Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

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Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:26 pm

What are your views on Dawkins?

I really liked his ideas about the God Illusion, but then went off him when he started going on about "Brights and Dulls"

For anyone not aware of this concept of his, he states that anyone who is a true athiest is a "Bright" and anyone who believes in anything, not just the religious or spiritual but also anything supernatural or paranormal, is a "Dull". Anyone who thinks they may have seen a ghost, anyone who may be Agnostic, anyone who is not 100% man (or woman) of science. I find this just as closed minded and hypocritical as he claims religious people to be.

My take on it is that he looks down his nose at anyone who has the slightest interest in being open-minded, and places himself above them in terms of intelligence.

Your thoughts?

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by AngeloComet on Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:03 pm

It's 'The God Delusion'. I only highlight the error from the above 'Illusion' as, I think, Dawkins is very particular about that wording; how he does view a belief in God as a peculiarity of the human psyche.

I admire Dawkins - though I have only read that one book, browsed his website a little and seen some programmes (Enemies Of Reason) he recently did. He has a merciless rationality that, I think, for many is exasperating in how much 'joy' and 'wonder' he seems to suck out of the world.

He views it the other way, of course. He sees plenty of wonder in the world of science and the marvels of evolution and the cosmos. He doesn't need that wonder explained by creationism; he think it's wonderful enough without that.

I think he is open-minded in the sense that, for example, he will believe in gravity. However, should someone else show up with proof that the theory of gravity turned out to be something else, he would change his mind. His argument against religious people is that they will not change their mind in the face of reason.

If someone could prove beyond doubt that God existed, scientifically, he'd believe in God. Believers in God, whatever evidence science produces, refuse to disbelieve.

That's where his 'looking down' stance stems from, I think. Whether he is right or wrong is, naturally, not a stance I am prepared to discuss on here - but I do admire his ruthless determination and resolve to stick with his own 'belief'.
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:29 pm

Yes delusion, that's what I meant Embarassed Very Happy

I agree that he does give a good message about the wonder of the universe and science, I personally think that he is right on a lot of things, but this "Bright/Dull" thing doesn't sit well with me. I think he can be very closed-minded when it comes to possibility. If it cant be proven now, then anyone who believes it is Dull??? I dont get it. Maybe I need to read more on the subject to see where he is really coming from, but from what I have read so far I think he has a little ego problem Smile

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by StitchExp626 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:05 pm

I think that attributing a value to what someone believes in is not a good thing. I do think that beliefs are open to value judgements, like worthwhile beliefs, stupid beliefs and bad beliefs. But the values dull and bright do not seem to apply, they seem to be more value judgements on a person's character.

I am sure that there are some atheists who would give dull a new meaning and some people who believe in spirituality/religion who would be really bright and the reverse case for these two also is equally true.

My flatmate Jason is a buddhist, we have 24 chanting playing in my apartment. Even when I am out of the apartment I can still here this repetive chant playing in my head. Now he meditates about 4 hours a day, has lots of Chinese books on meditation and so forth.

Is he dull because of his beliefs ... no but then again he is not bright because of them. I personally have not much interest in religion and god or gods, I find it hard to know if there is such things and so I dont really bother. If there is a god then I guess that he will understand where I am coming from, and if not then I did not waste too much time thinking about it.

I think that people should be judged by their actions rather than their personal belief system. I agree that some religions are really judgemental but I think if you are not a member of that group then their opinions are not going to have much of an impact. The same goes for any belief system, as soon as we start making values on people based on their beliefs rather than their actions then we have problems.

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:20 pm

Im with you Stitch, but your last statement "The same goes for any belief system, as soon as we start making values
on people based on their beliefs rather than their actions then we have
problems."....
from what I can tell this is already happening. We already have these problems, especially within the Asian communities. Muslims are judged by the actions of the extremists, and the rate of racially motivated attacks against Muslims is rising here in the UK. 12% of prisoners are Muslim men, and Brown has just instigated a new law - 42 days imprisonment with no charge for terrorists or suspected terrorists.

My fiance comes from a Muslim background, even though he is not Muslim anymore.....what happens if he gets arrested for something like being in the wrong place at the wrong time and is held for 42 days????? It could happen, and probably will happen to families somewhere. Just for looking Muslim. Thats disgusting in my book.

Woah i've gone right off-topic there....sorry.

I guess what i'm getting at is agreeing with your point, but it is already happening. This devastating impact on lives will only stop when the whole of humanity stops labelling and making those judgements, and this Bright/Dull thing really doesnt help!

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by AngeloComet on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:25 pm

On the flip-side: No religion, no holy war.
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:27 pm

AngeloComet wrote:On the flip-side: No religion, no holy war.

Quoted For Truth Smile

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by Lojozz on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:38 pm

I only got half way through the God Delusion, not because I disagreed with anything he said (I couldn't), I just found his writing style so patronising.

The man has one hell of an ego and I get the impression he wants to be hailed as the great prophet for atheism.
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:43 pm

Lojozz wrote:I only got half way through the God Delusion, not because I disagreed with anything he said (I couldn't), I just found his writing style so patronising.

The man has one hell of an ego and I get the impression he wants to be hailed as the great prophet for atheism.

Thats exactly my point, they guys got some good ideas but he presents them as fact and something that makes you stupid if you dont agree with him. I have no time for that.

Im so glad im not the only one who thinks this Smile

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by StitchExp626 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:05 pm

Sunburned,

I think laws like that are just designed to feed into people's paranoia and the ever increasing desire to find scapegoats for the problems of the world. If I think of the joys of having lots of money by say robbing a few banks for instance, then I would hope not to be arrested for that, if I actually went and robbed banks then, fair enough lock me up.

It is also like what was happening to our indigenous people a few years ago, it may still be happening, but if so then the Government does not want us to know. The black deaths in custody was a big issue, police locking up young indigenous males for say being intoxicated and then the next morning they would be dead, apparently suicide.

Between October 1987 and November 1990, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody investigated the deaths of ninety-nine Aboriginal persons in police and prison custody which occurred during the nine years and five months period covered by the Letters Patent of the Royal Commission. Individual case reports have been released on each of those deaths. The case reports detail both the immediate circumstances surrounding the deaths with recommendations for change relating to the custodial facilities and systems connected with each death, but also examining the lives of each of those who died and the way in which their life were inextricably connected to their deaths.

Source: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/rsjproject/rsjlibrary/rciadic/rciadic_summary/rcsumk01.html

Then in 2004

DR DAVID BILES: When we did the royal commission research, 15 per cent of all Australian prisoners were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

Now it's nearly 22 per cent.

And that should be seen against the background of 1.68 per cent of Australian adults are Indigenous.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2004/s1265271.htm

So to be an indigenous Australian is similar to being a muslim, chances are that you will be policed to the highest level. There are some very harsh laws on alcohol consumption that apply only if you are indigenous.

Does that sound fair, make the laws on alcohol consumption by indigenous people so that if they drink alcohol they go to jail. If non indigenous people drink alcohol; then no probs!!! And indigenous people are 10 times more likely to die in prison than non indigenous.

Go figure!

Some laws are not right.

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:08 pm

Some laws are not right - and you get the award for understatement of the year lol Smile

I guess it happens in all communities and cultures then. How many times have you wished you could find your own island.....

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by StitchExp626 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:53 pm

Hey can I get an avatar for having the understatement of the year ... please ... I have always wanted to win an avatar ... pretty please!!

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by solarchap on Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:37 pm

I am sticking up for Richard Dawkins, I think the man is a true breath of fresh air.

Dawkins changed my life, in that, having been brought up in an extremely dogmatic catholic faith, a faith which saw me receive corporal punishment more than once for 'offending sense' (once for simply asking my teacher why I would be punished in hell for masturbating, I mean, thats what teenage boys do right? I know I did and I got caned for daring to ask that question, and that was just one example), gave me a totally new outlook on life.

I gave up my career as a prison officer and went to University as a result of his books.

Everyone tends to focus on 'The God delusion', but his mainstream and most successful books are evolutionary biology, The Selfish Gene, The blind Watchmaker and lots more.

I have never felt patronised by anything he has written, his thoughts and ideas liberated me, and I have not seen this 'bright/dull' thing, SBP could you give me a link for it please?

People do find him condescending, but I ask you, is it any less condescending than some other human being e.g. a priest, an imam e.g. people at the end of the day, professing to tell all, the holy truths they believe in, and free thinking and enquiry, whether you are a catholic, a protestant, a muslim, a hindu, a seikh is not encouraged.

I admire Dawkins for inspiring people to think for themselves, not to be dominated by Tradition, Authority and Revelation, the three tenets ALL religions control their authority with, and hence their followers.

I personally think no man written book, i.e. the bible, the koran, the talmud could ever do justice to an omnipotent being/force. All the world's holy books claim they are right, and woe betide any person who disagrees with them.

Richard Dawkins disagrees with them, and frequently comes under fire for doing so, to be passionate and open to talking about religions, I believe is a positive trait of his.

AC said No religion- No holy war, how right he is, of course, humans will always find some reason to battle each other, but Dawkins said it perfectly when he said "A person who is good by nature, a wonderful father, a best friend, a loyal husband, a pillar of the community, only needs ONE thing to justify an evil act......Religion."

I don't disgaree with religion per se, but children are simply minds waiting to be indoctrinated by whichever religion they happen to find themselves in. Is that not true?

if it isn't, then who is right in class....the hindu child? the muslim child? the catholic child? the episcapalean child? coz their parents tell them they are right. Hmmmmmmm!

and i just can't buy into this 'well in a multiverse they are all right!' Every religion in the world in my view, is simply a story, an idea, but the dangerous part is when they ascribe the word HOLY to it, to give it authority, to give it power, and then they teach children, who have not developed their critical reasoning faculties fully, that that is the way.

I have a soft spot for Buddhism, coz it more or less provides a meaning for the self, rather than an imposed meaning of the world as done by all the major religions.

I know , it happened to me. Some of my friends, the same age as me, who went to the same school, who also do not like Richard Dawkins, all believe in something they can never explain for more than one minute, teach their children the catholic faith, and whenever I put a genuine philosophical argument to them, they dismiss me and say, you got to have faith !!! LOL!!!

Man I guess I am Jack Shepherd all over, BUT I accept that science has not answered all the questions, and I am happy to believe in ghosts and the such if there is a rational quantum physical explanation behind it!

Dawkins rocks, i know he comes across a bit I know better than thou, but then isn't that what ALL religions profess?

such is the climate these days, I had to think before writing this, but I seek not to offend anyone, or pontificate, I am a person who broke free from what i perceived as Dogmatic irrationality, to the handsome free thinker I like to think I am today!

I say what I like (within reason!) and I like what I say.

SBP, you aint mentioned me newsletter contribuiton yet! is that good or bad! has it made it in? or did you shred it! LOL!

:-)


Last edited by solarchap on Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:42 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spellin)
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:11 pm

I absolutely agree with you on the religious aspects Solar, 100% agree with you Smile

I will find a link for the dull/bright thing now, as thats the only concept of his I take issue with, I had a look earlier but all it brought up was forum discussions on the subject....will look again though Smile

Re newsletter...I havn't recieved anything! What email did you send it to??

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by solarchap on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 pm

nice one, i should add though, my mum, the staunch Irish old-school god-fearing catholic always says to me:

"When you finally come knocking to the Gates of Heaven, with all your science books, don't worry I will put a good word in for you!!" LOL! I love my mum!

I do try to be careful not to offend people, as lots of people have a religion, what I try to do is to get people to accept it is ok to question religion and go in-depth about it.....then they chuck me out!

I just looked up and found the dull/bright thing, but it appears to be taken out of context......

"It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)." I first wrote that in a book review in the New York Times in 1989, and it has been much quoted against me ever since, as evidence of my arrogance and intolerance. Of course it sounds arrogant, but undisguised clarity is easily mistaken for arrogance. Examine the statement carefully and it turns out to be moderate, almost self-evidently true.

If anyone is interested, the link for this complete article is: http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_21_3.html

mind you, I can see why people take it the wrong way, I do think he could have made it a bit clearer and a little less patronising!! LOL!!


by the way, the 42 day detention thing.....it, in my books, has killed the magna-carta, undermines the most basic of liberties, and it is a very dangerous slope indeed, I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be abused.

SBP!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

you haven't read my opus yet?

with only 2 days to go !!!!

i sent it to losties@live.co.uk I made a weave, a story out of the episode names of LOST (no easy task let me assure you!), is that the wrong place to email it?

have i still got time to get it to you? if so where do I send it! hurry hurry tell me!
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:19 pm

My bad.....I just checked and it is there....its great and will be included, thanks Smile

I agree about civil liberties, they are being slowly eroded while we doze away content with our TV menu.

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by solarchap on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:33 pm

wahey! i am jumping for Joy!

I am all happy now Laughing

I think you might need to make two edits, 1)take the first special out, i only went and duplicated it! what a plonker!......2) whatever the case may be is that I spelt it wrong!

sorry SBP but I know you love it all really! Cool
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by AngeloComet on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:57 pm

Good stuff, SolarChap.

I refrained from sticking my own face in other people's faces about my opinion on Dawkins - but The God Delusion had a reasonably profound effect on my own outlook, too.

Criticisms that he is too arrogant. . . Hmm. When a man's right, and talking a lot of sense, and trying to preach his own gospel (that of science and reason) then a strong tone and an unflinching belief in his own convictions has to be employed.

I shall to have to have words with Lojozz about only half-reading the book and then coming on here and giving an opinion!
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by solarchap on Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:23 am

Cheers AC, it's always a touchy subject, as it delves into that which most people feel very strongly about, I just like to ask people why they believe what they believe.....99.9% are because it's what they grew-up with, what they learned or what they were taught by others from young, and they indeed seem to feel happy to have faith, and leave the philosophy to those who describe what it is they should be doing!

I say....believe whatever you want to believe, but employ some thought about why you believe it. When I ask some of my friends 'did Adam Have a belly-button?' they answer "God works in mysterious ways", when I ask 'What happened before the big-bang' they answer 'That is God's business, it is not a realm open to scientists'

I say "So the Large Hadron collider is heresy is it?"

I get answered "Now you're just being silly"

Why can't they just say to me, "yeah, maybe God has given us the tools to go try and find him/her"

I could accept that.

As for that naughty Lojozz, yeah you tell him AC! study
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:40 am

I am, as I said, in agreement with most of what Dawkins says......but what I find difficult to swallow is that on one hand he says religious people are narowminded, gullible, only going on what they have been raised with etc and that it is all a delusion.....well yes fair enough, I totally buy that, but to make that kind of statement and then say that anyone who doesnt agree with him is stupid?? Its not a question of wether or not his ideas are right, but the way he completely dismisses any remote possibilty that he could be wrong. Its hypocritical IMHO. Its one thing to be confident in your theories but another thing completely to have such staunch arrogance in something that leaves no room for flexibilty. Something he complains about in religion!

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by solarchap on Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:13 am

I hear ya SBP, I really do think his statement was taken out of context, I know how busy you must be running this site, but when or if you have a spare mo, click on the link i put on page 1 and read the whole article, see if it changes your mind.

it might not, and if it doesn't, i can only say, no-one should be saying they are the only ones who are right, and here in this video (only just over 1 minute) someone asks him the very question:

"what if you are wrong?" and I do think he answers it pretty well! (but of course, I would say that !LOL! Very Happy )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg

tell me what you think!
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:41 am

That is an interesting read Solar - I will watch the vid tomorrowe as have no sound at work Smile

I found this on "brights"...and it seems they have their own website.

Why couldn't atheists -- another oppressed and closeted minority -- come up with their own word, which could do for them what "gay" did for homosexuals?

That's what Sacramento atheists Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell set out to do a few years ago. They were looking for a word, like gay, which they could steal from common English, an adjective they could transform into a noun with its original meaning changed -- but not too much. Like gay, it needed to be catchy, positive, warm, cheerful. It needed to be ... bright. And so "bright" it was.

Bright is the new noun many atheists have chosen for themselves. Brights are coming out of the closet and standing up. Brights are tired of being the target of cheap shots by politicians and religious demagogues.

Are you a bright and don't know it? How many readers of City Paper are brights? How many school teachers, doctors, politicians, police officers, businesspeople? Do you know any brights? You surely do, whether you recognize them or not. The website http://www.celebatheists.com suggests numerous intellectuals and other famous people are brights.

According to Dawkins, brights constitute 60 percent of American scientists; a stunning 93 percent of scientists elected to the elite National Academy of Sciences are brights.

As Daniel Dennett has written, "We are your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters. Our colleges and universities teem with brights. Among scientists, we are a commanding majority. Wanting to preserve and transmit a great culture, we even teach Sunday school and Hebrew classes. Many of the nation's clergy members are closet brights, I suspect. We are, in fact, the moral backbone of the nation: brights take their civic duties seriously precisely because they don't trust God to save humanity from its follies."

The new word isn't for everyone. Herb Silverman does not use it to describe himself because some people take the word to be an adjective and assume it to be a denigration of theists. The mild-mannered atheist does not wish to offend or affront -- even accidentally. But brights are here to stay, by whatever name. They even have their own website (http://the-brights.net), and for millions of nonbelievers, 2007 is shaping up to be a bright new year.
From http://richarddawkins.net/article,567,The-Bright-Revolution,Will-Moredock-Charleston-City-Paper

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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by solarchap on Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:10 am

cheers SBP, sorry to hog you but it's such a good conversation!

So! I also read Daniel Dennett, I have three of his books, and just like Dawkins, I respect his work very much.

I just read the whole article, it was very interesting thanks. From what I can seeBrights/Dulls to me is a matter of perception.

It's a metaphor at best, but at worst, it, I agree, could be perceived as elitism, and no better than the stanford prison experiment ideals i.e them bad you good, and on the whole, it seems to me kind of conflicting with their mainstream works, and these two have given so much in terms of their respective fields, I think thats whats lacking here, when I look at this topic about brights/dulls.

The book which revolutionised modern thinking and modern biology was of course Dawkins 'The Selfish Gene' which fundamentally challenged the authority of religious based ideas, because he showed natural selection was enough on it's own to present us with the world we see around us, with no supernatural guiding hand necessary, but it seems more of a hornets nest was stirred up when he questioned faith & religion in 'The God Delusion' 25 years later philosophically instead of biologically!

I just don't get that!

I subscribe to both men's viewpoints, but I don't subscribe to bright/dull metaphors.

Phew! I need to have a cuppa now LOL! Very Happy
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by TheHolyStickman on Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:30 pm

SunburnedPenguin wrote:That is an interesting read Solar - I will watch the vid tomorrowe as have no sound at work Smile

I found this on "brights"...and it seems they have their own website.

Why couldn't atheists -- another oppressed and closeted minority -- come up with their own word, which could do for them what "gay" did for homosexuals?

That's what Sacramento atheists Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell set out to do a few years ago. They were looking for a word, like gay, which they could steal from common English, an adjective they could transform into a noun with its original meaning changed -- but not too much. Like gay, it needed to be catchy, positive, warm, cheerful. It needed to be ... bright. And so "bright" it was.

Bright is the new noun many atheists have chosen for themselves. Brights are coming out of the closet and standing up. Brights are tired of being the target of cheap shots by politicians and religious demagogues.

Are you a bright and don't know it? How many readers of City Paper are brights? How many school teachers, doctors, politicians, police officers, businesspeople? Do you know any brights? You surely do, whether you recognize them or not. The website http://www.celebatheists.com suggests numerous intellectuals and other famous people are brights.

According to Dawkins, brights constitute 60 percent of American scientists; a stunning 93 percent of scientists elected to the elite National Academy of Sciences are brights.

As Daniel Dennett has written, "We are your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters. Our colleges and universities teem with brights. Among scientists, we are a commanding majority. Wanting to preserve and transmit a great culture, we even teach Sunday school and Hebrew classes. Many of the nation's clergy members are closet brights, I suspect. We are, in fact, the moral backbone of the nation: brights take their civic duties seriously precisely because they don't trust God to save humanity from its follies."

The new word isn't for everyone. Herb Silverman does not use it to describe himself because some people take the word to be an adjective and assume it to be a denigration of theists. The mild-mannered atheist does not wish to offend or affront -- even accidentally. But brights are here to stay, by whatever name. They even have their own website (http://the-brights.net), and for millions of nonbelievers, 2007 is shaping up to be a bright new year.
From [url=http://richarddawkins.net/article,567,The-Bright-Revolution,Will-Moredock-Charleston-City-Paper
http://richarddawkins.net/article,567,The-Bright-Revolution,Will-Moredock-Charleston-City-Paper[/quote[/url]]

SBP, I know this doesnt have much bearing on this great conversation, but this is exactly the opposite of what I think the song "Brain Damage" (or 'The Lunatic is on the grass.) This is my interpretation of the song. The lunatic who is on the grass is someone who speaks out against tradition, like an athiest. Another line, got to keep the looners on the path, is that they have to keep everyone in line. The people are described as 'Lunatics' to stop the growing interest whereas in this post Athiests are called Brights to make them more intersting. If you havent heard the song, listen to it. If you have listen again with this in mind.

Great topic, guys keep it up.

TheHolyStickman
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Re: Dawkins Brights and Dulls.

Post by Igs on Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:10 pm

Wow...I was a bit late to this topic. But great discussion. As to the initial post, I picked up the God Delusion but didn't quite finish it. I too was turned off by Dawkins style as well as some of his substance.

In a weird way, I felt this was a Dawkin's style holy book ... and as mentioned by other posters, holy books tend to have a very black and white approach (telling everyone that this book is the truth and everyone else is wrong). Oddly, this holier than thou approach is not being taken in a scientific text (dealing in fact, experiments, results, theory where Dawkins is at his best) but in probably the least "scientific" book he has ever written.

Dawkins is a brilliant man and a leader in the field of evolutionary biology (etc.). That said, even brilliant men can step out of their depth. Dawkins dabbling in philosophy does not seem to suit him b/c ultimately he is a man of science ... not a philosopher.

Simply put, he overly relies on straw-man arguments and ad absurdem techniques in describing his opponents positions. At times, he fails to give his opponents positions credit (where credit is due). And finally, he too often leaves his arguments undeveloped and simply asserts bare conclusions.

For example, he gives about two paragraphs to all of Aquinas' proofs of God (except for the one he best liked as a kid, which he gives more time to though hardly the analysis I would have liked) and summarily considers them disproven or debunked. These proofs and their progeny, and the responses and critiques thereto, are an enormous part of western philosophy and still are at the heart of many of the philosophical justifications for God. Two paragraphs, are you kidding?

Like I said though, this in no way detracts from his intellect or his enormous contributions to science and the development of man's understanding of our tiny little portion of the universe. In fact, his impact is so wide ranging it has profoundly influenced members of this humble Lost website!!!!

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