1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Root of all evil

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by V-Spec, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. nero120

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 12, 2004

    Posts: 6,824

    Location: Londinium

    Totally agree with you. The idea that religion is 'the root of all evil' helps the non-religious bigots keep their superiority comlpex going. The root of all evil is humanity.
     
  2. Vonhelmet

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 28, 2005

    Posts: 48,109

    Location: On the hoods

    Dawkins is a fantastic scientist, but he should really stick to what he knows. His anti-religious rhetoric is somewhat tedious. It just panders to people who want to hear a scientist say that religion is rubbish. Wheee...
     
  3. Spud21

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 11, 2002

    Posts: 4,551

    Location: Bristol

    Exactly, Everything influences our beliefs, and oppinions, as Nietzche (sp?) iirc talked about extensively, the only way to gain true individuality, is to be completely deviod of all influences which means being completely deviod of all human contact which makes you go insane, so is impossible. Having a chat to your mates influences you and can make you change oppinions, does that mean that we should outlaw all conversation?

    I didn't see the programme, but from what i've seen said here, this bloke seems to have managed to confuse Religion for the organisations that claim to represent it. I have said many times that religion in it's self is not bad, it can't be bad because it teaches tolerance and understanding of others, however the organisations and individuals that have perverted it for personal gain have turned it into something impure and inherantly a method of control.

    To claim that humanity can't move forward until we stop believeing in superstition is complete and utter tosh, well pray tell me the extensive NON THEORETICAL evidence of how the universe was created, oohh whats that there isn't any ?? there is as much blind faith in science as there is in religion, the only difference is that organised religion is inflexible.
     
  4. mdwh

    Hitman

    Joined: Dec 29, 2004

    Posts: 663

    And what evidence about the start of the universe is there from superstition? oohh wha's that, there isn't any?

    Of course science doesn't have all the answers, but that's nothing to do with whether we need superstition.

    Personally, I wouldn't say that we can't progress at all whilst people are superstitious, because we've managed so far. But I don't see how belief in superstition has helped us progress our knowledge about the Universe.

    Of course not. Science progresses through the scientific method, not what some guy claims a voice in his head says, or reading a single book thousands of years old.
     
  5. Spud21

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 11, 2002

    Posts: 4,551

    Location: Bristol


    Just like there is no evidence from science. It's all theoretical, educated guesses at best. We will never know how the universe began, all we can do is make best guesses, which are just as plausable as a supreme being doing it. Equally as possible, and equally as unlikely as each other. I say a huge apple created the universe, proove me wrong.
     
  6. mdwh

    Hitman

    Joined: Dec 29, 2004

    Posts: 663

    But pointing out things we don't yet know from science, is irrelevant if superstition doesn't answer that either.

    You have to tell me something that superstition answers than science doesn't.
     
  7. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 2, 2004

    Posts: 24,654

    Sorry Mr Dawkins, you provide a well researched argument but The Truth is not Out There... not for your finger, nor mine

    Science and relgiion are both knowledge structures, neither can claim to be absolute as knowledge is not absolute - it is a fabrication, a construction, and the more we examine it the less substance it has.

    The only difference being that science has oportunity for change, and sometimes it has sequence of events and beliefs that represent a reasoning behind presented conclusions. This is less often the case with religion, whose purpose of knowledge or practice is often inspire behavioural obedience and conformity in those who would adopt it as a knowledge system.

     
  8. anarchist

    PermaBanned

    Joined: Dec 2, 2004

    Posts: 9,702

    Location: Midlands

    Thought this programme was great last night, given that indoctrination of children is one of my personal bugbears with religion. I want children to be given all the facts and left to decide for themselves, not pushed into one narrow-minded way of thinking simply because the parents happen to think that way themselves.
     
  9. aztechnology

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 12, 2004

    Posts: 2,503

    Location: Oop North

    This whole subject has been "Done to Death" many times, but after watching last nights concluding episode, I'll have to say that I was dissapointed further.

    Prof. Dawkins did put together some very well reason "Science" arguments, and some points I actually agree with, but on the whole I felt that the 2 programs where rhetoric science fundamantalism, which in my opinion makes me listen to him (on this matter) as seriously as I would the religious fundamentalists he interviewed.

    His closing points about religion taking the wonder out of the world was in my experience wholly wrong. I grew up with what he would have termed a religious fundamentalist upbringing and I saw then as many people who marveled at the Natural World as I do now, all that is different is the explanation of how it all came about and where it's all going. Whether I believe it all ends in paradise, or that we slip away into nothingness doesn't make my sence of wonder at a cloud or a daffodill or the life of a child any less, and to insist that it does is truly naive.

    I can see the argument for a platform for this science fundamentalism, in that if religion fundamentalism is allowed a platform, then we have no right to deny science fundamentalism it's say, but I think that the series could have been handled better. I need to go back and dig Prof. Winstons God thing off the DVR and watch that to see how a religious scientist approached a similar subject..
     
  10. conundrum

    PermaBanned

    Joined: Jan 11, 2006

    Posts: 215

    Prof Dawkins was really talking about mass organised religion that does not appear to have any real rationale except that it is believed to be true by millions (possibly billions) without any questions asked.

    I think that he personally sees millions of people relying on the relatively intelligent few who are providing a future based on science and engineering whilst the millions use science they do not see it in any way as providing any religious answers. Prof Dawkins seems a big peeved about that.
     
  11. V-Spec

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 8, 2005

    Posts: 3,698

    Location: London

    I understand prof Dawkins's frustration over the indoctrination of children, however the argument of science against religion is a completley impossible argument.
    Religion isn't based on certainty or fact, thats its whole purpose, if people knew god was 100% real it would cease to be a belief and become fact. People will always believe what they want to believe.

    I agree with what he says about religion being based on childish principles of "absolutly no doubt whatsoever" that something is so. Whereas science is used to draw a conclusion which puts a particular experiment or test under scrutiny to prove or disprove a theory. Religion falls apart under scrutiny because it has no evidence to support any of its theories, hence why it exists only as a belief.

    Reading through some of the posts, some people seem to think that science isn't really responsible for answers, and its all an accident, or some weird construct and the more we think the more we disprove it..

    I think its fair to assume that based on our surroundings and how we live our lives, we're not in any kind of fancy matrix or anything, surely its science which is responsible for most of the things around us? when you get in the car the petrol is made from scientific chemical processes, the food you eat has scientific developed additives to stop it going off quickly, everytime you log onto this forum you're using the internet, the protocols developed mainly by maths and the hardware made from material such as silicon again, doped and processed using scientific means..

    It is not fair to say that "most of the time" science only gives half an answer, if that was the case there wouldn't be anything like as much precise technology in the world.

    The main point is, Science can answer when we understand the science. Religion provides no answers, because it asks no questions, you simply believe because you want to.

    There are many things science cannot answer, but thats because we don't yet understand the science, in 1000 years im sure we'll be closer to understanding the "human soul" and im sure we'll be able to engineer ourselves mechanically and genetically.
     
  12. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,206

    Location: Plymouth

    But the sort of science that leads to cars and food has no real bearing on deeper issues.

    The fact that these things can be developed through study and prediction of the world and through generating mathematical models to allow us to predict results of inputs doesn't prove anything in terms of proving the existance or non-existance of a supreme being.

    Science gives us the facility to predict things, that's what science is ultimately concerned with, developing a predictive model, either to be used to predict, or to resolve the likely inputs based on the results. Science is not actually concerned with the truth, but with providing the simplest model that provides the accurate start and finish results.

    If you have two identical looking models, that give the same results, you choose the simpler one. This even happens frequently where you'll use a model that may not be definatively accurate but is accurate enough for the task at hand (such as newtonian physics)

    When you understand this idea (and generally it's not something that starts to come into scientific education until you start getting really deep), then you start to see why science may not be able to hold all the answers.

    -Dolph
     
  13. V-Spec

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 8, 2005

    Posts: 3,698

    Location: London


    Obviously, science involving cars and food has no bearing on "deeper issues" but what I think is important is the way in which science progresses to provide answers. we only class "deep issues" as being deep because we simply havn't developed ways of understanding them, for example the creation of the universe and life is the deepest issue, Maybe we are the only source of life in the universe and we will spread it across infinite boundaries, or maybe we're part of a big chain of other life spread across the universe. These are deep issues, and whilst science cannot immediatley answer any of them, I belive it will get closer and closer perhaps in 10 million years or 10 billion years we'll be closer to understanding. What im saying is scientific processes and knowledge will continue to advance and more and more things will be solved eventually.
    For us to solve "Deep issues" such as life, I belive is pretty much the same as bronze age man trying to understand lightening, it takes thousands of years as a species to aquire knowledge to understand the relationship between the atmosphere and the ground, EMF, and static. It just takes time.
    Meanwhile religion just "says the earth was ceated in 2 days" not a single ounce of evidence to show that was the case, just "the god said so.." which by modern standards is silly.

    I don't discount the existence of a supreme being, I am quite prepared to believe that there is far more superior life in the universe than ours. The fact is I have an open mind, but I consider what goes on around me as a human being, and what I see is substance and material, not fiction and fantasy. Therefore I ultimatley make up my own mind.

    I'm no expert on science, I don;t know the first thing about the periodic table or what chemicals are used to make a certain substance, I know tons about large computer networks and internets - its my job and its pretty mathematical at times. What im saying is that although im in no place to talk about any scientific methods or ways used to predict an outcome, most of the theories explained by science are accurate and robust, otherwise we'd live in a chaotic world of nonsense and error, I think science is more than just predicting a model.
     
  14. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,206

    Location: Plymouth

    Here is, I believe, the problem. By education at least, I am a scientist (I did my degree in Chemistry). I spent most of my time in education being given a theory one year that fitted the data we were looking at, then being told later on that although that theory fits the data, it's known to not be 'true' or not true to all conditions. The further you get into studying science, the deeper this situation becomes. It's quite a hard thing to get your head around at times, it was when I was studying, but when you understand it, you start to understand why science may not be able to hold all the answers that some people want it to.

    If you have a read of the thread linked earlier in this thread, you can see the opinions of a lot of the boards scientifically educated minds, and they are all pretty similar. People like Prof Dawkin aren't actually well liked or supported in the wider scientific community, they are more like the Pat Robertson (famous american christian fundamentalist) of the scientific world. They are presenting as much of a faith based view as any religious person, but trying to claim it's scientific and logical, when it really isn't.
     
  15. anarchist

    PermaBanned

    Joined: Dec 2, 2004

    Posts: 9,702

    Location: Midlands

    Any evidence for that? Dawkins is regarded by almost everybody I would think as a world authority on evolution, and is also widely acknowledged as a brilliant writer on the subject, and has also won awards (from the scientific community that is) for "furthering the public understanding of science'", which I think he sees as his main role in life.

    You can't really compare him to Pat Robertson, given that Pat Robertson is a religious nutcase (by anybody's standards) who called for Hugo Chavez to be assassinated, amongst other outrageous comments.
     
  16. FirebarUK

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 9, 2004

    Posts: 5,544

    Location: Dorset

    Just to put something in; chatting to people here, he isnt particularly respected or held in high esteem, like a saviour of modern science or something. He's just a scientist with a hard-lined opinion on the subject. He panders to what people want to hear.
     
  17. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,206

    Location: Plymouth

    Support for his scientific work is not the problem. His scientific work is good, and that is recognised.

    However, his rabid, faith based strong atheist viewpoints tend to not garner him so much support.

    As for not comparing Dawkins to Robertson, I'd regard his comments such as "Religion is child abuse" and the like (the child abuse comment made in this very program) puts him right up on the almond nutbar side of religious fundamentalism.

    I especially like this piece where he rants that his beliefs aren't faith based.

    http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/dawkins.html
     
  18. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,206

    Location: Plymouth

    Exactly. His scientific work is good. His opinon is as bigoted as any other fundamentalists, but just as some christians or muslims don't believe their nutters are wrong, those who want to believe in a strong atheist view back Dawkins.

    The thing that annoys me most about the man is that he's using his scientific reputation to try and force his opinions out as part of the same thing. That's a seriously low tactic.
     
  19. Dr_Evil

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 7, 2005

    Posts: 3,036

    Location: SE London

    You called me? ;-)
     
  20. FirebarUK

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 9, 2004

    Posts: 5,544

    Location: Dorset

    Perhaps science will become a new "religion" with Dawkin's as the head :D