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Hawking Goes Dawkins

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740265.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:08 am Reply with quote

I don't know what you're smoking, but you should probably cut back.

740269.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:12 am Reply with quote

The nature of reality is infinitely greater that whatever I could conceive of, no matter what drugs Im on.

Sadurian Mike
740309.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:06 pm Reply with quote

It depends on whether you are more enraptured by something amazing that can be shown to be true, or something amazing that nobody can decide if it is real, false or simply a metaphor.

I deal in fantasy a lot (I play and design fantasy Role-Playing Games* as a hobby.. one of my hobbies). I can make up marvelous new worlds, new deities and new creatures, I can design fascinating cultures and countries, but I still find it more amazing when I see some of the incredible phenomena that are actually real, demonstrable, and part of our world.

*To some old-school religious types this means that I am already damned to Heck.

740316.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:21 pm Reply with quote

[Wee Free]Aye ah bet ye drink tae, no doubt just before ye stairt dancin' aboot the place and on the Sabbath tae ye Heathen![/Wee Free]

Sadurian Mike
740332.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:41 pm Reply with quote

I drink no tea, I'm pleased to sae... say. Coffee, however, is another matter.

740341.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:46 pm Reply with quote

[Wee Free]Coffee..... Ah Satan's sreothan begone![/Wee Free]

740346.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:55 pm Reply with quote

I personally don't believe in a God/Gods, and less so one defined by others who have no more or less knowledge if one exist than I.

Why do I not believe in any deity? The simple answer is that I find life so miraculous, even down to the existence of inanimate rocks, that to simply accept someone put them there means I have to reject the miracle of how it got there.

I recently linked to this site:

It simply blows me away to think of the different sized environments of our universe, not just what we measure against our limited vision and senses (and at times comprehension).

If people want to believe in a deity, let them d so, but don't tell me I haven't had a mystical experience, I view my life as a mystical experience, and while I stop short of wearing sandals and hugging trees, I find the existence of everything and everyone to be a series of miracles which go beyond anything ever written in any sacred text.

Let's not confuse Science with Atheism. Atheism is the belief that there is no God, or as some would prefer, a lack of belief in the existence of God. Science is simply a description of systematic knowledge. Those who believe in either the complete or allegorical teachings of their faiths are still following a systematic knowledge which may not follow a strict scientific method, but is still science.

Spud McLaren
740497.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:27 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Let's not confuse Science with Atheism.
And let's not confuse atheism with agnosticism.

CB27 wrote:
Atheism is the belief that there is no God
Yes, it is.
CB27 wrote:
, or as some would prefer, a lack of belief in the existence of God.
No, it isn't. That's agnosticism.

This is why atheists make me laugh when they take the piss out of those who profess a religion. As far as I'm concerned, a religion is a view of the universe largely based on a premise that can't be proven. Since it isn't possible to prove that there is no god, atheism is, as far as I'm concerned, a religion.
I don't believe there's a god - but, since I can't prove that there isn't one, I don't believe that god doesn't exist either.

740499.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:29 pm Reply with quote

What makes me laugh is when agnostics mix up religion and faith.

Spud McLaren
740501.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:38 pm Reply with quote

Yes, that is quite a good one, and by no means confined to agnostics.

740502.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:44 pm Reply with quote

I would say theists probably do that more than anyone.

740503.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:53 pm Reply with quote

Spud, when I said Atheism is the belief that there is no God, that is how I understand Atheism, and how I see myself.

When I said that some would prefer it was a lack of belief in God, it is because there are some who are sensitive to being described as believing in something, even if it's the belief that there's no God.

There is a narrow sense of Atheism, as I believe it to be, and as you point to be true, and there is the inclusive sense of Atheism, which is the absence of belief that any deities exist.

Agnostisicm specifically relates to not knowing which is true, it actually comes from the Greek for "Without Knowledge". It does not mean there is absence of belief, just the absence of certain knowledge.

As for neo's comment, if it's what I think he means, I think it relates to the fact that Atheism cannot be termed as a relgion, but it can be described a kind of faith. It's this exact kind of approach which explains why some Atheists prefer to describe themselves as lacking in belief.

740517.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:43 pm Reply with quote

Something that occurred to me yesterday when I caught the end fragment of a TV programme:

The programme was called something like "God is real no matter what Dawkins says" (OK - it probably wasn't called anything like that but) and I caught the last few minutes when the interviewer was posting the question "why is there evil in the world".

Anyway - the religious talking head was spouting about different ways of thinking and it occurred to me to that he hadn't addressed the central question - "is there evil in the world?".

The basic question was (I assume) why does God allow (for instance) child molestors to exist? But it seems to me to be a spurious question if you accept the idea that all creation comes from God.

What's the difference between (for instance) sexually abusing a human infant for your personal gratification and chopping down a living Oak tree to make a sculpture? From the perspective of God the two are synonymous aren't they? It's only from the perspective of our species that we differentiate between the two?

Or am I being iconoclastic?

740537.  Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:14 am Reply with quote

Or am I being iconoclastic?

You wish.

As for neo's comment, if it's what I think he means, I think it relates to the fact that Atheism cannot be termed as a relgion, but it can be described a kind of faith. It's this exact kind of approach which explains why some Atheists prefer to describe themselves as lacking in belief.


Atheism is not a religion, but I'm perfectly prepared to accept that, in lieu of a complete picture of bona fide evidence, there is a slim sliver of faith, or indeed belief, in the equation too.

For sure, that slim sliver on exists in the picoseconds surrounding the Big Bang itself, but it's still there, and I think it would be churlish to deny that.

But I think the reason that my atheism is not a religion is that it does not have a behavioural structure attached to it that I need to conform to, and certainly no good behaviour conditions for access to a cushy afterlife.

My atheism does not preclude me from eating certain foods. It does not mean I go to a big building once a week to sing about how great atheism is. Or even sit as part of a circle, talking about atheism whenever I am moved to. I don't feel compelled to go and tell a senior atheist, sat in a small box, about all the times I have thought godly thoughts in the last week. I don't orientate myself to Richard Dawkins' study five times a day and pray.

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.

740618.  Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:25 am Reply with quote

I agree with bob that you can't answer the question about why is evil allowed, without answering first whether it exists.

Good and Evil are concepts devised by man to describe intention, results, and allow us to choose one action/thing over another.

The example of a child molester is a good example, is that person good or bad? If we look at them objectively then the answer will be a mixture of both, but most people will say bad because they view their intention or action to be bad and therefore associate the whole being as bad.

And what of all those times when people describe events/things to be be a "blessing in disguise"? the result means that something that was bad is suddenly deemed good, but nothing about the orignial action/thing changed.


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