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Richard Dawkins: One man circular firing squad?


We wouldn’t have believed it possible. Trust a celebrated Darwinian atheist to bring it off.

And so now here (Huffpo):

Outspoken atheist writer Richard Dawkins took to Twitter this week to air concerns about the status of women in Islam. Needless to say, his unsolicited advice to a religion of 1.6 billion people didn’t sit well with many.

It shouldn’t sit well.

The status of women in Islamic regions is a disgrace in the eyes of the world and everyone knows it, including all decent Muslims.

So why do we need an outspoken atheist to point it out?

Dawkins pointed to child marriage, female genital mutilation and other atrocities in some countries as evidence of Islam’s inherent bias against women.

Right. And are these practices sanctioned by the holy book of the Muslim religion? Yes or no?

Can we start with an honest discussion for once? Lots is at stake.

And as Sarsour mentioned, countless Muslim women and men are already working for women’s rights and challenging stereotypes that are too-often perpetuated in the media.

Sure, but we won’t get anywhere if we don’t start by facing facts: How much of the abuse is sanctioned by Islamic scripture, custom, and law?

Too much we hear in the west is just plain implausible in the face of the facts.

Now, the News desk here has defended Dawkins, sort of, in one “women’s issues” controversy he blundered into, couple years back. It involved an elevator he wasn’t even in (of whose existence he was probably unaware).

That said … Dawkins has here made the all-too-familiar mistake of a certain type of alpha xy’s — thinking he should speak for women.

Speaking as an xx (no y), let me put it like this: Islam needs a big reform in its treatment of women. But the initiative must come from women. I suspect only Muslim women can properly direct it, though others can certainly help.

That is not really very surprising.

In general, groups of people start to get free when they just decide to quit believing that they deserve low status, confinement, denial of opportunities, terror, floggings, mutilations, grisly deaths. They decide not to take it any more—and to start acting like people who are not taking it any more.

See, for example, Grameen Credit Bank. And Malala.

Yes, they can.

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The growth of Islam in recent decades has occurred without much regard for national constitutions or writings about separation of church and state. In the U.S., if any part of population got big enough, it could re-write (that is, overthrow) the constitution. It would be a little slower than an outright revolution but as we've seen recently, the courts can make the constitution say anything they want. So, as one group continues to have a high birth rate and the other group barely replaces itself (and is actually dying off), the character of the nation changes. The imposition of Sharia law would not be that difficult, given this scenario. I think Peter is pointing to the fact that most Americans have generally lost the will to preserve their own culture. At the same time, I'd argue that most don't know what their culture is, and what they should preserve. Secularism destroys culture. Religion creates and builds it. But culture comes at a cost - responsibilities to tradition, duty to family and community ritual, non-tolerance of culture-destroying actions, and some divisions based on religious belief. Islam is very integrated with culture and religion - thus the Islamic State. American Christianity has a much more difficult time with this and has lost much of its culture. Secularism destroys all of it, in the interest of removing distinctions, making everything equal, and tolerance for things that destroy culture in order to preserve freedom of speech and for fear of censorship. Locally, we've seen a few desecrations of honored grave sites and cemetaries. Notice the word "desacration". That means, something was considered "sacred". A cemetary is sacred? Atheism would rightly say "no" - it's just a place for chemical remains. It's a leftover from Christian culture and totally meaningless in materialist ideology. Are artworks that mock or makes vulgar displays of sacred Christian icons or images "desecrations". No, obviously they're "bold expressions of artistic freedom" and even "works of genius" of some sort. Americans defended the ruin of their own culture. Thus ... enter Islam. The very freedoms used to tolerate the desecration of American Christian culture, would open the door to tolerance for Sharia law. Silver Asiatic
Peter, What do you think about separation between church (and religion in general) and state? If I were as concerned as much as you about sharia taking over in the USA, I would want this to be strictly maintained. daveS
Rec 35, I don't know what you have done that got "correctives" but my comments are based on well know demographic research and a thorough understanding of history and the bible. I have a MTS (masters of theological studies) and a Th.M (masters of theology). My understanding of the bible is pretty good and I am not handcuffed with a pc interpretation of it. So if some of my comments sound way off the beaten path that is because I rely on biblical interpretation that is timeless and not subject to our secular norms. I'd like to think I'm objective. It is a known fact that when Rome collapsed there were more aliens than Romans living in Rome. That tells me the birth rate had become dangerously low, like our own time. The empire was ripe for collapse and it did as one should expect. Feminism, the rise in the status of women I believe was responsible for the lower birth rate, and therefore Rome's collapse. The second comment is a conclusion of many facts. I explained the process in an earlier post. Women's rights->divorce -> low birth rate. It makes sense since couples don't have babies if they don't live together. It certainly is a better explanation than education. The fateful year was 1973, right after no fault divorce. (There is a very nice fit between the inverse of the divorce rate and fertility. Both are now at historic levels.) It will never be reversed as long as women can vote. This is demonstrated by the comparison to Muslims. Their women don't vote, much less divorce. The families stay intact and they have a growing population. QED. I wish there was another way, but there hasn't been one historically. Neither the msm, nor academia care. Do you think women would allow politicians to return strict divorce laws? Men pay women to divorce. They get financial rewards to leave a marriage. Women have nothing to gain from returning to the old divorce laws. They have been thoroughly brainwashed by feminists to leave any marriage with any difficulties. I can't see women ever accepting strict divorce laws. It may be a possibility, but without an intense campaign by the msm and academia it will never happen. So I don't see any way out of the current below replacement fertility rates. This btw was summed up in one statement by Jesus in the beatitudes: Blessed are the meek (religiously obedient), for they shall inherit the world. Another interesting example of this can be found in Israel. The secular Jews have a fertility rate below replacement. The Hisadic Jews have about 5 children per family. So it is true even within a single race in a small country. The Hisadic Jews will be a majority in just a couple of generations. I hope this answers your question. Peter
As many times as I've have had fairly innocuous comments marked up by UD editors, have had "correctives" issued by KF, and have been called all sorts of names by UD regulars, it is interesting to see comments like: "As you don’t care if your race goes extinct then I guess that you are comfortable with women voting. My personal opinion is that feminism destroys societies. It caused the collapse of the Roman empire. I want my race to survive." "Muslims are a successful species. And Dawkin critizes them. What a fool. Doesn’t he realize that when secular Whites gave women the right to vote they guaranteed there own extinction?" go without any sort of comment. I take it as either a passive endorsement, or fear of wreaking your big tent of loons with criticism. REC
DaveS, Research and Wikipedia is an oxymoron. Most professors forbid its use in research. You can play with semantics. I'm not interested. Western civilization is over. The beginning of the end has begun. It began with the separation of church and state. Feminism is God's response. It destroys the family, and as you vividly display, it is irrevocably. Women got the vote in 1920. Muslims should be the majority in Europe in roughly 100 years. When that happens, with Sharia law most women then will not be allowed to vote. So it looks like women voting is by far the exception. Peter
Please don’t trivialize the issue with semantics. Most Muslims are Arabic. Do you think Muslims are Asians, or Eskimos? Try to focus on the points.
I think you might want to do a little more research on the Muslim world. From the dreaded wikipedia:
Non-Arab Muslims, who are about 80 percent of the world's Muslim population, do not form part of the Arab world, but instead comprise what is the geographically larger, and more diverse, Muslim World.
Furthermore, there are many, many Muslims in Asia. For example, Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country in the world. There are over 1 billion Muslims in Asia.
It doesn’t sound like you truly comprehend the significance of this. This is the end of Western civilization. The end of our people and the freedoms we fought to achieve over hundreds of years.
I don't want Western civilization and culture to vanish, but you are not going to ensure its survival by denying women the right to vote. Don't you think that is completely contrary to our values?
A question for you. Your sensitivities are very similar to professors I have known. Are you a professor by any chance?
No. Most of the jobs I've worked are semi-skilled and have paid roughly 1.5 times minimum wage. daveS
DaveS, I guess ever race is important except the White race. I wonder if you would have the same opinion if it were Blacks or Hispanics going extinct? You may not distinguish between them, but I am sure the msm and academia would be on full alert. Please don't trivialize the issue with semantics. Most Muslims are Arabic. Do you think Muslims are Asians, or Eskimos? Try to focus on the points. Yes, I realize that taking the vote away from White women will never happen. Once a people gives women equality it is game over for them. It doesn't sound like you truly comprehend the significance of this. This is the end of Western civilization. The end of our people and the freedoms we fought to achieve over hundreds of years. You may be glad that women will not loose the right to vote. But your relief is only short lived. Once the whites have gone extinct and are replaced by the Arabic race women will have far less rights. So it seems that your view to promote woman's right will eventually backfire on you and destroy everything you value. A question for you. Your sensitivities are very similar to professors I have known. Are you a professor by any chance? Peter
Peter, First, I understand that low fertility rates are a legitimate concern. I'm sure we agree that it's going to be an issue for Japan, for example. I consider "my own people" to include all humans, not just white people. I am concerned about global warming and threatened species, but don't consider the human race to be threatened at the moment. Regarding the Charlie Hebdo incident, I'm sure you are aware that Muslims do not constitute a "race". The attackers were of North African descent IIRC, but there are Muslims of many races around the globe (even Whites). Like I stated earlier, I don't know what country you hail from, but in the USA, disenfranchising all women is not an option (fortunately). That would be a huge step backward, if it were at all possible. In fact, I'm sort of shocked we're even having this discussion. If you have to take such extreme measures to preserve your "people", what's the point? daveS
DaveS, 20 What I am concerned with is what causes the fertility rate of a society to go from positive (living) to negative (dying). If you correlate the fertility rates around the time they turned negative you will find that between 1970 and 1975 the change in women's education does not correlate with the fertility rate. It did not turn it negative. It may have some minor effect over a long period of time, turning it slightly more negative. But that really isn't that significant to a society. It just means the society dies out a little sooner. The fact that you don't care about whether your own people goes extinct says a lot. Do you care about global warming? How about the population of white rhinos in Africa? Well, at least you admitted it. It is not really surprising. It is God after all who creates and takes away life. Your attitude just says that there is no doubt that God intends the White race to go extinct. And no, not all races are the same. Where were you when the Muslims killed the journalists at Charlie Hebdo? Do all religions/ppl act this way? I don't think so. As you don't care if your race goes extinct then I guess that you are comfortable with women voting. My personal opinion is that feminism destroys societies. It caused the collapse of the Roman empire. I want my race to survive. So I would imitate the millions of Muslims successfully taking over Europe and increasing in number in America. I think Muslims have achieved the maximum level of woman's rights. The treatment of women by Muslims is no different btw then how our Bible says to treat woman. I am afraid I have to defer to the steadfast words for God. Peter
"What do you think the universe is reducible to?" Energy and matter reduce to quantum information and consciousness. i.e. John 1:1 bornagain77
Silver Asiatic, Sure, I'm all up for that. Let the truth come from where it may, as the Mormons say. daveS
I experience the standard human/animal emotions, I can engage in abstract thought, I have my own sense of right and wrong which may be subjective but nevertheless is quite consistent with that of my theist and (few) atheist friends, and so on.
The challenge is to be open to the most reasonable explanation among the options available. If there is evidence of a non-reductive, immaterial aspect in the universe, then that should be explored to the fullest extent one can. With that, I'd think it would be difficult to arrive at a conclusion of atheism, which implies a level of certainty about the non-existence of God that would be challenged by the uncertainty of the origin of such things. Beyond that, to say agnostically we don't know is good enough, except that we couldn't exclude the positive evidence for God in that view. Silver Asiatic
Silver Asiatic,
What do you think the universe is reducible to?
That's another difficult question, again probably over my head. "Obviously" matter/energy is a component, but I experience the standard human/animal emotions, I can engage in abstract thought, I have my own sense of right and wrong which may be subjective but nevertheless is quite consistent with that of my theist and (few) atheist friends, and so on. daveS
As it stands, Muslims, whose women have a medieval level of freedoms immigrate, replacing the seculars.
That's true but I would add that abortion, widespread divorce (not merely no-fault), birth control, promotion of homosexuality, spread of pornography and the redefinition of marriage to non-reproductive unions are all factors in the decline of white demographics. The question of voting or democratic social policies doesn't seem to be the most significant factor. Polygamy, in Islamic societies, contributes heavily to the increased birth rates as well. Separation of church and state is interesting to consider and it's hard to determine what effect that would have or not. Silver Asiatic
reductive materialism (which I do not subscribe to).
What do you think the universe is reducible to? Silver Asiatic
Peter: Did you ever wonder why there are a million Muslims in France?
Not really, because there are well over 5 million Muslims in France. Box
I don't think muslim women are hurt relative to numbers. they like islam too. Yes there is extreme cases of injustice but it doesn't sample the situation. Child marriage is better then gay marriage.Surely. They are not children but young teenagers in reality. Mother mary was probably 16 or so. I don't agree there are womens rights or mens rights. who is giving these rights? There are only natural rights, god given, and then rights by human contract. Its up to the men is they agree to a new contract with the women. Their nations rightly belong to the men. Not the women. Its not a human right or name the source of such right. Abortion, gay agenda, affirmative action, immigration, segregation, discrimination , are our problems and the muslim world is not much worse. Especially considering we are the product of christian civilization and not better human nature. Dawkins, like many, seeks to invade and impose on other nations their design for society. That is what is wrong. Save in natural rights there is no right to get involved save in polite conversation. Robert Byers
PS: In my post #18, I was referring to fertility rates in general, and I guess you are referring to fertility rates in the West. If so, I certainly accept that the recent drops in fertility might not have much or anything to do with education, and could be related to the factors that you listed. I still wonder if you favor disenfrachising all women in the US (or whatever country you are located in). daveS
In academia and the msm the below replacement fertility rates are inexplicable. Wealth and advanced technology are often sited as reasons. However, all that is needed is to chart fertility by race by time back to 1950. It becomes glaringly obvious that negative fertility happened IMMEDIATELY after no fault divorce was passed. END OF STORY. It has nothing to do with $, education, or anything else.
Just to be clear, the graph I posted was based on data collected by UNESCO. In any case, are you saying that education has nothing to do with fertility? I thought that was a pretty much settled question. I found this article immediately, which includes this in the abstract:
We find that women's education is the most important factor explaining fertility differences across the country and over time.
Back to your post:
I am not drawing a conclusion. People can make an informed decision. Do you want to go extinct? Or do you want to reverse the trend and survive? I know people who have chosen either option.
"I" am not going to go extinct; I will die, but that's unavoidable. Are you asking whether I want the "Whites" to go extinct? (I will confirm that I am white, FWIW). If so, I simply don't care. I expect that because of the ease with which people move around the globe these days, that populations will blend more and more, resulting in "Whites" disappearing as a somewhat distinct group. Will you tell us what your informed decision is on the question of whether women should be allowed to vote? daveS
Dave, In academia and the msm the below replacement fertility rates are inexplicable. Wealth and advanced technology are often sited as reasons. However, all that is needed is to chart fertility by race by time back to 1950. It becomes glaringly obvious that negative fertility happened IMMEDIATELY after no fault divorce was passed. END OF STORY. It has nothing to do with $, education, or anything else. Abortion and no fault divorce laws will never change because women vote. I am not drawing a conclusion. People can make an informed decision. Do you want to go extinct? Or do you want to reverse the trend and survive? I know people who have chosen either option. But most importantly, a decision can be made rather then blindly following the pied piper to their demise. As it stands, Muslims, whose women have a medieval level of freedoms immigrate, replacing the seculars. Peter
Peter, I don't doubt that fertility rates can be changed, for example, through education. But when you say "when secular Whites gave women the right to vote they guaranteed [their] own extinction", you raise several questions. For example, do you believe women should not be allowed to vote? daveS
No I'm not a troll. Did you ever wonder why there are a million Muslims in France? Is it important to understand the most important demographic trends of our time? The mechanism is: Separation of church and state Women's right to vote Legalized Abortion Non fault divorce Produces a below replacement fertility rate. It seems logical that these changes need to be reversersed if the fertility rate is to be sustainable. Since this will never happen the the fertility rate will remain as it is. If you can elucidate these trends further I would be very grateful. Peter
drc @8: Thank you for that. I'd never heard of seagull diplomacy before. I about spit coffee all over my phone. :) AnimatedDust
Doesn’t he realize that when secular Whites gave women the right to vote they guaranteed there own extinction?
Is "Peter" a troll account? BTW, it's "Dawkins". daveS
What a fool Dawkin is. He doesn't even realize when he contradicts himself. All over Western civilization the fertility rate is below replacement. IOW, they are evolutionary failures. All over Europe Muslims are replacing secular Whites. Muslims are will be a majority in Europe in 100 years. Secular Whites will disappear in about 200 years. Obviously Muslims are an evolutionary successes. Does Dawkin not see the contradiction here. He is an evolutionist. Muslims are a successful species. And Dawkin critizes them. What a fool. Doesn't he realize that when secular Whites gave women the right to vote they guaranteed there own extinction? At least the Muslims are smart enough not to listen to him and just slowly accept being given Europe and a substantial portion of North America. As Jesus said, "blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the world." Peter
I will just note that drc466 implicitly refers to all atheists in #8, with no qualifications---nothing about neo-Darwinism or reductive materialism (which I do not subscribe to). daveS
It is also interesting to note that the presupposition of agent causality, i.e. God, behind the mathematical laws of the universe was presupposed by the Christian founders of modern science when they first discovered the mathematical laws of the universe.
“About the time that the Reformation was proclaiming Christ rather than the pope as the head of the Church, science was announcing that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our planetary system. A leader in this changing scientific perspective was the German scientist Johann Kepler.,,, Throughout his scientific work, Kepler never sought any glory for himself, but always sought to bring glory to God. At the end of his life his prayer was: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit.” Diana Severance PhD, Rice University, historian
In fact, on discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared these very ‘unscientific’ thoughts:
‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’ “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.” – Johannes Kepler
Kepler was hardly alone in belief of God being behind the mathematical laws of the universe. Galileo stated:
Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe. Galileo Galilei
Newton stated:
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God.”(Newton 1687,Principia) NEWTON’S REJECTION OF THE “NEWTONIAN WORLD VIEW”: THE ROLE OF DIVINE WILL IN NEWTON’S NATURAL PHILOSOPHY Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science, while his private writings evidence a lifelong interest in the relationship between God and the world. Yet the typical picture of Newton as a paragon of Enlightenment deism, endorsing the idea of a remote divine clockmaker and the separation of science from religion, is badly mistaken. In fact Newton rejected both the clockwork metaphor itself and the cold mechanical universe upon which it is based. His conception of the world reflects rather a deep commitment to the constant activity of the divine will, unencumbered by the “rational” restrictions that Descartes and Leibniz placed on God, the very sorts of restrictions that later appealed to the deists of the 18th century. http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm
Both Faraday and Maxwell presupposed God as a causal agent in their scientific discoveries:
The Genius and Faith of Faraday and Maxwell – Ian H. Hutchinson – 2014 Conclusion: Lawfulness was not, in their thinking, inert, abstract, logical necessity, or complete reducibility to Cartesian mechanism; rather, it was an expectation they attributed to the existence of a divine lawgiver. These men’s insights into physics were made possible by their religious commitments. For them, the coherence of nature resulted from its origin in the mind of its Creator. per the new atlantis “The book of nature which we have to read is written by the finger of God.” Faraday, as cited in Seeger 1983, 101
And it is not as if atheists have ever done any experiment and showed us exactly how the laws of the universe can exist on their own. i.e. 'naturally', without the personal agent of God being behind them. Atheists simply assumed, without ever providing empirical evidence, that the mathematical laws of the universe can exist independently without Agent causality.
“to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen” - CS Lewis A Professor's Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist - University of Wyoming - J. Budziszewski Excerpt page12: "There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition. If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don't know. "But there is gravity," you say. No, "gravity" is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. "But there are laws of gravity," you say. No, the "laws" are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term "laws"; they prefer "lawlike regularities." To call the equations of gravity "laws" and speak of the apple as "obeying" them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the "laws" of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more. The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn't trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn't have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place." http://www.undergroundthomist.org/sites/default/files/WhyIAmNotAnAtheist.pdf
If anything, with the finding of an absolutely beginning of all space-time matter-energy in the big bang, and with Bell's inequality and Leggett's inequality in quantum mechanics, and with the establishment of Godel's incompleteness in mathematics, modern science is screaming for agent causality to be let back into science, just as the Christian founders of modern science had originally envisioned agent causality to be necessary for science.
BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010 Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,, Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/ Of related interest, when the Agent causality of Theists is rightly let back into the picture, (instead of the ‘blind’ causality of atheists), then a empirically backed unification between Quantum Theory and Relativity is readily achieved in the resurrection of Christ from death: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/mathematician-planck-data-disappoints-multiverse-claims/#comment-548425
Of supplemental note to the reality of a person, as opposed to the atheistic view that 'persons' are merely illusions, it is interesting to note that in Near Death Experiences, when the soul is said to leave the body for a short period of time, that the subjective awareness of the person is found to be 'more real than real'. Which is a finding that is in direct opposition to the atheistic claim that Near Death Experiences, along with the 'persons' themselves, are merely illusions.
'Afterlife' feels 'even more real than real,' researcher says - Wed April 10, 2013 Excerpt: "If you use this questionnaire ... if the memory is real, it's richer, and if the memory is recent, it's richer," he said. The coma scientists weren't expecting what the tests revealed. "To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors," Laureys reported. The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. "The difference was so vast," he said with a sense of astonishment. Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich "as though it was yesterday," Laureys said. http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/health/belgium-near-death-experiences/ A Doctor's Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life - video Quote: "It's not like a dream. It's like the world we are living in is a dream and it's kind of like waking up from that." Dr. Magrisso http://www.nbcchicago.com/on-air/as-seen-on/A-Doctor--186331791.html Medical Miracles – Dr. Mary Neal’s Near Death Experience – video ('More real than real' 37:49 minute mark) https://youtu.be/WCNjmWP2JjU?t=2269
As far as empirical science itself is concerned, we have far more observational evidence for the reality of Near Death Experiences than we do for neo-Darwinian claims:
Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist's Evidentiary Standards to the Test - Dr. Michael Egnor - October 15, 2012 Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE's are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception -- such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE's have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,, The most "parsimonious" explanation -- the simplest scientific explanation -- is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or a molecular machine), which is never.,,, The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE's show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it's earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it's all a big yawn. Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/near_death_expe_1065301.html
Verse and Music:
Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' John Lennon - Instant Karma - We All Shine On https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4
It is impossible for any atheist who professes to believe in neo-Darwinism, which is based on reductive materialism, or for any atheist who professes to believe in any sort of reductionism in which mind and free will are not primary, to live consistently within his worldview. Although we focus mainly on the reductive materialism inherent in neo-Darwinism on Uncommon Descent, Nancy Pearcey covers the other nuanced views of reductionism, such as post-modernism, in her recent book, 'Finding Truth', and shows how those atheistic philosophies also commit intellectual suicide in their reductive view of reality. For anyone who does not believe in neo-Darwinism, but bases their atheism on some other form of reductionism, I humbly suggest they ought to read her book with a slightly open mind instead of the usual dogmatism that generally characterizes atheistic thought. Even leading atheists/materialists who champion the neo-Darwinian view of reality, in their rare moments of honesty, readily admit that they cannot live consistently within the reductive materialism that they themselves profess to believe in.
[Nancy Pearcey] When Reality Clashes with Your Atheistic Worldview - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Kpn3HBMiQ Darwin's Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails - Nancy Pearcey - April 23, 2015 Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, "Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get." An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, "The impossibility of free will ... can be proved with complete certainty." Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. "To be honest, I can't really accept it myself," he says. "I can't really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?",,, In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots -- that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one "can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free." We are "constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots." One section in his book is even titled "We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.",,, When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine -- a "big bag of skin full of biomolecules" interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, "When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, ... see that they are machines." Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: "That is not how I treat them.... I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis." Certainly if what counts as "rational" is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis within Brooks's worldview. It sticks out of his box. How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn't. Brooks ends by saying, "I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs." He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona095451.html
Even Dawkins himself admits that for a person to live consistently within his atheistic worldview would be 'intolerable':
Who wrote Richard Dawkins's new book? - October 28, 2006 Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don't feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,, Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views? Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/10/who_wrote_richard_dawkinss_new002783.html Faith and Science - Dr. Raymond Bohlin - video - (2015) (atheists don't really exist as persons, 48:46 minute mark) https://youtu.be/vTIp1kgSqzU?t=2552
Other leading atheists, even though they have not admitted, and perhaps will never admit, that such a reductive view of reality is, to use Dawkins word, 'intolerable' to live by, will none-the less admit that they, as persons, are not really real but are merely illusions:
“We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.” Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor "that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.” Francis Crick - "The Astonishing Hypothesis" 1994 "What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.”" Jerry Coyne https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/eagleton-on-baggini-on-free-will/ The Confidence of Jerry Coyne - January 6, 2014 Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary. http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?_r=0 "The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak." [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist's Guide To Reality, Ch.9]
Dr. Craig used Rosenberg's own book, 'The Atheist's Guide To Reality', against Rosenberg in a debate to devastating effect. In other words, Dr. Craig used Dr. Rosenburg's own 8 conclusions about atheism, which Dr. Rosenburg himself had reasoned out himself in his book, against him in his debate with Rosenberg:
1.) Argument from intentionality 1. If naturalism is true, I cannot think about anything. 2. I am thinking about naturalism. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 2.) The argument from meaning 1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning. 2. Premise (1) has meaning. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 3.) The argument from truth 1. If naturalism is true, there are no true sentences. 2. Premise (1) is true. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 4.) The argument from moral blame and praise 1. If naturalism is true, I am not morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for any of my actions. 2. I am morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for some of my actions. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 5.) Argument from freedom 1. If naturalism is true, I do not do anything freely. 2. I am free to agree or disagree with premise (1). 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 6.) The argument from purpose 1. If naturalism is true, I do not plan to do anything. 2. I (Dr. Craig) planned to come to tonight's debate. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 7.) The argument from enduring 1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time. 2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 8.) The argument from personal existence 1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist. 2. I do exist! 3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
I strongly suggest watching Dr. Craig’s following presentation of the preceding 8 points to get a full feel for just how insane the metaphysical naturalist’s (atheist's) position actually is.
Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? - William Lane Craig - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ
Moreover, this is not just some esoteric point in a philosophical debate, but is a point to goes to the heart of empirical science itself. In other words, the loss of personhood, or personal agency, in science has led to the loss of rationality itself in science.
Sam Harris's Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It - Martin Cothran - November 9, 2012 Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state -- including their position on this issue -- is the effect of a physical, not logical cause. By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre066221.html (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts. (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain. (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2) (4) no effect can control its cause. Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality. per Box UD
For prime example of the irrationality that this denial of 'personhood' leads to in science, Dr. Craig Hazen, in the following video at the 12:26 minute mark, relates how he performed, for an audience full of academics at a college, a ‘miracle’ simply by raising his arm,,
The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xVByFjV0qlE#t=746s
What should be needless to say, if raising your arm is enough to refute your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism, then perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview? bornagain77
See Point #3 above (and about 10000 posts on this topic here at UD). Atheists can, and do, and as long as you remain unbothered by their inability to live according to what they profess to believe, it’s all good.
I know this point has been talked to death here, but I will nevertheless again disagree that I, as an atheist, standing at a "6" on the Dawkins scale, am unable to live according to what I profess to believe. daveS
The "Equal Rights Amendment" of 1970's USA to give women equal rights never passed. Defeated by "housewives" who did not want the changes involved in equal "rights". How many Muslim Women do not want change? Half a billion? Maybe Dawkins can convince them via Twitter. Haha, I crack myself up sometimes:) ppolish
This is Dawkins practicing seagull diplomacy - swoop in, make a lot of noise, poop all over everything, and leave without helping the situation. 1. "Look at me" 2. "I love pointing out how religion is bad, so: Here's a practice in one form of religion that is obviously morally wrong" 3. "Please ignore the fact that, under atheism, there really isn't any such thing as 'bad', or 'obviously morally wrong', and that I am therefore being ridiculously illogical" 4. "Buh-bye, that is the extent of my willingness to help, I used my notoriety to point out something everyone knows"
Is there some reason atheists can’t join in this discussion?
See Point #3 above (and about 10000 posts on this topic here at UD). Atheists can, and do, and as long as you remain unbothered by their inability to live according to what they profess to believe, it's all good. drc466
Not a problem, DaveS at 6. I have helped people out of various types of abuse. But found I could only really help someone who seriously wants to get free. That person must take the first step: Imagine a life that means being the best one can be - and doesn't revolve around either avoiding or suffering abuse. If people stick to that vision, others can help. But it must remain their vision; they must own it themselves, and stay true to it. I said I would help; not that I would live their lives for them. News
News, Thanks, I misunderstood that part of your post. daveS
daveS at 4, of course outspoken atheists can join in the discussion. The point in the OP is that, generally speaking, people must free themselves. Muslim women must decide not to put up with abuse, as many groups historically have. No one can free people who have not decided first to free themselves. If they have so decided, others can help. News
It shouldn't sit well. The status of women in Islamic regions is a disgrace in the eyes of the world and everyone knows it, including all decent Muslims. So why do we need an outspoken atheist to point it out?
Is there some reason atheists can't join in this discussion? I pay very little attention to Richard Dawkins' tweets these days, but I don't know that he's that far off here. Regarding FGM and Islam, it seems like the situation regarding custom and law is complex:
The historical religious view of Islam, on FGM, varies with the school of Islamic jurisprudence: The Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence considers female circumcision to be wajib (obligatory). The Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence considers female circumcision to be makrumah (honorable) and strongly encouraged, to obligatory. The Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence considers female circumcision to be sunnah (optional) and preferred. The Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence considers female circumcision to be sunnah (preferred).
There are dichotomous differences of opinion among Sunni scholars in regards to female genital cutting. These differences of opinion range from obligatory to acceptable. The Shafi'i and Hanbali schools of Islamic jurisprudence consider circumcision to be obligatory for both males and females, while the Hanafi and Maliki schools of Islamic jurisprudence consider circumcision to be Sunnah (preferred) for both males and females. There is no consensus whether the hadiths support or forbid FGM. Different schools of Islamic jurisprudence have expressed different views on FGM.
Shiite religious texts, such as the hadith transmitted by Imam Al-Sadiq, states, "circumcision is makrumah for women". Makrumah is usually translated as "meritorious action or noble deed, but something that is not religiously obligatory".
From here (Yes, it's wikipedia) daveS
And are these practices sanctioned by the holy book of the Muslim religion? Yes or no?
Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was nine years old. According to the Quran ‘women’ are ready for sex after they had their first menstruation . [Surah 65: 4] The Quran on wife-beating, proving rape, polygamy and sex slavery. Box
Islam needs a big reform in its treatment of women.
Agreed, and when it happens, I'll bet anything that future generations of Muslims will credit Islam for the reform. (That is, if what usually happens in the West is any guide.) goodusername
Maybe muslim women (Yazidis and Middle East Christian women should at least take note) should arm themselves to the teeth like those brave Kurdish Peshmerga women do. That should even up the score a little and decrease the number of virgins male Jihadi martyrs receive in paradise. Mapou

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