[LINK] atheism

Frank O'Connor foconnor at ozemail.com.au
Fri Mar 2 16:33:54 AEDT 2007

Mmmm ...

My problem with Dawkins is that he seems to be the same zealot, the 
same fundamentalist, the same close minded individual as that which 
he opposes. He's simply operating under a belief system of a 
different colour. Making a God of rationality and logic.

In the annals of human achievement Dawkins sees science as the 
pinnacle ... which given his background is probably understandable I 
suppose. Economists and politicians (like Marx, the 
neo-conservatives, Milto Freidman, J. F Keynes (although he seems to 
have realised limitations) and others have their own 'rationality'. 
As do sociologists, psychiatrists and paid-for spin doctors. None 
have any right to view their fields as paramount to others.

And science is one of the great achievements of society, the 
scientific method is an OK system of rationality to follow and apply 
to science, and hard logic and empirical evidence is a good thing. I 
don't debate that. (I think however that he gets carried away with 
reductionist techniques ... common in science - less common 
elsewhere, with selective instancing (which he also condemns his 
opponents for), and with applying one theory ... Natural Selection - 
against his opponents.)

Science is basically institutionalised skepticism. You don't propound 
Laws, you propose theories. You don't prove Laws, you test theories - 
by proposing alternate theories to the ones you are testing and 
attempting to test them within degrees of freedom. In general this 
system works ... as we have seen over the course of the last two 
hundred years.

I would also point out however that little numbers like art, drama, 
music and literature don't come from the same methodology or 
adherence to cold logic, probability, evidence and systems. You can't 
create a great symphony by applying a formula to sound. That requires 
talent, and motivation and something more ethereal ... a longing and 
an idea. And even in simply playing music, not everyone can have the 
talent of an Eric Clapton or a Carlos Santana with a guitar, for 

These achievements come from feelings, and talent and belief ... from 
an esoteric mental vision that the author or player is gifted by ... 
not simply from practice or applying a system to sound.

The Bard and others of a literary inclination, great visual artists, 
brilliant stage technicians and great musicians operate on a 
non-rational plane. I'm an atheist, but not one of Dawkins' ilk. I 
see a place for irrationality, for belief, for proceeding without 
empirical validation, for other systems and methodologies other than 
those espoused by science.

Without them we would be poorer ... immensely poorer.

Dawkins' rigid views if followed to their LOGICAL conclusion (one I 
doubt he intended) would deny us access to much that has made us 
great and worthwhile - even if we were blown out of existence 


At 12:48 PM +1100 on 2/3/07 you wrote:
>Stewart Fist wrote:
>>Rick writes
>No, I believe Frank wrote this:
>>>And finally ... I can't for the life of me see why anybody should so
>>>virulently oppose that by which of their own admission they concede
>>>doesn't exist. I mean ... logically, what is the point?
>>I think it is probably because he thinks fundamentalist religions are one of
>>the most destructive social forces on the planet.
>>Personally, I think books like this need to be aimed fairly low
>>intellectually, to be popular, and the more popular the position the better.
>Exactly. There is, for example, no evidence whatsoever for creation theory.
>It can be demonstrated that those in power who believe in this theory are
>causing a "black ages" mentality to emerge in areas relating to scientific
>research and enquiry. So even though creation theory is bunkum and the
>processes is posits undemonstrated. So even though I do not believe
>creation theory, I will go to lengths to debunk when necessary.
>The same can be said for other things that don't exist or are not 
>There is often very good reason to engage those who believe in bunk in
>debate, to assit the debunking process.
>Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services
>All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it
>is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
>      -- Arthur Schopenhauer
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

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