I was browsing through twitter and had a random post on my feed (seem to get all sorts including those I don’t ‘follow’ on the platform.
Now some of his videos and talks I actually agree with and some I do not, so I don’t mind the guy… I don’t even mind the debate he posted as seen in the attached image.
But I’d call on anyone to read the utter nonsense of his followers or those posting in the comments.
It’s truly scary how atheists and atheism is so misconstrued and misrepresented.
As for the subject of the talk with Richard Dawkins, I’d concur that there likely is some evolutionary/societal rational for belief in dieties… but that doesn’t make it true.
Can you grab a link to the post?
Done for you at bottom of OP.
Strong theist. 100% probability of God. In the words of Carl Jung: “I do not believe, I know.”
De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100%. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.”
Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50% but not very high. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.”
Completely impartial. Exactly 50%. “God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.”
Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50% but not very low. “I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.”
De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. “I don’t know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”
Strong atheist. “I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one.”
Since he came up with this absolutely foolish scale, he has been trying to justify it. He is a biologist attempting to delve into philosophical arguments without the tools necessary to do so. He is an intelligent man when it comes to biology but out of his depth when he begins discussing theology. He is constantly caught putting theology into little boxes like categorizing insects and getting it wrong. As he does with Atheism and Belief in the above example.
As a simple tool for the reader of The God Delusion to assess where he/she might be on a scale from absolutely convinced theist to absolutely convinced atheist, and to raise some self-awareness, I think it can be of some utility and have some merit. After all, The God Delusion wasn’t written primarily for the 6’s and 7’s on his scale, but for those with an “atheistness” further down on the scale, so an introspection tool is probably a good idea in this context. However, the scale as a classification tool is being misused and abused, taken out of context, and used for polarisation.
As far as the scale itself is concerned, I have no problem with the idea of putting “strong theist” at one end and “strong atheist” at the other as a simple classification or mapping tool. The problem is, IMHO, the simplistic and haphazard use of a subjective feeling of probability as the only measure and proxy. The utility would have been a lot better by using other factors, such as the existence and assessment of empirical evidence, and other metrics that one would have to have a university degree or equivalent to properly set up and use. But then again, by doing this, applying the scale would be a much more complicated matter. It would become a questionnaire, and its utility as a simple introspection tool for the readers of Dawkins’ book is diminished.
The obvious solution is to either stick to the 1-7 scale as a simple introspection tool, and to not use it to classify other people.
That was poorly reasoned, and I believe he admitted this later. What’s astonishing is how many theists and apologists think knocking over weak arguments in a book claiming theism is a delusion is somehow evidence their deity exists after all. So yes poorly reasoned arguments against theism can do a lot of harm I suppose, but then again if people are determined to believe something poorly reasoned or not, no amount of reason will sway them in my experience.
Glad to hear it. I love his stuff on evolution and biology. He is an atheist based on his knowledge of biology. Not on the fallacious arguments of the theists. I would never throw the baby out with the bathwater.