Crowds jammed into the Physicians Memorial Auditorium and three overflow rooms at the College of Charleston Saturday night to see Richard Dawkins, the world's most famous atheist and evolutionary biologist.
<quoted text> People are who they think they are? ;-) Each individual may have a different hold on faith or non faith. Believers often have doubts and lose faith for a while. Country is basically Christian in culture. "..under God" - "In God We Trust"- " so help Me God..." added to the oath of office.
I am simply going by the definitions of the words, the actual definitions, not the cultists' definitions.
We run into the issue of defining atheism so often that I feel like a broken record with each "new" response, but every once in a while it is necessary to reiterate a few basic principals of lexicography in relation to the word.
While the roots of each word are interesting and informative, lexicographers compile definitions by analyzing samples of current usage. Moreover, the meanings of most words vary with context, which is why dictionaries list multiple meanings for each word. Intelligent readers are adept at seeing which meanings fit the various contexts in which words are used. It's important to remember that the goal is to facilitate understanding, i.e., for the reader or listener to understand what the writer of speaker means.
The meaning of the words "atheism" and "atheist" are probably changing faster during the current period than at in any other time in history because, for the first time, self-identified atheists are asserting a significant public voice in defining themselves. Keeping up requires subtle and supple minds that can let go of preconceptions when necessary.
This forum is a pretty good gauge for assessing the range of views on atheism by atheists themselves--it would be a good place for lexicographers to gather samples when considering future updates to the dictionaries that we depend on. In the context of discussions about atheism with atheists, the way atheists define themselves must take precedence over those of their detractors.
The same is true of most or all groups based on ideology. Would we look to Nazis to define Judaism? KKK members to define the Black experience? The Westboro Baptist Church or atheists to define Catholicism? No, fair-minded people would look to members, leaders, and writers from each of these groups for definitions of the words used to describe them. The only reason that the same has not been historically true for atheists is that the bias against us has been so universal that only that bias has figured into the definitions up until now.
Moreover, over the last few decades, that definition has been changing for atheists themselves as we reject the flawed definitions that we grew up with. It is no longer narrowly focused on the Christian God, for instance, and the passive nonbelief that was once defined as agnosticism now falls under a more inclusive atheist umbrella. Most atheists see agnosticism as being separate from atheism in that it answers a different question: "Do I believe that it is possible to know whether any deities exist?" rather than "Do I believe that deities exist?". It is thus possible to be an agnostic atheist (not believing but acknowledging that it is not possible to know for sure), a gnostic athiest (certain that no deities exist), or an atheist who has no view about whether it is possible to know for certain. I don't know whether there is a satisfactory word to describe the latter.
In view of the above, the many detractors who jump into discussions that are primarily between atheists and insist that their biased definitions take precedence over the way that atheists define themselves display a lack of both sophistication and intellectual honesty. Prejudice and antagonism tend to stultify the mind, so that is not surprising, just annoying.
<quoted text>He also misquoted the bible by claiming it says that only people are "souls". I guess he's used to admirers not catching his deliberate misquotes. ;) Too bad they don't get he's just another attention hoor who gets off on brainwashing people. A rose by any other name smells of cultism.
From the article:
"For instance, he questioned how people can believe Jesus literally turned water into wine or that people have souls but other animals do not.“At some point God stepped in with his divine hypodermic and injected a soul?” Dawkins quipped."
I don't see where he attributed that belief to the Bible.
"Overflow crowd turns out to see Richard Dawkins at the College of Charleston" . So let me guess......the plumber didnt use enough mortar when he installed the toilets so when they were flushed the atheist turds tried to swim back to 'daddy'?
<quoted text> In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion—"a fixed false belief" His "almost certainly does not exist" seems qualified. Maybe a partial atheist? Doubt if the Christian theory of Intelligent Design hurts anyone? Imagine Christian teachers work it into their lectures in the US?
Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.(400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688) was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design. In October 2004 the Dover Area School District changed its biology teaching curriculum to require that intelligent design be presented as an alternative to evolution theory, and that Of Pandas and People was to be used as a reference book.
The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The judge's decision sparked considerable response from both supporters and critics.
Eleven parents of students in Dover, York County, Pennsylvania, near the city of York, sued the Dover Area School District over the school board requirement that a statement presenting intelligent design as "an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view" was to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution was taught.
The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and Pepper Hamilton LLP. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) acted as consultants for the plaintiffs. The defendants were represented by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC). The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, publisher of Of Pandas and People, a textbook advocating intelligent design and whose prominence within the trial was such that it is sometimes referred to as the Dover Panda Trial, tried to join the lawsuit late as a defendant but was denied for multiple reasons.
The suit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Since it sought an equitable remedy, by the Seventh Amendment, right to a jury trial did not apply. It was tried in a bench trial from September 26, 2005 to November 4, 2005, before Judge John E. Jones III, a conservative Republican appointed in 2002 by George W. Bush.
On December 20, 2005, Jones issued his 139-page findings of fact and decision ruling that the Dover mandate requiring the statement to be read in class was unconstitutional. The ruling concluded that intelligent design is not science, and permanently barred the board from "maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID."
All eight of the Dover school board members who were up for re-election on November 8, 2005 were defeated by a set of challengers who opposed the teaching of intelligent design in a science class, the ninth member was not up for re-election. The school board president subsequently stated that the board did not intend to appeal the rulin