Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

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Giovanni
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Giovanni »

He has made it plain that he totally refutes any suggestion that the consciousness continues in any way after the death of the brain. He holds the orthodox science view that consciousness developes over many years in the child and young adult, then stops completely with brain death. He says that is why no one should fear being dead.
That fact that he is an enemy of Christianity does not mean that he is a friend of Buddhism.
PeterC
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by PeterC »

Sādhaka wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:00 pm
Aemilius wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:02 am Guess how his video presentation begins?
The answer: Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

Does this guy reject past & future lives, or no?
I think he would say - there's no need to reject them until they've been demonstrated.
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TharpaChodron
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by TharpaChodron »

I know he’s an intelligent person who has done some good work, but it seems he also picks some low hanging fruit and easy targets to focus his ire on. And I’d bet that the fact he admits he was basically molested as a child has an influence on his feelings another religion. He said it didn’t, I’m not too sure.

https://www.theatlantic.com/internation ... in/311230/
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tkp67
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by tkp67 »

If Richard possessed integrity of worth he would do due diligence.

Science has established various aspects of chanting religious mantras have physiological benefits akin to the benefits of other buddhist practices.

Both breath and vibration effect vagus nerve functions.

All someone has to do is measure the physiological response in those who chant NMRK using both those who do not believe or care about the practice and those who dedicate their life to it over a large enough demographic it statistically represents the whole population.


Below is a very small sampling of data on this type of investigation.

A sensation of vibration is experienced during audible ‘OM’ chanting. This has the potential for vagus nerve stimulation through its auricular branches and the effects on the brain thereof. The neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting are yet to be explored.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099099/

Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Mantra meditation is easy to practice. "OM" Mantra is the highest sacred symbol in Hinduism. The present study investigated the temporal dynamics of oscillatory changes after OM mantra meditation. Twenty-three naive meditators were asked to perform loud OM chanting for 30 min and the EEG were subsequently recorded with closed eyes before and after it. To obtain new insights into the nature of the EEG after OM chanting, EEG signals were analyzed using spectral domain analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using repeated measures of analysis of variance. It did not reveal any specific band involvement into OM mantra meditation. But significantly increase in theta power was found after meditation when averaged across all brain regions. This is the main effect of OM mantra meditation. However, the theta power showed higher theta amplitude after condition at all regions in comparison to the before condition of meditation. Finding was similar to other studies documenting reduction in cortical arousal during a state of relaxation. The study argues for the potential role of loud 'OM' chanting in offering relaxation. It provides a new perspective of meditation to the naive meditators. This information may help to demystify meditation and encourage those considering this as beneficial practice.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29752573/

EEG Spectral Analysis on OM Mantra Meditation: A Pilot Study
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Aemilius
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Aemilius »

Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:46 am He has made it plain that he totally refutes any suggestion that the consciousness continues in any way after the death of the brain. He holds the orthodox science view that consciousness develops over many years in the child and young adult, then stops completely with brain death. He says that is why no one should fear being dead.
That fact that he is an enemy of Christianity does not mean that he is a friend of Buddhism.
I have read five of his books, and I have not seen it written. He may ofcourse hold that a view, and it would be interesting to see how he formulates it.

Now-a-days there are experiments that show that pigeons can recognize for example the form of Charlie Brown as a form of same thing or being, even when he looks very different from other pictures of Charlie Brown. This would mean that pigeons have a concept of Charlie Brown, -in some pigeon store of concepts presumably. These kind of experiments would prove that concepts have evolved long before humans have existed, (I found this in a book of articles about Apoha the Buddhist tradition of Nominalism.)
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Giovanni
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Giovanni »

He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
Tenma
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Tenma »

Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:14 pm He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
I don't know if aging is what affects the mind but this pretty much sums up his talks:
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/File:UpdatedDawkins.png
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
Norwegian
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Norwegian »

Tenma wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:39 pm
Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:14 pm He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
I don't know if aging is what affects the mind but this pretty much sums up his talks:
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/File:UpdatedDawkins.png
The swan thing never happened for what it's worth.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra
Tenma
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Tenma »

Norwegian wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:58 pm
Tenma wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:39 pm
Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:14 pm He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
I don't know if aging is what affects the mind but this pretty much sums up his talks:
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/File:UpdatedDawkins.png
The swan thing never happened for what it's worth.
That's the joke of it!
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
PeterC
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by PeterC »

Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:14 pm He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
In his defense. When you look at the amount of suffering and evil that religions have collectively inflicted on the human race, and the idiotic ways in which they try to interfere with science and society, it is a very reasonable conclusion that they are an undesirable thing, and that devoting the last years of your career to raising awareness of their dangers is, for a professional scientist or teacher of science, is completely understandable. I support him in doing this. I would have preferred it if he had made a distinction between the Buddadharma and jesus/odin/muhammed/whatever, but that doesn't really both me much as we Buddhists don't proselytize. So what he's doing doesn't adversely affect me, and it may help with genuine issues in the world. If i had to pick sides, I'd side with him rather than the the likes of the BJP, Da'esh and the Republican Party of Alabama.
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Aemilius
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Aemilius »

Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:14 pm He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
Thanks! Personally I don't believe that matter has such a strong existence as people like Dawkins believe. This is ofcourse difficult to prove, especially if all indications to the contrary are rejected right away. I have experienced that houses can suddenly appear in a city or disappear from it, with no material causes for it. When such things appear, they appear with a history, i.e. they come with a logical past for their existence! This world is literally like a dream, and it is impossible to prove it, like in a dream it is very difficult to realize that you are in a dream. This like-a-dream principle explains why there are such things as forbidden archeology etc. Those who believe in the material existence of the world declare all such thing to be frauds. What if they are not frauds?
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Giovanni
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Giovanni »

It’s Professor Dawkins that you need to convince Aemillius. I have no problem in accepting most of that view.🙂
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Nemo
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Nemo »

Dawkins militant atheism is perhaps extreme, but the opportunity costs to society from superstition are unfathomablely large. There are a thousand kooky cults out there. All filled with true believers. Imagining enlightenment is clearly very different from actualization of the Buddha's teachings. The Buddha predicted the Dharma would eventually fall into fantasy and be filled with charlatans. Leaving one's critical faculties at the door is naive at this late date. More Kalama Sutra, less Lotus.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Like Dawkins, the Buddha also discouraged ‘taking refuge’ in superstitious beliefs, practices such as animal sacrifice. He admonished his followers to test out what he said just as someone tests hold before buying it: burn it, pound it, cut it it. Really put it to the test to determine -for you at least- whether the dharma teachings are valid and true or not. And in most of his teachings he referred to the material world, and to things that were directly perceivable to anyone, to demonstrate the points he was making.
There are topics such as rebirth which at first seem unprovable. You can ask a dead person what it’s like, but they won’t say.

However, I think these things are mostly ‘unprovable’ because of the presumptions we make which define the criteria we use. For example, people regard rebirth as nonsense because, ultimately, they are discussing what happens to an intrinsically existing ‘self’ person.

So, they argue that there’s no evidence that cousin Larry might die and come back as a cat. But this assumption is based on the idea that there is a truly self-existing (and thus unchanging) entity of ‘cousin Larry’.

Yet, if we drop that presumption, and determine by way of analytical meditation (vipassana) that no essential thing can be found anyway within or outside of Larry that’s actually ‘Larry’ (except the name on his drivers license), and we see that what constitutes Larry is an appearance based on a continuously changing collection of even more constant changing parts, and that the experience of being Larry isn’t actually a constant thing at all, but is more of a matter of rapid reproduction of the previous moment, then this sheds a whole new light on ‘rebirth’. It redefines what rebirth means, and redefines it in such a way that it really isn’t such a preposterous concept at all. We die and are reborn every moment. We live in entirely new bodies every seven years, according to the science. Nothing the brain is composed of (water, fat, amino acids, etc) can spontaneously burst into some kind of experiential awareness. When we really deconstruct what’s going on (which vajrayana Buddhism does extensively) it changes the whole discussion.
Dawkins is right about many things. And on a very , superficial level, isn’t really wrong about anything, although he’s conflating a lot of things, trying to fight a lot of battles at once.

I don’t think that science and Buddhism need to somehow justify each other, but I’m glad that HHDL explores the similarities between the two. But neither does one need to support one and reject the other.

While there is certainly plenty of room (and need) for Buddhism to be approached on a purely spiritual or faith-driven level (yes, the not-rational mind is a wonderful thing), don’t lose sight of the fact that the Buddha himself relied on very rational arguments, empirical evidence, and challenges to traditional ways of seeing the world.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Norwegian »

For non-Buddhists, there is the Kalama Sutta. For Buddhists, there is the Pubbakotthaka Sutta (Eastern Gatehouse Sutta).
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra
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Aemilius
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Aemilius »

Giovanni wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:38 pm It’s Professor Dawkins that you need to convince Aemillius. I have no problem in accepting most of that view.🙂
OK, sometimes it is difficult to convince even oneself, when strange or unfamiliar events take place. I just wanted to make it clear, that I am not an ardent follower of everything that Dawkins says.
To continue alittle about certain experience; I accidentally found an aerial photograph which shows an area as I have seen and experienced it, but now there is a house or actually large restaurant, that did not exist before. The aerial photograph shows also a new bridge which was built after the restaurant. Which is impossible. There just are unexplained things, you really can't convince anybody, most often, I think. It may also be the case that this place called planet Earth is actually several worlds, and you can move from one level or world on this planet to another, and this causes unexplained changes in one's surroundings.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

PeterC wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:32 am
Giovanni wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:14 pm He has said repeatedly that he rejects all notions of any kind of continuity after the death of the body.
One of his former students Dr Susan Blackmore joined a Zen Sangha and Dawkins made a public denouncement of her.
He said all kinds of religion are to be rejected and that Asian religions in particular were “regressive”.
I am surprised Aemillius that you do not know how militantly he opposes all religious form. He and Christopher Hitchens often lectured on the same platform until Hitchens died.
In recent years he talks about little else.
In his defense. When you look at the amount of suffering and evil that religions have collectively inflicted on the human race, and the idiotic ways in which they try to interfere with science and society, it is a very reasonable conclusion that they are an undesirable thing, and that devoting the last years of your career to raising awareness of their dangers is, for a professional scientist or teacher of science, is completely understandable. I support him in doing this. I would have preferred it if he had made a distinction between the Buddadharma and jesus/odin/muhammed/whatever, but that doesn't really both me much as we Buddhists don't proselytize. So what he's doing doesn't adversely affect me, and it may help with genuine issues in the world. If i had to pick sides, I'd side with him rather than the the likes of the BJP, Da'esh and the Republican Party of Alabama.
Dawkins religion is just modernity and liberal democracy. In that sense he may be sort of ally.... but he also thinks people with religion might have a brain disease. So, not that much of an ally.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

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Malcolm
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Malcolm »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:37 pm
Dawkins religion is just modernity and liberal democracy. In that sense he may be sort of ally.... but he also thinks people with religion might have a brain disease. So, not that much of an ally.
Theists definitely suffer from a cognitive disorder.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by PeterC »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:37 pm
Dawkins religion is just modernity and liberal democracy. In that sense he may be sort of ally.... but he also thinks people with religion might have a brain disease. So, not that much of an ally.
We think those people “suffer from wrong view”, are “ignorant”, have “obscurations” - is our view of them that different?
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Re: Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason - Part 1: Slaves to Superstition

Post by Nemo »

Theists invent a God in the sky to enslave themselves to. It's some perverse Dominance and submission weirdness.
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