Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Richard Dawkins Tells it Like it's Not.

You come across curious things on the internet as a matter of course. Some of them don’t stay with you very long and some of them make you wonder. I can’t remember how I arrived at this site that is set up for promoting one Richard Dawkins but there I was and so I wound up watching him being interviewed by some lady in Vancouver.

I’d never heard about this fellow before but I guess he’s pretty well known. The site says that he’s sold 1.5 million copies of one book and he’s got a lot of other books and DVD’s. In the thread below the video there is one ASMarques who may be one of the smartest people I have come across in many, many a day. He gets roundly hammered by the other residents but it’s clear that he is very clear on what he is saying as it is clear that his opponents have no argument worth mentioning and that they are not bright enough to get his points.

The thread doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the video so, that’s another curious thing one runs across while surfing on the high seas of the vast internet and it’s not relevant to what I’m going to be talking about here today anyway.

Let’s talk about Richard Dawkins. He’s a debonair, professorial kind of a guy which that particular preening vanity that we encounter in academic circles. I get the feeling that Mr. Dawkins thinks he’s an erudite and powerful voice of reason in an age of religious superstition. I watched the video because I was curious to see an atheist argue his take on the indefinable incomprehensible.

I’ve been aware, for a long time, what the main argument of most atheists is based on. In one form or another, from one position or another, it is all about religion. There are some of a scientific nature who may use evolution or the lack of empirical proof as their argument but generally it’s all coming out of the shortcomings of religion as an impossible representative of the divine.

So I listened to Mr. Dawkins only to be gravely disappointed at his performance. I have never seen anyone argue for the cause of atheism who was as shallow and superficial in his presentation. You’ll have to see it to believe it. He doesn’t seem to have an argument at all. To be brief, which, in his case, is the desirable thing, he just basically says, “This is how it is. There’s no God.” And that’s that.

Yes... he’s an evolutionary biologist so he throws in some elements of the other arguments that are not just based on the absurdities of religion. I haven’t read his books or seen his DVD’s. I’m just going on what I have heard him say in the video. However, listening to Richard Dawkins it is apparent that he knows as much about his subject matter as Daryl Dawkins.

Well, you’ll notice if you watch this video that Dawkins just isn’t very interesting. He says nothing new and for a scholar with his credentials he’s an even bigger disappointment. It comes as no surprise to me that he is extremely successful. The secular humanist crowd would certainly appreciate his take and in this age of celebrating the trivial he fits right in with that superficial glibness that earmarks the spokes ‘persons’ of our time. He says pretty much nothing and evades what physicists have already proven about the world being ‘thought born’ and doesn’t enter into the realm of metaphysical inquiry at all. It’s true that the interviewer doesn’t ask him anything that would open to door for this but his evasion of certain considerations makes you wonder. Surely he has a cogent argument for these vast areas which have attracted some of the greatest minds who have ever appeared here and in whose company he is surely not to be counted.

As I’ve said before, the God that the atheist does not believe in does not exist. The God whose existence he is disproving... never was ...and Richard Dawkins isn’t necessary to make this known. This God is just as much of a fantasy as the God of the religious fundamentalists. They are both anthropomorphic absurdities. What Dawson and Christopher Hitchens, what Christian and Muslim fundies refute and believe can be seen as a private cage match that has only to do with each other and upon whom they both rely for their existence. It’s a self contained world that is the theater in which a peculiar karma works itself out over time.

Whether God does or does not exist is not the issue. Science has proven the existence of a mysterious something that interpenetrates everything and there are many examples in many lives over the course of recorded history which stands as definite evidence of some unknown force. The question really is, “What is God?” or “What is this mysterious something that contains everything and made everything out of itself?” We’ll never know that. We don’t need to know that. What we need to know is who we are and once accomplished that will answer as much as anyone will ever need to know about what God is.

The primary and most important area of inquiry is the self. Self inquiry is the only pursuit that anyone who aspires to a greater understanding of life need engage in. The whole of the mystery of life and its creations can be resolved by answering Ramana Maharishi’s question, “Who am I?” If you did no more than to ask, “Who am I?” for as long as it takes to get an answer you will receive the answer. Does that make sense? It wouldn’t to Richard Dawson. It does to me.

I have not the slightest shred of doubt that there is a God. I have seen some of the personalized representations projected outward by my mind upon the world of appearances. I have seen holographic Buddhas in the garden among the plants and I have seen them many times. I have seen Hindu deities at various times and though that may well be a projection of my mind they are no less real. In a certain sense, the mind is everything.

You are, each and every one of you, free to believe or disbelieve as you like. It is not my concern either way. Refuting Richard Dawkins is not the point of this post. He refutes himself very well without my help. This is just to say that you can’t argue about apples and insist that your argument applies to oranges. You can’t deny, without even much of an argument, a false God and expect that this would also apply to a real God. Well, you can but it won’t mean anything.

People find justification and examples that prove anything they want to believe. Logic and reason can be manipulated to prove or justify anything; any behavior and any point of view. The evidence of this surrounds us. The important thing, it seems to me is to separate the real from the false first, before you choose to believe in anything. What is real? ...That which endures. What is not real? ...That which does not endure. Yes... there is relative truth and absolute truth. You may treat with this according to your own way of seeing. One thing is for sure, Richard Dawkins will not endure but that which he has no knowledge of ...that will surely endure. It always has and it always will.

Have I proven anything here? Have I proven anything more than Richard Dawkins has disproved anything? Probably not. My job is not to prove anything to anyone except myself. My life and every life will be the proof of what it believed according to what it proved to itself. Wherever I will wind up and wherever Richard Dawson will wind up will not be known to anyone but the one involved. I wish you all good fortune in your pursuit and it is my sincere hope that you find what you seek, if what you seek is real.


Visible sings: When I Lose You by Les Visible♫ When I Lose You ♫

26 comments:

Mark - Worcestershire, UK said...

Hello Les. Richard Dawkins has been getting quite a bit of exposure he're in the UK in the past few years. To be frank, I thought he was the founding member of The Charles Darwin Fan Club until someone told me he was actually a scientist.

I've been trying to come to terms with our crazy reality currently and - from that - the nature of reality. I'm feeling quite cheered to visualise that pure maths, physics and (espesh) quantum physics gazumps Dawkins' beloved genetics/borderline eugenics and, also, creates doubt as to whether Dawkins is actually there. As in, a hologram. Same applies to the rest of us, admittedly.

Dawkins is an anti-religion fundie. No better than a pro-religion fundie. Thanks for giving me the word 'fundie'!

Keep going dude.

kikz said...

aaah.... i like to think that dawkins will someday be pleasantly surprised, as i hope that sagan (a personal hero of mine) has already been so :)

dawkins doesn't bother me, i suspect he's more down on the institutionalized 'nutter' aspects, political/social fallout of organized religion, than any personal & private belief system. :)

i wish carl would've left us w/his later thoughts on the subject, sometime in his last best days, after a good bottle of wine and a joint or two. :)

john said...

Cheers Les

I heard Richard Dawkins interviewed on the radio and he said something along the lines of " to think that there is a man with a big beard sitting in the clouds is absurd" and I thought gee Richard, you've really looked into this religion thing haven't you. I must say I was quite surprised at how stupid he sounded seeing as he's lauded as some sort of genius intellect type, it certainly wasn't much of an argument. I think it would be good for him to have a proper look at the subject he dismisses so casually.

Many thanks for the Origami's, they have been very interesting lately and have given me much to consider.

Ben There said...

I've been familiar with Dawkins for awhile now. I almost even read his book. I think he's a self-important egomaniac as well as outright creepy but I kind of appreciated his assault on religion. As you say, there is no bearded man in the sky, and that is the "God" that Dawkins attacks. I never read the book (life is too short for those kinds of books) but the only bones I have with Dawkins is that he thinks his anti-God fundamentalism is any different than religious fundamentalism. That and he seems to be a worshipper of his imagined intellectual superiority.

Anonymous said...

We are all no one in the middle of what appears to be “something”. “Community” has the scent of orderliness, of linear lots with little boxes holding secrets and fear that comes to them in the form of amplitude and frequency.
The land of the “Aqua-Fresh Smile”—dealer prep and options not included.

“This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the…… -----The new Bankers Anthem—oops, I forgot that the gov’t owns the banks now…..

Dawkins appears on one end of the spectrum, the mullahs and the screech preachers with bad hair on the other end---they don’t like people in the middle--- in their analogy, they put us “in the middle”—undecided—adrift---one of them and not us—they want you to think you are in the middle where you can be squeezed—

Well, you’re not—The Dawkins’ and the screech preachers (“put your hand on the radio and be saved!!!) are running parallel to each other—lies and fairy tales usually do. You are above the fray.

Not a Democrat or a Republican---then according to them, you’re in the middle—undecided—can’t make a decision—helpless.
Well, you’re not. You just choose to not believe either set of liars and thieves.

If you don’t own a gun, you’re on one side of the fence. A fence they tell you is there and “THE” rules state (usually in Latin or legal-sleaze) that you have to make an eternal choice—no passing “GO” , no collecting $200.00—no pot of gold—no virgins—no streets paved with gold (as a side note, what if all 20 virgins are mother Theresa?)
If you do own guns you better join the NRA so that your rights can be defended by guys in corporate jets wearing $4,000.00 suits and eating at Washington’s finest restaurants—They tell you that’s how the game must be played—be in fear.
If you’re a gun owner and don’t join the NRA---then you’re a terrorist and unpatriotic.
Moses told me so.

Dawkins is allowed to spout what he does—encouraged even --so that you think that the truth lies on one end of the imaginary spectrum or the “bury your head in the (sand) bible” side. Sure are a lot of us in the middle—they don’t like that—especially the ones with their feet planted firmly outside the bullshit.

Ron Paul came to mind when I heard Dawkins name—don’t know why. All this talk about Obama using the “expert professionals” to fill cabinet positions----
Paul did the same when he hired “campaign pros” to staff his Presidential effort—What the FUCK happened to the money he raised? He raised over $24 million (plus ten’s of millions more”) in a couple of days---Where is the fucking money? Did you ever see a commercial on the TV? Did you ever hear a commercial on the radio? You had to buy signs and bumper stickers—so where did all the money go? Sucked in again—
Ron might be a nice guy, and that’s his downfall—He really doesn’t have a clue how deep the rabbit hole goes---Scratch that one off your list.

We are given a list of saviors to choose from—Jesus, Jesse, Ron, Jesse (the lesser), Dawkins, Dr. Phil, Oprah---they tell you “MAKE A CHOICE”…….
Crispy or extra crispy it’s still the same fucking chicken— tastes the same—just different packaging to give you the illusion that you have a choice---it’s not even real chicken—but they tell you real chicken has always looked like that, and tasted like nothing

Don’t be bitch slapped into thinking you have to make a choice of red or blue, of left or right, of false prophet or the devil made me do it.

Paint the colors you want to. Walk the way you wish. Decide not to decide.

Say the words “maybe”—“might be””---“it’s possible”

Examine truly why you believe what you believe----Toss out what you know to be false—

And put the rest on the back burner or the shelf—

You’ll find out when you’re ready to handle it.

Jj

Wayne said...

Ciao Les,
To me one of the key questions about God (if one wants to use that term) is, "Is God personal or impersonal?" In the former case, does God actually have intentions for us, does S/he care what happens to the creatures on this little planet?

Of course when Hindus talk about Brahman, the question gets more interesting, because the answer may not be an either/or, but both/and. As I don't have much use for a Sky-Father figure (who would have to be criminally insane to allow what goes on here), my take on God's "personal" aspect is that WE are that aspect.

That is, all the transient, sentient life forms, the illusory fragments that come and go with their various desires and points of view; not just the fleshy beings we see, but the ones on other levels that sometimes appear to us. This notion does not give me any reassurance or sense of permanence (for which I have no need either).

Funny thing, I didn't start to enquire about Brahman until after many years in Tibetan Buddhism, which does not even talk about God (deities, yes, but they're different). But I still regard Vajrayana a very good preparation for clearing out Western conceptual baggage.

Namaste,
Wayne

rf said...

Hi there. Dawkins or Dawson?

Fletch

Visible said...

oops, that's a fuckup... thank you fletch

nobody said...

I take it you're joking in that last comment, Les. Richard Dawkins is definitely the guy. I read his book The God Delusion and quite enjoyed it. It was a summation of the arguments I'd already arrived at and had used many years ago to deprogramme my mother and brother out of Catholicism. My brother being the kind of fellow who needs something beyond himself promptly skived off and joined the Anthony Robbins mob. He now worships himself.

But my problem with Dawkins is he gets to this point where the next word is 'and...' And for Dawkins there is no 'and'.

For him there's only science. He did a series of documentaries on the idiocy of 'believing' in alternative medicine. Sadly there was no one on his show to argue that conventional medicine is equally faith-based. With every cell in the body being only one cell away from a nerve or a blood vessel it's madness to think that doctors and surgeons can know how this thing works. It's waaaaaay beyond them. Whilst Dawkins didn't actually articulate it an explicit fashion, what he wanted was that we all have faith in science. The irony runs rampant.

basker said...

When someone asked Ramana about the theory of evolution, I think this is what he said:

You see a house in the dream, and then you would think some one built it there brick by brick... The theory of evolution is like that.

Not the exact words, but something like that.

Dawkins would be infuriated by this, I think.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who this dude (thanks Jj) Richard Dawkins is but wouldn't it fit that the people he is preaching to are so dumbed down that he may seem as a genius??
-------------------
kikz- have you seen
the Moon, Venus and Jupiter lately;
I think Carl may have arranged that (for you??).

Tony

m_astera said...

I always say that with the absurdly crappy gods we have been offered, no wonder people don't want to believe in them.

Dawkins has been around for a while. He's pretty handy for one thing: anyone arguing anything and citing Dawkins as an authority is not worth wasting energy on.

The only writing of his that I remember actually reading was an argument that God wasn't necessary because DNA was the organizing principle of the universe and that explained everything.

Hi Les. DNA loves you! :)

Rabbit said...

The most scientifically valid reason I believe or even know in the same sense you Les, know there is a god, is this. Entropy.

By the laws of entropy, which are themselves right up there with gravity by way of solid scientific principles; the universe should after hundreds of billions of years be a cold, dark and empty place, without any sign of decreasing entropy. The only way that observed events of decreasing entropy, such as evolution, the formation of new planets and species etc can occur, is if the system is not closed, ie: some sort of force exists outside it, which is driving these "sentient" and organising events.

The law of Entropy states that Entropy increases inside a closed system. We have no rason to doubt this is so, except this observed factor and the simple answer is that there is an external, creative force. This is god. Of course I can no more imagine this god, its motives or means than the avatar can imagine the game player or the average game player can imagine the computer programmer who designed the game or the way in which he did so.

This is not a personal god in the sense of the religious Super Santa Claus version, but it is nonetheless to be found only by looking inward, if at all. For myself I have found a connection to something which feels like a union to a oneness, of some description. God is the sum total of all sentience, as I understand it now.

Of course the anthropomorphic gods of the religious are the only thing these shallow and often uneducated Atheists are debunking and they can't even make much of a fist of that in my experience. Relying as they so often do, on their own invalid literal interpretations of others doctrines, without the necessary background or context.

There is no more or less proof that any sort of god exists on one level of science , but if you apply some serious scientific knowledge and some serious philosophy to the question do believe the answer is not that hard to arrive at.

kikz said...

tony,

y, we hav been enjoying the triune conjunction, it is beyond beautiful!

i don't think carl arranged it... but he would enjoy the visual perspective, if he were still tethered here :)

was out w/the kids ystrdy aftn... we were able to find moon/venus 2 hrs b4 sunset :)

my mama and i also wondered the other night.. what must the ancients have thought at such a sight? i'm sure the priest class played such events for all they were worth :)

i really need to dig round, seems like as significant as 2012 is culturally/astronomically
...we should have some other interesting earth based conjunction shows on the event horizon :)

kikz said...

speakin of atheists...i've read, somewhere very cosmopolitan they've mounted a 'be good for goodness' sake' campaign, featuring the 'coca-cola' type santa image :)

kind of cute :)

i appreciate their stance, that religion does not 'hold an exclusive patent' on morality & ethics :)

m_astera said...

Hello Rabbit-

Very well put and well reasoned. I would add that long-term there are no closed systems.

Ilya Pirgogine's work on the increasing complexity of biological systems is worth a look, especially its application to development of consciousness.

It comes down to the second law of thermodynamics not being a law at all, but a special theory applying to (temporarily) isolated cases.

One of the hypotheses I've been working with for a while and have mentioned here before is that not all human bodies are "soul carriers", and that those that are not do not possess or have access to the higher centers, though they have fully functioning brains. If this is so, then they would be likely to be either atheists or the type who took religion simply on faith, as they would not have the ability to experience source connection themselves.

The concept of service to all vs service to self comes in here too, as in those following the path of service to self are on an entropic/devolutionary path, while those focused on service to all and the evolution of ongoing creation are on an anti-entropic path. Both are part of the same process and both are necessary, just as decay is a necessary part of growth.

Sven Eick said...

Great post. I can't stand the man, he's a total twit. I deconstruct him in this post, you may enjoy it!

http://standingonthesoapbox.blogspot.com/2007/01/review-of-dorkins-god-delusion.html

Mark - Worcestershire, UK said...

I loved this paragraph of yours, Sven.

"This is a man who actually recommended that the authorities actively crack down on the gentle pseudo-science of astrology. A recommendation that inevitably led me to wonder how many animals have been vivisected in the name of astrology, how many individuals have had all sense of meaning removed from their lives by astrology, what destructive weapons have been created using astrology, how much of our food supply has been tampered with using astrology, how much pollution and destruction has been created by astrology and how many astrologers actively attempt to force their viewpoints on others"

Not sure why this thought popped up in my head, but here goes: I wonder if Richard Dawkins is a Freemason? Mmmmm...

Visible said...

Mark...

I don't like Wikipedia but you should go there and look at what they have to say about this fellow. Look at who he is married to. He's a member of what is called "The Black Nobility" which certainly contains it's share of those you mentioned. Anyway, I think you'll have an interesting read.

RML said...

Over the holidays one of my daughters -- the one with an incredible mind that dominates so that her ever-expansively vulnerable heart can be safe -- was telling me all about Dawkins.

We were discussing a story premise in which I was trying to find a name, a concept, for “Nature’s” Universal Consciousness. The story idea is to posit that Nature is both sentient and prescient; and that this capability functions at the DNA level throughout the cosmos.

We were getting to the area of "motive", "intent" and "cause". These concepts are anathema to Dawkins and his ilk. The closest Dawkins comes to ascribing "intelligence" to Nature is in biological genetics with a "drive" always towards "communal self-sufficiency." This is nothing more than new science/ new-speak for survival of the "superior race..." which -- to me -- is the new Darwinism.

Darwin was duped BTW into expanding his field research into a larger Malthusian agenda: “The Origin of Species and the Preservation of the Superior Race.” The superior race?! WTF?!

From their perspective there is no intent, motive or cause behind the magnificence of the Universe. It's all DNA drives. There is nothing else. That “God” is a mind fabrication (I agree with this, but totally outside of the room these guys habituate. There is a self-conscious vibrational energy conglomerate that abides in the Cause area.).

It seems that Dawkin's agenda is to deflate Cause (and the inherent Meaning) out of the Universe. They are water-carriers for the justification that (their) “science” can and should pursue and experiment with whatever drives them to pursue, regardless of the Natural consequences.

Without consciously knowing it, they have joined forces with the opposite end of the god-no god spectrum. On the one end is the daily vibrational "praying" by hundreds of millions of fundamentalists (of all stripes & religions) petitioning their god for Armageddon.

And simultaneously, on the other end, you have Dawkins et al excusing and promoting the very same thing packaged with lab coats, scientific jargon and statistics.

If I were a deity and responsible for prescribing a remedy, a treatment for our mass insanity, what would I do? I would be at a loss. For many years I had an internal mantra, like a bajan that hummed away all on its own: "This experiment did not work. We need to pull the plug. There is no fixing this..." This sense was not nihilistic or existential, there was compassion behind it. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men …

But, something happened (in an instant? Over time? Happening to many of us?) that melted the “always winter but never Christmas” icy grip around my heart. This may sound goofy, but it was the trees that did it. It was late winter and I was looking out at the pines and live oaks. Everything else is brown and dormant, but they held on to the green. The live oaks don’t drop their leaves in the fall, they wait until the spring. . . until the new green leaves push them off.

I realized that the warp and woof of anthropomorphism. It’s a separation, divisive and discordant tool to prevent the concept of Oneness from materializing. They parted us from our Natural selves (and they continue doing it).

Dawkins et al are using science and genetics to further our separation from ourselves. Screw them, says I.

Peace, bro msn.

Sven Eick said...

I doubt Dawkins is a Freemason, I believe he'd lack the imagination for that role. The man is engaged in a quixotic attack on religion that assists those in power by co-opting peoples' dissatisfaction with religion and converting it into wholescale abnegation of the entire spiritual and metaphysical realm.

He appears to be a 'useful idiot' buffered from the role he plays in the world by his own sense of self-importance.

Anyone interested in this subject should investigate Dawkins role in the attempted censorship of the work of Rupert Sheldrake, the man responsible for the theory of morphogenetic fields. The second you see a scientist choosing censorship over scientific rebuttal there's something odd going on.

Mark - Worcestershire, UK said...

Wow, Les, to use an non-scientific term. His wife is certainly well-connected. I remember her on 'Dr Who' in the 80s. Don't suppose those connections necessarily put him half way up the pyramid, but... it may help!

Another speculation: if he had a true full-on spiritual awakening would he have the courage to scupper his career and admit to it? He's got a lot to lose. It would freak out a lot of characters with vested interests. Perhaps.

pot said...

Religion has always been a powerful tool of the ruling elite.

Those who call themselves atheists should realize this is also an act of faith. I frankly have no clue on if there is a God or not. If there is, I suspect man is likely only a small part of his purpose in creating this universe, but trying to comprehend such a creator is like my dog trying to understand my conspiracy theories in English since he only understands Chinese, and a limited vocabulary at that.

In any event, since the enlightenment and evolution of the Illuminati we have been transitioning from religions adopted by states where man is a sinner and must follow Gods laws or else go to hell for all eternity, to a New Age Luciferian religion founded by secular humanists where man is a sinner against Gaia and the ruling elite must develop and enforce laws designed to protect their Goddess, Mother Earth. The masses will sheepishly accept their poverty to sacrifice and cure her fever (to prevent hell on earth) as we enter the next ice age (ever wonder why Bush bought that land in Paraguay).

Oh yeah, and the most important point of the new pseudo religion, the ruling elite become the high priests, if not Gods themselves, whose authority and wisdom must not be questioned. In other words, freedom of religion and liberty in their jargon is freedom of the ruling elite from Gods laws, which seriously constrained their ancestors fun back in the good old days, and lets them be Gods on Earth.

Our elite are pretty damn smart.

Anonymous said...

Jj -- "(as a side note, what if all 20 virgins are mother Theresa?)"

LOLOLOLOL

ellis

notamobster said...

Jj - its 72 virgins... So what if 20 are mother teresa and the other 52 are Bea Arthur (seriously, nobody ever touched her)....

As for that which he "tells...like its not" - again, I'm not well-versed on matters spiritual(though I have studied many a religion - the 2 are mutually exclusive)but I know there is a driving force... A something. Its not personal, and its not the god of so many people the world over. I can't prove it any more than Dawson(sic) can disprove it, but its there.

Maybe I'm one of master_a's not fully evolved beings...intellect sans the receptors/higher centers? I'm rambling because I can't find the words to explain that which seem to 'know'. Anyway, good words, all.

NOTA

Anonymous said...

For another, perhaps a more expansive concept of life, there is a truly wonderful book by Michael Cremo (Drutakarma Das) called "Human Devolution: a Vedic Alternative to Darwin's Theory.
Here's a peek.

http://www.humandevolution.com/