Poll

Is Richard Dawkins Incompetent?  

Yes, he stubbornly clings to ideas, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary
No, he's a light in a dark world full of silly fools who believe their own eyes and in common sense!
I'm afraid to say one way or another, because I'm afraid of my own shadow
Yes, he is and he should be drawn and quartered
No, he is beyond common sense, he is mega-man!  

RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees

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Marciano

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RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« on: January 23, 2016, 07:41:18 PM »
According to Richard Dawkins...



« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 07:46:31 PM by Marciano »
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Marciano

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 07:45:09 PM »
"Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun."  ~ Richard Dawkins

Well, sorry to break it to you Richard, but The Earth doesn't go round The Sun.  The Sun travels across the face of the earth and evolution is about as silly as gravity. 
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

It's not eight inches over the first mile;  it's eight inches over the first foot!   ;D

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 08:27:08 PM »
"Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun."  ~ Richard Dawkins

Well, sorry to break it to you Richard, but The Earth doesn't go round The Sun.  The Sun travels across the face of the earth and evolution is about as silly as gravity.

Good talk.  Hit the showers.
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Marciano

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2016, 08:38:00 PM »
"Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun."  ~ Richard Dawkins

Well, sorry to break it to you Richard, but The Earth doesn't go round The Sun.  The Sun travels across the face of the earth and evolution is about as silly as gravity.

Good talk.  Hit the showers.

thanks!  lol
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It's not eight inches over the first mile;  it's eight inches over the first foot!   ;D

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John Davis

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 10:01:13 PM »
He bugs me to no end. Basically, he takes the logically and sensibly suspect tactics of those he hates and uses them to advance his theory. Shame on him - he should know better.
Quantum Ab Hoc

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 11:11:33 PM »
He bugs me to no end. Basically, he takes the logically and sensibly suspect tactics of those he hates and uses them to advance his theory. Shame on him - he should know better.

What is Dawkin's theory that he is advancing?
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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 05:21:29 AM »
Dawkins is the living embodiment of "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole." I agree with his conclusions a fair fraction of the time, but is debating style is at best obnoxious.

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Scroto Gaggins

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 05:37:36 AM »
Dawkins is the living embodiment of "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole." I agree with his conclusions a fair fraction of the time, but is debating style is at best obnoxious.
Fire with fire amirite?
They are taking the hobbits to Isengard.

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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 05:38:44 AM »
Dawkins is the living embodiment of "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole." I agree with his conclusions a fair fraction of the time, but is debating style is at best obnoxious.
Fire with fire amirite?
Find me one firefighter that uses a flamethrower.

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Pongo

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 05:57:35 AM »
Dawkins is the living embodiment of "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole." I agree with his conclusions a fair fraction of the time, but is debating style is at best obnoxious.
Fire with fire amirite?
Find me one firefighter that uses a flamethrower.

Many firefighters are arsonists.  It's called a Hero Complex and it's a real problem.

Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 12:48:44 PM »
But he says theory  he doesn't say fact. So his quote can mean that people are so indoctrinated into these theories that they are unable to think for themselves and have any doubts about it.

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John Davis

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 06:58:38 PM »
Dawkins is the living embodiment of "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole." I agree with his conclusions a fair fraction of the time, but is debating style is at best obnoxious.
Fire with fire amirite?
Find me one firefighter that uses a flamethrower.

To be fair, you can use fire to fight a fire by doing a controlled burn around a large fire to stop it from spreading.
Quantum Ab Hoc

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Scroto Gaggins

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 08:12:18 PM »
Dawkins is the living embodiment of "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole." I agree with his conclusions a fair fraction of the time, but is debating style is at best obnoxious.
Fire with fire amirite?
Find me one firefighter that uses a flamethrower.

To be fair, you can use fire to fight a fire by doing a controlled burn around a large fire to stop it from spreading.
Well...
It's a figure of speech.
I'm not proposing actually using fire to put out a fire.
I'm just saying that obnoxiousness can sometimes only be answered in kind.
A sentiment which I first expressed in 19 letters as opposed to 61.
They are taking the hobbits to Isengard.

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Kali

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 10:03:02 PM »
It might be difficult to tell the difference between the trolls and the genuine loonies here, but I think luggage lad's old adage remains true, "Ironic shitposting is still shitposting."

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 10:42:00 PM »
But he says theory  he doesn't say fact. So his quote can mean that people are so indoctrinated into these theories that they are unable to think for themselves and have any doubts about it.

He usage of theory is not one of an idea that may or may not be true.  He is using the scientific definition of theory, which is a well substantiated explanation for a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2016, 10:43:15 PM »
But he says theory  he doesn't say fact. So his quote can mean that people are so indoctrinated into these theories that they are unable to think for themselves and have any doubts about it.

He usage of theory is not one of an idea that may or may not be true.  He is using the scientific definition of theory, which is a well substantiated explanation for a phenomenon or group of phenomena.  A scientific theory is composed of many facts in the form of evidence which supports the theory indirectly.
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2016, 05:28:31 AM »
Well...
It's a figure of speech.
I'm not proposing actually using fire to put out a fire.
I'm just saying that obnoxiousness can sometimes only be answered in kind.
A sentiment which I first expressed in 19 letters as opposed to 61.

Sure, in some situations. Public broadcast is rarely one of those cases.
He's a good biologist, I'll give him that, but anything past that...

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Scroto Gaggins

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2016, 05:32:14 AM »
Well...
It's a figure of speech.
I'm not proposing actually using fire to put out a fire.
I'm just saying that obnoxiousness can sometimes only be answered in kind.
A sentiment which I first expressed in 19 letters as opposed to 61.

Sure, in some situations. Public broadcast is rarely one of those cases.
He's a good biologist, I'll give him that, but anything past that...
True, but if some prominent religious person was being obnoxious, most people would excuse them just for their religiosity.
He makes the point that religion is not something that needs protecting, least of all from obnoxiousness.
I reckon he is simply passionate, maybe a little old and grumpy, but passionate nonetheless.
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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2016, 05:42:42 AM »
True, but if some prominent religious person was being obnoxious, most people would excuse them just for their religiosity.
He makes the point that religion is not something that needs protecting, least of all from obnoxiousness.
I reckon he is simply passionate, maybe a little old and grumpy, but passionate nonetheless.
Some might, it doesn't happen too much in my experience. Plenty of people get called out on issues: more often that not it seems Dawkins is the one being defended on the basis of his belief whenever he goes too far. At best he's a hypocrite.
Passion's great, but it can go a bit too far.

Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2016, 07:32:26 AM »
"Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun."  ~ Richard Dawkins

Well, sorry to break it to you Richard, but The Earth doesn't go round The Sun.  The Sun travels across the face of the earth and evolution is about as silly as gravity.

I think I'm going to shoot myself.

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2016, 08:39:52 AM »
True, but if some prominent religious person was being obnoxious, most people would excuse them just for their religiosity.
He makes the point that religion is not something that needs protecting, least of all from obnoxiousness.
I reckon he is simply passionate, maybe a little old and grumpy, but passionate nonetheless.
Some might, it doesn't happen too much in my experience. Plenty of people get called out on issues: more often that not it seems Dawkins is the one being defended on the basis of his belief whenever he goes too far. At best he's a hypocrite.
Passion's great, but it can go a bit too far.

People have free speech and their right to be obnoxious and/or a hypocrite should be protected.  Dawkin's protests the privileged position that religion has in society, and I think rightfully so. Is he occasionally cantankerous, yes, but who cares?  His ideas are by and large good ones: do not accept anything on bad evidence, be aware of intrinsic bias, do not protect privilege merely because of legacy, etc...

To say he is a hypocrite is to say that his position is formulated in the same way as the religious position which it obviously is not and so I can't see how you can call him a hypocrite in that respect.  Am I missing your point?
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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2016, 09:05:27 AM »
People have free speech and their right to be obnoxious and/or a hypocrite should be protected.  Dawkin's protests the privileged position that religion has in society, and I think rightfully so. Is he occasionally cantankerous, yes, but who cares?  His ideas are by and large good ones: do not accept anything on bad evidence, be aware of intrinsic bias, do not protect privilege merely because of legacy, etc...

To say he is a hypocrite is to say that his position is formulated in the same way as the religious position which it obviously is not and so I can't see how you can call him a hypocrite in that respect.  Am I missing your point?
It's not a 'who cares?' situation. He is right, in many cases, but that doesn't excuse both he other things he says, and the way he often says them.
His position is formulated differently (in some cases) but that wasn't what I was referring to. He receives the same treatment as do the people he decries: whole swathes of people willing to overlook slights or errors, for no good reason. That's no inherent fault with him, it's human nature to want to think the best of people we previously liked, but the fact remains he refuses to call people out on it, and complains when he's subjected to the same standards he insists religions be held to.
Plus he says far more than the limited examples brought up in this thread. This would be an easy example. Then there's the fact he's more in favour of erasing than educating religions.

There's some good, and there is plenty of bad.

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2016, 09:35:59 AM »
People have free speech and their right to be obnoxious and/or a hypocrite should be protected.  Dawkin's protests the privileged position that religion has in society, and I think rightfully so. Is he occasionally cantankerous, yes, but who cares?  His ideas are by and large good ones: do not accept anything on bad evidence, be aware of intrinsic bias, do not protect privilege merely because of legacy, etc...

To say he is a hypocrite is to say that his position is formulated in the same way as the religious position which it obviously is not and so I can't see how you can call him a hypocrite in that respect.  Am I missing your point?
It's not a 'who cares?' situation. He is right, in many cases, but that doesn't excuse both he other things he says,

Can you give an example? I want to know specifically what you are taking exception to.

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and the way he often says them.

This is the biggest part of the issue for me.  Who cares if he is not always pleasant when he speaks his mind?  It has no bearing on the truth of it.  It might alienate some people who think decorum is more important than substance, and I appreciate that, but it does not make him incompetent by any stretch of the imagination.

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His position is formulated differently (in some cases) but that wasn't what I was referring to. He receives the same treatment as do the people he decries: whole swathes of people willing to overlook slights or errors, for no good reason. That's no inherent fault with him, it's human nature to want to think the best of people we previously liked, but the fact remains he refuses to call people out on it, and complains when he's subjected to the same standards he insists religions be held to.

Again, I would love a specific example, so I can comment more accurately.


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Plus he says far more than the limited examples brought up in this thread. This would be an easy example.

Yeah, I can see how people can dislike what he says there.  I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, even within those comments specifically, but it is fair to say he is being insensitive in his viewpoint.

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Then there's the fact he's more in favour of erasing than educating religions.

I have never heard him propose this, only wish it.  What I have heard him propose is to teach children the facts about religion and let them evaluate them for themself instead of indoctrinating them against his will.

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There's some good, and there is plenty of bad.

I would propose there is much more good than bad, but the bad is brought out in relief more often.

Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

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Papa Legba

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2016, 10:40:21 AM »
Nice Hegelian Dialectic False Dichotomy shill-circle-jerk you got going on here.

Fact is that Dawkins is a Children's Entertainer.

And you are the Children.

I got Trolled & Shilled at the CIA Troll/Shill Society and now I feel EPIC!!!

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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2016, 12:56:06 PM »
This is the biggest part of the issue for me.  Who cares if he is not always pleasant when he speaks his mind?  It has no bearing on the truth of it.  It might alienate some people who think decorum is more important than substance, and I appreciate that, but it does not make him incompetent by any stretch of the imagination.
Well if he's seeking to convince people, insulting them would count as a pretty incompetent way of doing it.
Even so, I'm not the OP. I think he's a good biologist, just nothing more than that. His conclusions may, in some cases, be correct but he's often not all that good at arguing for them, and inevitably comes across terribly. It's fair to say public figures should be expected to have a certain amount of decorum.

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Yeah, I can see how people can dislike what he says there.  I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, even within those comments specifically, but it is fair to say he is being insensitive in his viewpoint.
What he's saying fundamentally makes no sense, in some cases, and is downright backwards in others: the same things he accuses religions of perpetuating, yet almost anything that brings it up or criticizes is prefaced with an apology. Plus it's easy to find accounts of Dawkins insisting people not 'manufacture controversy:' the exact claim he directs at believers.

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Then there's the fact he's more in favour of erasing than educating religions.
I have never heard him propose this, only wish it.  What I have heard him propose is to teach children the facts about religion and let them evaluate them for themself instead of indoctrinating them against his will.
That's what he says, but it's easy to see him state that his goal is the removal of religion, and religious influence. The latter goal could easily be reached by educating, and letting religion develop alongside science. Instead e constructs conflict, which is a surefire way to ensure you won't convince anyone of anything.
The easiest example would be the Muslim headscarf. which he constantly insults. It's an item of clothing of major spiritual importance to the people of a religion: some choose to wear it, because that's how they want to practise their religion. Instead, Dawkins constructs a mildly ludicrous narrative more at home in 20s adventure novels, of poor women oppressed by a terrible religion.
Except that's rarely the case. Sure, it's easy to make a case that Islam is saying men couldn't control themselves if they looked under a veil: just as it's easy to make the case that Muslim women are freed from the restrictions on beauty that other women have to meet. It might be possible to have an interesting debate on that topic: but it doesn't happen. I'll give him this: Dawkins is more reasonable than some, and doesn't propose banning the headscarf, though that also neatly allows him to sidestep actually justifying his constant insults.
Because the fact is, the headscarf is important to the adherents of that religion. Sure, technically free speech holds, and he can say what he likes, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous, or make it any more reasonable to mock something of great personal importance to those people. I've seen people get mad when their favourite football team's insulted and no one bats a eye, yet Dawkins and his crowd act horrified when Muslims call him out on his actions.

He paints religion as evil, no exceptions. And sure, there are problems. Notably, many problems are shared (to reuse the headscarf example: some women feel pressured to wear a more restrictive scarf because others insist they should be a 'real' Muslim. I've lost count of the number of cliques even beyond religions that use the exact same "You're not a real ____" line) with non-theistic settings.

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I would propose there is much more good than bad, but the bad is brought out in relief more often.
In my experience, it tends to be the opposite. The bad gets called out, and then the most you hear about it is angry internet users leaping to his defence.

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2016, 01:47:25 PM »
Well if he's seeking to convince people, insulting them would count as a pretty incompetent way of doing it.
Even so, I'm not the OP. I think he's a good biologist, just nothing more than that. His conclusions may, in some cases, be correct but he's often not all that good at arguing for them, and inevitably comes across terribly. It's fair to say public figures should be expected to have a certain amount of decorum.

He is seeking to educate people and at that he has been extremely successful.  The number of people who are now aware of good arguments both for and against religion because of him is quite large by my lights.

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What he's saying fundamentally makes no sense, in some cases, and is downright backwards in others: the same things he accuses religions of perpetuating, yet almost anything that brings it up or criticizes is prefaced with an apology. Plus it's easy to find accounts of Dawkins insisting people not 'manufacture controversy:' the exact claim he directs at believers.

But he does make sense, you just don't like what he is saying, or more specifically how he is presenting it.  The plight of women in Western democracies is better than women in islamic fundamentalist countries by almost every plausible metric.  I am not entirely sure why he is making a point of it, and on that I would disagree, but on point of fact, he is right.

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That's what he says, but it's easy to see him state that his goal is the removal of religion, and religious influence. The latter goal could easily be reached by educating, and letting religion develop alongside science. Instead e constructs conflict, which is a surefire way to ensure you won't convince anyone of anything.
The easiest example would be the Muslim headscarf. which he constantly insults. It's an item of clothing of major spiritual importance to the people of a religion: some choose to wear it, because that's how they want to practise their religion. Instead, Dawkins constructs a mildly ludicrous narrative more at home in 20s adventure novels, of poor women oppressed by a terrible religion. Except that's rarely the case. Sure, it's easy to make a case that Islam is saying men couldn't control themselves if they looked under a veil: just as it's easy to make the case that Muslim women are freed from the restrictions on beauty that other women have to meet.  It might be possible to have an interesting debate on that topic: but it doesn't happen. I'll give him this: Dawkins is more reasonable than some, and doesn't propose banning the headscarf, though that also neatly allows him to sidestep actually justifying his constant insults.
Because the fact is, the headscarf is important to the adherents of that religion. Sure, technically free speech holds, and he can say what he likes, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous, or make it any more reasonable to mock something of great personal importance to those people.

I would be happy to have that debate with you sometime, but it is best left for another place.

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I've seen people get mad when their favourite football team's insulted and no one bats a eye, yet Dawkins and his crowd act horrified when Muslims call him out on his actions.

Sorry, you are comparing football matches to this?  Why do you think they compare?

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He paints religion as evil, no exceptions. And sure, there are problems. Notably, many problems are shared (to reuse the headscarf example: some women feel pressured to wear a more restrictive scarf because others insist they should be a 'real' Muslim. I've lost count of the number of cliques even beyond religions that use the exact same "You're not a real ____" line) with non-theistic settings.

Social pressure or fearing for their life in some cases.

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In my experience, it tends to be the opposite. The bad gets called out, and then the most you hear about it is angry internet users leaping to his defence.

I'm not angry and I will admit, I totally get why people don't like Dawkins.  He is bullish and cantankerous.  He is obviously not incompetent either, he is extremely smart and has also convinced a great number of people of his position.  What people don't like about him is that he preaches to the choir, and does not particularly care to be respectful of religious beliefs, nor should he.  It is detrimental to his position ultimately.
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2016, 02:11:31 PM »
He is seeking to educate people and at that he has been extremely successful.  The number of people who are now aware of good arguments both for and against religion because of him is quite large by my lights.
That's just not true. He's made more people aware of atheism arguably, though one could easily say that's as much a sign of the times as it is his doing: but the arguments he uses generally aren't all that great. Take an honest look at, say, The God Delusion. The theistic arguments he rebuts are generally in their weakest form, and more often than not they're cliches dealt with countless times. There's maybe a page or two of actual, substantial content: the rest rarely counts for much.
That's not necessarily a flaw with him: the problem is the whoel atheism/theism discussion generally takes the form of a debate, and so is impossible to cover well in a book like that. In most debates, you can predict how the first two or three turns will go, because the discussion's been had so much there's little new to add. Books like that start a debate, they can't progress beyond the first round. Of the major atheists, Harris probably stands out as the one who's actually contributed something. The likes of Dawkins just rehash.

His books on evolution are, from what I've gathered, pretty good: but that's biology. It may tie to religion and atheism in some aspects, but the focus is biology.

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But he does make sense, you just don't like what he is saying, or more specifically how he is presenting it.  The plight of women in Western democracies is better than women in islamic fundamentalist countries by almost every plausible metric.  I am not entirely sure why he is making a point of it, and on that I would disagree, but on point of fact, he is right.
What I'm disagreeing with is the point he's trying to make. Just because someone else has it worse means you can't complain: that's basically it, and it's absurd. Without that conclusion, what he said was pointless: it's vital to what he's saying, and it remains utterly untrue.
Plus the context in which he's speaking should be mentioned. To my knowledge there was an accusation of misogyny levelled during a convention, and that was his contribution. He can't deal with criticism: he just avoids it with the most transparent of means.

[quote
I would be happy to have that debate with you sometime, but it is best left for another place.[/quote]
Suffice to say, a debate can be had.

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Sorry, you are comparing football matches to this?  Why do you think they compare?
They don't compare. How someone views their religion is clearly far more important to them: and yet they're expected to act otherwise.

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Social pressure or fearing for their life in some cases.
Social pressure is hardly unique to religion, and the latter extreme case is typically reliant on certain areas of the world and to be honest there's a lot to be said on whether Islam causes Muslims to be violent and alter regions, or if the social and political landscape in Islamic regions is what drives Muslims to extremism, but that's a whole other issue).

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I'm not angry and I will admit, I totally get why people don't like Dawkins.  He is bullish and cantankerous.  He is obviously not incompetent either, he is extremely smart and has also convinced a great number of people of his position.  What people don't like about him is that he preaches to the choir, and does not particularly care to be respectful of religious beliefs, nor should he.  It is detrimental to his position ultimately.
'Extremely smart' is rarely a good qualifier. He's a great biologist, Ben Carson is a great neurosurgeon, that doesn't preclude idiocy in other areas. Dawkins primarily does just preach to the choir (sometimes with dodgy arguments) and insults those who disagree. That's not going to convince anyone of his position. Look at how you act at, say, JRowe on this forum when he starts insulting people: he pretty much concedes his position there and then. Not that Dawkins is like JRowe, I'm not that critical, but equal standards should be applied.
(I haven't seen Dawkins walk into a church and immediately announce "You're all ignorant c___s!" mind you, though to be honest I kind of want to now).

I'll give him this: he's raised awareness of atheism. That's his main contribution: he's made more people aware that atheism exists, and is a real possibility.
The problem is, he in many ways became the face of atheism through doing that, and if he's going to still be obnoxious and insulting, that's not a good thing. And besides, he's done all he really can. At best he's redundant by now: at worst, harmful.

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Rama Set

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2016, 06:56:44 PM »
That's just not true. He's made more people aware of atheism arguably, though one could easily say that's as much a sign of the times as it is his doing: but the arguments he uses generally aren't all that great. Take an honest look at, say, The God Delusion. The theistic arguments he rebuts are generally in their weakest form, and more often than not they're cliches dealt with countless times. There's maybe a page or two of actual, substantial content: the rest rarely counts for much.
That's not necessarily a flaw with him: the problem is the whoel atheism/theism discussion generally takes the form of a debate, and so is impossible to cover well in a book like that. In most debates, you can predict how the first two or three turns will go, because the discussion's been had so much there's little new to add. Books like that start a debate, they can't progress beyond the first round. Of the major atheists, Harris probably stands out as the one who's actually contributed something. The likes of Dawkins just rehash.

He basically started the New Atheism movement with others like Dennett, Hitchens and Harris joining him in the public eye there after and yes he does rehash some points; but they are key points: the value of evidence and rational thinking.

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What I'm disagreeing with is the point he's trying to make. Just because someone else has it worse means you can't complain: that's basically it, and it's absurd. Without that conclusion, what he said was pointless: it's vital to what he's saying, and it remains utterly untrue.
Plus the context in which he's speaking should be mentioned. To my knowledge there was an accusation of misogyny levelled during a convention, and that was his contribution. He can't deal with criticism: he just avoids it with the most transparent of means.

Hmm.. Ok, that does matter and it does make his comments more distasteful.  He probably was trying (and failed) to be didactic or illuminating, not that that is an excuse, but for all his faults, being a mysoginist dick is sort of out of character.

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Social pressure is hardly unique to religion, and the latter extreme case is typically reliant on certain areas of the world and to be honest there's a lot to be said on whether Islam causes Muslims to be violent and alter regions, or if the social and political landscape in Islamic regions is what drives Muslims to extremism, but that's a whole other issue).

Either way, it is pretty clear that these people have little to gain by throwing battery acid in the face of the women in their community if not for Islam.  It may not be the only factor, but it certainly is an extremely prominent one.

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'Extremely smart' is rarely a good qualifier. He's a great biologist, Ben Carson is a great neurosurgeon, that doesn't preclude idiocy in other areas. Dawkins primarily does just preach to the choir (sometimes with dodgy arguments) and insults those who disagree. That's not going to convince anyone of his position. Look at how you act at, say, JRowe on this forum when he starts insulting people: he pretty much concedes his position there and then. Not that Dawkins is like JRowe, I'm not that critical, but equal standards should be applied.
(I haven't seen Dawkins walk into a church and immediately announce "You're all ignorant c___s!" mind you, though to be honest I kind of want to now).

I'll give him this: he's raised awareness of atheism. That's his main contribution: he's made more people aware that atheism exists, and is a real possibility.
The problem is, he in many ways became the face of atheism through doing that, and if he's going to still be obnoxious and insulting, that's not a good thing. And besides, he's done all he really can. At best he's redundant by now: at worst, harmful.

I actually have not seen him insult people too often.  His usual tactic is a very british sort of incredulity that for me stops just short of insulting.  For example, I just watched a video of him being interviewed by an Al Jazeera reporter, who openly professed belief in Mohammed riding a winged horse to heaven.  Dawkins was pretty blown away, he asked if the reporter really believed that, but he did not insult him. 

All in all, you have done an excellent job convincing me he is a jerk.  I still think incompetence is a charge that his record just doesn't reflect though.  On a side note, Hitchens manages to say some things that are every bit as scathing and piercing as Dawkins, but because he was drunk, charming and eloquent, no one seemed to mind as much. 
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

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Slemon

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2016, 03:39:49 AM »
He basically started the New Atheism movement with others like Dennett, Hitchens and Harris joining him in the public eye there after and yes he does rehash some points; but they are key points: the value of evidence and rational thinking.
I agree that he had a major role in starting the movement, and bringing atheism into the public eye, but it's rare for the founders of a movement to remain relevant.

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but for all his faults, being a mysoginist dick is sort of out of character.
Why do you think that? The link I gave earlier went through several examples of such behaviour.


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Either way, it is pretty clear that these people have little to gain by throwing battery acid in the face of the women in their community if not for Islam. 
It's quite easy to show that's not the case: because Islam had a beginning. The religion you're blaming and the attitudes therein had to come from somewhere. Obsession with female 'purity,' anger at rejection...
Besides, women have been outright murdered in the west by the exact same motives as the acid-throwers.

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I actually have not seen him insult people too often.  His usual tactic is a very british sort of incredulity that for me stops just short of insulting.  For example, I just watched a video of him being interviewed by an Al Jazeera reporter, who openly professed belief in Mohammed riding a winged horse to heaven.  Dawkins was pretty blown away, he asked if the reporter really believed that, but he did not insult him. 
Seems pretty insulting to me. Questioning someone's suitability for their job over a relatively minor aspect of their religion feels pretty insulting.

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All in all, you have done an excellent job convincing me he is a jerk.  I still think incompetence is a charge that his record just doesn't reflect though.  On a side note, Hitchens manages to say some things that are every bit as scathing and piercing as Dawkins, but because he was drunk, charming and eloquent, no one seemed to mind as much.
I never argued that he was incompetent, beyond a one-off bit of snark. He was certainly very successful at raising the profile of atheism. Beyond that, though, he hasn't done much, and I'm a little tired of people claiming he has. That's not incompetence mind you: he's managed an awful lot before that.
Oh believe me there's a lot to say on Hitchens, Dawkins was just the topic. Of the 'big four' atheists though, Dawkins does stick out a little. Hitchens was an excellent researcher, Dennett a great philosopher, Harris a superb neuroscientist: those are areas where new, lesser-known facts can often be supplied. Sure, there are some issues with them (Harris particularly, from what I've seen), but at least they bring something good to the table, and a genuinely interesting discussion can be had. For all the distinctly dodgy statements, Harris is the one I find most interesting because his discussions on morality, free will etc are the kinds of things there's too little of. Plus, more importantly, they're actual arguments.
Ever since the atheist movement kicked off though, Dawkins doesn't do much. Maybe he's a good introduction to atheism, but most of what he says (focus on rationality etc) is done by others, and I'm pretty sure James Randi did something similar on a larger scale before him. By now, the evolution debate is frankly overdone. Dawkins hasn't really provided anything that hasn't been said countless times before.

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Kali

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Re: RICHARD DAWKINS IS INCOMPETENT and so are his devotees
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2016, 02:47:48 PM »
Your Islamophilia will not make you any more popular or successful. It just makes you more of an irrational cuck.