Reflections on the Dawkins Debate

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skeptoid's picture
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sato's picture

soooo... still waiting to hear the argument for why religion has to be accepted as an adaptation and not a hijacking of the human mind (a mind virus)?

"i told dawkins that religion cannot be a mind virus" is just not science. if it isn't ok then make the argument.

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skeptoid's picture

The argument is preseneed in full detail just above your comment. What part do you not understanD? Hijacked by what exactly?

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sato's picture

he didn't make any case, only assertions or incomplete points. eg he talks about how religion brings a moral code that is valuable to survivability, but that is only an argument for moral code, not that it must be brought by religion. a text of moral guidelines could be given by anybody or nobody, so what evolutionary benefit is there to inventing a deity who created the universe to pass down standards of behaviour? he doesn't make that case at all.

hijacking means the evolutionary process that makes us imagine an intentional causality where there is none (eg imagining something moved the grass and running away even when it was just the wind gives evolutionary advantage because occasionally it actually will be some real danger) has been hijacked by religion. religion can only get into people's minds because we're predisposed by evolutionary forces to look for causality.

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skeptoid's picture

Ah, I see. Your analysis is driven against a backdrop of "You can't make me believe in a deity". Weinstein is not trying to make a case that a deity created the universe to pass down standards of behavior. He doesn't want nor does he need to. You are worried that his argument is intended to make that case. It's not. It is solely intended to point out the flaws in Dawkins' mistake in assuming memes are born within a neutral primordial soup and religion is a mind virus responsible for all evil. 

 

hijacking means the evolutionary process that makes us imagine an intentional causality where there is none (eg imagining something moved the grass and running away even when it was just the wind gives evolutionary advantage because occasionally it actually will be some real danger) has been hijacked by religion.

 

It has nothing to do with mistaking the cause of an event - not more so that with any other situation. You said "...where there is none." That's a declarative statement of certainty. What do you base it on? Weinstein isn't saying that there is one or that there is none - he's simply pointing out the phenomenon and asking that people grow and up face it squarely. Bret doesn't actually believe in an explicit creator - he falls down on the atheist side off a ledge where Peterson rolls off slightly the other way. But if you ask either one whether or not they know God exists they would both respond "I don't know" which is the appropriate response. Now what you believe is a totally separate affair. 

 

Brets argument destroys the justification behind Dawkins' activism. That's all it's intended to do. Drop the concern over whether the phenomena Peterson and Weinstein talk about indicates there's a deity we're supposed to worship - it interferes with the ability to consider the discussion objectively. If you watch Peterson and Harris you can see that even Harris cannot let go of this a priori bias in his analysis - his response is always "But that doesn't mean there's an angry man in the sky or that you have to cut your baby's dick..." etc.. It's so hard for those who have hardened in their absolutist views about religion and belief in a creator to approach this subject truly objectively because of the worry born from observed and experienced trauma and foolishness that has occurred under the brand of "Religion". The worry is the problem in so much as it interferes with the analysis of the discussion. 

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backdraft's picture
Beta Tester

Dawkins body language says he was uncomfortable the whole time and really didn't wanna be there. 

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skeptoid's picture

His incomplete scientific work is the platform upon which his important "social work" depends. The older Dawkins has betrayed the younger Dawkins. This is a common occurrence. See George Lucas.

 

Since when does the word "occurrence" have two Rs in it? That's a fucking Mandela effect man or this work schedule is gettting to me.

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sato's picture

you've probably been using american english too long. all words used to have double consonants when conjugated (travelled etc), but way back when the americans decided it was simpler to have just a single one (traveled), except they didn't change them all, and "occur" is one that was missed. when you're used to single spellings it seems weirdly out of place when a double comes along.

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