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The Science of Atheism

Posted on Oct 18, 2006
Richard Dawkins

Biologist Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” debates Stephen Colbert on the irrationality of religion, the misrepresentation of evolution and the idiocy of intelligent design.

Watch it:


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By NHS, October 24, 2006 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
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I do wonder how believers and atheist would respond to the phrase, “The existance or non-existances of God (or gods) is irrelevant to the elimination of human suffering, as both views, when taken to the extreme, are not correct.”

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By Jessica, October 19, 2006 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
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I love that this video clip is featured on the front page of Truthdig!

I thought both Dawkins and Colbert did a great job with this segment, and as someone pointed out, it is good exposure for Dawkins’ book, and the whole idea of not accepting wholesale the idea that religion is an answer for everything, or anything at all. Of course we are all probably preaching to the choir on this topic in this forum, but I am delighted that this is also getting a lot of play on utube. Let’s help them keep continue this by visiting:

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By Hemi, October 19, 2006 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
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Hans you are correct. More importantly, the 0.00001% you speak of
are the same people that “get” the humor on this program. It’s to Dawkins’ credit that he can let his hair down and laugh. After all, if you’ve seen this segment the laughs are on his detractors (although they likely don’t “get it”).

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By John Cahill, October 19, 2006 at 1:44 am Link to this comment
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hmmm…well a couple things come to mind right away.  It IS a comedy show after all, and Colbert IS playing a Bill O’Reilly clone.  He works his humor on several levels…and if you think about it, he lambasts Dawkins in Swiftian terms, making fools out of the doubters.  But let’s not confuse his character and his satire with an obviously sophisticated and open-minded irl Colbert.  Look at the quality and direction of the man’s humor, and the small give-away smirks, word plays and winks that telegraph his true convictions (after all, one of the levels he works on is to let the audience in on the joke…“look at me playing this fool!”

meanwhile, along the lines of the actual subject…let’s not suppose that god or God can be understood rationally or logically.  That aspect of our awareness occupies a difference part of brain…emotional, spiritual, metaphorical.  It is a different kind of cognition which neither lends itself to the blind determination of belief nor the cold abstract of cerebral deconstruction.  There is clearly a “god”...if it is only the innate desire for harmony and balance and the source of inspiration.  When you start dragging gays behind pickup trucks though, you couldn’t be farther away from the “truth.”

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By Hans, October 18, 2006 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
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It’s a comedy show. The important thing is that his book got exposure. It doesn’t mean much for most of american readers, but the 0.00001% will enjoy it.

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By Hemi, October 18, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
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“Why does Richard Dawkins bother? - pearls before swine.” - MAR

Please buy a clue, it’s satirical comedy you pompous butt wipe!

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By Dano, October 18, 2006 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
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I loved the segment, but just to correct one of the comments, Colbert is actually Catholic.  In an interview with Terri Gross he talked about the ‘This Day in God’ segment on the Daily Show and talked about growing up Catholic.  I definitely recommend finding the interview at NPR and listening.

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By MAR, October 18, 2006 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
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Why does Richard Dawkins bother? - pearls before swine.

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By Kate, October 18, 2006 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
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Thinking critically is important, indeed… there is a site people are exploring what changing everything means. It would be a great place to engage other people on the Science of Atheism

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By C Quil, October 18, 2006 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
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Richard Dawkins was preaching to the converted there, including Colbert.

This world does not make sense if one believes in a god or gods. Belief without proof stops people from thinking, and allows them to accept even the most horrible man-made atrocities, like the Bush Cabal’s institution of torture into law or relinquishing their human rights to a deluded dictator, or the order to mindlessly massacre other humans with the promise that their pain or suffering on earth will be rewarded in the next life.

Wonderful, wonderful!

Thinking critically is hard work but very rewarding. The couch-potato brain just gives up its critical faculties to a magical being and accepts the results of inaction.

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By Stephen Smoliar, October 18, 2006 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
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“Debate” is far too generous a description.  Dawkins labored mightily to communicate ideas that just do not fit into sound bytes.  Colbert, on the other hand, embodied Lucy van Pelt’s famous PEANUTS punch line:  “He was beginning to make sense, so I hit him!”

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