Dawkins vs Colbert

Mikey 8 comments
Dawkins vs Colbert

It's good to see Dawkins has a sense of humor on such a serious topic. Or at the very least was good sport enough to go play along with with Stephen Colbert's sense of humor while discussing his new book, 'The God Delusion'.

It must have made a pleasant change for Dawkins, who is often the point of ridicule for expressing his beliefs, or lack of beliefs if you want to put it that way. Especially , in which Dawkins looked a little concerned that the hosts famous was about to kick in.

The thing with Dawkins is that he always manages to be the one keeping his cool when debating religion, while still getting his point across.

Update: The Youtube video is no longer available but you can download the video from Dawkins' web site here. (Quicktime Required).

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Monday 28th May 2007 | 09:16 PM

I saw Richard Dawkins for the first time last night on the ABC and I have to say I did see his sense of keeping his cool in action.

What I also noticed was his intentional use of inflamatory language and derogatory and condescending style of speach, to any of the people he interviewed.

He very frequently referred to anyone other views as 'nonsense' and often made statements such indicating his view point is fact and any other is fiction. The irony and hipocrasy of calling someone else a fundamentalist whilst so doing is clearly lost on him.

I know I'll be shouted down and lumped in with Christian creationists because there's something of a fan-boy adoration of Richard Dawkins on the net and on this site but I'd like to point out I'm a believer in evolution and I, like Mr Dawkins, think the right wing teachings of some of the groups he showed are indeed off the mark.

However what I take objection to is his style of education. It's very rooted in the "I am correct and you're an imbecile if you don't agree with me", narcasitic, self-important approach. Additionally I was taken aback out just how conceited and full of his own opinion he was. He does manage to keep his cool but he does so while sounding like a tired parent speaking to a petulent child. Watching his documentary I felt that while he did indeed search for and find religious fundamentalists, he himself was shown to be equally fundamentalist in his approach.

Now before anyone points out that at least he's not blowing people up, yada-yada, neither were any of the people he interviewed either. Let's not reopen the debate on religion based and secular based conflicts.

I just prefer to see documentaries that offer a more frank, equal and less preachy approach. Watching Richard Dawkins repeatedly stating to people that his side was pure fact and their side was"robbing children of their link to reality" was very eye opening. A true secular fundamentalist.

South Park has the right of it. You can believe in what you want but it doesn't give you the right to "act like a dick to everyone who doesn't agree with you" (ref: South Park).

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Monday 28th May 2007 | 10:21 PM

Although I agree with his arguments I would concede he sometimes speaks down to people at times. Perhaps Dawkin's should not be the atheist representative? The problem may be he is such an authority on the topic and he knows it.

Reading his book (http://richarddawkins.net/godDelusion">The God Delusion) is certainly a lot less condescending. I like him all the same though and will gladly listen to anything he has to say.

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Gemma G.

Monday 28th May 2007 | 11:01 PM

Why does he keep doing these shows if he barely gets 5 minutes to talk? I don't 100% agree with the Dawkins philosophy but the http://richarddawkins.net/godDelusion">1st chapter can be read on his web site for anyone who wants a sample of the book its a good read even if you're not atheist.

http://richarddawkins.net/godDelusion">http://richarddawkins.net/banners/125x125_RDFbanner.jpg" width="125" height="125" alt="RichardDawkins.net" title="RichardDawkins.net">

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Jake Farr-Wharton

Thursday 31st May 2007 | 01:11 PM

I don't have a religion, I don't answer to any gods, bar myself, I'm not an agnostic and don't care to lable myself as an athiest or anything else for that matter. Dawkins's need for steadfast fundamentalism is necessary for all of his interviews as if he were to waver or 'give' he would be slaughtered. Each interview he attends is against another fundamentalist titan who is in the persuit of ridicule and discrace. There are very few people willing to step out of their religious closets and actually speak out for what they do or do not bleieve in. I find him an excelent advocate for the cause as he makes his point elloquently and inteligently, continuiously evoking thought.

Often, as is the case on this O'Rilley factor clip, the interviewer just ends up looking like an uneducated stampeding fool.

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Friday 1st June 2007 | 06:17 PM

Problem I find with Dawkins and most athiests I have met, is they only understand the side of the argument they are on.
Most of his statements are irrelevant and completely ignorant to Christianity.
I was an athiest for most of my life.

Jake Farr-Wharton

Jake Farr-Wharton

Sunday 1st July 2007 | 07:11 PM
202 total kudos

Which statements are those Gill? Dawkins shows a profound understanding of the fundamentals of all religions. He is able to do so because he has realised that all religions are basically the same.

I am genuinely curious as to what led you to your religion, which I'm assuming is evangelism.

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Monday 2nd July 2007 | 02:22 PM

I have to disagree with both of you. I disagree with GIlly because I think Dawkins does indeed understand the religion he is opposing and shows he has made a clear effort to understand that which he says is wrong.

However, I disagree he understands all religions. Like most other people from a Christian background, he assumes all religions are just variants of Christianity and as I've said many times, this is just plain wrong. Of course, when you've had it rammed down your throat your whole life it's true, people find this difficult to accept.

Of course at this point people argue that they are in fact all the same - i.e. all religions state that there must be some greater being than ourselves, at some point, doing something. That, I'll pay. Of course this is true.

However this is such a high-level, superficial similarity that it applies to all arguments. To state that I believe the same thing, at a fundamental level, as Gilly because we both accept a higher power, is spirious at best. I can, without stretching logic, continue this line of argument to say Dawkins shares our beliefs, because he believes in a higher power (natural evolution) causing events to take place.

The obvious flip side argument to this (see, I'm even being helpful! :p) is that he is different because his beliefs are in the empirically observable (science) and he's willing to change his understanding based on new evidence to the contrary.

Well, again, I can say the same of my religion. We are taught that when a conflict arrises between what we know to be true and what we believe from the Bible, we must accept the scientific understanding and reasses our Bible understanding.

Dawkins leads on that this is simply a cop-out way to avoid the new conflicts that scientific understand brings. Again, I state this shows his lack of understanding of anything non-Christian. This teaching that we must accept scientific proof comes from our Mishna, which was initially recorded far before the birth of Christ and therefore far before anyone could claim it was "trendy" to believe in science.

As for evangelism, this may be the case for Gilly but not for me. My religion, which I will admit is quite rare in the world of religions, specifically forbids prosetalising and evanglasing.

Jake Farr-Wharton

Jake Farr-Wharton

Monday 2nd July 2007 | 09:50 PM
202 total kudos

Unlike myself though, and I have admitted previously to not understanding any more than the rudimentaries of other religions, I would assume (perhaps naievly) that dawkins had performedsome amount of research to back up his claims of profound similarity.

I'm still very interested in finding out why gilly converted to christianity from (self professed) athieism...

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