Hitchens gets schooled.

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Hitchens gets schooled.

#1  Postby Animavore » Jul 05, 2011 11:20 am

With regard to heretics two points must be observed (heretic and Church).. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death.

- Aquinas.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#2  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2011 11:33 am

This is wonderful; Hitchens is going to rip him a new one.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#3  Postby Spinozasgalt » Jul 05, 2011 11:42 am

I'm not that impressed by Hitchens's claim about theists and ethical statements, but this response:

Moshe Averick wrote:Try this ethical statement on for size: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, and have been endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, and among these are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nobody heard of the Declaration of Independence? Perhaps he posed the question on a speaking tour through Lithuania.


Is quite lacklustre. An atheist can be a natural law theorist and so make this sort of claim; she would probably just use a regular "c" for "creator".
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#4  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 05, 2011 12:08 pm

I just posted over there. :)
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#5  Postby Made of Stars » Jul 05, 2011 12:27 pm

Calilasseia wrote:I just posted over there. :)

I'm guessing comments are moderated by the good Rabbi himself, and he's not going to like references to his 'rectally extracted assertions'. :)
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#6  Postby Animavore » Jul 05, 2011 12:29 pm

That comment isn't up. Can you post here?
With regard to heretics two points must be observed (heretic and Church).. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death.

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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#7  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2011 12:31 pm

Made of Stars wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:I just posted over there. :)

I'm guessing comments are moderated by the good Rabbi himself, and he's not going to like references to his 'rectally extracted assertions'. :)


It's all publicity as far as he's concerned. That's what the whole endeavour is about - boosting his sales. You can see he is replying to all comments. Perhaps a forum outing might be necessary, bringing a different point each to the table!

I already left a comment.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#8  Postby Animavore » Jul 05, 2011 12:42 pm

This one star review of his book is detailed and amazing :clap:
http://www.amazon.com:80/review/R3JN14N ... N14NBQ2QCR
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#9  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2011 1:43 pm

Have you seen the attacks on the writer of the review?

Even the good Mr Averick's joined in... the author.... commenting on Amazon reviews of his own book? It seems he has no taste, and far too much time!
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#10  Postby Dracena » Jul 05, 2011 1:49 pm

And this is how he answers one of the comments:
I attacked Hitchens because he’s a sloppy researcher, fabricates when it suits him, and even screws up scientific data. He deserves an ad hominem attack.

:picard: Oh the irony.

I commented too, can't see any comment from Cali so it's probably been deleted. :(
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#11  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 05, 2011 1:57 pm

No, it's still there, I've just checked ... :)

EDIT: Still flagged as "awaiting moderation" though ... however, just in case he deletes it, here it is in full:

So, where is that evidence for an invisible magic man again? We’ve been waiting for 5,000 years for supernaturalists to deliver the goods on this one, and all we’ve heard so far is yet more blind assertions (on top of the blind assertions contained in their favourite mythologies) and apologetic hot air. When are we going to see some substance for a change? A trite “read my book” will be counted as an evasion. Here’s a clue for our good rabbi: if he genuinely had real evidence for his magic man, he’d be joining those other Jews who possess shiny gold medals featuring an embossed relief of a certain former dynamite manufacturer, and the world’s scientific journals would be queueing up to print his findings. That this isn’t happening tells those of us who paid attention in science classes something important.

Oh, and our good rabbi might want to learn what atheism actually IS, before erecting the tired old “atheism is a belief” trope that we’ve all been bored out of our skulls with by supernaturalists.

Finally, if our good rabbi wants to accuse Hitchens of fabrication, all well and good. It’ll be fun watching the resulting defamation suit play out in court. It’ll be even more fun when Hitchens, upon seeing this, delivers his usual excoriating demolition of the canards erected above.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#12  Postby Dracena » Jul 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Aha, "awaiting moderation" means no one else can see it yet.Nice comment Cali :cheers:
Here's mine.
I would actually consider the one paper by Francis Crick on panspermia to be “flirting”.He would have had to write books on the subject and calling the idea anything but “far-fetched” in order for me to consider him to be
a proponent of said idea.
It’s a wholly subjective assesment on both our parts, but that you file that under “Hitchens don’t know science” is laughable.

Here’s another mistake you make; it matters little what the 747 jumbojet analogy was intended for, as creationist variably use it as an argument against the origin of life AND evolution.To bad Hitchens didn’t include both debunkings but quite telling that you don’t bother to even mention that as an argument it’s completely useless.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#13  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2011 3:01 pm

me wrote:
Averick wrote:
me wrote:I see you set up the old chestnut about atheism resulting in a life that has no meaning, purpose or value. Did you ever once stop and consider what a ridiculous exposure of your inability to understand your interlocutors that represents? Did it never cross your mind to ask atheists what they think? My life has at least as much meaning, purpose, and value as yours… I am sure I could forward an argument that it has more, by the simple token of it not being basing on pleasant, comforting fantasy.


Sparhafoc,

“BY THE SIMPLE TOKEN OF IT NOT BEING BASED ON PLEASANT COMFORTING FANTASY.”

If God does not exist then we are here by pure fluke.
As Stephen J. Gould wrote, “we are here because one group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could turn into legs.”

All life on earth drowns in an ocean of insignificance when seen against the backdrop of the endless billions of galaxies in our universe. In actual objective reality your life and all other life has no significance at all. As Dawkins put it, “there is no design, no purpose, no good, no evil, only pitiless indifference.”

No human being can face this truth without experiencing total existential terror. What the atheist does is manufacture some sort of structure out of his imagination and calls it real. (For example: Humanism, Socialism, Communism, Morality,etc.) None of these systems have any actual reality. They mean as much as the individual wants them to mean. You are entitled to live with your fantasy if you choose, whatever floats your boat as they say. You have done the same thing that you accuse the believer of doing.

The difference between us is that I fully acknowledge that if God does not exist, my beliefs are a fantasy. But if God does not exist, the only question becomes, which fantasy will you choose, to be able to get through life; or perhaps you might decide that it’s a futile waste of time, and take a long walk off a short ledge.


“As Stephen J. Gould wrote, “we are here because one group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could turn into legs.” ”

And where did he derive that piece of information? Do you think he consulted scripture? Did he divine it by ancient magic? Did he perhaps pray for wisdom or attain enlightenment?

No, of course he didn’t… he’s talking about hard evidence taken directly from the natural world. These fossils need to be explained for the sake of the pursuit of knowledge, not for the sake of disproving mythology.

That they represent serious contradictions to the creation myths of all earthly religions is not the fault of the scientists locating these fossils. Nor is it the obligation of scientists finding these fossils to jerryrig some appeasing method of explaining them in order to make them fit with all the mutually incompatible creation myths humans have constructed over the millenia. It is a problem for you to address, personally, in the privacy of your own integrity to the truth.

“As Dawkins put it, “there is no design, no purpose, no good, no evil, only pitiless indifference.””

Dawkins is talking about the universe not having a purpose, not atheists. Of course we feel purpose and meaning in our lives; we are human are we not? If you prick us, do we not bleed? I have a family, I have friends, I have projects, I have an interest in preserving the environment, I have the universe to learn about. The latter alone will provide me with ample purpose right up until I succumb to the ‘pitiless indifference’ of the universe to my brief mammalian scramblings.

With luck, I might have made a small difference, or left a mark on my friends or children that will be of importance to them. If not, I will have at least earnestly followed the truth wherever it leads.

“No human being can face this truth without experiencing total existential terror.”

Please do not project your own feelings onto me. I’m afraid I grew out of this many years ago. Perhaps your clinging to a higher purpose, of a loving overbeing watching your every move, judging your every action is more symbolic of the ‘existential terror’ that you have not been able to get past. Perhaps it is the cause of your inability to achieve peace with the hard facts of reality. Is it not the mark of a man (and woman) in how they respond to the challenges that beset them? If they shrink from the facts, and hide behind a comforting construct, does this really make the sum of their lives ‘better’?

“What the atheist does is manufacture some sort of structure out of his imagination and calls it real.”

How ironic. I don’t manufacture anything with respect to looking at the brute facts of our existence. Instead, I follow the evidence in all earnestness. I studied anthropology because I wanted to know how we came to be. This developed into a passion for knowing about what came before us, and I was rather amazed, having been brought up in the Christian tradition, that our existence on this planet represents a tiny fraction of the diversity of life this planet has experienced. How small you would have us make this world and universe, created only for us, when the facts stand in direct opposition.

“But if God does not exist, the only question becomes, which fantasy will you choose, to be able to get through life; or perhaps you might decide that it’s a futile waste of time, and take a long walk off a short ledge.”

Is this the normal discourse for a spiritual leader? To tell their interlocutors to kill themselves? You do yourself no favours speaking to people like that.

I’ve already explained to you why my life has meaning. The funny thing is that your also share all those points, love of family and friends, desire to make a mark, or to achieve your goals, and to learn more about your existence. So you’ve added a god, big deal – I don’t need one and I find nothing lacking, nothing is smaller or more mundane. On the contrary, the universe is sufficiently mysterious, and the scope far larger and more interesting than the pedestrian recapitulation of bronze age dogma.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#14  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2011 4:50 pm

I am amazed at how poorly he constructs arguments, and how blind he is to his attempts to dehumanise others. Having just told me that I should take a long walk off a short pier, and having just read why he is wrong to state something like that, he comes back with an initial agreement with what I said, then simply repeats it again through the mouths of others (i.e. terminally misrepresents them)
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#15  Postby Animavore » Jul 05, 2011 5:02 pm

Or, in technical terms; he's a dick.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#16  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2011 5:05 pm

Keeping my responses here just in case they get 'lost'.

‘Your “meaning”, “purpose” and “value” has no significance outside of your own head. That is fine, as long as you don’t pretend it is more than that. ‘

As I said, it has significance to my friends, family, to the society in which I live, to the few people my passage through life encounters and I leave a mark on in some way (hopefully positively ;) ). As does yours, and no more than that.

“Your “values” have no more or less significance than the “values” of Josef Stalin, Glen Beck, or Keith Olberman. Different strokes, for different folks.”

That’s such an obvious bait towards an emotional reaction. If that is so for me, it is also so for you. There’s no rational connection between your previous paragraph and this one.

“This is not anything original. It is the position of nearly every atheistic philosopher on the planet.”

Might it not be that you have failed to read ‘every atheistic philosopher on the planet’ incorrectly (sic) as you appear to project your own emotions onto others – perhaps that gets in the way of seeing other people’s position clearly. For example, I have just explained to you that little atheist me, a person of no consequence compared to these great and famous names, has in fact got purpose, value and meaning in their life. You have accepted that, but have you really let it sink in to show you that your argument was wrong, was faulty, was devoid of logic? We are all too eager to create ‘us/them’ dichotomies. Meaning, purpose and value are intrinsic characteristics of ALL humans – when you say otherwise, you dehumanise people. That surely can’t be your message?

“Michael Ruse has written explicitly that in objective reality there is no reason why we should not rape,pillage, and murder, it that is what suits us.”

Has he? I will have to take your word for that as I have never read anything by him. However, that means nothing with respect to me. I can give you a very simple reason on which ALL human societies operate that express why we don’t rape, pillage and murder…. the golden rule – do unto others as you would have done unto you. That’s the foundation stone of ‘civilization’, how we broke out of being disparate, isolated kin-groups. If we hadn’t followed this basic rule, we wouldn’t be here enjoying the amazing technology that’s the product of a civilized society which lets us communicate over such a huge distance in next to real time. When you dehumanise others, comforting yourself that ‘they’ don’t have purpose, morality, value, etc… you are fighting against this rule… that’s why you know you are wrong, and why you really should have apologised to me for having inferred that my best course of action is suicide.

As for Dawkins, Singer, Russell – I am familiar with what they’ve written, and they certainly DO NOT say that we should rape, murder and pillage: that’s a misrepresentation. For example, Dawkins would explain human cooperation as a fundamental part of mammalian evolution which has reached its pinnacle in us. Did you not read/see his ‘Nice guys finish first’? – there are very good reasons for this that do not require deference to unsubstantiated supernatural entities.

“Hitchens, true to form, is fundamentally dishonest on this issue. He says that anyone who disagrees with his moral values is by defintion a psychopath or sociopath.”

See, that to me looks like you are quoting him… but having heard Hitchens speak a lot on a wide number of issues, I have never heard him even remotely suggest this. Again, I wonder if it is a product of your underlying need to create an us/them scenario where you can blame the atheists for their failings so you can forgive yourself your own.


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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#17  Postby campermon » Jul 05, 2011 5:47 pm

My favourite quote from the site;

"Ed Carroll
July 5, 2011
11:01 am

If I could prove that girls who have their clitorises cut off have a slightly lower rate of cancer and a greater chance to win the Nobel Prize, would that be a good enough reason to do it to every single girl born with a clitoris?

If your answer is no, then stop attempting to justify the mutilation of boys with that same ridiculous argument."

:lol:

Also, Cali - is Euan you?

:thumbup:
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#18  Postby The Plc » Jul 05, 2011 6:04 pm

Hitchens seems to be unaware of what Dr. Ken Nealson of the National Academy of Sciences takes for granted, “Nobody understands the origin of life, if they say they do, they are probably trying to fool you.” If the profundity of the problem is still not clear, here is world renowned biologist, Dr. Lynn Margulis, “To go from bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium.” This, of course, is the reason why many of the well known scientific advocates of atheism, including Jerry Coyne, P.Z. Myers, and Richard Dawkins, have assiduously avoided participating in a debate on the specific topic of Origin of Life. The enormous, yawning chasm between non-living chemicals and the simplest bacterium is enough to send the most zealous and outspoken atheist running for cover


Oh ffs. Such unshakable ignorance, or, on the likelyhood that the author isn't entirely unaware of the completely awful reasons for believing in religion - eloquently explained by the writers he seeks to defame and discredit - such flagrant dishonesty. You're not going to get a serious scientist (atheist or otherwise) to debate the origin of life on Earth for the same reasons you're not going to get a serious scientist (athiest or otherwise) to debate the behaviour of turbulent fluids. These are very intriguing problems within the remit of science which currently don't have a comprehensive and definitive answer. We may even have to be open to the possibility (though it's an unduly pessimistic one) that human science may never be able to solve them. How desperate do you to have to be to try and get away with god of the gaps arguments these days?

I know next to nothing about Judaism to judge whether or not the Rabbis other points have hit the mark, although unlike others who share his rejection of the world's religions, I don't hold Hitchens in such uncritical reverence that I consider him infallible. The Rabbi may very well have nailed Hitchens on many points here. We shouldn't have faith that he's going to destroy him with a witty and entertaining response.
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#19  Postby sennekuyl » Jul 06, 2011 12:05 am

Calilasseia wrote:No, it's still there, I've just checked ... :)

EDIT: Still flagged as "awaiting moderation" though ... however, just in case he deletes it, here it is in full:

So, where is that evidence for an invisible magic man again? We’ve been waiting for 5,000 years for supernaturalists to deliver the goods on this one, and all we’ve heard so far is yet more blind assertions (on top of the blind assertions contained in their favourite mythologies) and apologetic hot air. When are we going to see some substance for a change? A trite “read my book” will be counted as an evasion. Here’s a clue for our good rabbi: if he genuinely had real evidence for his magic man, he’d be joining those other Jews who possess shiny gold medals featuring an embossed relief of a certain former dynamite manufacturer, and the world’s scientific journals would be queueing up to print his findings. That this isn’t happening tells those of us who paid attention in science classes something important.

Oh, and our good rabbi might want to learn what atheism actually IS, before erecting the tired old “atheism is a belief” trope that we’ve all been bored out of our skulls with by supernaturalists.

Finally, if our good rabbi wants to accuse Hitchens of fabrication, all well and good. It’ll be fun watching the resulting defamation suit play out in court. It’ll be even more fun when Hitchens, upon seeing this, delivers his usual excoriating demolition of the canards erected above.

Ooo! Calilassea, and anyone else posting, would you mind if I requoted you in the Correspondence and Communication thread, please?
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Re: Hitchens gets schooled.

#20  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 06, 2011 12:12 am

No problem for me sennekuyl
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