Richard Dawkins Video

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Richard Dawkins Video

Postby altar » Tue May 11, 2010 2:22 pm

Hi everyone,
[This is] a video of Richard Dawkins. I wasn't quite as piqued by the end portion in which he shows the contents of various hypothetical journals. But more I was interested in the example of scientific beliefs localized to certain areas exposed as ridiculous, whereas that is the standard with religious beliefs. So I just wanted to know if anyone had any opinions regarding this. I guess it shouldn't be very surprising that people have different views about things based on where they were born.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYigmGyN2RQ

Thx Pannepetar... fixed now.
Last edited by altar on Tue May 11, 2010 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 11, 2010 3:04 pm

altar wrote:http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1340940316&ref=ts

The above is a video of Richard Dawkins.


:thinking: The above looks more like a link to Allison Lowenstein's facebook page.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby sukhamanveti » Wed May 12, 2010 2:30 am

Hi, altar.

I think Richard Dawkins is making the point that one should not let one's beliefs about the world, morality, and humanity be determined by one's culture or upbringing in a particular part of the world, if one is pursuing the truth. (Then he further implies that personal feelings, private revelations, declarations, and the like are also insufficient grounds for rational belief.) Dawkins thinks that beliefs must be connected to such things as evidence and rational arguments. It is an excellent point in my opinion.

It also fits with the Buddha's teaching that "faith" (saddha) should be "supported by reasons" rather than "groundless" belief (as in MN 47 and MN 95, for example). "Faith" at all stages of the Path and in various Pali texts is often connected with observation and experience. Saddha is more like confidence than blind belief. (I am currently studying the meaning of saddha in the Theravada tradition and compiling various relevant passages in Pali texts and monastic writings.) The Buddha tended to place greater emphasis on "seeing and knowing," "direct knowledge," and so forth. He never said, "Just believe," but he did say, "Come and see."

“…So Bharadvaja, it seems that among the Brahmins there is not even a single brahmin who says thus: ‘I know this, I see this’…does not the faith of the brahmins turn out to be groundless [amulika]?.... There are five things, Bharadvaja, that may turn out in two different ways here and now. What five? Faith, approval, oral tradition, reasoned cogitation, and reflective acceptance of a view… Now something may be fully accepted out of faith, yet it may be empty, hollow, and false…” Majjhima Nikaya 95.13-14 (The Canki Sutta)
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 12, 2010 3:43 am

This is standard Dawkins repertoire. I've seen it on at least two different occasions. He is definitely one of the most skilled orators I know. The latter part of the video is a bit of a banter since theological arguments are actually more complex, but the map comparison is quite striking. Incidentally, Dawkins himself has explained this phenomenon quite a number of years ago in the Selfish Gene by formulating the theory of memes. The fact that meme distribution is geographical determined in one case and not in the other can be explained by the different flow of information with regard to religion and a relatively specific question in science. To put it in simple terms, globalisation has reached science but not religion.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby alan » Wed May 12, 2010 4:08 am

So therefore we can conclude....what?
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby Kim OHara » Wed May 12, 2010 6:49 am

Pannapetar wrote:This is standard Dawkins repertoire. I've seen it on at least two different occasions. He is definitely one of the most skilled orators I know. The latter part of the video is a bit of a banter since theological arguments are actually more complex, but the map comparison is quite striking. Incidentally, Dawkins himself has explained this phenomenon quite a number of years ago in the Selfish Gene by formulating the theory of memes. The fact that meme distribution is geographical determined in one case and not in the other can be explained by the different flow of information with regard to religion and a relatively specific question in science. To put it in simple terms, globalisation has reached science but not religion.

Cheers, Thomas

I found the video quite funny (as in amusing, not as in peculiar, just in case you wondered) and I'll send the link to several friends and relations because I think they'll like it. The point he's making is, IMO, a good one. It has been made before but it bears repeating.

More directly in response to your post, Thomas, I'd like to say that the 'orator' label is perhaps not the best one for Dawkins. He's a great lecturer but doesn't handle two-way interaction so well. For more about this, try an earlier thread, http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2939.
:namaste:
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby Kim OHara » Wed May 12, 2010 7:31 am

One of the younger scientists I sent it to commented:
... the distribution of religions across countries is only showing the most popular religion, and doesn't show the dissent within each region. Indeed, scientists tend to agree with their closest colleagues too, so that, for example, the XXXX* people think that a two-stage positron trap is the best, whereas most of the scientists at YYYY think that a three stage trap is better. Both sides can produce data that support their own opinion, but neither really know enough about each-other's experimental set-ups to be sure.

( *anonymised to avoid offending anyone concerned :tongue: )

:juggling:
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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby Ben » Wed May 12, 2010 8:29 am

Thanks Kim

Kim O'Hara wrote:One of the younger scientists I sent it to commented:
... the distribution of religions across countries is only showing the most popular religion, and doesn't show the dissent within each region. Indeed, scientists tend to agree with their closest colleagues too, so that, for example, the XXXX* people think that a two-stage positron trap is the best, whereas most of the scientists at YYYY think that a three stage trap is better. Both sides can produce data that support their own opinion, but neither really know enough about each-other's experimental set-ups to be sure.

( *anonymised to avoid offending anyone concerned :tongue: )

:juggling:
Kim


The quoted bit in your post reminds me of a very very funny South Park episode featuring Richard Dawkins.
Having said that, I am a big fan of the man.
kind regards

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Re: Richard Dawkins Video

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 12, 2010 8:40 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:I found the video quite funny (as in amusing, not as in peculiar, just in case you wondered)


Oh yes, it is amusing. Dawkins has a number of amusing things in his repertoire. They're all quite good. Of course, there's considerable repetition since he often gets invited and always speaks about the same topic.

Kim O'Hara wrote:More directly in response to your post, Thomas, I'd like to say that the 'orator' label is perhaps not the best one for Dawkins. He's a great lecturer but doesn't handle two-way interaction so well.


I found that Dawkins handles discussions quite well. Perhaps that is because he is doing this for quite a few years now.

Cheers, Thomas
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