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Christianity Thomas on 28 Feb 2012 12:37 am

Richard Dawkins equivocates

It is a sad day as Richard Dawkins equivocates:

‘i can’t be sure God does not exist’: World’s most notorious atheist Richard Dawkins admits he is in fact agnostic

A sad day.

34 Responses to “Richard Dawkins equivocates”

  1. on 28 Feb 2012 at 10:36 am 1.InvincibleIronyMan said …

    It’s called intellectual honesty. Besides which, Dawkins hasn’t changed his position, it’s exactly the same one as laid down in more detail in The God Delusion, and I quote:

    Let us, then, take the idea of a spectrum of probabilities seriously, and place human judgements about the existence of God along it, between two extremes of opposite certainty. The spectrum is continuous, but it can be represented by the following seven milestones along the way.

    1 Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know.’

    2 Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’

    3 Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’

    4 Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’

    5 Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’

    6 Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’

    7 Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one.’

    I’d be surprised to meet many people in category 7, but I include it for symmetry with category 1, which is well populated. It is in the nature of faith that one is capable, like Jung, of holding a belief without adequate reason to do so (Jung also believed that particular books on his shelf spontaneously exploded with a loud bang). Atheists do not have faith; and reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist. Hence category 7 is in practice rather emptier than its opposite number, category 1, which has many devoted inhabitants. I count myself in category 6, but leaning towards 7 – I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.

  2. on 28 Feb 2012 at 10:50 am 2.ReligionIsStupid said …

    Except that nothing has actually changed and, dude, The Daily Mail? Like that’s an example of serious reporting. At least you cant be accused of only telling one side, even if you did tell Dawkins’ side incorrectly.

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/645108-no-blood-on-the-carpet-how-disappointing

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100139447/richard-dawkins-is-an-agnostic-but-we-knew-that-already/

  3. on 28 Feb 2012 at 10:52 am 3.Anonymous said …

    I know with certainty that Santa does not exiat. Why? Because there are claims about Santa that are provably untrue.

    Same for God. There are many claims about God that are provably untrue. Many other claims are contradictory, meaning impossible. If Richard Dawkins cannot see something that obvious he is not thinking clearly.

  4. on 28 Feb 2012 at 10:53 am 4.Anonymous said …

    Exiat –> exist

  5. on 28 Feb 2012 at 11:32 am 5.ReligionIsStupid said …

    3 – He’s right there with you. What he said, amongst other things, was: “I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden”

  6. on 28 Feb 2012 at 2:13 pm 6.Jerome said …

    Also, Dawkins is not saying that he can’t be sure that BibleGod does not exist. He’s referring to a potential general, neutral, vague Creator like Spinoza’s god.
    Also, we can’t be sure that we don’t live inside of a Matrix either, right? So?

  7. on 28 Feb 2012 at 3:51 pm 7.Methodissed said …

    You can be both agnostic and atheist at the same time.

    AGNOSTIC
    A = Without
    Gnosis = Knowledge

    ATHEIST
    A = Without
    Theism = God belief

    I’m agnostic because I don’t KNOW with certainty that no gods exist. I’m also an atheist because I don’t believe in such gods.

    If you’re an atheist who objects to agnosticism, then you’re dogmatic and philosophically ignorant, i.e., it’s time to study epistemology.

  8. on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:30 pm 8.DPK said …

    That’s not a new admission. I have heard him make the same comment before… on a scale of 1 to 7, he is a 6.9. This doesn’t represent a change in position, but simple academic honesty. You cannot know for absolute certainty that something defined to be un-knowable does not exist… anymore than Russell could not prove there was not a magical teacup in orbit near Jupiter.
    I wonder if his theist counterparts are so honest as to admit they do not know with certainty that god DOES exist either. Seems Dawkins is being the better man, and the more honest academic. No surprise there.
    D

  9. on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:43 pm 9.Asher said …

    As we get older we get wiser and we become more thoughtful. Just as his mentor came to the conclusion there must be God, Dawkins is walking that same path. His life has been sad and without great joy and now he contemplates the very reason for his existence. I’m happy for him that he is on such a path.

  10. on 28 Feb 2012 at 7:06 pm 10.Methodissed said …

    Why is my post still awaiting moderation when subsequent posts have been approved?

    I made a strong objection because posts like this give ammo to ignorant Christians, and make a prominent intellectuals like Dawkins look like “flip-floppers.”

    If your ego can’t handle the last sentence, then change it to, “If you’re an atheist who objects to agnosticism, then it’s time to study epistemology.”

  11. on 28 Feb 2012 at 8:38 pm 11.Lou (DFW) said …

    8.Asher said …

    “As we get older we get wiser and we become more thoughtful. Just as his mentor came to the conclusion there must be God, Dawkins is walking that same path. His life has been sad and without great joy and now he contemplates the very reason for his existence. I’m happy for him that he is on such a path.”

    Such a path is known as delusion. Fortunately, it’s only part of your delusion that “Dawkins is walking that same path.”

  12. on 28 Feb 2012 at 9:38 pm 12.alex said …

    I’ve admitted this before. I can’t be 100% sure that a god doesn’t exist. So what? Notice I didn’t mention the christian god. I’m sure many atheists can make the same admission, and again so what? Why don’t any of you theists admit that it’s possible that your god doesn’t exist? No? Not even a .00000001% chance?

    Now, convince me about your god. Compelling please.

  13. on 28 Feb 2012 at 9:53 pm 13.alex said …

    “7 Strong atheist.” That’s me even though I can’t be absolutely 100% sure about god. Cynic is my real name. I view the daily news with the same skepticism as the previous medical stance on colonoscopies for men over 50.

    But aren’t we all atheists at birth? Methinks, InvisibleIronyMan got it backwards. We migrate towards theism because of our upbringing and the eventual brainwashing.

    I can understand an atheist converting to theism on his deathbed. I don’t recall any that did, but admitting not being sure that god doesn’t exist is not news.

  14. on 28 Feb 2012 at 11:34 pm 14.Slapnuts McGee said …

    Apparently this website does not accept a posting that is only one word long. So…blah.

  15. on 29 Feb 2012 at 12:17 am 15.Asher said …

    I’m with Jung, I don’t believe God exists…I know He does. From the incredible design that reveals His glory in creation to the personal relationship He has has had in my life for over 25 years, nobody could ever convince God is not real.

    They would have a better chance convincing me the sun does not exist.

  16. on 29 Feb 2012 at 1:12 am 16.Lou (DFW) said …

    13.Asher said …

    “I’m with Jung, I don’t believe God exists…I know He does. From the incredible design that reveals His glory in creation to the personal relationship He has has had in my life for over 25 years, nobody could ever convince God is not real.”

    And I’m more strongly convinced that you are simply delusional. Therefore, because I am more strongly convinced than are you, I am correct and you are wrong. (That you are convinced of something doesn’t make it real.)

    So why don’t you keep your delusion to yourself and inside your tax payer subsidized church instead of trying to convince everybody else that your imaginary god is real?

    Why did god choose you for a personal relationship and not me and millions of others? The answer is simple and obvious – he didn’t. There’s a better chance of convincing me the sun does not exist than there is that you have a personal relationship with god.

  17. on 29 Feb 2012 at 1:23 am 17.A said …

    Lou (DFW)(Delusional

    So original. I have you act down.

    Sock Puppet Sock Puppet Sock Puppet

    Hor Hor Hor

    No proof for God

    That it? Find a nice girl, get out some and get a life. Your obsession with regurgitation of those three lines to everyone who posts is not healthy and nobody even listens. Your obsession shows your fear. Drop by once every day or two is fine. You have become the court jester.

  18. on 29 Feb 2012 at 2:00 am 18.DPK said …

    Actually, he is simply insisting that you all stay on point. Here is how the discussions usually go, and if you don’t believe me, pick almost any thread with over 100 comments and I’ll bet you will find the same pattern almost every time.

    This website is ridiculous! It should be taken down, I have never seen a more ridiculous collection of false arguments and nonsense.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    I can prove god exists. You can’t explain how the universe came to be!

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    Yes, you cannot explain how life originated.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    Atheists can’t explain where morality comes from.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    Most people on the planet believe in God.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    You can’t prove God doesn’t exist.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    Stalin, Mao, Pohl Pot were atheists.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    Well, I have a personal relationship with god.

    Do you have any evidence that gods exist?

    Get the picture? Until you can provide some evidence that gods… ANY gods, actually exist, there is nothing else to discuss.. see? There is absolutely no reason to believe that ANY of the things you claim about the existence or natural of supernatural beings is actually TRUE. Until then, you are pissing into the wind. Lou is just reminding you of that.

  19. on 29 Feb 2012 at 2:02 am 19.DPK said …

    uh.. natural = NATURE of supernatural beings…..

  20. on 29 Feb 2012 at 2:19 am 20.alex said …

    15.A said …

    try using a different handle so you can be tracked. you’ll prolly just smugly post your singleton, then off into the darkness never to be heard from again.

    where’s the beef? (gone…)

  21. on 29 Feb 2012 at 2:41 am 21.Lou (DFW) said …

    15.A said …

    “That it?”

    Yes “that it.” All you must do is provide evidence for your imaginary god. Then all discussion is over.

    “Find a nice girl, get out some and get a life.”

    I guarantee you that my life and women are more exciting than the the majority of those of most people. But for the sake of argument, what if I don’t have a “nice girl” and a life? (As apposed to “a personal relationship with god?!”) Of what relevance is my personal business to your lack of evidence for your imaginary god? I don’t come onto blogs such as this one and make irrational proclamations about god, creation, and morals. I only reply to the lies posted by you and your ilk on those subjects that are nothing but a diversion from your lack of evidence for your imaginary god. And because I actually do have a life, unlike you I don’t waste it trying to force my religion on people who do. My life is such that it doesn’t require imaginary supernatural beings to give it meaning.

  22. on 29 Feb 2012 at 3:22 am 22.Slapnuts McGee said …

    I love it when people say that they have a ‘personal relationship’ with god. Yes ffolks, god talks to you and bends over backwards just to insure that your needs are met all while allowing thousands to die each day, disease to run rampant and crankjobs like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have a chance at running the United States of America.

  23. on 29 Feb 2012 at 3:23 am 23.A said …

    Lou (DFW)

    I forgot your 4th line.

    Lies Liar You are a Liar.

    Yeah, that does it. Its all been covered. Go ahead, tell us that God does not exist, I’m a lair, I’m a sock puppet and then mumble about Hor.

    Lou is the only one who knows when someone has experienced something real and when they haven’t What a guy!!

    Yup, that covers the 4 course Lou dissertation. Thanks for coming.

    A

  24. on 29 Feb 2012 at 3:43 am 24.ReligionIsStupid said …

    DPK sums it up. So many “claims” that some god or the other exists but never any proof.

    “Asher”… “I’m with Jung, I don’t believe God exists…I know He does. From the incredible design that reveals His glory in creation to the personal relationship He has has had in my life for over 25 years, nobody could ever convince God is not real.”

    So, let’s process this statement.

    You have a “personal relationship”. Tell us about that. How does a “personal relationship” with something that refuses to reveal itself or be tested work? I’m not saying you don’t believe it, but explain how you can differentiate this “personal relationship” from a delusion.

    In real personal relationships you talk to someone and that someone talks back, you have two-way conversations. So, tell us, what does your god’s voice sound like? How do you KNOW it’s your god and not some other one? Did he show you some ID?

    If it’s a personal relationship then you must have interaction. What’s the interaction? Without it, the personal relationship claim is just an excuse to hide this god from other people’s examination.

    The stuff about creation is a classic argument from incredulity. Well, just because you can’t think past what the goat-herder’s thought, that doesn’t make their superstitions correct. I posted this earlier, give us your thoughts on all the terrible design things in this video

    Finally, nobody could convince you that your god is not real. You’ve made your mind up. You have no interest in anyone’s responses. You clearly are not here for an honest discussion, but that’s been evident for some time.

    So, usually there are no answers to these questions. Just more diversions, more attacks, or simply silence. Are you going to prove DPK wrong and actually post the evidence that you claim to have?

    My prediction is that these questions will not be answered or they’ll be sidestepped. But I’m open to the chance that you’ll finally provide some evidence that this god of yours isn’t imaginary after all.

  25. on 29 Feb 2012 at 5:41 am 25.Lou (DFW) said …

    21.A said …

    “Go ahead, tell us that God does not exist…”

    OK – god does not exist. Nor do leprechauns, tooth fairies, Santa Claus, Loch Ness and Big Foot monsters, and flying saucers. Now, please at least provide evidence for your imaginary god, because of that list, I assume that’s the only one you claim is real, correct?. Isn’t that why you’re here? Do you actually have anything to offer other than personal attacks on those who reject your childish fantasy?

    I could also tell you that “I know” that neither you nor “Asher” have a personal relationship with god, because I actually have a personal relationship with Zeus, and he told me that you don’t have any such relationship. What do you think about that? I am either telling the truth or I am a delusional liar. Which is it?

  26. on 29 Feb 2012 at 1:14 pm 26.Curmudgeon said …

    A

    Ha Ha Ha, that is a great observation. I can wait a week and come back and he uses the same tired old talking points. So shallow.

  27. on 29 Feb 2012 at 9:18 pm 27.Lou (DFW) said …

    24.Curmudgeon said …

    “Ha Ha Ha, that is a great observation. I can wait a week and come back and he uses the same tired old talking points. So shallow.”

    But you failed to observe that he didn’t answer my question. Why didn’t he? Because he knows the answer – anybody who claims to have a personal relationship with god is a liar.

    It’s too bad that you and your ilk can’t respond with some new “talking points” – evidence for your imaginary god.

  28. on 01 Mar 2012 at 2:16 am 28.Boz said …

    Dawkins again! What is this hero worship?

    The man is is approaching the end and realizes his life has only stood for rejection. I mean, can you blame him for looking for some purpose?

  29. on 01 Mar 2012 at 2:58 am 29.Lou (DFW) said …

    26.Boz said …

    “Dawkins again! What is this hero worship?

    The man is is approaching the end and realizes his life has only stood for rejection.”

    Here we go again with the pathological lying about atheists.

    “I mean, can you blame him for looking for some purpose?”

    Sad, a person who even starts a written sentence with “I mean.” “Looking for some purpose,” as in a belief in an imaginary god?

  30. on 01 Mar 2012 at 3:29 am 30.Fil Salustri said …

    Atheism is – depending on who you ask – either a lack of belief in god(s) or a belief that there’s no god(s). Belief and knowledge are 2 different things.

    The Dawkins quote in the “Mail Online” (which is a British idiom for ‘toilet paper’) is entirely consistent with atheism.

    I wish the religulous fundiots who think they _know_ that there’s a god would recognize how utterly meaningless their claims are. They believe; but they don’t know – they can’t know, because their claim lacks all credible evidence.

  31. on 01 Mar 2012 at 4:44 am 31.Lou (DFW) said …

    Why Richard Dawkins is still an atheist:

    “If you have never read “The God Delusion,” I really do recommend it. As you might be beginning to realize, much of its contents are not what you have been told. What’s more, it’s absolutely chock-full of things Richard Dawkins really does believe. Which is handy, because it saves everyone the trouble of making them up.”

    JUST LIKE SO MANY THEISTS ON THIS BLOG DO.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/why-richard-dawkins-is-still-an-atheist/2012/02/29/gIQATWjKiR_blog.html

  32. on 01 Mar 2012 at 9:18 pm 32.Slapnuts McGee said …

    Agnosticism, Atheism, blah blah blah. What does it matter? Both points of view carry the same ideological underpinning: there is no proof or evidence for god. It is all blind faith and belief. Next article please. :-D

  33. on 09 Mar 2012 at 11:57 pm 33.RWZero said …

    There is a difference between professing certainty that Christianity is untrue and professing certainty that “God” does not exist.

    If “God” means the existence of an incomprehensible higher being not based in religion, a universal amalgam of consciousness, or any number of other things, then it is unfounded (or at least unhelpful) to proclaim certainty about such ideas.

    A distinction should be made between demonstrably false claims about God (as in Christianity) and the general speculation that some such thing out there might fit the definition of “God.”

  34. on 10 Mar 2012 at 2:02 am 34.Anonymous said …

    If something is incomprehensible, then it’s just that. Going on to list its attributes is a contradiction.

    Defining something vaguely so that it “might” exist is a waste of time. Many things “might” exist. Invisible Pink Elephants “might” exist. Leprechauns “might” exist. A hidden dimension where they use old socks for currency “might” exist. So what?

    At the end of the day though, there is as much evidence for the christian god as there is for any other named or unnamed god. That figure is zero.

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