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6 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2008 - 9:48PM #1
farragut
Posts: 4,020
My friends of the Louisville Atheist and Freethinkers Meet-up group have been enjoying an interesting discussion on the applications and meaning of Dawkins's Atheism scale. 
I am inviting them to bring the discussion over here where they can chat and debate at leisure while gaining the sometimes brilliant, usually enlightening, and often delicious input of you good people.
So, if they come, be nice.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2008 - 10:18PM #2
HazyElf
Posts: 213
[QUOTE=farragut;694556]My friends of the Louisville Atheist and Freethinkers Meet-up group have been enjoying an interesting discussion on the applications and meaning of Dawkins's Atheism scale. 
I am inviting them to bring the discussion over here where they can chat and debate at leisure while gaining the sometimes brilliant, usually enlightening, and often delicious input of you good people.
So, if they come, be nice.[/QUOTE]

Sounds like an interesting discussion may be afoot soon. I'll look forward to it. Meanwhile, I shall read up on Dawkins' scale so I can participate.

And of course, I'll try to be nice. : )

Hazy
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2008 - 10:45PM #3
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206
I got a chuckle out of that last line: "So if they come, be nice."  Come on, everybody.  Let's clean this place up.  We've got company coming.  Chop, chop.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2008 - 11:18PM #4
mountain_man
Posts: 39,484
How can there be a scale? Is he trying to say that some are more Atheist than others? How can a lack of belief be rated? You either have a belief in gods or you don't?

You'll have to explain a bit more.
Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 1:46AM #5
dat5h
Posts: 870
I had to look up Dawkin's scale myself. Here's a brief video that talks about it.
http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=IxoQh86GlyI
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 1:53AM #6
BlackWingBlueSky
Posts: 386
[QUOTE=mountain_man;694678]How can there be a scale? Is he trying to say that some are more Atheist than others? How can a lack of belief be rated? You either have a belief in gods or you don't?

You'll have to explain a bit more.[/QUOTE]

I've heard or read more than a few people claim that.  Hard atheists, soft atheists, agnostic atheists, etc -- there are all sorts of sliding scales.
Sandy

I've seen normal, and I'm not impressed.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 1:55AM #7
dat5h
Posts: 870
Maybe I'll kick this off. Simon, where are you on the scale and why?
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 2:09AM #8
BlackWingBlueSky
Posts: 386
I lifted this from a blog comment on Tufts Daily:

"Professor Richard Dawkins, the writer of The God Delusion and arguably one of the most outspoken proponents of atheism in the world today, has a 7-point scale of belief, where a rating of 1 means the individual is completely sure in the existence of God and a 7 means the individual is completely confident in the non-existence of God.  He places himself somewhere between a 6 and a 6.9, which will seem all the more remarkable considering the fact that the man has written about 10 books, all of which are virulently against a belief in God and organized religion. 

Dawkins compares belief in God to belief in unicorns or fairies; while a rational person can say that he is pretty sure they don't exist, who really knows?  This is the core of atheism; there IS no leap of faith.  Very few individuals actually will declare the absolute, unquestionable nonexistence of a supreme being.  More individuals use atheism as the title for their beliefs, but really they hold a more moderate viewpoint: God may exist, but the odds are very slim.  Most atheists recognize that there may be a possibility.

On the other hand, religion is fundamentally about a leap of faith; a hardliner in any religion you choose is consistently a 1 on Professor Dawkin's scale.  What makes atheism and religion so different is that further evidence could sway an atheists opinion; if all of a sudden divine intervention parted the clouds and His Mighty Presence came down to say hello, the vast majority of atheists would stop being atheists very shortly.  In contrast, damning evidence against fundamentalist religion (the fossil record, homogeneous structures, Darwinism, etc.) has been ineffective at swaying hardliners.  In effect, religious "faith" allows these hardliners to refute evidence out-of-hand (God put the fossils there, God made the structures homogeneous, Darwin is the devil, et cetera).

I appreciate your column, with regard to religious tolerance and especially with regard to your belief in bilateral conversation the religious and the nonreligious.  However, to treat atheism and theism as two peas from the same faithful pod is to miss the point of atheism entirely."

I'd probably place myself at a 5, but I couldn't say quite why.  Maybe because it's only a personal god that seems so unlikely to me while an impersonal god, a creative force of some kind, while still not provable doesn't seem so much of a stretch.  And even if I could be brought to believe, worship is still a completely other issue.
Sandy

I've seen normal, and I'm not impressed.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 2:17AM #9
dat5h
Posts: 870
Interesting BWBS, I think I'd have to say I'm about 6.5. Of course, I will not deny the existence of some overarching god-ish entity, but I am almost entirely certain that there is no need for worship and that all religions found on earth today have it completely wrong. Besides, with improved science and understanding of the natural world, religions have pushed back the bounds of their theism and eventually it will go until it equals deism, which completely defeats their religious perspective (worship?) in my opinion.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 11:08AM #10
mountain_man
Posts: 39,484

BlackWingBlueSky wrote:

I've heard or read more than a few people claim that.  Hard atheists, soft atheists, agnostic atheists, etc -- there are all sorts of sliding scales.


I know people come up with all sorts of strange labels for non believers. Some are oxymoron's like an agnostic that believes in gods. They're all based on strawman arguments. It's all done to make that persons position sound more correct than anyone else's. I like to cut through all the BS and get right to the point; either you believe a god exists, or you do not. If you do not know if a god exists or not, then you do not have a belief that one exists. It's a default position. It's black and/or white. Either you believe or you don't.

At least that's how I see it.:cool:

From what I gather his "scale" is not an Atheistic scale, but one from a complete believer to one that is certain there are no gods. Somewhere around the middle of '4' one changes from believer to non believer. He could have just done it with a scale of two numbers instead of 7.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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