Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Richard Dawkins - "What if you're wrong?"

Richard Dawkins - "What if you're wrong?"

Great answer by Dawkins, though I'm not a fan and will explain why further in this post.

When you believe anything - you will be wrong sooner or later. The cool and depressing thing about that is that the believer will fool himself in all kinds of ways into validating his belief system despite being wrong anyway. Dogma is not limited to religion, it is a part of any belief system, self-imposed.

Dawkins is an atheist; a freethinker, secular humanist, sceptic and a scientific rationalist.

Let's see how openminded sombunall (some but not all) of those labels are:

* Atheism, as an explicit position, either affirms the nonexistence of gods or rejects theism.
Note: Hence, atheists do not believe in a god, gods or divinity.

* Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logic and not be influenced by emotion, authority, tradition, or any dogma.
Note: Beliefs are still assumptions we take for truth, and beliefs usually remain unchallenged during the lifetime of an individual. Science still has its flaws as scientists can be bought, dogmatic or confirmation biasing their way to their truth. Logic has its flaws as well, explore Non-Aristotelian thought to learn more about this. Sometimes something is not A or B, sometimes something can be A and B... Wavicles :p.

* Skepticism:
# an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object,
# the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain, or
# the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics
Note: it is important to realize, that an atheist skeptic - will be irrationally skeptical about all things non-atheistic automatically. Or a *, will be irrationally skeptic about all things non-*. Hence rejecting many aspects of consciousness research in the case of atheists & materialists, and filtering out much valuable information in general.

* Rationalism: In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" (Lacey 286). In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive" (Bourke 263). Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position "that reason has precedence over other ways of acquiring knowledge" to the radical position that reason is "the unique path to knowledge" (Audi 771).
Note: If the truth is not sensory we can all discard our meditation and spiritual experiences, our entheogenic trips (DMT in psychoactive substances... and the brain?), we can realize we are not all one & that all life is not interconnected (DNA? Quantum Field?) and that there are no other dimensions to explore (String & M Theory?) - that is, if we believe truth not to be sensory.
Reason, while obviously a higher form of intelligence than belief (which isn't intelligence but stupidity - to believe is to fool yourself into accepting assumptions as truth), is still just one form of intelligence. Consciousness research in entheogens, meditation, intuition have shown that reason can be quite narrow compared to other forms of knowing.

Hence I pimp the Model Agnosticism reality tunnel again, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything. No Dogmas, but Catmas - flexible temporary opinions until new information is explored. Meow!

Also check out this post The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins at HPANWO


Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I like to say, I'm a "militant agnostic". I don't know and neither do you.

Michael Skaggs said...

Dedroid! Nice post! I seriously do not think that anybody really knows what "complete truth" is, not even those that have "transitioned" (passed) on. After reading "We Don't Die" it raised even more questions on the question of the afterlife. It was a nice read about medium George Anderson. Anyways, keep the Catma coming! ( I write this with one Cat in my lap and three others observing!)

Peace brother!

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

"DOGMA! WOOF WOOF!" I love that picture!

I always spell "Skeptic" with a capital S and a k not a c. the word "sceptic" means something very different to me. It is merely somebody who believes, whereas a "Skeptic" is a member of a socio-policial movement, working through the meduim of science, to uphold and presenve all that is normal and conventional. It's what I call The "Conformist Regime".

Good post.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Correcction: a sceptic is somebody who doesn't believe in something, not "believes".

ViølatoR said...

Haha, Catma! Perfect considering that cats are like the mascots of the internet (which is symbolic in its own right).