Tag Archives | Richard Dawkins

The Case Against Atheism From S. E. Cupp

S. E. Cupp takes on Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and the group she terms “neoatheists” in an opinion piece in the Daily News. But who the hell is S. E. Cupp and why should we care?

Back in college, while I was busy pretending that a blottoed discussion of Nietzsche over $1 beers made me an intellectual giant, my fiftysomething father, who’d worked so hard to send me there, was quietly being saved. Having long eschewed any ties to his Southern Baptist upbringing, he suddenly found himself born again and on a quest to know God better.

As a longtime atheist, I was a little surprised. But eventually I came to be relieved by this development. While my friends’ fathers were buying flashy sports cars and exchanging their wives for models, my own father was turning inward and asking: Is there more to life than this?

I was also proud of him for becoming a student again.

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Did Religion Have an Evolutionary Value?

Even Dawkins sees some value in religion, just not in the present. ScienceBlogs reports:
Richard Dawkins argues that humanity's historical predisposition towards religion and supernatural beliefs may have held an evolutionary utility. "The rule of thumb: 'Believe whatever your parents tell you,' quite clearly could have survival value," says Dawkins.
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Richard Dawkins: I Will Arrest Pope Benedict XVI

From the Times Online:

Richard Dawkins, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.

The Pope was embroiled in new controversy this weekend over a letter he signed arguing that the “good of the universal church” should be considered against the defrocking of an American priest who committed sex offences against two boys. It was dated 1985, when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases.

Benedict will be in Britain between September 16 and 19, visiting London, Glasgow and Coventry, where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian.

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Changing the Conversation on Religion (Before it Kills Us All)

New York Times best-selling author Frank Schaeffer has strong opinions on religion, writing in the Huffington Post:
The media-labeled "New Atheists" such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have put forward what they regard as the answer to religion: grow up, human race, and abandon your myths! Most Americans, and maybe even most people around the world, have another answer to the extremes of religion that infect people like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who (allegedly) tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit: hunt down and kill the extremists. I think just about everyone has missed the real point: religion won't go away because -- like it or not -- people are spiritual beings. Telling religious people to be moderate is not going to solve anything once they are convinced everyone not like them is the enemy of "truth." Killing more people just makes martyrs. That being the case, the way to confront religious poison is to change religion, not try to win by eliminating it. And that change means we have to try and get to the next generation before the fundamentalists do...
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Presents for the Godless: the 13 Days of Atheist Christmas

From The Telegraph:

Don’t believe in God, but want to celebrate Christmas anyway? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are 13 suitable gifts for the heretic.

It’s not unreasonable to want to enjoy Christmas despite not believing in all the stuff about virgin birth and angels. A lack of faith doesn’t get in the way of enjoying family, togetherness and generosity, not to mention presents, mulled wine and good food.

So in the spirit of the season, here is a list of 13 suitable presents for the godless in your life.

Please note: The Daily Telegraph accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to your immortal soul through the purchase of these gifts.

On the first day of Christmas, an atheist gave to me: a Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People DVD

Robin Ince, a comedian, atheist and sceptic, first organised this cheery variety-show celebration of atheist Christmas last year.

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The Evolution of Richard Dawkins, the Rock Star of Neo-Atheism

RichardDawkinsDavid Gibson writes on Politics Daily:

Is Richard Dawkins getting soft? It’s hard to believe that the leading exponent of a brash new school of pugnacious atheism would somehow, miraculously, transform into the soul of charity. But consider the evidence:

Dawkins says, for one thing, that he is tired of rehashing the forceful — many would say withering — arguments against religion he made in his bestselling book, The God Delusion, and he objects to his frequent portrayal as a gratuitous provocateur.

“I’m not really that at all,” he told me during a recent stopover in New York to promote his latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Dawkins almost sounds hurt by the criticism. “That’s propaganda made up by religious opponents, I’m afraid. They love this word ‘strident.’ They always call me ‘strident and shrill.’ I’m not the least bit strident or shrill.”

Read More: Politics Daily

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Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth (Video)

Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion created a storm of controversy over the question of God's existence. Now, in The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins presents a stunning counterattack against advocates of "Intelligent Design" that explains the evidence for evolution while keeping an eye trained on the absurdities of the creationist argument. More than an argument of his own, it's a thrilling tour into our distant past and into the interstices of life on earth. Taking us through the case for evolution step-by-step, Dawkins looks at DNA, selective breeding, anatomical similarities, molecular family trees, geography, time, fossils, vestiges and imperfections, human evolution, and the formula for a strong scientific theory. Dawkins' trademark wit and ferocity is joined by an infectious passion for the beauty and strangeness of the natural world, proving along the way that the mechanisms of the natural world are more miraculous -- a "greater show" -- than any creation story generated by any religion on earth.
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Will E.T. Look Like Us?

Michael Shermer asks an imponderable question in Scientific American Magazine:
What are the odds that intelligent, technically advanced aliens would look anything like the ones in films, with an emaciated torso and limbs, spindly fingers and a bulbous, bald head with large, almond-shaped eyes? What are the odds that they would even be humanoid? In a YouTube video, produced by Josh Timonen of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, I argue that the chances are close to zero: Richard Dawkins himself made this interesting observation in a private communication after viewing it:
I would agree with [Shermer] in betting against aliens being bipedal primates, and I think the point is worth making, but I think he greatly overestimates the odds against...
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Atheism’s Own Fundamentalists Lead ‘Religion’ of ‘Not’

Cathy Lynn Grossman writes in USA Today:

By Reuters

Forget God, let’s talk about arrogance.

That’s not exactly the way Rice University humanities professor Anthony Pinn, in an article for the online magazine Religion Dispatches, describes the monotone of mockery at the Atheist Alliance International convention, but it gets you to Pinn’s key points pretty quickly.

The convention, starring the atheist band’s Mick Jagger, Richard Dawkins, promoting his book on evolution, The Greatest Show on Earth, and some backup singers like TV host Bill Maher, was held in Burbank, Calif., earlier this month.

Pinn found the main idea at the event, is that religion is

… the single most dangerous human creation.

The welfare of humanity, it was argued, depends on the dismantling of religion and all of its delusions. The possibility of collaboration, of compromise, of any shared ethical commitments between theists and non-theists, was not on the table.

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