Richard Dawkins having his say

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9 Responses

  1. etteridge says:

    I shall tune in and listen with interest. The ‘Have your say’ section on the BBC website is already overflowing with comments in anticipation and I am (Perhaps naively) amazed at how the pro-religion lobby completely and utterly miss the point of what RD says in the God Delusion. Are they unable or just unwilling?

  2. neil.a.coyle says:

    I only managed to catch part of the programme but i think that the problem that a lot of beleivers have with R.D is that the God he talks about and the one that they believe in are different animals.When he says God he usually then goes on to talk about the Bible .This is the God he stopped believing in at 16.
    The god most believers have is by nature beyond definition but is tied up with the idea a Universal unity,or consciousness.
    However because he is not at home with these ideas he dismisses them as obscurantist.
    I thought that the way he dealt with the Australian caller was an example of this.
    If it can be shown,which apparently it has,that our thoughts can alter material objects, the example given was water,then it is fair to say that “miracles” can occur.
    However he just brought out his trusty sword-“obscurantism” -to cut it down.
    It may be wrong to be so open minded that our brains drop out but you still have to open it.

  3. Margaret Nelson says:

    And where’s the evidence that our thoughts can alter material objects? I think James Randi would be happy to demonstrate that there is none.

    “The god most believers have is by nature beyond definition but is tied up with the idea a Universal unity, or consciousness.” Again, what evidence do you have for what “most believers” believe? What you describe is pantheism, and I’m inclined to agree with Dawkins. The pantheist’s idea of God is even less relevant to my life than a Christian’s God, or a Muslim’s Allah, or any of the various religions other gods, all with their own mythologies. If it’s just out there, or wherever it is (everywhere, apparently) but playing a strictly non-interventionist role in our lives, I’m happy to ignore it.

  4. neil.a.coyle says:

    The scientific evidence for the power of thoughts is well documented.Off the top of my head i would cite the research of Rupert Sheldrake,Manjir Samantha-Laughton,Bruce H.Lipton,Colin Wilson and Tom Lethbridge although there are many more ,too numerous to mention .
    However James Randi will probably deny it till his dying breath.
    As for what most believers believe i can only speak from personal experience.This comes from people i have spoken to and i don,t think is a wildly inaccurate statement.
    I don’t know that what i am describing is Pantheism.For example Rupert Sheldrake is a proponent of the power of consciousness and its creative presence in Nature. However he is not a Pantheist ,nor obscurantist.Just a scientist.

  5. Margaret Nelson says:

    The people you mention (I don’t know all of them) appear to share a quasi-scientific approach to some strange ideas. Rupert Sheldrake has been described as “the delightful crackpot“, and they all seem equally eccentric. In my art student days in the ’60s, I was quite keen on Colin Wilson and Carl Jung, who appealed to lots of hippy types, but they went the way of my cheesecloth skirts – out of fashion. They made more sense if you were stoned.

    However, while none of these “scientists” appear to be doing any harm, I don’t think they’re contributing much to the development of science either. Like God, they’re irrelevant.

  6. Margaret Nelson says:

    I listened to the programme in full today, having recorded it, and wished I hadn’t. The loud American Catholic priest in the Vatican gave a patronising sermon-cum-rant and didn’t listen to Dawkins. Most of the other contributors waffled on for ages without getting to the point, if they had one.

    If you can bear it, you can listen again via the BBC website. You need a media player and broadband.

  7. neil.a.coyle says:

    Alot of people have been called Crackpots in their time,including Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury.It doesn’t really tell us anything about them.
    Colin Wilson and Jung popular with Hippies? They weren’t in a rock band ,you know !!

  8. Margaret Nelson says:

    Some semi-hippies read books when they weren’t, you know…

  9. Nathan Nelson says:

    …and it was just as frustrating as every other debate I heard Dawkins get involved with recently. I’m amazed he has the patience to keep doing what he is doing, because I don’t know if I would. Being confronted by anything from a spit-and-teeth faithheaded loony to a fuzzy-headed pseudo-mystic would unfortunately not solicit reactions from me that are remotely as civilised or as well-articulated as Dawkins manages.

    Anyway, as to thoughts altering material objects, I typed this all with nothing more than the power of my mind, my hands being engaged simultaneously in eating pizza and checking what was on the telly.

    Not. Because that would be crazy.

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