Tag Archives | Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins Defends ‘Mild Pedophilia’

roflbot(2)So it turns out that he and some of his religious opponents do have something they agree on.

Via HuffPo:

Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s best-known and outspoken atheists, has provoked outrage among child protection agencies and experts after suggesting that recent child abuse scandals have been overblown.

In an interview in The Times magazine on Saturday (Sept. 7), Dawkins, 72, he said he was unable to condemn what he called “the mild pedophilia” he experienced at an English school when he was a child in the 1950s.

Referring to his early days at a boarding school in Salisbury, he recalled how one of the (unnamed) masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts.”

He said other children in his school peer group had been molested by the same teacher but concluded: “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours.

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The World’s Top Thinkers

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in July 2011-croppedMost of you probably know who Richard Dawkins is, but Ashraf Ghani and Ali Allawi? Prospect Magazine reports on its 2013 top thinkers poll:

After more than 10,000 votes from over 100 countries, the results of Prospect’s world thinkers 2013 poll are in. Online polls often throw up curious results, but this top 10 offers a snapshot of the intellectual trends that dominate our age.

THE WINNERS

1. Richard Dawkins
When Richard Dawkins, the Oxford evolutionary biologist, coined the term “meme” in The Selfish Gene 37 years ago, he can’t have anticipated its current popularity as a word to describe internet fads. But this is only one of the ways in which he thrives as an intellectual in the internet age. He is also prolific on Twitter, with more than half a million followers—and his success in this poll attests to his popularity online. He uses this platform to attack his old foe, religion, and to promote science and rationalism.

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Richard Dawkins Has Lost: Meet the New New Atheists

praisedawkinsSo much for our favorite theist and atheist stereotypes.  Theo Hobson writes in the Spectator:

The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He’s the Mary Whitehouse of our day.

So what was all that about, then? We can see it a bit more clearly now. It was an outpouring of frustration at the fact that religion is maddeningly complicated and stubbornly irritating, even in largely secular Britain. This frustration had been building for decades: the secular intellectual is likely to feel somewhat bothered by religion, even if it is culturally weak. Oh, she finds it charming and interesting to a large extent, and loves a cosy carol service, but religion really ought to know its place. Instead it dares to accuse the secular world of being somehow -deficient.

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From an Occult Perspective, Atheism is a More Simplistic Belief System Than Christianity

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m super conflicted about the rise of popular atheism over the last ten years or so. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. I truly respect the way people like Richard Dawkins (and the late Christopher Hitchens) challenge the influence of the world’s dominant religions publically. I love Bill Maher and found his movie Religulous quite amusing for the most part. This critical dialogue is incredibly important because I got news for you, religion is still the great fundamental bamboozle driving the war on drugs and terror. I think organized religion can be just as nuts as these guys do. I guess I just also see that it can also be incredibly and most boringly normal. A lot of good things come out of it as well, a sense of community, drug rehabilitation, charity work, etc. Truth be told, the majority of people I’ve known or hung out with for most of my life have basically considered themselves atheists. It’s become almost a badge of pride for so many teenagers and young people, but I got news for you, it isn’t anything new or subversive...
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Peter Higgs Calls Out Richard Dawkins for Anti-Religious Fundamentalism

Picture: Gert-Martin Gruel (CC)

God Particle vs. God Delusion:

Via The Guardian:

As public disagreements go, few can have boasted such heavy-hitting antagonists.

On one side is Richard Dawkins, the celebrated biologist who has made a second career demonstrating his epic disdain for religion. On the other is the theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, who this year became a shoo-in for a future Nobel prize after scientists at Cern in Geneva showed that his theory about how fundamental particles get their mass was correct.

Their argument is over nothing less than the coexistence of religion and science.

Higgs has chosen to cap his remarkable 2012 with another bang by criticising the “fundamentalist” approach taken by Dawkins in dealing with religious believers.

“What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists,” Higgs said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

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Graham Hancock In Conversation With Richard Dawkins

Dr Richard Dawkins, author of books such as The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, is famous for his materialist views about the nature of reality and his belief that "the supernatural... can never offer us a true explanation of the things we see in the world and the universe around us." On 3 November 2011, Dr Dawkins visited the British city of Bath to promote his new book The Magic of Reality and gave a reading at the Bath Central Library. In the Q&A session following the reading Graham Hancock, author of books such as Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, and Entangled, pointed out to Dr Dawkins that many traditional hunter-gather cultures believe there are other realities -- spirit worlds and so on and so forth -- and concrete techniques, such as the use of psychoactive plants, to access them. "As a scientist," Hancock asked, "have you ever seriously engaged such techniques to have first-hand experience of what they're talking about, and perhaps even to challenge your own concept of what is real?"
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