THE UNBELIEVERS

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Duane
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THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Duane » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:39 pm

THE UNBELIEVERS is a documentary starring Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxDLkoK8vQQ

It brings up the age old question that in my opinion doesn't have a general answer: the question of ACCOMMODATIONISM.

I admire the scientific accomplishments of both men, but I'm not quite sure what the point of this documentary is going to be. If you take the trailer as representative of the theme of the whole doc, it sounds like they, (well, primarily Dawkins), believe that the only way to fully embrace the majesty of the universe is to disabuse yourself of religion. It's part of the whole "New Atheist" movement.

When it comes to understanding the universe, I completely agree with New Atheists. Science is how you do it. There are plenty of shots of religious fanatics on display protesting them and the scientific worldview they present. I ALSO agree with them when they decry a particular flavor of Accommodationism: the belief that at some level, science and religion can intersect. I don't believe they do.

But I also believe that a person can hold religious beliefs and fully embrace science. It will be interesting to see how they approach this particular viewpoint (basically Stephen Jay Gould's "Non Overlapping Magisteria" concept, where science and faith stick to their respective spheres.

Thoughts on this?

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Lori Koonce
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Lori Koonce » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:08 pm

Yeah....

I believe that some things that the Bible states are born out in the science discoveries we have made.

For example, in the Psalms it states that god flung the stars from his fingertips. Now, if you take into consideration that they didn't have the sophisticated science that we do, that could be one way to look at it. As our scientific knowledge grew, we changed the way we looked at it and described it. Now all but the very seriously religious believe that god had anything to do with it.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:36 pm

Dawkins should stick to science where he has majesty. Religion is about subjects science cannot answer and should not.

He wanted to be more of a celebrity--felt like scientists weren't being treated like rock stars, so he wrote the Gawd Delusion to cash in.

He has a supreme ego and does not seem that moral. Must be the ape he thinks we all are.

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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:36 pm

Duane, are you still a mormon?

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Duane
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Duane » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:00 pm

Frank,

I disagree with what you wrote about Richard Dawkins.

Religion has a LONG history of interjecting itself into scientific questions, including subjecting people to torture and death for advocating scientific findings that turned out to be true. This continues in some of the more fundamentalist Muslim countries today, and it manifests itself here in the US with this endless cavalcade of "freedom of scientific inquiry" bills that want to make it legal to teach creationism and intelligent design in public schools. You know, so students can be exposed to the "controversy" of a flat vs. spherical Earth.

I have a feeling that if religion didn't have this history, Dawkins et al. wouldn't be moved to write some of the books they have written. But it does, and they have.

Yep, still a Mormon (remember to capitalize!). MY particular church has a history of denying basic scientific facts, as well, including a former prophet who wrote that one cannot believe in "godless evolution," as he and others put it, and be a member of the Church in good standing. He was wrong.

Lori, I believe that God works with the tools as His disposal, and rather than teaching intelligent Bronze Age minds the finer points of particle physics, He works with them where they are. (Of course, I could be wrong about that, too. After all, these are matters of faith, not science!)

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:22 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Dawkins should stick to science where he has majesty.


Why, Frank, that sounds like "argument from authority"---which in any other domain you wouldn't put up with for a nanosecond.

"You shouldn't have an opinion about that which contradicts my belief, 'cause it's what I believe (even if I'm wrong)."

We are apes, Frank. Morphologically, phylogenically, and for most of us ontologically.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:00 pm

Do apes paint landscapes?

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Lori Koonce
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:27 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Do apes paint landscapes?


I don't know Frank. NO one at the local zoo has attempted to find out.

Here's something to think about. From a genetic perspective you and a chimp share all but one percent of DNA. Why not try to figure out what that ONE percent does...

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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:45 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Do apes paint landscapes?



Yes, we do.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:10 pm

It's the soul and intelligence that matters in the end, beyond my fondness for pookster the wonder chimp.

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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:29 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote:
FrankChurch wrote:Do apes paint landscapes?



Yes, we do.



*smirk*
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Duane
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Duane » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:42 pm

Not an ape, but close enough for our purposes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He7Ge7Sogrk


Frank (or anyone else): Will you see this when it comes out? Why or why not?

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:15 pm

I'll probably see it: both men are good speakers.

I'm of two minds about the Dawkins approach. On the one hand, live and let live. Why poke a stick at the faithfull if they're not interfering with anyone?

On the other hand, that's a big if. . .

I suppose if people are going to release films about how indispensible God is to daily life, I suppose it's only fair that somebody releases a counter-film. Those who take issue with the New Atheists should remember that there are no shortage of pro-God books on the same shelf at their local bookstore, and are in fact far more numerous.

Darwin didn't disprove God; he did make Him optional, with a mechanism that explained the origin of life perfectly well without divine intervention. From then on, God would need to take a far more abstract face. The anthropomorphic vision, ala Sistine Chapel, was gone forever. . .

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Ezra Lb. » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:20 pm

Definitely look forward to the documentary even though the people who need to watch it won't of course.

The issue of ACCOMMODATIONISM is very important. How do skeptics respond in an overwhelmingly religious culture? The problem is that 95% of the people in this country are some sort of believer and they pay the bills for the science so what are you going to do if you are a skeptical scientist as most are? Even Dawkins is ambivalent about it although nobody forced 3 million people to buy his book. Interestingly Dawkins was asked by the attorney at the Dover creationism trial NOT to testify because he would have said that science and religion are diametrically opposed. The strategy used in the trial by the lawyers was to show that evolution and religion are not opposed.

Yet the Dawkins approach is valid. Why not attack dangerous destructive ideas?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: THE UNBELIEVERS

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:25 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:Definitely look forward to the documentary even though the people who need to watch it won't of course.

The issue of ACCOMMODATIONISM is very important. How do skeptics respond in an overwhelmingly religious culture? The problem is that 95% of the people in this country are some sort of believer and they pay the bills for the science so what are you going to do if you are a skeptical scientist as most are? Even Dawkins is ambivalent about it although nobody forced 3 million people to buy his book. Interestingly Dawkins was asked by the attorney at the Dover creationism trial NOT to testify because he would have said that science and religion are diametrically opposed. The strategy used in the trial by the lawyers was to show that evolution and religion are not opposed.

Yet the Dawkins approach is valid. Why not attack dangerous destructive ideas?


Actually, it's more like 75% now. Nonbelief is on the rise.

Dover is interesting because, while that was certainly their strategy, the result was a slap in the face of the school board for, basically, misrepresentation and fraud. The judge called them on being liars and trying to pull a bait-and-switch. Now, maybe they didn't show that religion and science were in opposition, but they sure demonstrated that religious and scientific education are incompatible.

At dinner once with a Well Known Author and ex-spouse, we were talking about astronomy and astrophysics when out of the blue the statement was made "What troubles me in all this is there is no room made for the presence of Our Lord and Savior." After a couple of seconds, my response was "Well, that would make everything else pointless, wouldn't it? You can't make solid projections in a system that might change at a whim at any moment, so there would be point to even trying to do science." The speaker was enough of a science buff that this line of conversation was effectively derailed and never came up again.


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