Richard Dawkins proves his scientific approach...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Richard Dawkins claims fairy tales are harmful to children
The evolutionary biologist was speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival
Ian Johnston
5 June 2014
independent.co.uk

Fairy tales are harmful to children because they “inculcate a view of the world which includes supernaturalism”, according to Professor Richard Dawkins. The evolutionary biologist, a leading atheist and author of books including The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, told an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival that he stopped believing in religion when he was about eight after having seen through Santa Claus when he was just 21 months old. He suggested children should be taught scientific rigour from an early age.

“Is it a good thing to go along with the fantasies of childhood, magical as they are? Or should we be fostering a spirit of scepticism?” he said. “I think it's rather pernicious to inculcate into a child a view of the world which includes supernaturalism – we get enough of that anyway. Even fairy tales, the ones we all love, with wizards or princesses turning into frogs or whatever it was. There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable.”

Professor Dawkins said his mother had written down an early encounter with Santa. “There was a man called Sam who came as Father Christmas, all 'ho ho ho'. All the children were enthralled by this. Then he left, I piped up much to the consternation of the adults, 'Sam's gone,’” he said. His religious belief lasted a bit longer. “I think I did believe it up to the age of eight or nine, when preachers said if you really, really pray for something it can happen. Even moving mountains, I believed it could really happen,” he said. “I grew up. I put away childish things.”

He said it would be “a bit strong” to say parents who raised their children to believe in God were guilty of child abuse. But he added: “When you tell a child to mind their Ps and Qs otherwise they'll roast in hell, then that is tantamount to child abuse.”

Professor Dawkins also talked about being sexually abused at his prep school in Salisbury. He has previously played down an incident in which a teacher “put his hand inside my shorts”. “I got quite a bit of stick for saying that it did not have a big impact but to say that it did would be an indecency to those people whose lives have been ruined by experiences that have been much worse,” he said.

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Dawkins Dawkins Dawkins - is this because he doesn't want children to have what he didn't?
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MegaChairmanMao



Joined: 09 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beat me to it. Laughing

Huffington Post has a good parody:

Quote:
Reading books by Richard Dawkins is harmful to adults, say the authors of fairytales.

“Is it a good thing to be fostering a spirit of scepticism?" one told us. "Or should we go along with occasional magical fantasies that, frankly, do us no harm and make life more bearable?"

“I think it's rather pernicious to inculcate into young adults a view of the world which includes dismissiveness of religion and spirituality," said one author. "They get enough of that anyway, especially on Twitter."

"I stopped believing in Richard Dawkins at the age of 28 or 29," admitted another. "I used to believe everything I read, but then I grew up. I put away childish things - like getting angry about religious people."


http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/05/richard-dawkins-fairytales_n_5451153.html?utm_hp_ref=tw
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MegaChairmanMao



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


The bizarre – and costly – cult of Richard Dawkins
It’s like a church without the good bits. Membership starts from $85 a month
Andrew Brown
16 August 2014
spectator.co.uk


The other day I wrote something to upset the followers of Richard Dawkins and one of them tracked me down to a pub. I had been asked to give a talk to a group of ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ about whether there are any atheist babies — clearly not, in any interesting sense — and at the end a bearded bloke, bulging in a white T-shirt, asked very angrily where Dawkins had said there were any. I quoted a couple of his recent tweets on the subject:

When you say X is the fastest growing religion, all you mean is that X people have babies at the fastest rate. But babies have no religion.

How dare you force your dopey unsubstantiated superstitions on innocent children too young to resist? How DARE you?

These seemed to me to suggest quite strongly that Dawkins believes that babies are born atheists. But my heckler wanted scripture. ‘Where does he say this?’ he asked. ‘I’ve got his book, here!’ and he pointed to his bag. ‘Where does he say it? He doesn’t say it anywhere! You’re a liar!’

He reached into his bag and pulled out an iPhone, with a speaker already attached to it, and started to play a video clip in which, presumably, Richard Dawkins denied that he had ever claimed there were any atheist babies.

If this had happened even five years ago, the meeting would have been on the heckler’s side. In fact his performance was greeted by a general squirm. It’s difficult to remember the hosannas that greeted The God Delusion and the vote by Prospect’s readers that named Dawkins as Britain’s greatest public intellectual. Much of the atheist/humanist/secularist movement is now embarrassed by him, and repelled by the zeal of his cult of personality.

My man in the pub was at the very low end of what believers will do and pay for: the Richard Dawkins website offers followers the chance to join the ‘Reason Circle’, which, like Dante’s Hell, is arranged in concentric circles. For $85 a month, you get discounts on his merchandise, and the chance to meet ‘Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science personalities’. Obviously that’s not enough to meet the man himself. For that you pay $210 a month — or $5,000 a year — for the chance to attend an event where he will speak.

When you compare this to the going rate for other charismatic preachers, it does seem on the high side. The Pentecostal evangelist Morris Cerullo, for example, charges only $30 a month to become a member of ‘God’s Victorious Army’, which is bringing ‘healing and deliverance to the world’. And from Cerullo you get free DVDs, not just discounts.

But the $85 a month just touches the hem of rationality. After the neophyte passes through the successively more expensive ‘Darwin Circle’ and then the ‘Evolution Circle’, he attains the innermost circle, where for $100,000 a year or more he gets to have a private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins, and a reserved table at an invitation-only circle event with ‘Richard’ as well as ‘all the benefits listed above’, so he still gets a discount on his Richard Dawkins T-shirt saying ‘Religion — together we can find a cure.’

The website suggests that donations of up to $500,000 a year will be accepted for the privilege of eating with him once a year: at this level of contribution you become a member of something called ‘The Magic of Reality Circle’. I don’t think any irony is intended.

At this point it is obvious to everyone except the participants that what we have here is a religion without the good bits.

Last year he tweeted a recommendation of comments collected by one of his followers at a book signing in the US. Among them were: ‘You’ve changed the very way I understand reality. Thank you Professor’; ‘You’ve changed my life and my entire world. I cannot thank you enough’; ‘I owe you life. I am so grateful. Your books have helped me so much. Thank you’; ‘I am unbelievably grateful for all you’ve done for me. You helped me out of delusion’; ‘Thank you thank you thank you thank you Professor Dawkins. You saved my life’; and, bathetically, ‘I came all the way from Canada to see you tonight.’ With this kind of incense blown at him, it’s no wonder he is bewildered by criticism.

Like all scriptures, the Books of Dawkins contain numerous contradictions: in The God Delusion itself he moves within 15 pages from condemning a pope who had baptised children taken away from Jewish parents to commending Nick Humphrey’s suggestion that the children of creationists be taken away because teaching your children religion is comparable to child abuse. So believers can always find a scripture where he agrees with them, which naturally cancels out the one where he doesn’t.

Whether he means that religious believers are despicable ‘stumbling, droning inarticulate .. yammering fumblewits’ who are ‘likely to be swayed by a display of naked contempt’ (that’s from a 2009 blogpost) or ‘I don’t despise religious people. I despise what they stand for’ (from a 2012 speech) can lead to arguments as interminable as those over the peaceful or otherwise character of the Prophet Mohammed.

Similarly, does he mean that genes are selfish, or that they are co-operative? Both, it seems, and with equal vehemence. As he wrote, ‘The Selfish Gene could equally have been called The Co-operative Gene without a word of the book itself needing to be changed.’ This doesn’t seem to me to be strictly speaking true: it subverts the sense of a famous passage to change it to read: ‘Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own co-operative genes are up to, because we may then have a chance to upset their design, something which no other species has ever aspired to.’

But what has got him in trouble with his own side is not biology of that sort, but the appearance of racism and sexism. Some of the stuff that he has written and retweeted about ‘evil’ Islam is shocking. A recent Dawkins tweet mentioning ‘mild paedophilia’ produced an eruption of outrage across the sceptical movement, not really helped by his claiming that it was all a matter of logic, and his opponents had had their thinking clouded by emotion — and the one thing everyone knows about Dawkins is that his followers are entirely rational.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9286682/the-bizarre-and-costly-cult-of-richard-dawkins/

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I think L Ron Hubbard gives out better deals on spirituality than this.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Nice one, Chairman
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MegaChairmanMao



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Chapel Hill shooting: Craig Stephen Hicks condemned all religions on Facebook prior to 'Muslim mass-murder' arrest
The man arrested on suspicion of killing three young Muslims in North Carolina described himself as an “anti-theist” and criticised all religions online.
11th February 2015
independent.co.uk


Police said 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks handed himself in to officers in Chapel Hill overnight in the wake of the deaths of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

He has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. As tributes poured in for the young family, a Facebook page in Hicks’ name showed that he read paralegal studies at Durham Technical Community College and described himself as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality”.

A regular social media user, his last three posts were a cute dog video about the Pavlov effect, a viral advert for Air New Zealand involving mountain bikes, and a picture from United Atheists of America asking “why radical Christians and radical Muslims are so opposed to each others’ influence when they agree about so many ideological issues”.

TV programmes liked by Hicks include The Atheist Experience, Criminal Minds and Friends, while he describes himself as a fan of Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.

Hicks’ pictures largely consist of images with text mocking religion and supporting atheism, but include images of himself and his wife at Disneyland, what he describes as his “loaded 38 revovler”, and himself separately on a quad bike and wearing a suit.

The shooting of the three Muslims has been widely condemned across social media, including by Richard Dawkins himself, who tweeted: “How could any decent person NOT condemn the vile murder of three young US Muslims in Chapel Hill?”

Other users have called on people to donate to a charity in Deah Barakat’s honour. The victim volunteered for a number of agencies providing dental relief to Syrian and Palestinian refugees, as well as caring for homeless people in the US.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/chapel-hill-shooting-craig-stephen-hicks-condemned-all-religions-on-facebook-prior-to-muslim-massmurder-arrest-10038126.html

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there will be a lot more instances like this in future. I've been speaking out against anti-theist extremism for about 18 months and am often accused of overtly exaggerating the problem, but this is, sadly, a perfect example of what I've seen developing.
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MegaChairmanMao



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They still don't get it. I've seen tweets all day from atheists saying that atheism has no dogma and therefore can't inspire somebody to do bad things. However, the culture around atheism is toxic and extremist. They can point to certain terrorist acts and blame Muslims but only a small percentage of Muslims are zealots, most of them are just normal people. Practically every atheist I see is a fanatic and radicalism is intrinsic to New Atheism.

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