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 Topic: Richard Dawkins, Atheism, and Gay Rights

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DVDLover  



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 24


Posted: 10 Feb 2007, 9:52 pm    Post subject: Richard Dawkins, Atheism, and Gay Rights Reply with quote

I just finished speed-reading the NYTimes bestseller "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. The book has been besieged with criticism from Evangelical Christians who find it intolerant. Such criticism is odd coming from a group that feels entitled to refer to people outside their communities as "apostates" or "the damned."

Perhaps the most provocative aspect of the book is Dawkins's assertion that religious training of children constitutes child abuse. While such provocations seem a bit adolescent, the book is stimulating. I am an agnostic and remain so after reading the book, despite its argument that agnosticism is cop-out. The book's most potent argument against the existence of god is simple, as any good argument should be. Dawkins reasons that the concept of God is more complex than any phenomenon it could ever be summoned to explain, so the God Delusion of the book's title is inevitably slashed to pieces by Occam's Razor.

Dawkins also argues that atheists, especially American atheists, need to band together and demand fair and equal treatment. He cites the movement for gay and lesbian equality as an example of a successful venture that changed public opinion and encourages atheists to follow that model. That seems like wishful thinking as we godless folk form a group that may be even more diverse than the LGBT community.

Dawkins is a rationalist and expresses unreserved distaste for the ambiguities of continental philosophers like Michel Foucault. I found that aspect of the book disturbing as Dawkins rationalism/scientism leads to an absolutism that can be as tyrannical as the Evangelical variety. Think of the mid-century abuse of Lobotomy, the syphillis experiments carried out on black men in the U.S., or the medical diagnosis of Pathological Sexual Inversion. All were created in the name of Science.

Has anyone had a different reaction to Dawkins book? Any other happy agnostics or atheists out there?
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Rob Stahl  



Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Interests: Literature,Music, Baseball and Football

Posted: 15 Feb 2007, 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Richard Dawkins, Atheism, and Gay Rights Reply with quote

I have not read the book, but I briefly heard him speak on CSPAN. I consider myself an aethist, but like being a bisexual, I don't tell everyone I know. I think his assertion that aethists should band together makes sense. Strength lies in numbers, and if more people were honest about their aethism the better off we would be. I sometimes feel being an aethist is more of a stigma than being bisexual. I'm sure there are many of us who feel the same.

Rob



DVDLover wrote:
I just finished speed-reading the NYTimes bestseller "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. The book has been besieged with criticism from Evangelical Christians who find it intolerant. Such criticism is odd coming from a group that feels entitled to refer to people outside their communities as "apostates" or "the damned."

Perhaps the most provocative aspect of the book is Dawkins's assertion that religious training of children constitutes child abuse. While such provocations seem a bit adolescent, the book is stimulating. I am an agnostic and remain so after reading the book, despite its argument that agnosticism is cop-out. The book's most potent argument against the existence of god is simple, as any good argument should be. Dawkins reasons that the concept of God is more complex than any phenomenon it could ever be summoned to explain, so the God Delusion of the book's title is inevitably slashed to pieces by Occam's Razor.

Dawkins also argues that atheists, especially American atheists, need to band together and demand fair and equal treatment. He cites the movement for gay and lesbian equality as an example of a successful venture that changed public opinion and encourages atheists to follow that model. That seems like wishful thinking as we godless folk form a group that may be even more diverse than the LGBT community.

Dawkins is a rationalist and expresses unreserved distaste for the ambiguities of continental philosophers like Michel Foucault. I found that aspect of the book disturbing as Dawkins rationalism/scientism leads to an absolutism that can be as tyrannical as the Evangelical variety. Think of the mid-century abuse of Lobotomy, the syphillis experiments carried out on black men in the U.S., or the medical diagnosis of Pathological Sexual Inversion. All were created in the name of Science.

Has anyone had a different reaction to Dawkins book? Any other happy agnostics or atheists out there?
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