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Ch. 1 - A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER

#35: Jan. - Mar. 2007 (Non-Fiction)
FiskeMiles

Re: Ch. 1 - A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER

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Dear Mr. P:Quote:Yet you are ready to defend the bible when someone points out the inconsistencies and errors in it?Well, there is the minor point that the Bible has been central to the history of Western civilization for the past, say, 1,600 years. One might also consider that more Western sculpture, painting, music, and literature has been inspired by the Bible than any other element in our culture.In addition, the Bible wasn't written by one person, but by a whole raft of people over a millennium, and rewritten and translated and rewritten and translated and rewritten and translated, etc. The blunders in The God Delusion are directly attributable to two people -- Richard D and his lazy editor. You also overlook the point that I have nowhere defended the Bible's historical or empirical accuracy. What I argue is that it deserves to be discussed with careful scholarship and consideration due to its complexity and centrality to our civilization. I would make no less a claim for the Koran, the Upanishads, etc.Finally, what I object to in Dawkins' treatment of the Bible is not that he points out inconsistencies, but his mocking, derisive, and sarcastic tone, which is not in keeping with the subject matter or a responsible work of scholarship.I am not a foe of Richard Dawkins. I own many of his books and revere him as a scientist. His latest work is no credit to his reputation, unfortunately. The subject deserves far more research and thought than he has devoted to it. I feel that in The God Delusion, he has let his readers and fans down.Fiske
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Vaccinations and Religion

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Here, below, is my info on Vaccinations and religious favoritism. There are two reason to reject the immunizations: Medical or Religious. It is a state by state thing evidently, so this is just NJ, where I reside:Quote:A written statement should be submitted by the student, or the student's parent or guardian if the student is a minor, explaining how the administration of the vaccine conflicts with the bona fide religious tenets or practices of the student, or the parent or guardian, as appropriate; except that a general philosophical or moral objection to the vaccination shall not be sufficient for an exemption on religious grounds.From the Statute regarding immunization:Quote:N.J. Stat.
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Re: Ch. 1 - A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER

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Mr.P: I was considering talking to her manager, but I would have felt bad if she got canned...she cain't hep dat she ignant!Way to hold your tongue so some poor girl didn't get fired. (I doubt she would have gotten fired anyway. The manager would more likely have agreed with the comment than not.) I'm proud of you anyway, Mr. P. But IS this a scholarly work? Or is it just a book? Well if we agree that this is not an attempt at a scholarly work, or an academic rendering of religion's influence in society, specifically American/British society, then I think we're probably on the same page. But the set-up of the book: the appendix, books cited, notes and index, lead me to believe Dawkins intended otherwise. If it is not a scholarly work though, perhaps misapplications such as the ones discussed should have been eliminated.There are different styles and different reasons to write a book. I absolutely agree, which is why in the who's reading this thread, I wrote: "I do think it a book that can have significance in the community, but I truly hope this is not the tone or message organized atheism (whatever that is) takes on." (I feel like Dawkins
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Re: Ch. 1 - A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER

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Quote:On the flip side my mind keeps screaming, "Oh come on already, just get your kid vaccinated for Christ's sake."It is just not that simple. Many people have a problem with the vaccination system nowadays...and for reason other than religious.I will get to the rest of your post later...but as for the vaccines...the NJ exemption is a privlage to religion, because it is the only excuse (aside from medical) accepted. If I have a religion, I can not get the vaccines and go to school...this has happened in my town. If there were other reason you could opt out, like plain old I do not feel this is necessary, then all would be good. But because religion is excepted, it shows that having religion is favored over not.Many parents are concerned that there is too much vaccination, and the mercury content is also a factor. A person in my town joined an online religion for $20 and got her exemption. She did not otherwise practice that religion.Quote:There is no escape for the religious-observant parent.Actually, many religious folk (and others) are starting to turn more and more to home schooling...which is totally a legal option.The main thing is, religion should not trump laws that apply to the rest of us. It is not interference with religious practices, it is the law of our secular land.Just like, and I forget which country it was, there was a big fuss about muslim women taking Drivers license photos with Burkas on. I believe the ruling was that the face had to be shown. Whatever the religion, a picture ID needs to see the face. Done.Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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IrishrosemQuote: I absolutely agree, which is why in the who's reading this thread, I wrote: "I do think it a book that can have significance in the community, but I truly hope this is not the tone or message organized atheism (whatever that is) takes on." (I feel like Dawkins
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Quote:So you are saying that it indeed did matter what religion the supposed atheist was from then....right? They still would have killed him based on his OLD religion?The point of the joke was that the man was damned/saved by his racial/cultural/national heritage, not his beliefs or opinions. The usefulness of labels like Catholic/Protestant when examining the conflict is minimal and it's certainly wrong to do as Dawkins does, and say that the cause of the conflict is religion. It would be a little like saying that the cause of the South African conflict was skin colour, and not inequality etc.15 years ago, there would have been a handful of places up North where I could have met a nasty end, simply because of my heritage. Those people would have not cared if I had become a Protestant, if I still believed in a 32 country Republic, they'd still have gutted me. When people say Protestant or Catholic when speaking about the North, what they usually mean is Unionist or Nationalist, quite the opposite of what Dawkins said.If every person in Northern Ireland became an atheist in the morning, then nothing would change. Hell, Marxism was pretty popular within Republican circles. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.comEdited by: Niall001 at: 1/3/07 11:28 am
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Niall: When people say Protestant or Catholic when speaking about the North, what they usually mean is Unionist or Nationalist, quite the opposite of what Dawkins said.And to clarify further, Mr. P., Unionism and Nationalism did not arise from religious beliefs. Rather, Unionists tend to be Protestant, while Nationalists tend to be Catholic, hence the labeling. That's always how I understood the joke to be funny. It didn't matter if you were Protestant or Catholic; it mattered that you were a Unionist or Nationalist. That's why saying atheist wouldn't get you out of the dark alley alive, religion doesn't really matter, it's just used as a distraction. For example, my family hosted children from North Ireland a couple summers during the troubles. An observant Catholic family easily hosted both Protestant and Catholic children, and vice versa. Edited by: irishrosem at: 1/3/07 11:39 am
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Niall: The major problem that I have with Dawkins' approach is that his words never match his deeds. Well I wouldn't say "never." But, in the context of The God Delusion, largely yes. Consider, however, the significant contributions Dawkins has made to the public consumption of biology, genetics and evolution. His work is noteworthy, and it is a momentous contribution to the atheist discussion. That is why I am so disappointed with The God Delusion. He fell out of his expertise to give a nod to philosophy, law, theology and sociology. Fields I don't think he has much experience in, and with which he doesn't seem to bother to acquaint himself.He argues that religion is bad because it teaches people to accept beliefs without subjecting them to critical thought and atheism is good because it is the only rational conclusion one can arrive at following a critical examination of all available data. I don't think he ever directly makes this argument. He claims (at least how I interpret his writing, and this is a very loose reference) that all conclusions are poor if they do not follow a logical progression of thought. He does not see a logical (truthful/honest) progression of thought possibly leading to a god conclusion. Likewise, he has no love for the indoctrinated atheist. Dawkins, of all people, should not be writing a book to make atheists feel good about themselves. I'm not sure about that, or if that is even the intent of the book. (I do realize that is what I actually wrote, but it was a flippant statement used to make a different point.) I think, instead and more accurately, Dawkins wrote a book that makes atheists feel secure in their conclusion (which makes them feel good). He also wrote a book to make atheists feel justifiably indignant about the special consideration theists receive socially. (I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm guessing he also wrote a book that justifies the harsh criticism directed at religion.)Dawkins isn't just promoting the book to an atheist audience. He's engaging in a really awe-inspiring mass marketing effort. I have absolutely no problem with this. As I said before, I don't want a book like The God Delusion to "represent" atheism, but he's entitled to market his book. I saw Dawkins when he came to speak here; he is an engaging and witty public speaker. My hope is that this opens the door to his other more distinguished works. (I hope that is Dawkins' intent too.)Now I don't mean to suggest that he's simply trying to make money for himself, I mean he's really putting a lot of effort into getting his message out there to the kind of people who don't normally read these kind of books. Again, this is totally his prerogative. But, I have to say I feel some sympathy for Dawkins. I can't imagine the constant bombardment he gets from theists who try to refute his writing with their inept and inarticulate arguments. It must be incredibly frustrating. I get the image of a master martial artist who is constantly challenged to fights by people less equipped to do battle. I imagine Dawkins is constantly forced to engage these mental twits (please note, I am not claiming that all theists are mental twits, just that Dawkins must encounter his fair share of them). If his reaction to this culminating frustration is The God Delusion, then so be it. I don't think it reflects well on Dawkins or his other scholarship, but I don't think he really cares about my puny opinion anyway.
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Niall (from your blog):Quote: I apologise in advance for breaking on of my own principles to explain the joke but if in the above situation the man's assailants were Protestant Loyalists paramilitaries, he would have been let go if he declared that he was a lapsed Protestant, while a lapsed Catholic would most likely have been butchered. Similarly, if the assailants were Republican Catholic paramilitaries and the man happened to be a lapsed Protestant, he would have been killed, while a lapsed Catholic would have been allowed to walk free.So you are saying that it indeed did matter what religion the supposed atheist was from then....right? They still would have killed him based on his OLD religion?I dont get your point.Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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I am just saying that from Niall's explanation, it still seemed that the killing would have been based on the religion...so it seemed like a bad example.Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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