3 of 8
3
Dr. Francis Collins - The Language of God (Merged)
Posted: 03 September 2007 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

I haven’t read any of Dawkins’ books or that of Francis Collins.  I don’t like reading very much and prefer to figure things out for myself and watch television.  The only “atheist” book I’ve ever read was Tolstoy’s Confessions and other religious writings and that was just plain moronic.

 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2007 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7540
Joined  2007-03-02

Well, Jainism does not believe in violence, but that does not mean all the followers of the philosophy ascribe to that position.

Whoops!  Missed you Narwhol.  That last statement was to rgill.  Sorry about that.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2007 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2006-11-24

About Jainism: let’s not forget that among its positive sides it’s also a prime example of whacky thinking. As such it serves to underline the point that religions are concoctions of the wondrous human brain but have no necessary relation to reality.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2007 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7540
Joined  2007-03-02

Oh I’m not saying Jainism is rational, I’m just saying it’s has a doctrine of non-violence.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2007 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2423
Joined  2007-09-03
the PC apeman - 01 September 2007 11:25 AM
interested - 01 September 2007 11:06 AM

I liked the interview very much! Interesting philosophical questions maybe not anything new though. But atheists are also always repeating the same stuff.

Of course.  Even Dr. Collins admits that, within the scientific community, that “same stuff” repeated by atheists is the default position.  It is the extraordinary claims that need to keep looking for a foothold.

The argument that “atheism is an old argument and inherently uninteresting” is one of the arguments addressed by Dawkins in his book, and a variation on a rhetorical technique—rather than addressing the merits of an argument one tries to say one isn’t interested, it’s “old news”, or something similar.  Press secretaries use it.  I’m afraid that the flip side is also true—to someone who no longer believes in Santa Claus, it gets boring trying to come up with new reasons why he doesn’t exist…

We can see it used in a recent series of articles in the Washington Post ( 
“secularism boring”  )

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2007 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9292
Joined  2006-08-29
narwhol - 03 September 2007 03:48 PM

The only “atheist” book I’ve ever read was Tolstoy’s Confessions and other religious writings and that was just plain moronic.

Tolstoy’s Confession (not Confessions) is an “atheist” book? How so?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2007 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  89
Joined  2006-09-08

Sometimes it is better to go to the source directly:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Confession

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  142
Joined  2007-06-17

I’m amazed at the lack of logic in Collins’ thinking, especially because he is so highly trained in science.  I hate to say it, but it cats a pall on his scientific work.

For someone who demands rigorous thinking about these issues, his thinking seems sloppy and circular.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9292
Joined  2006-08-29
OhioDoc - 03 September 2007 11:46 PM

Sometimes it is better to go to the source directly:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Confession

I’ve read the book. In it, Tolstoy talks about his lack of faith as a young man. He blames it on the church. By the time he wrote Confession, he had found his faith, even though he still despised the church. This is certainly not an “atheist” book.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  35
Joined  2007-09-01
rsonin - 04 September 2007 01:26 AM

I’m amazed at the lack of logic in Collins’ thinking, especially because he is so highly trained in science.  I hate to say it, but it cats a pall on his scientific work.

For someone who demands rigorous thinking about these issues, his thinking seems sloppy and circular.

I thought his writing was actually quite good. You have to be a clear persuasive writer to win reseach grants. He just hasn’t read enough critical scholarship yet (as opposed to Christian apologetics).  He even admitted to DJ that, during his atheist phase, he hadn’t really made a careful study of his position and so was unprepared for how to deal with the intense issues of human suffering he encountered as a young physician. In his book, he admits that he is not a theologian or philosopher.  Most of the science we have today has come from people who were embedded in a religious culture.  People are very very good at compartmentalization. It’s just more difficult to have unbiased, even-handed judgement when it comes to the hot-button moral and religious (and political) issues. Once you stand outside religion, you wonder how on Earth you could have believed all that stuff, but, from the inside it looks very different. I tend to view religious thinking as quite logical at times (almost axiomatic in the case of extreme literalism), but simply unwilling or unable to question basic presuppositions. Belief in an omnipotent God is, unfortunately, a very convenient way to sweep contraditions under the rug.

Richard

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15343
Joined  2006-02-14

So ... Collins doesn’t believe in creationism, because Darwinian evolution is able to create complexity in a stepwise fashion, and the God-of-the-gaps is hence a bad argument. All that, yet it appears that his knock-down argument for the existence of God is that evolution can’t give us the sense of morality that we find in Mother Teresa ...

So he doesn’t believe in a God-of-the-gaps and yet he believes that there is an evolutionary gap in creating human morality, which is ... filled by God.

Similarly: he doesn’t believe in present day miracles (or would be very skeptical of them), and yet when it comes to his Christianity, he’d become an atheist if they found Jesus’s bones. So he believes that Jesus’s real bones disappeared in a miracle.

Collins appears to be very fond of inconsistency.

[ Edited: 04 September 2007 11:54 AM by dougsmith ]
 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2006-11-24

Right on, Richard: Compartmentalization is key. We all do it all the time. There are stark examples where you’re reminded of Hannah Ahrend’s observations on murderous Nazi war criminals who were, at the same time, loving heads of family (The Eichmann Syndrome). But even if you don’t look at the extremes but at examples in one’s own daily life the range of different roles and personas we exhibit (with a wife, children, clients, servants, friends, acquaintances, bosses, etc) is astounding. It’s all reality, and yet it’s all play-acting, to a degree, while at the same time the behaviours and perceptions are ‘serious’. Given that flexibility of the human mind and experience it should come as no surprise that we can experience ‘communion with God’ or whatnot.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2006-11-24

Doug,
you pointed out the inconsistencies nicely. The miracle thing was something that gave me pause while listening to Collins. Isn’t it funny how “ancient” miracles are often taken for granted while people claim to be sophisticated modern people who refuse to buy into more current incidents that are passed off as miraculous.
The same is often seen where merchants in the new age scene try to sell various snake oil products to the gullible as being derived from ‘ancient’ wisdom.
But it should be said here that the Vatican still is declaring sainthood on people, which does require that the person has ‘pulled off’ a miracle.

Also, I just noticed your signature, it’s a favorite quote and picture.
El sueño de la razón produce monstruos
monstros_m.jpg

[ Edited: 04 September 2007 12:46 PM by moreover ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  35
Joined  2007-09-01
moreover - 04 September 2007 12:37 PM

Doug,
you pointed out the inconsistencies nicely. The miracle thing was something that gave me pause while listening to Collins. Isn’t it funny how “ancient” miracles are often taken for granted while people claim to be sophisticated modern people who refuse to buy into more current incidents that are passed off as miraculous.
The same is often seen where merchants in the new age scene try to sell various snake oil products to the gullible as being derived from ‘ancient’ wisdom.
But it should be said here that the Vatican still is declaring sainthood on people, which does require that the person has ‘pulled off’ a miracle.

Also, I just noticed your signature, it’s a favorite quote and picture.
El sueño de la razón produce monstruos
monstros_m.jpg

That’s apparently in the collection of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, though I don’t recall seeing it on display last I was there.

Richard

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15343
Joined  2006-02-14
moreover - 04 September 2007 12:37 PM

you pointed out the inconsistencies nicely. The miracle thing was something that gave me pause while listening to Collins. Isn’t it funny how “ancient” miracles are often taken for granted while people claim to be sophisticated modern people who refuse to buy into more current incidents that are passed off as miraculous.
The same is often seen where merchants in the new age scene try to sell various snake oil products to the gullible as being derived from ‘ancient’ wisdom.
But it should be said here that the Vatican still is declaring sainthood on people, which does require that the person has ‘pulled off’ a miracle.

Yes. And then there’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and all the other miracle-mongering one finds discussed in Skeptical Inquirer. The only difference about the supposed miracles of the past and those of now are the dates.

... and the fact that our evidence for the ones in the past is significantly flimsier, which should give us all the less reason to believe in them.

moreover - 04 September 2007 12:37 PM

Also, I just noticed your signature, it’s a favorite quote and picture.
El sueño de la razón produce monstruos
monstros_m.jpg

Yes, it’s by Francisco Goya, one of my favorite artists. I felt the sentiment was à propos.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 8
3