Hello, I have been wanting to get this off of my chest for a while.
Richard Dawkins together with other "Great" atheists (Hitchens, are commonly seen as the "Leaders" of atheism. Everywhere i turn people rally behind them without hesitation. I have no problem with agreeing with someone and supporting them, but since joining this site and communicating with atheists across the web i am sad to say that I have been pressured into supporting anything they (or other popular atheists) say or do. As you can tell from the title, I don't like them, I find most of the current big time atheist to be rude, harsh, condescending, arrogant, men who happen to be smart. They spout the word "evidence" but as far as i can tell, only use evidence that supports their own views. They are incredibly anti-theist outright insulting those with faith, while i do not like religion I would never dream of telling someone that one way of thinking is correct or insulting them for their beliefs. For the most part they are BRILLIANT scientists, and yet they completely discredit anything if it has the slightest lack of extraordinary evidence or if a religious person says it. I may be wrong, but isn't science about looking for the truth, accepting new ideas and testing them, admitting when you are wrong? Isn't science meant to be unbiased? "A sentient all-powerful being/force, that existed before the rest of the universe, willingly and with intent created the universe and continues to exist beyond normal perception interacting with the universe regularly and still with intent." okay, there might be many many MANY variations on that principle, but that is the premise of a lot of religions, Laughable? Yes. Incredibly unlikely? Yes. Goes against massive amounts of par-to-quality evidence? Yes. But it's still a scientific hypothesis, that as of writing this cannot be tested. As such It should be accepted as a possible if-unlikely truth until it can be (dis)proven. We have diss-proven many things that religion spouts or claims in their holy books, but that is disproving an element of the religion, not the existence of a god. Dawkins has admitted this, yet he continuously dismisses any arguments against his views unless they come from one of his fellow atheist scientist buddies.
Ted Haggard, remember him? Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM4bq9ypAdY
Yeah, he was probably putting on an act for the cameras, we only saw 3 minutes of him, described by himself. But you should be able to understand what he's saying.
And there is truth to it.
That is a brief summary of the problems i have with Dawkins and a lot of the other atheist "leaders". But the reason i'm posting this is the rest of the atheist community seems fine with agreeing with everything he/they say(s). I've been delving into physics lately, and i try to apply one thing i do agree with dawkins on, I can't believe what i read in a book, or the website tells me, or etc. I try to avoid making claims about topics i don't know all about, I try to remain skeptical towards new ideas until i can get evidence that has quality and quantity, I ask questions and don't take things at face value. These are things i truely support, but It seems to me I'm the only atheist that feels that way. i have been observing and found that athesim is becoming almost as dogmatic and cruel as religion.
Anti-theism is on the rise, hatred is cast onto anyone who so much as prays at a dinnertable, if someone is a religious person expect them to be hated and ridiculed by this community regardless of anything other than the fact that they have a religion. Entire forums are set up for the purpose of laughing at religious people and ations (not just the extremist/fundy ones that are okay to laugh at sometimes)
People are mindlessly throwing out arguments that are often little more than: "X is wrong because there's ZERO evidence for it, but Y!, Y has evidence so it must be correct!" never going into any detail about the topic.
People are doing what i described earlier, dimissing things unfairly, while parading around a sliver of something they support.
The "Leaders" are followed blindly, mimicking a cult. if dawkins says something he is agreed with unconditionally by almost everyone, and if you are one of the few who don't agree with it, you are insulted and targeted for all sorts of things (Personal experience)
And everywhere people are trying to convert others into atheism.
A dogma is beginning to form, the atheist that i have observed are lining up to become just like the hardcore religious peoples they claim to be different from.
I joined this site and others with the expectation that I was going to meet people guided by logic, reason, quality evidence (Not just normal evidence.) instead of other's words. and mild = tolerance toward opposing viewpoints as we have nothing to lose if they disagree.
Instead i have found a group of self righteous, key phrase spewing, intolerant, hateful, followers who actively try to change a person's beliefs instead of presenting the alternative and letting that person act accordingly to what they are presented (the backbone of scientific thought and progress)
I could go into more detail, but honestly I'm tired as all get-out. In this post I stress that i am not talking about YOU or anyone else in particular, just what i have found. I posted this to voice my opinion about the current state of atheism, in a great tide of identical arguments and opinions I am standing out with one of my own that i am not basing off of any one Else's; it is an opinion that i came to by myself free of other's forcing it on me. Isn't that what free thought is all about?
Feel free to respond however you like, You can even go ahead and insult me and dismiss everything i said, just as i expect most will. I just wanted to get that off my chest.
Somewhat related note: I think I'm the only atheist with an opinion like this; the supernatural and paranormal science that studies it. Legitamit fields of study, even if the methods are frequently terrible. I think that some supernatural elements might just be natural elements that we just don't understand yet. (A long time ago, the concept of cold eluded the minds of of the time and was considered supernatural, but of course now we understand the absence of heat and can explain its workings.) I'm not saying all supernatural claims are true, just that they should not be dismissed immidiatly on the basis that they are considered supernatural. Ghost for example, I believe that there is somethting to these claims, or at least some of them. Consistent and observable patterns, large amounts of unexplained, undeniable phenomenon (Among some admittedly fake). Are they the spirits of the dead? I doubt it, but I see reason to look into the matter. The same goes for some other supernatural ideas that everyone here seems to hate.
And finally, I have a very difficult time getting behind Dawkin's precious gene-centered evolution.
I agree with much of what you said, particularly (as I infer from it) that it is in service of truth to avoid confirmation bias that is the currency of so many self-congratulatory communities, this one included. I don't agree with all that Dawkins has said. In particular, I think that he too easily dismisses group selection. But I recognize that his understanding of these matters is far superior to mine. I'm a little confused when I hear some speak of him as stridently preaching anti-theism. From what I've heard and read, he seems like a kindly old uncle (though I think he's a bit younger than me) patiently laying out his world view in a clear and mostly non-judgmental way. That view naturally leads to atheism, and in certain social contexts anti theism.
Hitchens was a different sort of critter -- never pulling a punch, and I admired him for very different reasons. I've noticed that since the passing of the Hitch, Dawkins has made some comments that seem more reflective of what his dear departed friend might have drunkenly spouted, and I say "BRAVO"!
I've been an athiest almost as long as I've known how to walk, and most of the long time since have lived among deeply religious people. I get it that adopting a position cemented against those opposing risks isolation from what may well be good ideas. It's an ongoing struggle. When I was younger I adhered to a philosophy of live and let live relativism -- that other belief systems were as valid as mine, and I still mostly live that way. But when a few devout believers extended their philosophy to flying airplanes into buildings I had to re-think things.
I no longer think that it's moral to hold one view in equal weight to another without good reason. I've come to think that it is important and necessary to call out irrational beliefs, and in fact immoral to fail to do so. And so I've become more confrontational and more insistent on validation of any belief that seems to me to be unsupported. In short, I've become a bigot on the side of reason, which is what Hitchens so much more capably was.
well said Ted
Agreed, thanks Ted.
Ted tends to nail it every time and does it with class and equanimity.
You might need a new keyboard paul.
I admire Dawkins a great deal even though I disagree with many things he says. ( sorry to mention it but elevatorgate, ugh ) He can seem arrogant especially when flustered. He is a posh, entitled, old fashioned and over privileged. He is certainly a product of his environment, like us all. But he is also brave and a pioneer. Hitchens had many bad qualities, but he was also hilarious and brilliant. Harris and Dennet seem to have better social skills.
I do not actively confront theists about their beliefs and frankly don't care what they personally believe. But when their activism threatens to take us as a whole back to the dark ages, I'm (sometimes) willing to stand up and disagree. We are here to combat that threat with as much civility as we can, but at times the gloves have to come off.
While making note of the fact that religion has not been disproved, ask if any of it has been proved. .
Hey dude. Don't even need to read all of your post to say I agree with you somewhat. I can't stand Dawkins; he's a mean and bitter old man. The biggest problem I have with Dawkins is that he feels (like many people on this site) that religion is the biggest problem in the world. People who think like that are a bigger part of the problem than any religion can ever be. But yeah, I agree; can't stand him. His work in evolution is amazing, but he still sucks.
Seriously Sir Spitter? People who think religion is the biggest problem in the world are a bigger problem than any religion can ever be? MANY of the HUGEST problems in the world stem from religions and their followers. I am sort of shocked to hear an Atheist even say what you did.
We agree on so much Matthew! :) I also agree with the religion/political aspect as well, but there would still be problems like killing in the name of their 'god', etc. Maybe just not so much? I'm guessing we'll never know for sure!
lol. What does that even mean matthew? You didn't explain what you meant but booklover agrees; same crappy thinking only minus a god. So lame.
it means that religion and politics are becoming increasingly intertwined, which is a significant problem, IMO. if that wasn't the case, i'd say let religious folk do whatever the hell they want (for the most part). religion is a real problem because it is infringing upon secular law.
you also made this comment: "he's a mean and bitter old man."
i've seen an awful lot of Dawkins, and i've never seen him appear mean or bitter in any capacity. care to offer some examples of this type of behavior?