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Links for 2007-01-23

One reply on “Links for 2007-01-23”

I haven’t checked this site in way too long, and come back to find I’ve been missing a mountain of good stuff.
I wanted to comment on the God Delusion kerfuffle that’s going on. People are missing the point, including The Big Man, Dawkins himself.
It is futile to argue about beliefs. And it’s even more futile to tell people what to believe. Dawkins is trying to make his well-deserved authority as a scientist — science deals with the *physical* world — turn him into an authority on other people’s inner lives. That’s something nobody except the person involved can know anything about. Dawkins is committing the same fallacy as someone who thinks religion holds the key to curing Aids. Science will eventually cure Aids; religion (in the sense of ethics) can tell us how to distribute the cure. Neither type of knowledge is any use in the other’s territory.
Dawkins is applying rules valid in one type of knowledge to a completely different kind, and that always leads to BS. It’s the same thought process a creationist uses, and Dawkins should know better.
The really sad thing, to me, is that the real point he’s making, which is that people’s beliefs can lead to terrible harm, is entirely right. That’s true. I wish he’d made that message loud and clear, instead of getting sandbagged in a yes-no argument about the validity of someone’s beliefs. It’s not about the belief. It’s about the harm.

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