DJ Groethe with Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion - 10/16
Posted: 22 October 2006 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I think DJ needs to be commended on some of his best work yet in his interiview with Richard Dawkins October 16th. I really found his subdermal and frank questioning of Dawkins to ellicit some fantastic responses that other interviewers would not be brave enough to ask.

I often wonder when I listen to Point of Inquiry each week how long it takes for DJ, Thomas Donnelly and the rest of the crew that contributes to the weekly podcast to come up with such brilliant and inciteful questions that seem adverserial to the interviewers stance on the surface but then yield to an even stronger case for the guest speaker as the discussion progresses.

Of course the weekly guests are always among the finest in the world but their superb credentials demands equally tremendous substance from the interviewer as well to make the discussion fullfilling.

The POI discussion format to me is tremendously powerful and effective. If only we could get Point of Inquiry on NPR so more people could be exposed to this wealth of freethought.

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Posted: 22 October 2006 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Cracking post, sbieda. I’ll second that!

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Roy P

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Posted: 22 October 2006 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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[quote author=“Roy P”]Cracking post, sbieda. I’ll second that!

Funny, when I read your message, I thought: “Cracking toast, Grommit!”

... for all you Wallace and Grommit fans out there ...

LOL  LOL

BTW, agree completely. Great interview. DJ does a great job at pushing his guests to defend their position and elaborate.

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Posted: 25 October 2006 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Something that occurred to me

At one point Richard Dawkins said that he considers the teaching of certain religious topics to children (particularly the concept of hell) as a form of child abuse. I agree with everything he had to say on the subject but after a little thought this raised a question for me:

I’m an atheist and have been for many years. As part of that I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this life is all I have - I can’t delude myself with ideas of reincarnation, heaven, hell or any other form of life after death. This is a horrible thought to have to deal with.

So the question is, would it be just as awful to teach children this, than the lies about heaven and hell? Or better to simply not discuss it at all until they’re mature enough to deal with it? (I’m 48 and I have a problem dealing with it…)

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Posted: 25 October 2006 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Re: Something that occurred to me

[quote author=“PeteFord”]I’m an atheist and have been for many years. As part of that I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this life is all I have - I can’t delude myself with ideas of reincarnation, heaven, hell or any other form of life after death. This is a horrible thought to have to deal with.

So the question is, would it be just as awful to teach children this, than the lies about heaven and hell? Or better to simply not discuss it at all until they’re mature enough to deal with it? (I’m 48 and I have a problem dealing with it…)

Well, hmmm ... I’ve not had the same strong reaction that you have. That said, you’re basically asking if we should be honest about explaining difficult truths, or dishonest by lying to sugarcoat. I think we should be honest but careful and sympathetic.

For example, I think there’s nothing wrong with saying that we don’t know what happens after death. Or just to say it’s like going to sleep. We can use comforting words like “at peace”, etc.

I don’t think we can get away without discussing it, it’s too big an issue, and by refusing to discuss something it makes it all the more important in the child’s eyes.

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Posted: 25 October 2006 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Or better to simply not discuss it at all until they’re mature enough to deal with it?

My older son is now five, and he has been asking me questions about death since he was three. Before I had kids I thought this might happen, now I realize I wasn’t ready for it. First I told my son that after he dies, which will happen in a very looooooooooong time, he’ll become a flower. I know this is a lie, but there is little truth to it. And he was fine with it for some time. Then one day he told me that he didn’t want to be a flower, but he wanted to be him forever, after which I was speechless. My mother-in-law (who is religious) insisted telling him about “the possibility” of going to heaven. I didn’t agree. I told him the “truth”: after death there is nothing. I explained to him that I was equally afraid of it because I didn’t fully understand it. We talked about the importance of being alive and about achieving immortality through your children. He liked that, it made him feel special. He liked the idea of “helping” me (!) (trough his existence) to become immortal. He still asks me about it once in a while, but I can see that now he tries to look for the answer himself.

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Posted: 25 October 2006 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Sounds like a sensitive response, George. There are no easy answers here.

Best,

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Posted: 25 October 2006 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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There are no easy answers here.

How about: After you die, you get seventy-two virgins. It seems to work for some people. :wink: Actually, that’s a wrong emoticon. This seems to be more appropriate:  :(

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Posted: 26 October 2006 04:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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As part of that I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this life is all I have - I can’t delude myself with ideas of reincarnation, heaven, hell or any other form of life after death. This is a horrible thought to have to deal with.

So the question is, would it be just as awful to teach children this, than the lies about heaven and hell? Or better to simply not discuss it at all until they’re mature enough to deal with it? (I’m 48 and I have a problem dealing with it…)

You teach them that it is just “the way things are” and the way they were meant to be. You show them the beauty of the natural world and that when we die we rejoin it.  Nature will eventually reclaim our bodies and we will once again take on a new form the way we did our human form. We will stare through the eyes of the fox, stand tall in the windswept grasslands, and we will soar above the earth in the wings of the eagle.  Even after our deaths we will continue on…until we have become a part of all things.

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Posted: 26 October 2006 05:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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and we will once again take on a new form the way we did our human form

I tried that, didn’t work. My son’s response was: “Well, can I be a boy again?” I actually told him about “being part of an eagle” which would allow “him” to fly. But he didn’t want to be a “part” of an eagle. He didn’t want to be even a “whole” eagle. He wanted to be him. Kids are smarter (?) than we might sometimes want them to be.

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Posted: 28 October 2006 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’ve come to see myself in my ancestors.  I’m just their future life.  It’s not much of a stretch to think that millennia from now my descendents won’t be looking back the same way.  It’s quite comforting actually.  Sure beats heaven and hell scenarios.

Take a stare at your hands.  They’re not new.  They’ve been on the move for millions of years.  If you can’t see them flaking stone tools and clambering onto the shores of Tasmania or Rapa Nui, you’ve got to get to work on that imagination and intellect.

I guess it’s just a religious thing, but humans seem unconcerned about the human future because they’re concerned about something called a soul.  I have no soul, so no afterlife to burden over.

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