweat.

Edited by PeterJ

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First of all, metaphysics? Really?..Please don't get me started on that. I love philosophy myself. But, assuming it could answer the question "does god exists?" is just nutty in itself. Why? Because it doesn't require experimentation to support its claims. We are talking about the same logical approach that had the world thinking heavier objects fall faster than smaller ones for 1,900 years. If the religious masses are so easily able to set aside empirical evidence, there is no way in hell we could use metaphysics to assault religion. So no, I am sure Dawkins doesn't want to use it as a tool in his arsenal.

 

Science thus far, has been able to provide answers about things such as evolution, the beginning, and not to mention, what makes people hinge to a god figure so desperately. Science shows us how Noahs Ark couldn't possibly be, and the real age of the planet we live on. It already has annihilated every aspect of religion to someone taking a rational approach, which is what Dawkins is imploring people to do. The real problem is the human condition, which is why Dawkins is on a podium trying to out preach the preachers, in a world that doesn't want to hear that death doesn't offer a treasure trove of wonders. Coming from someone who had to grapple with this very reality, I can personally assure you that Dawkins efforts are not ill placed.

 

Dawkins sees the danger in these religious mindsets and how others could be, and are exploited by them. He is watching the death toll rise on account of religion and wondering when the hell people will remove the blinders. To understand Dawkins you need to realize that he is dead serious about his perspectives, which I might add are based on factual information. He is not show boating or attempting to come of as a douche, which admittedly he does. He is just baffled by the fact that people, rather than investigate an issue, just allow someone to spoon feed them information. He wants us all to think for ourselves, but base our knowledge on facts rather than turn to religious dogma for ready made answers that have no foundation. in the end though, it really is like EdEarl said "He is rather famous or notorious, depending on your point of view."

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Ah. Another person who doesn't want to do metaphysics.

 

Of course we can use metaphysics to 'assault' religion'. We do it all the time. It's simply a matter of using ones common sense. If I tell you that God is a turtle balanced on the back of a whole pile of turtles you will use logic to calculate that I'm taking nonsense. That is metaphysics.

 

But you have to do a bit of it to understand it.

 

The problem with Dawkins is simply that he has not done his reasearch. He then assumes that religion is what he thinks it is, and goes on to prove that his idea is nonsense. Well so what? Not once in all his meanderings has he ever made a single criticism of my religion, and it is not clear he even knows it exists. .

 

A book about religion that does not have the word 'Mysticism' in its index is clearly daft. I reckon I know more about biology than he does about religion.

 

You could know more about religion than he does given a week or two of guided research, assuming you have a brain and can read.

 

I fully support his attempt to get people to use their reason more carefully. But I wish he would practice what he preaches.

Edited by PeterJ

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Ah. Another person who doesn't want to do metaphysics.

 

Of course we can use metaphysics to 'assault' religion'. We do it all the time. It's simply a matter of using ones common sense. If I tell you that God is a turtle balanced on the back of a whole pile of turtles you will use logic to calculate that I'm taking nonsense. That is metaphysics.

 

But you have to do a bit of it to understand it.

 

The problem with Dawkins is simply that he has not done his reasearch. He then assumes that religion is what he thinks it is, and goes on to prove that his idea is nonsense. Well so what? Not once in all his meanderings has he ever made a single criticism of my religion, and it is not clear he even knows it exists. .

 

A book about religion that does not have the word 'Mysticism' in its index is clearly daft. I reckon I know more about biology than he does about religion.

 

You could know more about religion than he does given a week or two of guided research, assuming you have a brain and can read.

 

I fully support his attempt to get people to use their reason more carefully. But I wish he would practice what he preaches.

 

So at what point does an invisible hypocrite that is infallible become irrational to people? The difference between the scientific method and a strictly philosophical solution, is that one of them is proven beyond a shadow of doubt, so far as we can measure it at that time. I could make a convincing and valid argument for just about anything. That doesn't mean it is true, or that it will hold up when applied. It just means that I am able to empathize with perspectives other than my own and know how to present my thoughts in a believable and cohesive manner. I can assure you that I am not a conventional thinker by any means. But that doesn't suggest I don't agree that there has to be order and control in what is and isn't declared factual. Again, I will point out that it seems perfectly rational to assume a larger object will fall faster than a smaller one, in my head. It truly does SEEM to be an intrinsic fact, but it isn't! Only by testing my assumption can I see how wrong I in fact was.

 

Dawkins deals with religion as a whole, and discusses the irrational thinking attached to it. It is not shocking his discussions lean towards the 5 majors, since his words will relate to a much broader audience. Doesn't that just seem like a common sense approach? But I am curious, how has he not done his homework? Do even know who he is beyond the mainstream stigma? Nothing you have said has addressed anything directly, and your broad assessments lead me to believe you're just making wild ignorant assumptions. Maybe you need to do your homework....

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And no, I tried to read his book but it is so insane that I didn't make it past the first two pages.

That explains a lot of your odd opinions about what's in it - you don't know what you are talking about.

 

 

The problem with Dawkins is simply that he has not done his reasearch.
He then assumes that religion is what he thinks it is, and goes on
to prove that his idea is nonsense. Well so what? Not once in all his
meanderings has he ever made a single criticism of my religion, and it
is not clear he even knows it exists.

I think you have to actually read his writings before you make assertions about what is not in them, especially when the assertions confllict with what other people who have read them say they contain.

 

You could then provide us with examples of Dawkins's poor reasoning, gaps in research, significant failure to address key issues presented by various religions, etc, rather than unsupported claims that I would take as evidence of very poor reading comprehension if I hadn't been informed that no such reading was done.

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Richard Dawkins book The Blind Watchmaker was the best books of its type

I've ever read although in the book he failed to explain how a primative

amoeba had more DNA than a human being, he should of stuck with

science and forgot about religion he doesn't know the first thing

about it.

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Richard Dawkins book The Blind Watchmaker was the best books of its type

I've ever read although in the book he failed to explain how a primative

amoeba had more DNA than a human being, he should of stuck with

science and forgot about religion he doesn't know the first thing

about it.

I'm curious,

why are you even here ?

 

are you not the one who claims,

 

" I'm one of these unusual people

who has direct contact with an Alien God ",

 

why are you wasting effort and time on any forum of such if you have this access ?

 

if i had this access i would directly associate with this entity instead of wasting effort and time.

 

or is it you are full of crap(which is more probable than your claim).

 

to me it's obvious.

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Richard Dawkins book The Blind Watchmaker was the best books of its type

I've ever read although in the book he failed to explain how a primative

amoeba had more DNA than a human being, he should of stuck with

science and forgot about religion he doesn't know the first thing

about it.

 

The amount of DNA in an organism has nothing to do with it's complexity, that was the point he was making. The why has to do with the amoeba being the host of various viruses, assuming Dawkins is ignorant of religion is something you need to show some evidence of Semjase... Being a non believer doesn't mean you don't know anything about religion, in fact knowledge of religion is the reason many atheists became non believers to star with...

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(...)he should of stuck with

science and forgot about religion he doesn't know the first thing

about it.

Ironically, neither does most religious people.

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I'm curious,

why are you even here ?

 

are you not the one who claims,

 

" I'm one of these unusual people

who has direct contact with an Alien God ",

 

why are you wasting effort and time on any forum of such if you have this access ?

 

if i had this access i would directly associate with this entity instead of wasting effort and time.

 

or is it you are full of crap(which is more probable than your claim).

 

to me it's obvious.

 

Ufo's, Alien God are a field of high skepticism,I don't plan to become a controversy

unless I have to. From my point of view science and rational logic are king. Richard Dawkins

is a rigid scientist with a closed mind, his book The God delusion is an example of

his short sightedness, to deny the existence of anything outside of the possibility known

science without black and white proof shows a lack of a sophisticated intelligence.

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did you know that a human can be cloned with only 5% of human dna.

95% of it is said to be junk and not be able to be encoded.

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Look guys, this all quite simple. Can Dawkins answer any profound questions about the universe? No. Does ho know that God does not exist? No. Does he know what he means by 'exist'? No. Does he know how to solve metaphysical problems? No, Does he know that God is a delusion? No.

 

He studies the outward forms of religion, their social histories and interactions, and focuses on the dogmatic religions, the targets that are so easy that they fall to a puff of wind. If he studies religion for what it is, for what it teaches, then he would know a lot more than he does about the world, and he would see that the ideas he argues against are exactly the same ideas that many, perhaps even most, religious people argue against. It is precisely people like himself, that do not think through the issues properly, that he criticises in his book, and whose views on God he takes to represent religion. It the blind criticising the blind. Any one of us can do better than this.

 

If he'd written his book on God in the 19th century then fair enough. But we now have the internet, and there is no longer any excuse for so misunderstanding religion. The very fact that he thinks it is all about swapping reason for dogma shows he knows little about it, or knows only a small part of the story.

 

But more to the point. Where exactly does he prove that God is a delusion? How scientific is is it to take it for granted rather than make an argument? It's on a par with Dennett's 'Consciousness Explained'. Pure hubris and cheap headline grabbing, and a total disapointment for those who assume the title will be justified by the author. Dawkin's approach is so unsophistocated and unscholarly that only mad fools on internet forums would bother to take the time to criticise it.

 

Nagarjuna proved the falsity of theism in the second century using Aristotle's 'laws of thought', the rules that Dawkin's depends on for his reason. Does he mention this? It is common knowledge, and it would have massively bolstered his case. .But he seems not to know. Bradley did the same in the 19th century. I'm told that Shankara did so somewhere. There's no need to need depend on Dawkin's long and empty rant against people who are as dogmatic and as empty of rational;argument as he is himself.

 

I'm happy to argue about the issues but I've said my piece about Dawkins. If we don't agree about him, well, this would explain his book sales. Mind you, I did buy it, so at least he has my money if not my praise.

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Ufo's, Alien God are a field of high skepticism,I don't plan to become a controversy

unless I have to. From my point of view science and rational logic are king. Richard Dawkins

is a rigid scientist with a closed mind, his book The God delusion is an example of

his short sightedness, to deny the existence of anything outside of the possibility known

science without black and white proof shows a lack of a sophisticated intelligence.

so in other words,

 

you DO NOT have such " direct " contact and full of shit ?

 

typical.

like i said it's obvious.

Does ho know that God does not exist? No.

who does ?,

the answer is no one does.

simple.

Does he know how to solve metaphysical problems? No,

lol,

what is meta physics ?

 

it's nothing more than religion trying to incorporate physics into their nonsense.

so i ask,

what metaphysical problems ?

Edited by krash661

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did you know that a human can be cloned with only 5% of human dna.

95% of it is said to be junk and not be able to be encoded.

 

Be careful of the word junk

 

quote

 

"In genomics and related disciplines, noncoding DNA sequences are components of an organism's DNA that do not encode protein sequences. Some noncoding DNA is transcribed into functional noncoding RNA molecules (e.g. transfer RNA, ribosomal RNA, and regulatory RNAs),

while others are not transcribed or give rise to RNA transcripts of

unknown function. The amount of noncoding DNA varies greatly among

species. For example, over 98% of the human genome is noncoding DNA,[1] while only about 2% of a typical bacterial genome is noncoding DNA.

Initially, a large proportion of noncoding DNA had no known biological function and was therefore sometimes referred to as "junk DNA", particularly in the lay press. Some sequences may have no biological function for the organism, such as endogenous retroviruses. However, many types of noncoding DNA sequences do have important biological functions, including the transcriptional and translational regulation

of protein-coding sequences. Other noncoding sequences have likely, but

as-yet undetermined, functions. (This is inferred from high levels of homology and conservation seen in sequences that do not encode proteins but, nonetheless, appear to be under heavy selective pressure.)

The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project[2] suggested in September 2012 that over 80% of DNA in the human genome "serves some purpose, biochemically speaking".[3] This conclusion however is strongly criticized by other scientists.[4][5]"

 

To Quote Dawkins

 

"primative ameoba have as much information in their DNA as 1000, Encyclopedia Britannicas"

" there is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopedia

Britannicas, all 30 volumes of it, three or fout times over"

 

So therefore their's ten times more DNA in that primative ameoba than in a human cell.

It raises some questions?

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i do find it interesting that they have no clue what or where the other remaining percent of DNA comes from.

very interesting for me anyways.

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It doesn't raise questions, it shows that some DNA is parasitic, some of it is from neutral mutations. in amoebas it is thought by some that the enormous amount of DNA is do to an onslaught of viruses, such neutral DNA is the raw materials of evolution but it has nothing to do with the complexity of the animal or plant involved .

 

Metaphysics is an oxymoron, what tangible results has metaphysics ever produced? You can argue how many angels can dance on the head of a pin until the universe dies of heat death but science has produced our first world civilization, and put men on the moon, no to mention eradicated some diseases, doubled the average human lifespan and provide food in quantities not even dreamed of be actual science.

 

Metaphysics is a scam, a joke, and Dawkins is right when he says religion is the antithesis of reason....



Look guys, this all quite simple. Can Dawkins answer any profound questions about the universe? No. Does ho know that God does not exist? No. Does he know what he means by 'exist'? No. Does he know how to solve metaphysical problems? No, Does he know that God is a delusion? No.

 

No one can show god doesn't exist or does exist for that matter in the absence of positive evidence the default position is there are no gods. Can anyone else answer those so called profound questions about the universe? No they cannot... but Dawkins can answer real world questions about the real world which metaphysics cannot do...

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