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Dawkins empties bank accounts in Minnesota

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File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Further to “Dawkins is destroying his reputation?” (He is now generally accepted as a figure of fun, when not just bloody offensive. A threat only to his allies.)

Unless, of course, you bring your charge card. No, really. Lawyer and writer John Gilmore says of Dawkins’ visit to Rochester, Minnesota:

The program began with an off-putting series of short videos, essentially haranguing the audience to become a member of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, with any number of membership levels available depending upon how much one wanted to pay in support of the cause. The similarity to televangelist pitches was so palpable that I couldn’t shake it off for the balance of the evening. Of course, other analogies to religion and religious fervor and structure that I saw that evening didn’t help.

Sure enough, when the new atheists discovered evangelism, they grasped the sleazy part.

At any rate a caricature of newly elected Iowa senator Joni Ernst appeared, with a comment from her about climate change. What this had to do with the thoughtful examination of life, biology, evolution and, not to be grandiose, cosmology I had no idea. Initially. Gradually, it dawned on me that the audience was to receive continuous reinforcement as to its specialness, its faux bravery in attending this event and its innate sense of superiority to those unenlightened fools who still believe.

After the hard sell to join the atheist borg, Dawkins and Sweeney took the stage, sitting comfortably in over-stuffed chairs with a small table between them. More.

And get this:

For something like $250 I could have spent a couple of hours with Dawkins before the main event but I’m allergic to paying for access to people like that. Perhaps I was mistaken to think in a Q & A session with an audience this large serious philosophical questions could be entertained. Yet the premise of the evening’s event was just that. It was never realized.

For something like $250 one could download more great books than one can read in a lifetime.

Special thanks to the people who persuaded Dawkins to behave that way. Not that they would ever admit it in public …

Next time, let’s order decaf from the wholesaler. Back to serious stuff soon.

Added: This may be the only really good evidence for the selfish gene.

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Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study - Mary Papenfuss - June 12, 2015 Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the "knee jerk" reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they're purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the "Divided Mind of a disbeliever." The findings "suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed," writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers' words, "religious non-belief is cognitively effortful." Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or "default" human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether "any being purposefully made the thing in the picture," notes Pacific-Standard. "Religious participants' baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher" than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants "increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made" when "they did not have time to censor their thinking," wrote the researchers. The results suggest that "the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs," the report concluded. The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US. "Design-based intuitions run deep," the researchers conclude, "persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them." http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richard-dawkins-take-heed-even-atheists-instinctively-believe-creator-says-study-1505712 bornagain77
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's not only actors who want to be rock stars. The same holds true for Dawkins, Harris, Shermer and Myers. They are failed rock stars who nonetheless, find it extremely profitable to hold to controversial and often poorly reasoned opinions. Equally important are the starry eyed, sexually liberated groupies that hang around them. For a man's ego, especially dull and not particularly attractive ones like Harris (who looks like a defective Ben Stiller clone), there's nothing quite like women gazing at you from an audience or chatting you up after yet another conference. lpadron

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