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Discussion Starter #1
This clip is from the "symphony of science" series


Some specific questions:

* Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true?

* If yes, is this a good thing?

* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?

* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?

Obviously, feel free to comment more widely than scope of these 4 questions.

Please be mindful that this is a sensitive area in that it relates to religious beliefs & different world views and frame what you say with kindness and respect. I think causing some offence is inevitable (eg the clip includes the words "you don't have to delude yourself with Iron Age fairy tales" which some here may not like). I feel that this area (religion, science, reason and the relationships between them) is a legitimate subject for exploration & discussion and with care and thought offence can be kept to a minimum.
 

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* Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true? If yes, is this a good thing?
This is relatively unspecific but I assume they are talking about science. I think science in the less technical sense (as Carl Sagan described it, "it's a mode of thinking") is becoming more prominent. I believe this is a good thing. Defeating what is regarded widely as truth is what will advance our knowledge. The deeper we dig, the more we discover. This has been the case for a very, very long time.

* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?
Agree. It's the same feeling but from a different standpoint. When we believe we have found the 'truth,' we rest easily. The thing is, science is constantly questioning, asking and discovering more things, so it's a bit more difficult through science.

* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?
Yes. It's really ironic the way it works. It seems like there are two ways to alleviate fear (the lack of knowledge of the 'truth,' I might say): religion or science. Science is really its own religion. I think keeping yourself somewhere between the middle is the best way to approach things. You may never find the truth of everything, but I think you will catch experiences of it.

My 2c is to never settle. Once you think you've figured things out, try to think of something that will trump that notion - because there always is.
 

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* Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true?
The new wave of reason as in new/more countries are starting to think in a more scientific manner.

* If yes, is this a good thing?
Yes! I believe that humankind should be as good as we can be! And progress in the scientific area is really important part in how we change where's our planet is heading.
As @Lost in Oblivion said "The deeper we dig, the more we discover. This has been the case for a very, very long time."
I would love to have my kids grow up in an even better world then I grew up in.

* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?
I strongly agree. Being raised in Sweden with none whatsoever discussion about religion at home just so I would find my own way. Being the kind of kid who questions everything, it was science who brought me all the answers I sought. And in those answers I found a great beauty! Carl Sagans Cosmos is a great example of where I find so much beauty!
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan

* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?
Of course, as is with putting too much trust in anything.

Hugs all around, peace. :kitteh:
 

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* Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true?

"There is a new wave of reason sweeping across America, Britain, Europe, Australia, South America, the Middle East and Africa."

I think by 'reason' he means people have stopped following religion or what he would likely regard as 'superstition' and instead everybody now puts there faith in science.

I don't see that happening especially in South America and Africa and there are still plenty of people following religions in Europe, Britain and America as well and certainly the Middle East.

'New wave of reason' is a pretty big exaggeration.

Although there is truth that Science gives us new ways of looking at things and that we don't have to rely on religion any more. This is a good thing, but there aren't huge numbers of people on a global scale leaving behind religion.

* If yes, is this a good thing?

I think it is good that Science has given us a new way to look at life. We don't have to take things based on blind faith any more.

I would argue science helped to steer us away from a theocratic totalitarian society to an open secular society.

I think It's bad though that there are some militant atheist scientists who want to destroy religion all together, by using science and facts to force people to give up there beliefs.

I don't like the idea of a world where religious belief is either not tolerated at all or is heavily discouraged because that's basically going back to a totalitarian society, with only one view, science.

* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?

Yes, because science essentially asks the same questions as religion, so if you wanted to you could search for meaning with science and might reach a sense of spiritual fulfilment with your discoveries.

* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?

I think there is danger of putting too much trust in one science, If we unravelled a lot of questions about the universe the possibility of God and had hard facts to support our science, it's still one science maybe we overlooked something or maybe another science reaches different conclusions but also has a lot of hard facts and empirical evidence to support it.

In personal belief I don't think Science will ever be able to answer everything anyway.

I don't really like this video anyway seems like it's trying to sell us something or 'indoctrinate' us with it's spiritual music, voices and bright scenes of nature. Not to mention it is quite offensive to people who hold religious beliefs.
 

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* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?
That is a particularly valid question, it's just a double standard that it's often applied to science but not other human social constructs; Government, Religion, Political Parties, Money.
It's an expectation of most clergy that you put all of your trust in Religion, Government clearly feels it's the hottest thing since sliced bread, Political Parties are extremely critical of anyone who questions them, Money is...ugh...not sure there is a vile enough word for it.

Science encourages individuals to question any theory or fact offered up at their discretion. It encourages questioning itself! It's primary function is learning. What's the primary function of Government? Religion? Political Parties? Money?

I keep editing this to keep it short.

Science doesn't worry me nearly as much as some other aspects of human society. It it has a lot more benefits. My uncle had polio (Poliomyelitis). I appreciate the efforts science makes to stop diseases, especially childhood diseases.

Smallpox - wiped off the planet in 1979. Yay science!

It's hard to find a more noble cause than that.

And yes, I am aware of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. That's why your question is valid. Scientists need to be watched, but so do those other societal constructs I mentioned. It would be nice if people who were critical of science were equally critical of Government, Religion, Political Parties, and Money.

In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them thither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were an angel of the Lord to come and drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside. Our Planck is one of them, and that is why we love him.

— Albert Einstein
 

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Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true? I don't know. I've seen examples of what some people call "reason" and it is pretty weak.

If yes, is this a good thing? I value reason so yes, it's always a good thing. What I don't respect is people claiming things as logic/reason when it is far from it.

At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree? Well sure, it soley depends on the person experiencing it. So long as a change has taken place within the person - that is evidence that they are "spiritually fulfilled" by it. At the same rate, I think it's extremely cheap and unfair for anyone who feels fulfilled by science to then go and say relgious people are all deluded. It's is so EASY to write off anyone as delusional. I mean, come on. Someone may appear delusional to you but until you are inside their head and their heart you really can't make that kind of judgment. You haven't felt what they felt, seen what they've seen, experienced what they've experienced so why even go there? I would never tell someone they were delusional just because I experience/interpret things differently than them. Obviously what they are experiencing is very real to them and it caused a change to occur within them and that is all that really matters.

Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science? It's dependent on the user. You can abuse anything as humans often do.

I am also of the belief that doubt is healthy and I strongly value it so long as it doesn't lead to more anxiety. If it leads you to a deeper understanding then I believe it is extremely healthy.
 

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* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?
Agree. When I delved deep enough into the science of biology, and understood how evolutionary mechanisms and non-organic processes gave rise to the variety of life we see today, I found myself in absolute awe of the sheer improbability of it all. Very humbling.

* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?
No. There might be a danger of putting too much trust in scientists, but never of putting too much trust in science. Scientists, after all, are human, but science itself is impartial.


Science is really its own religion.
re·li·gion /riˈlijən/
Noun:
1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.

When the facts of reality are before your eyes, belief is no longer required. I must have faith or belief in order to suppose that there is a god, but I do not need the same belief to suppose that the sky is blue.

My 2c is to never settle. Once you think you've figured things out, try to think of something that will trump that notion - because there always is.
You've just described the Scientific Method.
 

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Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true?

In part. I think there is a currently stronger wave of unreason sweeping much of the world. Literally medieval philosophies that are permeating and restricting rational thought and enquiry. Probably the most serious threat to mankind since the 1930's but much less obvious and insidious.

* If yes, is this a good thing?

It would be if it really were sweeping the world. I'm not sure it is

* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?

In my view there is greater fulfillment in science, because it attempts to use facts - not always successfuly, but at least in modern times it is more often the case. Science questions everything - including itself.

Religion has no factual basis in anything - it is simply philosophy mixed with tradition and a quest for control over others.

Religious leaders tried to imprison Gallileo because he challenged their now known to be ridiculous view of the universe......there are those in religions who do similar today.....intelligent design anyone?



* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?


Only when science is not applied correctly....because of political expediency or accepted wisdom.....the use of blood letting in 17th century medcine for example!
 

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*Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true?

I guess so. People are getting rid of ideals that dogmatic faiths made them believe to the faith that is science, which despite it being more correct is still another faith, another theory.

* If yes, is this a good thing?

Not sweeping the world though

* At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?

Science is turning into another religion.

* Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?

There already is. It is foolish to suggest that anything we cannot sense isn't there. It's like a baby not being able to contemplate an adult being there when their eyes are covered.
 

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IMHO...

I think science IS a religion. Whether it's good or bad...<shrug> All cultures have a religion. ALL. Throughout all time periods and places of the world. So something had to give and become one in the atheist Western society.
 

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There might be a danger of putting too much trust in scientists, but never of putting too much trust in science. Scientists, after all, are human, but science itself is impartial.

re·li·gion /riˈlijən/
Noun:
1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.

When the facts of reality are before your eyes, belief is no longer required. I must have faith or belief in order to suppose that there is a god, but I do not need the same belief to suppose that the sky is blue.
Depends on how you interpret it rather than giving the definition...you are forgetting that you still have faith that whatever your logical system is (in this case - the scientific method) is still entirely true.

For example, you do not know what lies outside the spectrum of our current knowledge and whether or not your logic applies outside of the spectrum.

If you conclude that there is/may be a spectrum outside our own you cannot be sure that your logic is completely true. Why? Because we do not know if the rules of an outer spectrum affect our own...what happens if this outer spectrum is altered? The rules are changed. It is as if one were to displace water with a finger. If the finger of an outer spectrum is displacing the water the essence of water is not changed but the shape. When the finger enters the water, the water must accommodate its shape. So is the same with the rules of our logic. We cannot say whether a finger is entering the spectrum of our universe, whether the finger's shape is still imprinted in our spectrum, whether there is none and none can enter, etc...

If you conclude that there is no spectrum outside our own you have concluded that the universe is finite or singular. Then you must empirically or experientially prove that is true which you cannot. You would then have faith that your logic is universally applied. On a more local level I can understand what you are saying which I do not disagree with. It is simply a different type of faith for you: it's not faith of possibility, but rather faith of certainty.

Truth is, you don't know the truth...and science limits us as much as religion does...don't let yourself be limited by either...there is a balance
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies. Here are my thoughts.....

* "There is a new wave of reason sweeping across America, Britain, Europe, Australia, South America, the Middle East and Africa" Am not sure what Richard Dawkins is alluding to here. I'm reminded a little of a politician involved in a political campaign talking up the chances of his side winning, ie being overly optimistic. Modern science is perhaps 500 years old so the rise of science isn't a sudden, recent development but has been happening steadily for several centuries.

* "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" I think there is a sub-text here which can perhaps be stated as follows: One of the purposes of religion was to explain why the world is the way it is - for example, by reference to God, the devil, angels and demons. But science now does that explanatory job far better and is winning this battle with religion. This may make some religious people feel like despairing - but don't despair! The spiritual fulfillment you were previously finding in religion you can now find instead in science.

(I have a lot of sympathy with this viewpoint but am aware of a part of me that is slightly ill at ease. I can't fully pin this down).

What geek says reflects the point made in the clip:

Agree. When I delved deep enough into the science of biology, and understood how evolutionary mechanisms and non-organic processes gave rise to the variety of life we see today, I found myself in absolute awe of the sheer improbability of it all. Very humbling.
* Something in the clip which I think is mistaken: James Randi says "Enjoy the fantasy, the fun, the stories. But make sure there's a clear sharp line drawn on the floor. To do otherwise is to embrace madness." The implication here is that religious beliefs, being false, tend to lead to madness. I think the reality is, more or less, the opposite. Many studies have shown that, in general, people who hold religious beliefs tend to live happier lives and enjoy better mental health than those who don't. Of relevance here is a thread from last year http://personalitycafe.com/infj-forum-protectors/67398-truth-comfort.html From that thread:

I take the red pill every time.
definitely truth.

I think that its actually something inherently linked to Ni, and being Ni dominant.
Time and time again I sacrifice my mental health seeking truth. I don't even feel like I am given a choice.
Truth, always,..not because its so much a conscious choice, but because thats the way I'm wired, I suppose,,Ni Dom and all that.
I cant help but seek truth, even scarey uncomfortable truths, ...
I relate to all these, especially the post from Goodewitch.

* Responding to some other points

I think It's bad though that there are some militant atheist scientists who want to destroy religion all together, by using science and facts to force people to give up there beliefs.
Well, there are various ways to try to change people's minds. One way is through say using torture. Another way is through honest discussion & exploration and the whole "battle of ideas". I don't see scientists / athiests using force.


Smallpox - wiped off the planet in 1979. Yay science!
Agreed, good example.


There might be a danger of putting too much trust in scientists, but never of putting too much trust in science. Scientists, after all, are human, but science itself is impartial.
Well put.


I must have faith or belief in order to suppose that there is a god, but I do not need the same belief to suppose that the sky is blue.
Not the best example geek. Type what colour is the sky into google.


* I enjoy the adventure of exploring different beliefs, different ideas, different ways of trying to understand reality. This drive seems to be (to use Goodewitch's phrase) hard-wired in me. And I think this is an amazing time to be alive. A very exciting time - though not forgetting the many challenges the world still faces.
 

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Well, there are various ways to try to change people's minds. One way is through say using torture. Another way is through honest discussion & exploration and the whole "battle of ideas". I don't see scientists / athiests using. force.
Exactly that, it's wrong to try "to change people's minds" or 'beliefs' which is really the correct word here.

Fair enough you can inform them that scientific evidence largely disproves there belief, but to repeatedly tell them that it disproves there beliefs and to repeatedly call there beliefs irrational, stupid, delusional and to repeatedly try to make them give up those beliefs in the name of science and 'reason'. I think it's wrong.

If a person has peaceful beliefs about God or whatever and those beliefs don't harm anyone, then leave them be. They have the right to believe in those beliefs and not be harassed by militant atheists who in there arrogance think they have the right to shove science down the persons throat because the persons beliefs are 'irrational'.

I don't see scientists / athiests using. force.
I think a lot of them do, especially Richard Dawkins. He obviously hates religion and I think he definitely does try to make religious people give up there beliefs, and he doesn't do it in a particularly nice way either.

I can't find the clip but in the 'root of all evil' documentary by Richard Dawkins there is a part were he interviews Ted Haggard who is a creationist and I think Dawkins says some deeply offensive comments to him and it certainly feels like Dawkins is trying to 'convert' him.
 

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Is the claim about there being a new wave of reason actually true?
Not from where I am sitting. A few weekends ago I was unable to purchase fermented grape juice due to the celebration of the sacrifice of a 2000+ year old Jewish gentleman, who is actually a lamb, who is actually god(s), and whom may or may not have even existed. And this, despite the fact that this man-god not only drank wine, but one of his superpowers was creating it from water. Even if I had not studied comparative religions, there are many elements of this scenario that, in my opinion, defy reason on many levels, even if I were, for whatever reason, to accept the divinity of this man-god.

I think wave is a strong word. I do see a gradual shifting away from religion and toward reason and use of parsimony and the scientific method, but I likewise see a certain degree of clinging to those ancient ideas and even revivals of certain faiths. The current state of fear and uncertainty surrounding the recent financial troubles is bound to stir up such revivals. As Dennis Miller once said, “No one finds god(s) on prom night.”

If yes, is this a good thing?
It is my personal opinion that, to whatever degree such a wave is taking place, if it is, it is a positive trend. I would not want intolerance toward religion to develop, and I certainly would not want an active campaign aimed at eradicating it, peacefully or otherwise. More a passive, gradual paradigm shift, such that religious tendencies simply fade away...naturally, passively. I think (hope) that this is inevitable but then as a youngster I thought that this would have already happened by now, and I have read similar testimonies from various decades from those who thought it would have been phased out by the time they reached adulthood.

As long as it does not harm me, or infringe on my freedoms (or those of others) by attempting to prohibit certain activities, or try to cram itself down my throat, I could really care less what people believe. That said, I have experienced and witnessed all of the above throughout my life. I do not think that any religious mores should ever find their way into legislation, for any reason, no matter how much of a given society may subscribe to them. I likewise think that it should embarrassing for politicians to bring their religion into the political arena.

At one point we hear the words "The same spiritual fulfillment that people find in religion can be found in science" Do you agree or disagree?
This is absolutely true. I am an atheist and consider myself spiritually ‘fulfilled.’ I likewise know many who do not subscribe to religious beliefs who are quite spiritually content. I do think it is important to distinguish between certain aspects of the more dogmatic religions and more spiritual, philosophical systems.

I personally think that religion is nonsense, but many people seem to derive pleasure and ‘fulfillment’ from fiddling with it. Again, as long as it does not interfere in my life, or the loves of others, and as long as another’s religious ‘morals’ are not applied to my activities, follow your bliss.

Is there a danger of putting too much trust in science?
Only if such trust involves approving theories on faith rather than data and facts, and if theories are clung to out of blind faith when new evidence presents itself. While it is true that we do not possess the means or perhaps even the faculties to understand everything in existence, resorting to leaps of faith where understanding is lacking is not a valid alternative. Scientific theories are not leaps of faith. They are reasonable guesses based on the data thus far collected, and subject to invalidation or alteration as new facts emerge, or old facts are disproved. Also, experiments involving harming others (including our fellow animals) are not related to trusting the scientific method. These are horrific practices and should be stopped.

We might even consider the supposed existence of god(s) as part of the gradual scientific progression of humanity. Yet we have progressed far enough and collected enough data at this point- not necessarily to rule out the possibility of unknowns such as the possible existence of something god(s)-like- but realize that the various religious systems and notions of god(s) currently in practice are entirely human fabrications, on the same level as the worship of Zeus and Hera, or the essence of inanimate objects and animals, or ancestral spirits.

~

I have brought this up elsewhere on this forum, but I recall having many religious talks with a friend of mine in the military. He was a rather devout protestant, son of a pastor, and had done some missionary work. We used to debate, quite civilly, religion from our prospective view points. We always arrived at the same conclusion; you believe, you don't believe. A few years later, I met up with him again ,and he had become an atheist. I was somewhat horrified, thinking that I had been the cause. I think that it was a natural progression for him, but I nevertheless did not want to be responsible for his abandoning his faith.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Raain Thanks

Exactly that, it's wrong to try "to change people's minds" or 'beliefs' which is really the correct word here.
I disagree, I don't see it as wrong at all:
(i) I can accept another person's right to hold beliefs different to the beliefs I hold.
(ii) I can respect that person and his beliefs.
(iii) But if I think his beliefs are mistaken I can debate with him (if he's happy to do so) and try to show why I think he's mistaken.

I don't see any contradictions between (i), (ii) and (iii).

Dialogue, listening, being open to the possibility that the beliefs one holds might be mistaken - these are all healthy and good I reckon.

Fair enough you can inform them that scientific evidence largely disproves there belief, but to repeatedly tell them that it disproves there beliefs and to repeatedly call there beliefs irrational, stupid, delusional and to repeatedly try to make them give up those beliefs in the name of science and 'reason'. I think it's wrong.

If a person has peaceful beliefs about God or whatever and those beliefs don't harm anyone, then leave them be. They have the right to believe in those beliefs and not be harassed by militant atheists who in there arrogance think they have the right to shove science down the persons throat because the persons beliefs are 'irrational'.
If a person feels he is being harrassed (whether by a "militant atheist" or a Jehovah's witness or whoever) he can always say "I'm sorry, I don't want to talk with you any more right now. Please would you leave"

I think a lot of them do [use force], especially Richard Dawkins. He obviously hates religion and I think he definitely does try to make religious people give up there beliefs, and he doesn't do it in a particularly nice way either.
I'd say it's not so much force as persuasion.

Yes, I think RD does hate religion. He thinks evidence is all important and he feels there's very little evidence in support of religious beliefs.

It's in the nature of debate / dialogue that one tries to change the mind of one's "opponent". Happens in political debates as well for example. I don't see this as a problem. The only danger is that one might get into a mindset of "I must win at all costs". I believe that the process shouldn't be about winning/losing but about moving towards the truth. As I said before, this should include being open to the possibility that the beliefs one currently holds might be mistaken. Science has this provisional element - a scientific theory is "the best we have at present", but may be superseded by something better in the future.

I can't find the clip but in the 'root of all evil' documentary by Richard Dawkins there is a part were he interviews Ted Haggard who is a creationist and I think Dawkins says some deeply offensive comments to him and it certainly feels like Dawkins is trying to 'convert' him.
It would be good if you can find the clip. My current perception of RD is of a polite man, slightly diffident even.
 
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I disagree, I don't see it as wrong at all:
(i) I can accept another person's right to hold beliefs different to the beliefs I hold.
(ii) I can respect that person and his beliefs.
(iii) But if I think his beliefs are mistaken I can debate with him (if he's happy to do so) and try to show why I think he's mistaken.

I don't see any contradictions between (i), (ii) and (iii).
They don't contradict one another and there is nothing wrong with debate and showing the other person why you think they are mistaken or wrong.

It becomes wrong though when you keep trying to change the other persons belief and persuade them to give up that belief because your argument obviously disproves theirs.

I think the goal really should be to reach a complete understanding and respect for one another's beliefs.

The debate shouldn't go like 'Your wrong, this is why' or 'Your wrong because this evidence clearly proves it'

but it should be about understanding each others beliefs so should go like:

'I understand why you believe as you do but I see it the other way from that because of this...'

the debate can go back and forth a bit but should remain like the statement above, so that in the end you both have shared ideas and views with one another and can see different ways of viewing something and have respect and understanding for different view points, but no one forced or persuaded anyone to change or give up there beliefs, merely gave them some new points to think over.

Dialogue, listening, being open to the possibility that the beliefs one holds might be mistaken - these are all healthy and good I reckon.
Yes I would agree.

I'd say it's not so much force as persuasion.
So you are not directly forcing someone to give up there beliefs, but I think persuading them to do so is on par with forcing them to.

It's in the nature of debate / dialogue that one tries to change the mind of one's "opponent". Happens in political debates as well for example. I don't see this as a problem. The only danger is that one might get into a mindset of "I must win at all costs". I believe that the process shouldn't be about winning/losing but about moving towards the truth. As I said before, this should include being open to the possibility that the beliefs one currently holds might be mistaken. Science has this provisional element - a scientific theory is "the best we have at present", but may be superseded by something better in the future.
I think in those kind of debates one almost always gets into the mindset of 'I must win'

You don't gain an understanding or appreciation of each others beliefs when the debate just keeps going like 'your wrong'.

Or if you keep trying to disprove their beliefs and persuade them to change them.

Moving towards the truth
I guess in my opinion it's more important in a debate that both gain an understanding of the others beliefs. Both respect each others beliefs they can see why they believe that way.

I think moving towards the truth is for each individual to think about afterwards. Having taken the other persons beliefs/views onboard they reassess their own views after the debate.

It would be good if you can find the clip.
I can find the clip easily but unfortunately everywhere I find it, it gets blocked due to copyright. Hopefully channel 4 will re-show the series or you might be able to watch it on 4od.

My current perception of RD is of a polite man, slightly diffident even.
Well I dislike the man. I think he thinks he is much smarter than everyone else and he just seems very arrogant to me. He seems to take delight in proving people wrong and putting them in there place. Plus I hate all the little smirks and half laughs he does before answering someone's question indicating he thinks the other person is an idiot or there question is idiotic. My personal opinion though, based on what I have seen of him in documentaries TV shows and debates, but of-course I don't know him personally.
 

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It would be good if you can find the clip. My current perception of RD is of a polite man, slightly diffident even.
Found it, eventually lol hopefully no one deletes it.

[video=dailymotion;xemnvt]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xemnvt_richard-dawkins-vs-ted-haggard_news[/video]

I think there might have been an edit when Ted says some Americans think that the Nuremberg rallies were rock concerts, as wikipedia says

Dawkins interviews Haggard and begins by likening the worship experience to a Nuremberg Rally of which Goebbels might have been proud. Haggard says he knows nothing of the Nuremberg Rallies and goes on to say that some evangelicals think of his services as something akin to rock concerts. Haggard said the Bible is true and doesn't contradict itself as science does. Dawkins contends that the advantage of science is that new evidence changes ideas, allowing the advancement of human knowledge, something religion does not allow. Steadily the exchanges become increasingly fractious
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Root_of_All_Evil?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Found it, eventually lol hopefully no one deletes it.
Thanks, that's interesting.

OK, the Nuremberg reference is in poor taste. But other than that I can't really see anywhere in the clip where Dawkins makes any offensive comments.

The following exchange is interesting:

Haggard: Sometimes it's hard for a human being to study the ear or study the eye and think that happened by accident.
Dawkins: I beg your pardon, did you say "by accident"?
Haggard: Yeah.
Dawkins: What do you mean "by accident"?
Haggard: That the eye just formed itself somehow.
Dawkins: Who says it did?
Haggard: Well, some evolutionists say it.
Dawkins: Not a single one that I've ever met.
Haggard: Really?
Dawkins: Really.
Haggard: Ohh.
Dawkins: You obviously know nothing about the subject of evolution.
Haggard: Or maybe you haven't met the people I have.
I think Dawkins is getting angry and frustrated at this point because he feels he's coming up against wilful ignorance. Here is a man, Haggard, who communicates to thousands of people and tells them the theory evolution is untrue - but he seems to have made no attempt to actually understand it.

When Dawkins says "You obviously know nothing about evolution" I think he's speaking from the heart and with great frustration. At this point Haggard could say something to open up the dialogue, eg "OK, tell me". Instead he says "Or maybe you haven't met the people I have" which of course just closes the conversation down.

The issue here is that creationists present only 2 possibilities in relation to something like the eye: design by God or "blind chance". And, the reasoning goes, blind chance does not seem possible, therefore it must have been designed by God. But the theory of evolution does not entail "blind chance" - this is a common misunderstanding and is addressed in chapter 4 of "The God delusion".

I'd say that in this clip (apart from maybe the Nuremberg bit) Dawkins comes across as very reasonable, not offensive. Haggard accuses Dawkins of being arrogant - but I think it is Haggard who is arrogant.

I also think that Haggard gets the better of this encounter. Not because of what he says but by virtue of being a confident extrovert while Dawkins is a thoughtful introvert. I think this is an example of the introvert wanting a dialogue, a meeting of minds, but the extrovert simply wants to win, to have the last word. (I might be mistaken here - maybe the difference isn't I / E but some other axis of personality).
 
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It becomes wrong though when you keep trying to change the other persons belief and persuade them to give up that belief because your argument obviously disproves theirs.

I think the goal really should be to reach a complete understanding and respect for one another's beliefs.

The debate shouldn't go like 'Your wrong, this is why' or 'Your wrong because this evidence clearly proves it'

but it should be about understanding each others beliefs so should go like:

'I understand why you believe as you do but I see it the other way from that because of this...'

the debate can go back and forth a bit but should remain like the statement above, so that in the end you both have shared ideas and views with one another and can see different ways of viewing something and have respect and understanding for different view points, but no one forced or persuaded anyone to change or give up there beliefs, merely gave them some new points to think over.
I had a conversation with a young woman a few nights ago and she pretty much repeated what you say above. She is dating a Jewish boy and her parents have a problem with the boy (not his religion or ethnicity) and she is naturally defensive, using your argument above to define her position.......

The problem with this is:- (as I replied to her)

The Nazis truly believed they were a master race and that the jews and others were inferior and should be removed or restricted. I actually threw in some extremely racist quotes from mein kampf and goebbels speeches and likened the KKK to the modern torch bearers of nazi philosophy.

She went incandescent with rage and then suddenly realised what I'd done.

You can't purport to understand and respect all beliefs, just because someone subscribes to them. Nor can you pick and choose certain beliefs to understand and tolerate.

Some things are just wrong.
 
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