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Old 6th June 2016, 09:09 AM
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Default The Delusions of Atheists

The Delusions of Atheists

John Marsh

http://www.bethinking.org/does-scien...on-of-atheists

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This article examines some of the claims of atheists concerning belief in God and how they (mis)use science. It is based on a talk given in Rickmansworth on 20th October 2015.
In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.[1]
Charles Darwin
In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for support of such views.[2]
Albert Einstein
It enjoys no observational support whatever. What is referred to as M-theory isn't even a theory. Indeed it's hardly science. It's a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations … I think the book is misleading.[3]
Roger Penrose on Stephen Hawking's book The Grand Design
Kepler breaks into enthusiasm at being the first to recognise the beauty of God's works. Thus the new way of thinking [science] has nothing to do with any turn away from religion.[4]
Werner Heisenberg
Science is reticent when it comes to the question of the great unity of which we somehow form a part. The popular name for it in our time is God.[5]
Erwin Schrödinger
Some atheists claim science supports their views. Or does science point to the existence of God?
The Delusions of Christopher Hitchens

I want to look at Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, but first a quick look at another of the New Atheists – Christopher Hitchens, and his book God is not Great, in which he claimed that "religion poisons everything".[6] Hitchens insists that atheists are better behaved than religious people. He wrote:
If a proper statistical enquiry could ever be made, I am sure the evidence would be that more crimes of greed and violence are committed by the faithful than by atheists.[7]
Hitchens tells us:
It is impossible to claim that religion makes people behave in a more kindly or civilised manner.… The worse the offender the more devout he turns out to be. The chance that a person committing crimes was 'faith-based' was almost 100%.[8]
Richard Dawkins also claims that atheists are better behaved than religious people. He referred to a Montreal police strike which led to rioting, looting and arson; Dawkins claimed more of it would have been carried out by religious people than atheists: "My uninformed opinion is that religious believers loot and destroy more than unbelievers."[9] He admits he has no evidence.

...
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  #2  
Old 6th June 2016, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

Delusion, you keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.
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Old 6th June 2016, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

Christ.

I was of a mind to fisk that thing, but there's almost no substance to it.

The part referencing Hitchens says nothing of note, makes no arguments, and adds nothing to discussion. It's the functional equivalent to buggering oneself with an injured jackdaw: interesting to see, but you're the only one getting anything from it, and an insult to the jackdaw.

I've no idea why Einstein and Newton are dragged into these discussions either. Yes, both were very clever, brilliant, shining stars in certain fields. So fucking what? I'm a shining star in my own field - being a mouthy cunt for reason - but that in no way suggests anyone should take my opinions on electronic engineering or fiscal policy as useful or important.

And I'm fucking tired of people holding Newton up as "possibly the greatest scientist of all time", as if that means fuck all. Newton was a very clever arsehole who managed wonderful work on optics and mechanical physics and the mathematics of changing systems whilst also being firmly convinced that bezoars were fucking magical.

If Newton hadn't developed the equations we now 'revere' him for, some other cunt would have. Indeed, other cunts did so. We only know Newton's calculus because he got pissed off when someone else published their own, independent, derivation.

And now I see the problem. The author of this article thinks that atheists have prophets, and is arguing like he thinks this is an issue of theology. He thinks that the Prophet Dawkins has misrepresented the Prophets Einstein and Newton.

Newsflash for the gallery: No. That's not how this works.

Yes, many of us have a great respect for those who have advanced our empirical understanding of existence, and often will refer to the work of those who have had large impacts, such as Einstein, Newton, Watson, Kepler, Higgs, and even Dawkins, with a certain amount of respect. But those cats ain't prophets, yo.

Prophets don't exist.
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Old 6th June 2016, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

This article makes a number of errors.

Cherry-picking of quotes is one example. For every quote by Einstein that can be take out of context to appear to support the theist world view, I can probably find 10 that appear to say the opposite. In reality Einstein believed in a personal God about as much as I do.

And Darwin: "In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God." Neither have most atheists that I have encountered. This is only meaningful to those who are not atheists and yet insist that they know what atheists do and don't believe better than atheists do.

It also makes the error of implying lack of or absence of evidence when that is clearly not the case:
Quote:
Richard Dawkins also claims that atheists are better behaved than religious people. He referred to a Montreal police strike which led to rioting, looting and arson; Dawkins claimed more of it would have been carried out by religious people than atheists: "My uninformed opinion is that religious believers loot and destroy more than unbelievers."[9] He admits he has no evidence.
There is actually ample evidence that atheists are "better behaved" than religious people. I suspect that Dawkins meant "I have no evidence to hand" when he said that.

Statistically atheists make up 0.07% of the US prison population, for example:
http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-an...ent-its-prison

//edit: this is correlation rather than causation, of course. Circumstantial evidence in other words.

Last edited by 142857; 6th June 2016 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 6th June 2016, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

The posted quote makes me laugh. Old versus new. It's futile trying to compare stone axes with laser knives. I agree, there's the fault of cherry-picking in this quote, so any comment is more or less bound to it. But I found the cherry-picked quotes from the laser knives so on the money. Of course, when you weigh it all up, atheists have to make better, moral human beings.
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Old 6th June 2016, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

It is called quote-mining.

Often enough here, that technique has been used to support delusion.
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Old 6th June 2016, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

To me it's informative to the lengths these people will go to to try and answer a very basic question.
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Old 6th June 2016, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

I became a bit of an Einstein fanboy when I read the Isaacson biography. Albert was very obliging to people who wanted to quote-mine, so everyone seems to want to claim him for their team. But amid all the misrepresentation, Einstein was pretty clear. He keeps coming back to Spinoza... Einstein explicitly and rather testily said he doesn't believe in a personal god. The god he did believe in was some sort of pantheistic one, barely god at all really. Isaacson baldly states "Einstein believed in God" in his introduction, but the content of the book shows how inadequate that statement is. Isaacson also links Einstein's quasi-religious view that there is a simple, elegant order to the universe, to his refusal to accept some of the key principles of quantum mechanics. So the impression I got was that even this very dilute faith was still toxic to the potency of the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century. "Religion poisons everything" stands up pretty well in this example.

As a more general reaction to the quotes in the original post, "what a load of shit" will do from me.
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Old 7th June 2016, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

John Marsh and his ilk strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, which I always thought a quaint and irritating figure of speech by Christ.

Sorry, I am listening to this yapping little dog. Surely some good neighbour has a gun. I heard a high powered rifle shot last night actually, just close by.

Patience is a virtue. Another annoying fucking saying...
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Old 7th June 2016, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

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Strato said View Post
...strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, which I always thought a quaint and irritating figure of speech by Christ.
You give undue credit to the possibility any person nominally JC said any such thing, given even the supposed 'Q' document was not recorded until one or two decades after the nominal zealot's death and Matthew itself was written by someone else about forty years later than that, apparently drawing on 'Q' and Mark.

I am using a bc.edu source and have this or similar information in other places and books.
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