Dawkins and the drive against religion

In this post, James Robertson discusses Richard Dawkins's drive against religion, which drive I generally agree with, but I think it misses the point in some ways.

It is not necessary to teach people not to believe in God, but it is necessary to convince them that reason comes first. Faith is not a problem if the believer is willing to adapt when confronted with facts that conflict with his faith. But faith is a problem if one isn't so flexible - when one puts faith ahead of reason in one's value system. This leads to fanaticism, terrorism, abortion clinic bombing, dressing up women in burqas, female circumcision, and so on.

It is very necessary that the school system develops the students' rational analysis skills, to give youngsters trust in their reasoning abilities. Beyond that, teaching them not to believe in unicorns or witches is pointless, because what else is more interesting than what you aren't supposed to do, think, or believe.

Comments

boris kolar said…
I was ateist for most of my life and have recently changed my views a little, so I'm open-minded agnostic now. Recent scientific discoveries may provide basis for a new religion - one that is at least scientifically possible (or, dare I say it, likely to be true).

The first paper I recomment reading is Max Tegmark's Parallel Universes.

After that, you may find Quantum immortality ideas interesting.

So, you may be immortal :) Now, if you follow a simple thought experiment, you may discover you are almighty as well:
- if you change conditions in quantum sucicide experiment in such way, that the bomb explodes unless you achieve desired outcome, you become almighty
- you don't necessarily have to actually perform suicide experiment; being completely dedicated that you will commit suicide "in future" unless you get what you want may be enough (my "least miracle" hypothesis, which states that events will unfold in such a way, that your consciousness will percieve them as least miraculous)
- also, some have speculated that retrocausality is possible (also sort of confirmed by Lindner, 2005)

There is so much we don't know about our universe. Not even death is certain any more.
denis bider said…
"if you change conditions in quantum suicide experiment in such way, that the bomb explodes unless you achieve desired outcome, you become almighty"

No... more likely, you find yourself repeatedly in a universe where the bomb has malfunctioned and you cannot get it to work. :)

You must make the bomb so reliable that the events of the bomb spontaneously disassembling and whatever you want occuring are comparably likely. :)

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