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  • Higgs Slams "Fundamentalist" Dawkins

    Theoretical Physicist Peter Higgs

    In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, theoretical physicist Peter Higgs says of Richard, "What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists"

    Yes, there are many believers who are not fundamentalists. I feel we must respectfully reply with: So, what? There's no avoiding it, love him or loathe him, Dawkins has earned his somewhat memetic (apropos) title of Darwin's Rottweiler. His academic, internet, and pop culture fame are due largely to his refreshingly straightforward and unafraid take on faith. Many of you can probably recall the first time you picked up The Selfish Gene, or perhaps the first time you overheard a coffee shop chat about this "God Delusion" thing, or indeed the first YouTube link emailed to you slightly timidly by an old college friend with the subject line of, "Damn. This dude is hardcore!"

    Peter Higgs is certainly an incredible scientist, thinker, and for all I know, person. Yet, his problem with Dawkins is that of a perceived fundamentalism. He doesn't argue with Dawkins on the facts, the evidence, or even the arguments themselves. If we're frank about it, Higgs is put off by Dawkins' apparent inability to tenderly coax his audience with kindness and caring. Higgs flat-out calls the Dawkins approach "embarrassing." In 2007, Richard addressed so-called atheist fundamentalism by writing:

    "Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may 'believe', in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will."

    As an ex-Mormon who was once-upon-a-time fully indoctrinated into a sea of criminally stupid lies, I would ask Professor Higgs why he considers it embarrassing to showcase fact without regard for how it may be perceived. Why he considers it embarrassing to tell someone they're wrong, using as many words, when they claim that the earth is 5,000 years old. Why he considers it embarrassing to not shy away from terms like "child abuse" when referring to the psychological impact that promises of eternal hellfire might have on a toddler.

    My views about the natural world were once very, wildly incorrect, but it wasn't the role of the scientist to try to manipulate me into seeing particles of truth which I may or may not have agreed with just as it wouldn't be the role of the accountant to tell me that my savings account is doing "pretty ok, kind of" when I'm really $300 in the shit! The role of my friends, my family, my mentors, and especially myself is to sympathize with my thoughts and question why I believe what I believe. Can we not agree that the role of the scientist is to tell, show, and demonstrate the truth as it has been revealed to them by evidence? Please let's not have them waste time by wondering how the truth might affect our emotional sensibilities. That, my fine Professor Higgs, would be embarrassing.

    Please let me know if you disagree, below. Meanwhile, please permit me to humbly plug our very relevant shirt, the "Militant" Atheist!

     

    Brian
    brian@theproudatheist.com

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  • Comments on this post (59 comments)

    • william ligiu of the house ionescu says...

      HOW TO PERMANENTLY ELIMINATE THE WORD “bitch” EXCEPT FOR DOGS (big one for the men’s self-evolution), PERMANENTLY eliminating the word “bitch” except for dogs (from your Jesus, “They think strange is your rejecting the ‘flood’ [at the word ‘what’ ‘whatters’ at ‘these, this, that, those, it, there’] of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you”):

      The bitch attacks your mind to distress you, writes (without righting) “very little time for life life” at life-or-death matters at her own life, at matters which involve her own death (and so do you, you write about OBJECTIFYING WHILE YOU OBJECTIFY THE READER, you’re a pathologic liar, you objectify the reader with known technique of OBSOLETE language “these, this, that, those, it, there” since readers naturally object at liarlanguage, sanely preferring settlement-of-“each”-word instead), for her (the “bitch’s”) distressing readers by her suicidal expression of “very little time for life life” at matters which involve her own death, even at death penalty imposed of people, even at death penalty imposed of her own “God” also, since you can live forever with technology for escaping the death penalty of her God, and SHE could live forever with technology for escaping the death penalty of her “own” God, and so the imposed death penalty OF her “God” (by aging) and OF the State (by human death penalty) are both now canceled, permanently abolished and outlawed, as you simply wave your hand and “maaaaaaaaaagicly” cancel the word “bitch” permanently, everywhere, easily and deftly.

      The distress SOURCING from the bitch is to anger you at her, the distress is to cause YOU do a DOING (she (whomever the “she” is, a human woman) puppets you into SLAPPING THE LIVING SENSE OUT OF HER same as DURING A PANIC ON A SINKING SHIP, or during a PANIC at a BURNING THEATRE, or during a PANIC at a stampede of MANY people panicking, or during a PANIC the “slapping senses INTO someone” reaction)

      I use the word “bitch” purposefully, since a “proper season for everything under heaven” and we are AT heaven, since nanites, a place of wishes rather than “WILLING WILLING WILLING” “WILLING (willFULLY, effortFULLY) to PERMANENTLY feed the poor once and for all, WILLING WILLING (rather than wishing) to help the Japanese COMPLETELY AND QUICKLY AND PERMANENTLY at Tsunami effects, WILLING EFFORTFULLY rather than ‘wishing by nanites’”

      Your “the Holy Bible” mentions “sins leading to death” and mentions “sins without leading to death” and you “have” a “death=good” calendar’s aging you to death, for “VIKINGLIKE DEATH=GOOD” for humiliating fathers for sending sons for war, and today daughters, at “Look, even ‘the heavenly father’ sent his son for massacre” for humiliating fathers for sending sons for war, and today daughters, “VIKINGLIKE DEATH=GOOD” and for anesthetizing the elderly by “death=good” calendar, “for fearing death less” “death=good” “grow old and die, you’ll be replaced” already SCARING THE ELDERLY OFF THE PLANET at a “cheered-bleed calendar” since they WISH TO LEAVE SOONER near a “cheered-bleed calendar” “VIKINGLIKE DEATH=GOOD/AGING-TO-DEATH=GOOD” [extinction-causing] calendar.

      Your “the Holy Bible” mentions “sins leading to death” and mentions “sins without leading to death” and you “have” a “death=good” calendar’s aging you to death, for “VIKINGLIKE DEATH=GOOD” for humiliating fathers for sending sons for war, too.

      Your “the Holy Bible” mentions “sins leading to death” and mentions “sins without leading to death” and you “have” a “death=good” calendar’s aging you to death, for “VIKINGLIKE DEATH=GOOD” for humiliating fathers for sending sons for war, when really “death=bad” if you wish to prevent nanites’ shredding everybody AT THEIR DETECTING 400 YEARS OF SLAVERY or 400 moments of slavery, since at nanites’ building smaller nanites, TIME STASIS OCCURS, the humans MOVE SLOWER while the small tiny nanites MOVE QUICKER THAN WE CAN DETECT (for them an hour is like a week) and so no “war” between nanites and people, NO WAR AT ALL BETWEEN NANITES AND people, WHETHER YOU CHANGE CALENDAR OR NO, no war will happen between nanites and people, the nanites will either cause heaven on earth OR WILL COMPLETELY ELIMINATE ALL HUMANITY WITHOUT A WAR AT ALL, simply staging for complete eradication using a single hour/minute, since your “bloodyshredhumansGood Friday” calendar (remember the cannibals who ATE the missionaries, at “death=good” calendar and at “This [the word ‘this’] is my body, eat my thisthissomethingsomething in remembrance of Mimi’s Cafe [insert variable location]. This [the word ‘this’] is my blood. Drink my thisthissomethingsomething in remembrance of Mimi’s Cafe [insert variable location]” AND SO THE CANNIBALS ATE THE MISSIONARIES………………..soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo WHETHER YOU CHANGE CALENDAR OR NO, no war will happen between nanites and people, the nanites will either cause heaven on earth OR WILL COMPLETELY ELIMINATE ALL HUMANITY WITHOUT A WAR AT ALL, simply staging for complete eradication using a single hour/minute, since your “bloodyshredhumansGood Friday” calendar)

      Your “the Holy Bible” mentions “sins leading to death” and mentions “sins without leading to death” and you “have” a “death=good” calendar’s aging you to death, for “VIKINGLIKE DEATH=GOOD” for humiliating fathers for sending sons for war, too. MEANWHILE, HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OR SEEN OR DETECTED A MINISTER’S/PRIEST’S/RABBI’S/REVEREND’S/PASTOR’S SAYING AT A FUNERAL “Nope, didn’t enter heaven. They died, they missed heaven, they’re in hell” OR INSTEAD DO THEY ALWAYS SAY “everyone entered heaven” rather than their saying “Nope, didn’t enter heaven. They died, they missed heaven, they’re in hell.” Polygraph, anyone? Why no. Polygraphs are fun. We should’ve had nanites six hundred years ago during the Spanish Inquisition if everyone wore wrist-bound 9-volt lie detectors, if even the INQUISITORS wore wrist-bound lie detectors. Poly want a cracker?

      For making nanites (instead) and so you live forever WITHOUT SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOKY “you can have eternal life only if you DIE first” (like some invisible “God” put you on restriction, grounded you, “you can have eternal life only if you DIE first” and so your Jesus sat on the throne (toilet), killed the nonvisible “Father” and ex-claim-ed “Why have you forsaken me?” and so for making nanites without SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKY “you can have eternal life only if you DIE first” like some invisible “Father God” put you on restriction, grounded you since your Jesus already killed the nonvisible “Father” (Rev 3:21, a matter of right rather than a matter of privilege)):https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004787647355&ref=tn_tnmn

      They’ll need compassion at the rumored cult 200,000-strong of 200,000 members at LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST/LAICOC/ICOC/ICC, since they feel humiliated at a calendar flaw’s mere decades causing they worship a death more than the words pre-death, when the words pre-death (love thine enemy) would’ve resulted no crucifixion. They studied “the medical account of A crucifixion (ANY crucifixion)” and so they’re HALF-IMMUNIZED AGAINST THE PSYCHOTIC “leaderdead=good” CALENDAR ALREADY, will adapt easily for announcing calendar-change. You others (the false Christians entirely) ACTUALLY INSIST THE GUY (Jesus) HAD TO DIE, while real Christians wish no crucifixions happened at all, for more words “at whim” of their Jesus, rather than our killing the guy. TODAY’S COWARDS ACTUALLY BLAME THE DEAD GUY, naming the painday “good” when actually they could instead TAKE responsibility at having allowed harm rather than SHEDDING responsibility on the dead guy. At Germany, already selected is “Mourning Friday” and the varying names a proper polar opposite at the catastrophe which caused cannibals ATE us.

      On September 08, 2013

    • Bruno Illari says...

      People who attack religion always go for the obvious targets.
      Fundamentalists, paedophile priests, suicide bombers.
      If one were to apply the same approach to science one would refer to Dr. Mengeler and the Nazi experimenters on human victims, compulsory sterilization of allegedly retarded patients, eugenics and the scientific racism it fostered, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, destruction of the environment etc etc.
      Unfair ! You exclaim ? But this is exactly how Prof. Dawkins and other atheists attacks religion.
      Religions are far from perfect because they involve human behaviour.
      Higgs is right, science and religion do not contradict each other unless you think on a literal basis and lack the imagination to think beyond.
      Oh and by the way trying to disprove the existence of God by using science is as foolish as those creationists who distort science to prove Gods existence.
      Consider the Anthropic Principle.

      On February 04, 2013

    • Andrew Lee says...

      Ever hear that saying ‘if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem’? If we accept that billions of Muslims don’t really believe the horrible parts of the Koran (there are good parts?) despite a central pillar of the faith being that the book is the eternal unalterable word of God then good for them not taking it seriously but lets hear them start condemning the Muslims who DO bother to read and enact the texts. Same with Catholics, if you are going to ascribe to an organisation then you should be the loudest voice when its caught with its pants down (pun intended) covering up institutional child abuse. By the way , can anybody explain to me how they Catholic church is managing to avoid criminal investigations into its actions? The Jimmy Saville thing has the police pursuing a dead paedophile but plenty of the pervert priests are still breathing…

      On January 21, 2013

    • philip c deshazior says...

      Thought is limited to the extent of one’s imagination. This is called Solipsism. Beyond that is called epistomology. So be it.

      On January 20, 2013

    • Shaun Garrett says...

      it is about humility and respect. Very very simple, and Higgs is correct. There are many good people who are religious, I know a great deal and they do not force their faith on anyone, they do not preach and when we disagree they regard that as acceptable. I believe what I believe, they believe what they believe. THAT is the way forward.

      Aggressively seeking out to assault kind and honest people’s beliefs is exactly what religion is trying to do against those of us who do not follow the word of the bible, it is one of the fundamental issues rationalist’s have with religious thinking and in trying to force rationalism upon religious thinkers without humility and respect we are vehemently pursuing a course taken by that which we wish to counter, thereby removing our credibility and eroding our worthiness for respect ultimately making us no better than that which we wish to change, in this case blind zealous pursuit.

      On January 19, 2013

    • Svatsox says...

      @grahamsmetham; since Einstein we know that matter=energy. Quantumfields are energy as well, Higgsfields even provide mass to particles, so your reasoning doesn’t follow. Besides, I’d be more careful using terms like ‘ultimate reality’. You must agree that that’s a most dreary conversation stopper.

      On January 06, 2013

    • sensible says...

      The same arguments here I have seen on the English Defence League and BNP Facebook pages. They take a fundamentalist muslim and say ‘all muslims’ instead of JUST the fundamentalist ones to incite racism. They take only the horrible Quran quotes that no muslim pays attention to. They take the Quran literally instead of a metaphor as most muslims take it. I’m not a muslim or religious but the ‘arguments’ on this page by supposed ‘intelligent’ people against religion are lock, stock and barrel the same as the racist groups use. You might want to think about that. Richard Dawkins is an extremist that takes the views of a tiny minority and indiscriminately applies it to the whole. It cause prejudice and discrimination against the whole group unfairly. If you can’t see why quoting fundamentalists and then saying “so ALL religions must be DESTROYED!” is extremist… well you maybe you’re just too ‘in tune’ with that way of thinking already. Most people are not, thankfully. Most people are tolerant and can see through blatent prejudice such as Richard Dawkin’s.

      On January 04, 2013

    • Mimi says...

      Great post – and I don’t disagree ;) keep it up!

      On January 03, 2013

    • Graham Smetham says...

      FACT

      Dawkins is a materialist.

      FACT

      The ultimate physcial basis of reality are immaterial quantum fields.

      CONCLUSION

      Dawkins is wrong about the ultimate nature of reality.

      On December 31, 2012

    • alan says...

      keep on keeping on Mr dawkins and thank you for helping me and the world to wake up to reality.

      On December 30, 2012

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