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Is Richard Dawkins deathist?


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#61 s123

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:31 AM

Has anyone send a reply to Richard Dawkins? Should we as an institute do this? He also criticized life extension in his book “The God Delusion” and after reading it I thought about sending a reply to him but I couldn’t find his e-mail address.

#62 Kolos

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 09:56 PM

He would probably say you act like some religious fanatic and this whole life extension movement is a cult.
But he's too important to read your e-mails anyway.

#63 s123

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:35 AM

I've posted this in the forum of the Amercan Atheists, inc. Facebook group:

Atheism and apologism for death

From Depressed Metabolism: "Some contemporary atheists and secular humanists do not stop at debunking the idea of God but seem to think that making a persuasive case against religion requires them to refute all of its associated ideas as well; including the desire for immortality. Paula Kirby is not the first secular person praising our limited lifespan and glorifying death: 'For atheists it is the very transience of life that helps to give it its meaning: for it prompts us to live it to the full' ... Kirby does not just repeat the hollow non-empirical cliche that life can only have meaning in the face of death but she also pretends to speak on behalf of all atheists. As can be expected, she cannot imagine an extremely long lifespan to be anything else than unspeakable boredom. When she writes that 'Susan Ertz got it spot on with her witty remark that millions yearn for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon' one cannot help thinking that she is conveying more information about herself and Susan Ertz than about humans in general. ... It is remarkable to what extent the notion of death as not only biological but ontological necessity has permeated Western philosophy - remarkable because the overcoming and mastery of mere natural necessity has otherwise been regarded as the distinction of human existence and endeavor."

http://www.longevity...vnl.cfm?id=4752

I agree, it seems that atheists have accepted that the fight against religion (which I support) justifies collateral damage (which I do not accept). Atheists should try to convince people that God does not exist instead of attacking every concept that has been used by religion such as life extension. Even Richard Dawkins makes this mistake. The argument used by Kirby is erroneous and shows a lack of serious thinking about the issue before making remarks. Boredom will not strike if you keep an open-minded lifestyle meaning that you constantly add new goals for the future. If however you make the mistake of planning your life at a young age with a series of set goals to achieve and you decide never to add new goals than eventually every set goal will be achieved and you will now become bored. Religion cannot radically extend your life but science will eventually be able to do so. The collateral damage that this strategy against religion does to the concept of life extension could impair scientific progress and thus cause the early death of millions of people!


I recommend everyone here to make similar posts in other atheistic forums, mailing lists, blogs, websites,...

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#64 Michael

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:05 PM

I've posted this in the forum of the Amercan Atheists, inc. Facebook group:

Atheism and apologism for death

From Depressed Metabolism: "Some contemporary atheists and secular humanists do not stop at debunking the idea of God but seem to think that making a persuasive case against religion requires them to refute all of its associated ideas as well; including the desire for immortality. Paula Kirby is not the first secular person praising our limited lifespan and glorifying death: 'For atheists it is the very transience of life that helps to give it its meaning: for it prompts us to live it to the full'
http://www.longevity...vnl.cfm?id=4752

Unbelievable ... man, is that disappointing.

I agree, it seems that atheists have accepted that the fight against religion (which I support) justifies collateral damage (which I do not accept).

Careful: "some atheists," not "atheists." It should be noted that American Atheists, Inc, altho' it has an important place historically in the emergence of "out" and political atheism, is today a fringe group even within the minority activist atheist community. As it happens, one of the best interviews with Dr. Aubrey de Grey that I've ever heard was on "Point of Inquiry," the podcast of the Center for Inquiry, a the most prominent atheist and skeptical think-tank, and it's clear anecdotally that there is plenty of support also amongst the young "New Atheist" crowd.

Atheists should try to convince people that God does not exist instead of attacking every concept that has been used by religion such as life extension.

Yup, I agree: it's easy for passionate people to slip into the very dangerous cognitive bias of simply opposing every position or argument advanced by one's opponents (or even something that sounds vaguely like it, as in the case of curing aging and other efforts at radical life extension, vs. a dualist immortality of the "soul") in a knee-jerk way. Equally, we prolongevists should not be so unreasonable about acknowledging the very real challenge that overpopulation could pose, and the need to begin to work to ensure that birth rates will ultimately balance out in accordance with falling death rates as we enter "escape velocity."

Even Richard Dawkins makes this mistake.

I note again that, contrary to much of the posting in this thread, Dawkins' actual statements in the BigThink interview aren't actually apologism for allowing age-related death and disability to continue per se (unlike the above monstrosity), but simply say that it would be irresponsible to cure aging and not take proactive steps to reduce the birth rate accordingly. Is anyone aware of any actual apologism for aging on Dawkins' behalf?

#65 AdamSummerfield

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:37 PM

Richard Dawkins - "We Are Going To Die"

#66 Michael

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:12 PM

Richard Dawkins - "We Are Going To Die"

Well, that's disappointing ... and rooted in a statistical fallacy, and an absurd equation of a life that doesn't exist and never did, and one that was and has been snuffed out ...

Edited by Michael, 03 July 2010 - 01:12 PM.


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#67 Pyrion

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:31 PM

I am a huge fan of Dawkins myself. That does not mean that i share all his oppinions. I think RD is not really opposed to life extension, he just does not feel the need for it (like i do). Even when disagreeing with him sometimes he is still a great scientist, i value his oppinion always.

#68 Lauren

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 04:07 AM

I'm telling you...he obviously doubts his prospects for life extension so he naturally rationalizes arguments that challenge people like us, who have some f ing hope, pride, zest for life, and love of life....only being slightly a jerk.



I agree with Devon: Dawkins is incredibly myopic and lacks all vision of what the possibilities of life extension could afford us in terms of extending the human lifespan such that we could have more time to develop the technologies that would ultimately lead medical science to finding cures for disease and the aging process. His short-sightedness is not only defeating but honestly contradicts what I would have expected him to have been a proponent of: the extension of life rather than its decimation.

As an addendum, I also agree that he is contra-life extension for personal reasons.

Edited by Michael, 18 September 2010 - 11:27 AM.
Consolidation


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#69 Lauren

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 04:21 AM

Disclaimer: I respect Dawkins as a scientist and I value his opinions, but I think that he is dead wrong when it comes to life extension (pun unintended). Longevists as I like to call them are certainly not radicals that are part of a cult movement, and there is a rational basis behind life extension. It has been biologically proven through experimentation with worms that the lifespan of an organism can be extended. It is only a matter of time before such experiments progress to homo sapiens. Does Dawkins not have faith in the almost exponential advance of scientific and technological innovation over the past century? Then again, 'faith' isn't exactly a word used in Dawkins everyday vernacular. The skeptic rides again!!

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