Alan Turing was born on 23 June 1912 in London. His father was in the Indian Civil Service and Turing's parents lived in India until his father's retirement in 1926. Turing and his brother stayed with friends and relatives in England. Turing studied mathematics at Cambridge University (a place which Richard Dawkins has occasionally visited), and subsequently taught there, working in the burgeoning world of quantum mechanics. It was at Cambridge that he developed the proof which states that automatic computation cannot solve all mathematical problems. This concept, also known as the Turing machine, is considered the basis for the modern theory of computation.
Doesn't he know that his tireless work openly trying to bring an end to religion hurts the cause of equality for homosexuals by making it seem like gay rights is an anti-God movement?
I am sure her experience is far from unique. And what if we assume a less altruistic child, worried about her own eternity rather than a friend's? Odious as the physical abuse of children by priests undoubtedly is, I suspect that it may do them less lasting damage than the mental abuse of bringing them up Catholic in the first place.
'What shall we tell the children?' is a superb polemic on how religions abuse the minds of children, by the distinguished psychologist Nicholas Humphrey. It was originally delivered as a lecture in aid of Amnesty International, and has now been reissued as a chapter of his book, The Mind Made Flesh, just published by Oxford University Press. It is also available on the worldwide web and I strongly recommend it. Humphrey argues that, in the same way as Amnesty works tirelessly to free political prisoners the world over, we should work to free the children of the world from the religions which, with parental approval, damage minds too young to understand what is happening to them. He is right, and the same lesson should inform our discussions of the current pedophile brouhaha. Priestly groping of child bodies is disgusting. But it may be less harmful in the long run than priestly subversion of child minds.
there are almost certainly other “cryptic atheists” in Congress, who take advantage of the conventional assumption by Americans that affiliation with a religion connotes theism.
I might revel in the world of intelligibility which still remains to me, but although I have an idea of this world, yet I have not the least knowledge of it, nor can I ever attain to such knowledge with all the efforts of my natural faculty of reason. It is only a something that remains when I have eliminated everything belonging to the senses… but this something I know no further… There must here be a total absence of motive - unless this idea of an intelligible world is itself the motive… but to make this intelligible is precisely the problem that we cannot solve.
- Immanuel Kant
We're really talking about three Dawkins' assertions here:
1) All religion is a destructive meme
2) All faith stifles openness, intellectual honestly and scientific inquiry
3) *Blind* faith is a tool which uneducated, lesser intellects use to dismiss and subvert science. (See his TED talk, here.)
Which leads us to his conclusion: A child who is taught to follow their parents' religious convictions is being abused by them. Religious teaching is mental abuse and all religious doctrines are destructive, intellectually dishonest and actively prevent their followers from investigating the world around them.
This is simply not the case. Judaism is a decent example of a religion that encourages scientific inquiry. Modern, mainstream Jews are taught to question, doubt, investigate and learn about the world around them.
Considering your vociferous defense of him above, I don't expect you to agree with me here, but all of these premises and conclusions are flawed because they are being phrased as absolutes.
Can't fully extend his arms; has a bunch of exposed wiring in his abs; walks and runs as if he has the droid equivalent of arthritis. And you say, well, he was put together by an eight-year-old. Yes, but a trip to the nearest Radio Shack would fix that. Also, I'm still waiting to hear the rationale for making a protocol droid a shrieking coward, aside from George Lucas rummaging through a box of offensive stereotypes (which he'd later return to while building Jar-Jar Binks) and picking out the "mincing gay man" module.
Secondly, you should go back in the closet.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:24 PM on August 21 [+]
All the other stuff, the demands that people justify their faith, that theists somehow get a free pass, that faith is a threat, that faith is irrational—that's all pretty much bullshit, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of faith.
Which is fine, again, if you don't get faith no one should expect you to be faithful, and if you're an adult identified as an atheist it's pretty unlikely that you ever will.
But the bad behavior of some folks who are faithful isn't a justification for bad behavior on your part, and every bullshit argument—most of which should be out of the rhetorical vocabulary by the end of high school—doesn't make me think, Boy, those atheists sure are smart!