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Dawkins - Winston

The debate on the role of religion in public life is gathering pace; we debate the "God Delusion" versus the "Science Delusion" with Richard Dawkins and Lord Robert Winston, fertility expert. Reposted from BBC Radio 4 Today Program

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High quality but sorely lacking in quantity. They could have done with couple more hours.

It's refreshing to hear a friendly debate on the matter, and some good points were made on both sides. It peaks my interest to look into the idea of what is the idea of "offensive", and why does it effect people and to what degree. The perception of what is offensive spans from a reaction from physical senses, to morals/values, and to social belonging. From what I can see it seems to be a developed defense mechanism, and beneficial to people, but can being overly offended stop people from being able to mentally mature and expand ones perception of the world around themselves?

Those ignorant idiots never learn. They claim things and make stuff..

"Those who argues against religion set mankind back in development"

Faith head own "no shame," no rules and no character!

Yet another interview-argument where nothing happens. Why even bother arguing against someone on the topic of religion? It seems to be a lost cause. Dawkins has written one of the most compelling books against religion; yet every religious person that he has talked to or argued against just tells him to, in so many words, shut up and stop offending others.

The arrogance clearly lies with the religious side, not Dawkins nor his book.

Brilliant blog entry.

But this bit -- "...and some good points were made on both sides..." What? Are you fucking KIDDING ME? Good points made on both sides -- fuck off! You are joking, right? Surely?

Dawkins is dead on here. He says, if we were to have an argument about a scientific concept, like the laws of physics; electricity; magnetism; gravity -- we might disagree, and we might even get upset that someone holds a differing opinion -- but we could never scream, "HERESY!"

As Firi put it, the arrogance lies elsewhere...

yikes. that was way to short

I liked the fact that when Dr. Dawkins interupted the other guy, he apologised and asked him to finish what he was saying.


Both sides of the argument were able to make their points without interruption and shouting. How good the points were is another matter.

It might not be exciting but there is at least some educational value in listening to people discuss important topics and actually making some attempt to hear each other and respond to what is actually being said.

As a general rule, we aren't very good at that. Our commitment to the might makes right idea makes it impossible to do anything but fight. On the individual or national level.

If you refuse to talk, fighting is all that's left.

The Lord guy sidestepped dawkins last question about whether or not he believed in a god. He also had very pathetic replies and merely states his opinion. What a pathetic piece of shit and clearly not an intellectual.

Kind of hard to use the term 'debate' here. This sounds like two British gentlemen having a minor tiffle about who should eat the last slice of pizza. This had less scathing indictment and acrimony than most family dinners. No new points were made and no existing views were either seriously challenged or defended. A non-starter.

Why do we have irrational thought?


Good comments here! Very humourous.

I am a Christian who is writing a blog series on Dawkins' book "The God Delusion".

Join the conversation at:

Why do we have irrational thought?

If we didn't have irrational thought then human kind would have killed itself off years ago.

That is at least my perception when answering that question. Perception is different to each an every person, as would their idea of what "irrational" is.

Why do we have irrational thought?

In Michael Shermer's book Why People Believe Weird Things, Shermer has five basic answers to the implied question in his title: for consolation, for immediate gratification, for simplicity, for moral meaning, and because hope springs eternal.

This would have been a fascinating debate if only it were longer.

Prof Robert Winston has a brilliant mind - he is one of the few scientists we have that is an effective communicator with the general public.

It's surprising that he claims to believe in God - from this brief discussion though, I'm not sure that he really does, but merely likes to enjoy religious tradition and to defend it.

Regarding offending peoples beliefs - I think the problem is that believers and non-believers both agree God cannot be thoroughly disproven. However, believers don't accept the burden of proof should be on them, so they play the "get out of jail free" card.

There is no alternative for those with unshakable belief, and we'd all do the same to save ourselves from being humiliated.

The real world is full of double standards. We're all Human, and tolerance should be afforded if the only alternative is humiliation.

The best thing Atheists can do in the US is, as Dawkins suggests, form a political lobby. Do it!


Interesting debate. Well, vaguely.

Perception is different to each an every person, as would their idea of what "irrational" is.

Yes, perception. But what constitutes rationality -- nope. Big no on that one. Sorry. Huge nope-ty no-no, bad, fucking "no, go sit in the corner with your pointy "Dunce"-hat on.

In one of the Pope's recent statements (not his last!), he made an amazing claim.

He said that we need to EXPAND our perception of reality. I read this, and I thought -- damn, whose words are these? Those of a brain-fried freak? Or a brain-fried Jesusfreak? It was the latter, of course. Papa argued that we all need to expand the concept of truth.

That the concept of truth shouldn't be limited to things that could be proved to actually be true.

Papa argued that TRUTH should be uh -- bendable. Not as in lying. Not in the sense that you might get away with telling a story that wasn't true. No no...

Papa Ratbastard argued that he should be able to bend reality to his own will. No one called him on it.

Gotta admire that...

It's worth pointing out though, that religious institutions should not be treated with such respect - they deserve to be thoroughly shamed.

The Catholic Church is responsible for many deaths, and both they and the Jehovah's Witnesses Church have gotten away with supporting paedophilia for far too long.

The Catholic Church's business practices and investment portfolios ought to be scrutinised much more in the media like every other global company and be shown for the nasty little bastards that they are.



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