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Flapdoodle
10-05-2007, 04:07 AM
If you go to:

http://www.tv-links.co.uk/listings/9/5200

and click on:

Richard Dawkins Discusses God, Faith and Why Religion is Bad

[He doesn't actually ever say religion is bad]

This a good Q&A session with Dawkins in a US college - brave man! - where a lot of the questions come from what look like a christian University (Liberty) that appears to have a dinosaur fossil that's 3000 years old - Dawkins response to this is hilarious.

Anyway, Dawkins gets criticised for sometimes getting insultive, but he's on top form here, and manages really get his point across without being insultive - in particular, one girl asks "What if your wrong?" and he responds with a pretty good answer along the lines - "You worship your christian god because you were brought up with it. What it YOU are wrong, and God is the Hindi God, Muslim God, etc."

Interesting that he comments that there are probably a lot of atheists in the USA who are scared to "come out" and that there are more atheists in the USA than Jewish people, but the Jewish lobby is hugely powerful - and one woman even asks him if "anger" is a common theme of people trying to get out of a religion [He's stumped and does a quick straw poll of the audience to find out if this is true, and gets quite a response that it is - I can understand that, though, having been forced to endure 10 years of Catholic school]

As I'm not in the USA I can't really comment on this last bit.

Higgins
10-05-2007, 04:42 AM
If you go to:

http://www.tv-links.co.uk/listings/9/5200

and click on:

Richard Dawkins Discusses God, Faith and Why Religion is Bad

[He doesn't actually ever say religion is bad]


Interesting that he comments that there are probably a lot of atheists in the USA who are scared to "come out" and that there are more atheists in the USA than Jewish people, but the Jewish lobby is hugely powerful - and one woman even asks him if "anger" is a common theme of people trying to get out of a religion [He's stumped and does a quick straw poll of the audience to find out if this is true, and gets quite a response that it is - I can understand that, though, having been forced to endure 10 years of Catholic school]

As I'm not in the USA I can't really comment on this last bit.

Dawkins is very interesting. It don't think he has much to say to anyone who has grown up with both science and religion (like me)...I think if your mental diet is too much one way or the other Dawkins will clarify things.

Oh...the USA...is there anything that doesn't trigger "anger" in the USA?
It's like an ideological carnvore zoo without any red meat over here.

Lots of gumming to death and no meat.

Flapdoodle
10-05-2007, 04:49 AM
Dawkins is very interesting. It don't think he has much to say to anyone who has grown up with both science and religion (like me)...I think if your mental diet is too much one way or the other Dawkins will clarify things.

Oh...the USA...is there anything that doesn't trigger "anger" in the USA?
It's like an ideological carnvore zoo without any red meat over here.

Lots of gumming to death and no meat.

The only things that trigger anger in the UK are roadworks & planning applications to build houses on fields. Oh, and telephone masts on fields. They really do get people angry.

benbradley
10-05-2007, 05:12 AM
...

Interesting that he comments that there are probably a lot of atheists in the USA who are scared to "come out" and that there are more atheists in the USA than Jewish people, but the Jewish lobby is hugely powerful - and one woman even asks him if "anger" is a common theme of people trying to get out of a religion [He's stumped and does a quick straw poll of the audience to find out if this is true, and gets quite a response that it is - I can understand that, though, having been forced to endure 10 years of Catholic school]

As I'm not in the USA I can't really comment on this last bit.

I'm in the USA and I WILL comment on the last bit. I've heard consistently that the USA is by far the most religious of the "developed" nations. At least I feel relieved about the other developed nations, and the state of the world. I think it's mentioned elsewhere in this forum that no one can sucessfully run for public office in the USA without claiming belief in and devotion to God, most preferably in Jesus' Name.

When playing "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," the least acceptable "minority" in the USA is almost certainly an atheist.

As far as anger when leaving a religion, you don't have to be in the USA to observe or experience it. I think it's very common, and expected. You're changing your beliefs, and you're discovering your previous beliefs, which so many others still hold true, are NOT true. Anger is inevitable.

Flapdoodle
10-05-2007, 05:40 AM
I'm in the USA and I WILL comment on the last bit. I've heard consistently that the USA is by far the most religious of the "developed" nations. At least I feel relieved about the other developed nations, and the state of the world. I think it's mentioned elsewhere in this forum that no one can sucessfully run for public office in the USA without claiming belief in and devotion to God, most preferably in Jesus' Name.

When playing "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," the least acceptable "minority" in the USA is almost certainly an atheist.


That's quite hard to take in, and I wouldn't be surprised if its the opposite in the UK. I know so few people who are religious or go to church I'd struggle to have anything but an atheist/agnostic dinner party. The church has such a dimishing role in British life, it's almost clinging on - but then again, the Church of England has always been a bit of a comedy church anyway, and the butt of jokes for years by popular comedians.

So do non-believers get discriminated against?



As far as anger when leaving a religion, you don't have to be in the USA to observe or experience it. I think it's very common, and expected. You're changing your beliefs, and you're discovering your previous beliefs, which so many others still hold true, are NOT true. Anger is inevitable.

I experienced anger, but it wasn't because I was "coming out" of a religion. It was because due to a quirk of birth, I was baptised (Without being asked) and sent to a catholic faith school, but never actually believed it.

My anger was directed at the teachers peddling this nonsense week in, week out - so much so I eventually refused to participate in Religious lessons (that were compulsory) and nothing the teachers did could actually get me to participate. I simply refused to do the work and sat there and read a book or did some other work. I stated I was an atheist, and refused to sign up for the "O level" exam (Used to be the exam people took at 16 when they left school and moved on to 6th form or a FE college). They spluttered and muttered, but there was nothing they could do.

I can still remember being 4-5 years old at school and just not believing what they were telling me. It didn't seem right. Especially when they told us to lie to the younger kids about it to "make them feel good". As far as I'm concerned, it's a mental form of child abuse. What annoyed me most is that they turned on me and said that I was "offending" the RE teachers for not doing the work as I was not respecting her beliefs. To this day I refuse to respect beliefs when people demand it.

I wonder if some people are just born atheists? Despite 10 years of Catholic school, I never once believed any of it, even when I was a youngster.

I think a lot of people in the UK pay lip service to religion or use it to get their kids into certain schools - we just had a baby, and we got so sick to death of people asking when the "christening" is going to be, we just say "There isn't one. We're not religious, we're atheists, and we'll let the child decide for herself when she's old enough." Most people just go "Oh, we're not religious either, we just did it to get into a certain school!". LOL.

Lhun
04-01-2008, 03:34 PM
I think it's mentioned elsewhere in this forum that no one can sucessfully run for public office in the USA without claiming belief in and devotion to God, most preferably in Jesus' Name.
I don't know who i'm quoting (but i know i'm quoting someone) who said that an american politician mentions god more often than a european bishop. From the way the USA look like from over here that seems to be true.

Sarpedon
04-01-2008, 04:17 PM
Well, for me the anger came after. I didn't leave because I was angry, I left because I realized that it had no more relevance in my life. I realized that I was interpreting and ignoring scriptures to reinforce what I felt was right and wrong, based on my own concience, instead of basing my ideas of right and wrong on scripture. Once I realized that I was the one making the moral decisions, the need for religion fell away. It was literally like that; one moment, I was religious, the next, I asked myself a question: 'Would I live my life any differently if there were no God?' I answered 'no' and it was as if a load just fell off me. It was gone.

Later I became angry because I realized I had given my best years to a cult. I got angry when I watched how they exploited my loved ones, and how they used their power to influence politics while (in order to) maintaining a tax free status. And thats in the USA, a fortunately largely secular country. When I see the life and death struggles between religions in the Middle East, I grow even more angry.

RobertlewisIR
04-09-2008, 05:20 PM
It's true that polls reveal an actual MAJORITY of Americans claim they would never vote for an atheist for president (the only minority group of which an actual majority of those polled said they wouldn't vote for such an individual). But I question whether it's really true. If an atheist were to run, and were a strong candidate, I suspect many of them may revise their opinions. Not all, but maybe enough.

But that doesn't stop me from wearing my "proud member of America's most distrusted minority" t-shirt.

And yeah, Dawkins is great. I'm a big fan. Apparently, the local Christians are even starting to take notice. My mother has informed me that her preacher was discussing his book last Sunday--I can just imagine how bad THAT must have been, coming from the man who ends his sermons by telling jokes comparing atheists to the devil.