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Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate) - Dhamma Wheel

Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

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Ben
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Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:04 pm

Greetings all,
The follwing was telecast live last night on ABC1's Q&A in Australia.

Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, highest Catholic official in Australia and uber-conservative catholic, faced off against Dr Richard Dawkins.
For those of you who are interested in the emergence of the "New Atheism" movement and the works of its progenitors, then the following video or text transcript will be of interest.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3469101.htm

The following is a the newspaper report on the debate:

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/ ... 1wlk9.html

Personally, I thought it was an entertaining exchange of ideas. Though, I would love to know your thoughts.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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SDC
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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby SDC » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:05 am

Interesting, Ben. Thanks for posting.

I think Dawkins came off arrogant and frustrated; not at all at peace with his ideas. The fight seems keeps him going. This can be a wildly satisfying way to live, but ultimately it just leads to wanting another battle. I'm not sure I could listen to him for more than five minutes at a time.

Pell seemed quite confident and calm. I think he wished Christianity could shed some of its baggage. I thought it was interesting how he admitted that the idea of God has changed. Sort of admits that not only is God ultimately a human concept, but that that concept will change throughout time. Didn't think I would ever hear that from a priest.

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:15 am

Thanks SDC for your comments. Yes, I was very surprised with some of Pell's remarks. Certainly not the catholicism that I grew up with. I also agree with the report in The Age which described Pell as hanging himself in his own liturgical rope.
With regards to Dawkins, I think he was very jetlagged and irritable as a result of that jetlag.
He (Dawkins) is a brilliant communicator. I'm not sure whether you are familiar with any of his works. One that I recommend is "The Greatest Show on Earth: the evidence for evolution".
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby SDC » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:33 am


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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:33 am

Greetings,

Transcript available in a few hours - look forward to reading it.

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:29 pm

Pell said "God is the unconditioned."
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:15 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:31 pm

Greetings,

I read the transcript only, so accordingly I didn't get any cues of Dawkins' 'arrogance or frustration' or Pell's 'confident and calm' nature but based on their words alone I thought that Dawkins was articulate and focused, and that Cardinal Pell seemed unable to respond to questions in any meaningful way. Pell's "revisionism" seemed to wash Catholicism away into a vague sludge, seemingly in order to evade certain questions where traditional Catholicism offers answers that are absurd and unacceptable to a modern audience. On words alone, Pell was smashed like a crab.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:57 am

In my opinion, from a Buddhist perspective Dawkins was the definite loser. He is an annihilationist and is therefore advocating a view in which one does not bear the result of one's actions after death.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby daverupa » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:21 am


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SDC
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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby SDC » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:51 am


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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Dan74 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Pell is of course, not an equal of Dawkins intellectually. If you are looking for a discussion that broaches some deeper issues, you might want to check out this one with Archbishop Rowan Williams:



Though that one is rather dry and not as lively as the one above.

I thought Pell, for most part, dispelled some of the more ridiculous strawmen that get conjured up when people mention Christianity and Catholicism and generally gave a reasonably down-to-earth performance for a man of the cloth.

For me the bottom-line is that religion and especially theism are never going to beat science and atheism by logical persuasion and evidence which is science's home turf. Other things have to be brought in to bear and Pell, unfortunately didn't do a good job of that.
_/|\_

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby daverupa » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:46 pm


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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:09 pm

I was listening to the radio yesterday (ABC Radio National) and there has been continuing commentary on the debate. It was interesting to hear a leading figure for the Uniting Church of Australia (Methodist + Presbyterian) roundly criticize Pell for his confusing and wishy-washy representation of Christian doctrine and his failure to properly engage Dawkins. I actually expected better from Pell.

Criticizing one or the other "from a Buddhist point of view" I think is a mistake as it appears to dismiss that which does not confirm one's own biases and predilections.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Buckwheat
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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:47 am

I respect both of these men. They both made some excellent points, and the both made some serious debate mistakes. I sense that both desire people to be happy and well-behaved. I think the Buddha would want us to respect both gentlemen.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Dan74
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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:11 am

Of course.
_/|\_

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Ferox » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:34 am

people always seem to be fond of debating things that really don't have an answer to them... or questions that come down to personal belief/choice/freedom that are not even worth debating. Just feels like wasting time to me, but I guess that is also me being judgmental as well.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-

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Ben
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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:16 am

I'm sorry that there others aren't so interested in the public discourse as I am. C'est la vie.
But tell me, Ferox, how do you feel about "intelligent design" being taught in schools in the US? That part of the science curriculum in the US must include creationist ideas?
How would you feel if the next US President held the view that we were in the "end times" and that she or he felt that it was part of her Christian duty to bring about the apocolypse? Reportedly, Sarah Palin held such views.
How do you feel about the bombers who flew into the twin towers, the pentagon and the fields of pennsylvania who felt that they were doing Allah's work?
Don't feel you have to reply with an answer to those things - what I am trying to do is to share a sense that belief and certitude can be very dangerous things when left unchallenged.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: ben.dh[email protected]..

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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Tree » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:36 am


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Re: Richard Dawkins v Cardinal Pell (panel debate)

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:29 am

It's a funny thing but I fail to see the arrogance, the disturbed emotions, etc of Richard Dawkins, like the others do here. Must be the time to leave academia - this is probably how I come across too (without the redeeming qualities of being a ground-breaking thinker and scientist, like RD).
_/|\_


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