Richard Dawkins

Discussion of various public figures

Richard Dawkins

Postby Gavin » 10 Aug 2013, 22:40

Perhaps it's time we had a thread on here about Prof. Dawkins. It's timely because he's recently been in a lot of trouble with other liberals over his sound remarks about Islam. He has also been posting videos by Steven Pinker about the high success rate of Jews.

I have no problems accepting that Jews generally have high IQs. I don't particularly like the money-lending side of things (and I can't share their religious beliefs), but arguably they were forced into that then it became a kind of cultural thing. However, of course not all go in for this and Jews excel in many other areas, too. Nonetheless, individual Jews should not let this go to their heads, just as black people should not be offended if it were shown than their group in general had lower IQs. I genuinely believe that IQ is not everything, and there is variance in groups.

With his new-found pursuit of truth, whatever the odds, Dawkins asks:

Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 22.57.36.png

I think if he were to read this forum he might find a few he didn't like!

Incidentally, on Pinker, he is unafraid to speak some illiberal truths against the socialist idea of a blank slate, but also takes a somewhat progressive and relativistic view of language. He has been criticised by TD on this. Personally I also found his delivery to be not quite as engaging as that of Dalrymple or, say, Paul Weston, but there we go. Interesting times, as intellectual liberals are forced by evidence into areas where they may prefer not to tread.
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Re: Richard Dawkins

Postby Maxwell » 11 Aug 2013, 09:46

The Maverick Philosopher(retired Professor Bill Valicella), having no books to sell or career to forge, can be relied to apply sound critique of the likes of Pinker, Dawkins and Grayling. He's not afraid to give credit where it's due.

One point to which he constantly returns is the importance of avoiding using the language of the left thereby giving creedence to erroneous or undefined concepts and epithets. e.g. "Homophobic", or the faux noble "Social Justice".

Richard Dawkins shares a creative experience...
(link is to a YouTube video with a preset start time, which the forum is unable to embed)
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Re: Richard Dawkins

Postby Gavin » 22 Aug 2013, 21:45

I must admit I took quite a dislike to the Guardian interviewer in this interview below, but I post the video for two reasons. The first was the man at 1"19', who I thought was a good example of an articulate and westernised black man, apparently fully integrated into our culture and thus no problem whatsoever. The second reason was Dawkins' remark at 7"25' where it seemed to me he might be targeting TD's attitude. Douglas Murray has also objected to this.



Although I don't share his liberal politics, I broadly agree with Dawkins that it's probably not healthy to believe very strongly in lots of very unlikely things. But then he said himself that moderately religious people are harmless, the fact is people are different, with different capacities, and it seemed to me he didn't really answer the charge that religion does provide a transcendent purpose in people's lives and a sense of community. Maybe Dawkins thinks this can be adequately filled by art and science.

I tend to pull things from Sam Harris, Dawkins and Dalrymple and agree with all of them on different things. None of them would agree with each other on everything, either. Sam Harris is quite into meditation and, quite frankly, "tripping". I'm not sure Dawkins is. Then Sam Harris is very much a realist and even a conservative on profiling and gun control.

One finds deep insight into the human character when reading Dalrymple, I think, but as I have said before, I think he was probably a little hard on the "new atheists". Does Dalrymple excuse religion entirely, though? I have been wondering about that too, recently. He always tends to say, "Well, it's not religion, as such" and responsibility is shifted back onto individual human weakness*. In this case it's not socialism, it's not any set of instructions, so to speak.

*Meanwhile, Sam Harris doesn't believe in free will at all!
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Re: Richard Dawkins

Postby Gavin » 03 Jan 2014, 03:50

In these remarks Richard Dawkins correctly identifies liberals as the problem when it comes to apologising for Islam, but still speaks of "nice liberals".
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