Jump to content

Crusades against religion


delboy
 Share

Recommended Posts

By chance I watched a Dawkins' YouTube video last night in which he was asked that question. The suggestion was made that educating people in the wonders of science and helping them appreciate the effectiveness of its methodology was far more effective than attacking their beliefs. His response was that he thought his approach worked, but that probably both approaches should be used.

 

That makes sense to me. I think it depends on where the individual is in their belief system, experience, maturity, etc. as to which would be most effective - and for some, neither will work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is hard to say, but for sure one has to be careful directly attacking beliefs in an aggressive way; people will just dismiss your attacks and not listen to the message. Dawkins may have just annoyed the people he wants to educate. However, maybe they need to be ready to hear the message before actually hearing it. This is were science education in school comes in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Dawkins makes the point that he rarely expects to "convert" the people he is directly addressing, but to influence those who are undecided. Many of us use the same approach when debating with the cranks on this forum.

Edited by Ophiolite
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Dawkins makes the point that he is rarely expects to "convert" the people he is directly addressing, but to influence those who are undecided. Many of us use the same approach when debating with the cranks on this forum.

Yes, probably the adolescent demographic that have had no assertive external religious influences from very young.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was convinced after about 1 year of watching Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens and reading their literature complemented by my own thoughts. All of this occurred in the confines of my own mind, an important aspect when emancipation from religion. Confinement prevents the ego from inhibiting rationality.

 

I never imagined there even existed people who did not believe in God until I saw these guys. So, I thank them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The suggestion was made that educating people in the wonders of science and helping them appreciate the effectiveness of its methodology was far more effective than attacking their beliefs.

This is what I was thinking, whether a David Attenborough type of approach is more effective.

!

Moderator Note

Moved to religion from Biology/evolution

I wanted the views of evolutionary biologists really, I don't know how many of them look in here.

If it was rephrased - 'Does Richard Dawkin's style of promoting evolution work' could that stay in the evolution section?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what I was thinking, whether a David Attenborough type of approach is more effective.

I wanted the views of evolutionary biologists really, I don't know how many of them look in here.

If it was rephrased - 'Does Richard Dawkin's style of promoting evolution work' could that stay in the evolution section?

Are the choir the best people to ask?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what I was thinking, whether a David Attenborough type of approach is more effective.

I wanted the views of evolutionary biologists really, I don't know how many of them look in here.

If it was rephrased - 'Does Richard Dawkin's style of promoting evolution work' could that stay in the evolution section?

 

Then is the question about anti-evolutionary creationism in particular then? Or religion in general?

Edited by pears
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted the views of evolutionary biologists really, I don't know how many of them look in here.

If it was rephrased - 'Does Richard Dawkin's style of promoting evolution work' could that stay in the evolution section?

 

!

Moderator Note

Probably not. I don't see that the discussion has anything inherently due to the science of biology; any science in a discussion of why/whether religious people reject ideas is incidental (and usually wrong). Citing purported science issues is merely an excuse. It invariably goes back to religion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Dawkins' approach is like power-cleaning a dirty wall. You hit it with a strong enough stream of reality and hope to knock off the bits that were only just clinging on anyway.

 

It's neither the best approach nor the only one, just a perspective that will speak to some and not to others. When you're trying to reach out to emotional people in a rational manner, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Exposure to different perspectives is almost invariably good, imo, especially when we're talking about believing so strongly in something you can't really know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it should be remembered that Dawkins is an author and a professional speaker who charges for appearances. Being controversial is inherently critical to his business model, and I'd be surprised to learn he didn't deliberately say certain controversial things for the sake of being controversial.

 

That said, I don't think he's running a deliberate "crusade" against religion. He's said some not very nice things about religious belief. Given that certain religious groups tell me I'd going to be tortured for eternity for disagreeing with them, I think that Dawkins saying that they are a bit silly is pretty mild in comparison.

 

Does it work? Well, anecdotally I know people who read Dawkins and had his books clarify and consolidate pre-existent doubts about religion, however, I think his manner is too condescending to really persuade a strong believer and is more likely to push them away from his arguments than really change minds. I Doubt that is really his intention anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too often, anybody who chooses not to show the undue deference religion has enjoyed for no good reason for centuries is described as a crusader. The bar is quite low, really. No criticism allowed, not even reasoned and rational feedback. Unfortunately, if one has the audacity to even look at religion the wrong way, claims of attack quickly ensue.

Edited by iNow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

!

Moderator Note

Probably not. I don't see that the discussion has anything inherently due to the science of biology; any science in a discussion of why/whether religious people reject ideas is incidental (and usually wrong). Citing purported science issues is merely an excuse. It invariably goes back to religion.

OK

 

I think it should be remembered that Dawkins is an author and a professional speaker who charges for appearances. Being controversial is inherently critical to his business model, and I'd be surprised to learn he didn't deliberately say certain controversial things for the sake of being controversial.

 

That said, I don't think he's running a deliberate "crusade" against religion. He's said some not very nice things about religious belief. Given that certain religious groups tell me I'd going to be tortured for eternity for disagreeing with them, I think that Dawkins saying that they are a bit silly is pretty mild in comparison.

 

Then is the question about anti-evolutionary creationism in particular then? Or religion in general?

 

The commercial aspects of being controversial did cross my mind, but I don't think that's the whole story.

 

This from his foundation website:

Founded in 2006 by Richard Dawkins, the foundation’s mission is to realize Richard’s vision to remove the influence of religion in science education and public policy, and eliminate the stigma that surrounds atheism and non-belief.

So it does seems like a crusade against religion.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or, you know...to ensure education and public policy are not unduly influenced by it and nonbelievers not ostracized and shunned for no valid reason... Like it states. One should not, IMO, conflate those activities with "crusading against religion."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too often, anybody who chooses not to show the undue deference religion has enjoyed for no good reason for centuries is described as a crusader. The bar is quite low, really. No criticism allowed, not even reasoned and rational feedback. Unfortunately, if one has the audacity to even look at religion the wrong way, claims of attack quickly ensue.

 

Many people treat what they hold sacred like a fragile eggshell you aren't allowed to breathe on, yet their faith in it is supposed to be strong and unbreakable. Pointing out this kind of dichotomy should restore reason, but in many people it just makes them more insistent

 

So it does seems like a crusade against religion.

 

Why do you generalize it like that? I thought they were very clear that they want to remove the influence of religion from science education and public policy. That's not the same thing as simply crusading against religion. I'm sure Dawkins would prefer it if everyone gave up their religion, but his foundation has specific goals regarding public monies and programs. Any democracy or republic that separates Church from State should support this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Why do you generalize it like that?

Maybe because that's how it comes over to me sometimes.

I have a huge respect for Dawkins and yes, the foundation does have specific aims which I would support.

I guess there's a bit of a conflict in my own mind I'm trying to resolve. Over the years Dawkins personal attitude can seem like a bit of a crusade (almost obsessional?), and whilst I would support everything he says, including a desire for a world without religion, a part of me is probably saying - 'hey, what about live and let live'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Any democracy or republic that separates Church from State should support this.

The situation of the UK in this regard has long intrigued me. The percentage of practicing Christians is low and probably still declining. Evolution is accepted by the majority of the population. There is no influential anti-evolutionary movement (yet). Politicians almost never bring religion into any debate and certainly not their personal beliefs.

 

And yet there is not only no separation of Church and State, the church is a key ingredient of the state. The monarch is the head of the Church of England, the established church. Bishops sit in the House of Lords. The Prime Minister recommends the appointment of the leading bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Queen. Yet this intimacy has not led to the imposition, or attempted imposition of anti-evolutionary views into society.

 

My conclusion is that Church and State can mix harmoniously if you do it right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The situation of the UK in this regard has long intrigued me. The percentage of practicing Christians is low and probably still declining. Evolution is accepted by the majority of the population. There is no influential anti-evolutionary movement (yet). Politicians almost never bring religion into any debate and certainly not their personal beliefs.

 

And yet there is not only no separation of Church and State, the church is a key ingredient of the state. The monarch is the head of the Church of England, the established church. Bishops sit in the House of Lords. The Prime Minister recommends the appointment of the leading bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Queen. Yet this intimacy has not led to the imposition, or attempted imposition of anti-evolutionary views into society.

 

My conclusion is that Church and State can mix harmoniously if you do it right.

In this Wiki about the present Archbishop, Rowan Williams, evolution has apparently been seen as compatible with the Church of England since Frederick Temple who was Archbishop 1896-1902. So it only took about 30 years for the C. of E. to accept the idea of evolution since the publication of Darwin's book. Quite adaptable and pragmatic really.

 

 

Creationism[edit]

 

The response of Williams to a controversy about the teaching of creationism in privately sponsored academies was that it should not be taught in schools as an alternative to evolution.[60] When asked if he was comfortable with teaching creationism, he said "I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories... so if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories, I think there's – there's just been a jar of categories, it's not what it's about." When the interviewer said "So it shouldn't be taught?" he responded "I don't think it should, actually. No, no. And that's different from saying–different from discussing, teaching about what creation means. For that matter, it's not even the same as saying that Darwinism is–is the only thing that ought to be taught. My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it."[61]
In this, Williams has maintained traditional support amongst Anglicans and their leaders for the teaching of evolution as fully compatible with Christianity. This support has dated at least back to Frederick Temple's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury.[62]
Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this Wiki about the present Archbishop, Rowan Williams, evolution has apparently been seen as compatible with the Church of England since Frederick Temple who was Archbishop 1896-1902. So it only took about 30 years for the C. of E. to accept the idea of evolution since the publication of Darwin's book. Quite adaptable and pragmatic really.

 

 

 

Minor correction

 

"Williams stood down as Archbishop of Canterbury on 31 December 2012"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan_Williams

 

Justin Welby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this isn't the proper place to post this, but I don't see why so many intelligent people are so against religion. As Ophiolite has wisely stated the two can co-exist, and Dawkins should know this. Science provides something Religion cannot, and Religion provides ( to some ) what Science can't.

 

Are most of the people in East-Central Africa helping out with the Ebola epidemic there for 'scientific' reasons or 'religious' reasons ?

From the purely scientific point of view, the world is overpopulated and can't support the population in some areas. Science teaches us that the way to cull a heard is best done by sacrificing the sick and weak ( strongest survive ).

These people aren't there to take samples or test new medications. Most are there because they care for their fellow human beings, that we are all on some level interconnected and that only together we can survive and achieve. This is something Religion teaches us, as our instincts are to fight with and take advantage of our fellow humans. We, and more specifically religious radicals, just need to realize that Religion does this with allegories and not literally, i.e. evolution is what really happened, creation , or Genesis, IMPLIES that we are all 'connected' and that men and women are made from the same 'stuff', one is not superior to the other.

 

Don't 'throw out the baby with the bathwater'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this isn't the proper place to post this, but I don't see why so many intelligent people are so against religion. As Ophiolite has wisely stated the two can co-exist, and Dawkins should know this.

On what basis do you claim that religion and science can coexist. Religion has adapted to science as history shows. Increasingly, conflict between religion and science has inhibited scientific research. But, science and religion can coexist as long as religion respects science.

Edited by Vexen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did provide an example of what Religion provides that Science doesn't, or did you just read the first line.

 

I am not religious by any means ( although raised Roman Catholic since I was born in Italy ) and have no need for it, But some people do, as it gives their lives purpose and guidance.

 

And you're right Religion should respect Science, as Religion cannot give us the whys and hows of the workings of the universe. We must recognize that only Science can.

But Science should also respect Religion as Science cannot give us the guidance to help others for a common good.

Sometimes Religion is corrupted by some, and that is to be expected as it deals on an emotional subjective level, as opposed to Science which is factual and objective. It does however, do some good things, which differentiate us from animals.

In fact you could say Religion is that which gives us our 'soul'.

Edited by MigL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.