The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is...

I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
 

Komodo

Active member
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."

Agree. Or, at least, I'd say there is no indication that "the universe" has any ability or desire to distinguish between good and evil, to reward one and punish the other. That doesn't mean that human beings cannot do these things.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Agree. Or, at least, I'd say there is no indication that "the universe" has any ability or desire to distinguish between good and evil, to reward one and punish the other. That doesn't mean that human beings cannot do these things.
Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the illusion of design and planning.” {Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker)

Dawkins is the Grand wizard of Atheistan
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
Materialists draft the conclusion and interpret their observations to validate their conclusions. Confirmation bias.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
I agree somewhat.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dawkins' statement was the conclusion to a book he wrote. If so, judging the statement without judging the book (et al) probably isn't the best way to approach the statement.

That aside, the universe seems not to care about purpose or life or whatever else happens inside it. It appears to just "be", rather than having a reason for existing. I might be wrong about that, but until I see anything which convinces me differently, that's the POV I'm going with.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
I would say that the quote is somewhat hyperbolic, but I would agree that there is nothing in the universe that indicates design, purpose, good or evil; except what we as humans bring to it ourselves. It is in our nature to observe patterns, to ascribe purpose and to make moral judgements. There is nothing to show that the universe itself has these properties.
 
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
I agree, but with one caveat, i.e. intelligent creatures can design and create their own purpose.
 

The Pixie

Active member
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
Worth noting that the vast majority of our solar system is deadly to life.

I would estimate the volume we can survive in (assuming a boat or plane) is 200 000 000 000 km^3. Sound like a lot. But I estimate the volume of the solar system is 50 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 km^3

That means the the bit we can survive in is just 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 4 percent of it.

Now if someone designed a house for me and my family, and I could only live in one percent of it, I would not be impressed. Christians tell me God designed the universe for us, but we can only live in 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 4 percent of it? That is a bad design.
 

Whatsisface

Active member
Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the illusion of design and planning.” {Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker)

Dawkins is the Grand wizard of Atheistan
Btw, you getting a like from me was a mistake. I hope that was obvious.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Btw, you getting a like from me was a mistake. I hope that was obvious.
You can undo a Like. Unlike editing a post, it doesn't appear there's any time-limit on this feature/ability. FYI only.

EDIT: I've helped set up two of these forum/bulletin-board systems, and it's common for them to have worker-processes / daemons / services which send out notifications in bulk. For example, several dozen people respond to different posts. Rather than each person (who was responded to) getting a notification the instant a response was posted, a process runs every five minutes to check the quoted/responses, and send out notification in bulk.

The results of this are often that you can Like a post and then quickly unlike it, or respond to a post and then quickly delete/edit it - without the original author ever being notified.

EDIT2: I wonder if AN has ever read or considered a response people have posted to his quoted text. I've long suspected that he/she just posts and ignores the fallout...
 
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Whatsisface

Active member
You can undo a Like. Unlike editing a post, it doesn't appear there's any time-limit on this feature/ability. FYI only.

EDIT: I've helped set up two of these forum/bulletin-board systems, and it's common for them to have worker-processes / daemons / services which sent out notifications in bulk. For example, several dozen people respond to different posts. Rather than each person (who was responded to) getting a notification the instant a response was posted, a process runs every five minutes to check the quoted/responses, and send out notification in bulk.

The results of this are often that you can Like a post and then quickly unlike it, or respond to a post and then quickly delete/edit it - without the original author ever being notified.
Thanks. How do I unlike a like? I suspect you just click on the like button again?
 

docphin5

Active member
Agree. Or, at least, I'd say there is no indication that "the universe" has any ability or desire to distinguish between good and evil, to reward one and punish the other. That doesn't mean that human beings cannot do these things.
I am not trying to be argumentative but you have contradicted yourself without knowing it. You distinguish between the universe and us to assert the universe has no ability to distinguish good from evil but then say we have the ability to distinguish between good and evil. I would ask you, Are we something other than the universe? I don't think you were intending to imply that we are disconnected from the universe which produced us.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Thanks. How do I unlike a like? I suspect you just click on the like button again?
Yep!

ps. I checked that this was possible before responding to you last time, and I tried it on a Like I'd added yesterday. It seems you only have a short window for editing stuff you've posted, but there's no time limit for Likes.

ps. yes, I'm a computer geek. This stuff vaguely interests me :)
 

Whatsisface

Active member
Yep!

ps. I checked that this was possible before responding to you last time, and I tried it on a Like I'd added yesterday. It seems you only have a short window for editing stuff you've posted, but there's no time limit for Likes.

ps. yes, I'm a computer geek. This stuff vaguely interests me :)
Many thanks. I'm glad I gave you some amusement. :)
 

Torin

Active member
"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
It depends what is meant by "at bottom." There is design and purpose, as well as evil and good, in the universe. Humans design things and have purposes, and evaluate things as evil or good relative to their own well being. These aren't in any way illusory phenomena, so it's puzzling what Dawkins could mean by "at bottom."

I think Dawkins accepts Dennett's view that consciousness is just a stance we take toward things rather than an existent in its own right, which may clear the issue up.
 

Komodo

Active member
I am not trying to be argumentative but you have contradicted yourself without knowing it. You distinguish between the universe and us to assert the universe has no ability to distinguish good from evil but then say we have the ability to distinguish between good and evil. I would ask you, Are we something other than the universe? I don't think you were intending to imply that we are disconnected from the universe which produced us.
No, I certainly didn't intend to imply we are disconnected from the universe, but I certainly do think I'm something other than the universe: i.e., I'm not the universe, and things which can be said of the universe wouldn't be applicable to me, and vice versa. (The universe is at least many billions of light years wide, while I'm somewhat less; and I used to teach English, but the universe couldn't put that on its resume.) It's common to make distinctions like this between the part and the whole. I think you would understand what I meant if I said "America didn't take a side in the Spanish Civil War," though a number of Americans did; it doesn't imply that those Americans who volunteered to fight were not American. I could have written, "there is neither a Ruler of the universe, nor any animistic 'Spirit of the Universe,' which has the goal of making good triumph over evil," and that might have been a bit more precise, but I thought that was implicit.
 
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docphin5

Active member
No, I certainly didn't intend to imply we are disconnected from the universe, but I certainly do think I'm something other than the universe: i.e., I'm not the universe, and things which can be said of the universe wouldn't be applicable to me, and vice versa.
You are part of the universe for your body is nothing more than stardust, literally. The universe forms your body and your body produces your soul. Your soul then values good and bad which exist but are immaterial. Hence, body, soul, and spirit which are layers of existence. Theologically, it is body, soul, and inner God ("Elohim") (presuming a good God). I am just trying to say what you are saying but in other words. Again, I was not trying to argue but rather to give you a different perspective of the same thing.

(The universe is at least many billions of light years wide, while I'm somewhat less; and I used to teach English, but the universe couldn't put that on its resume.) It's common to make distinctions like this between the part and the whole. I think you would understand what I meant if I said "America didn't take a side in the Spanish Civil War," though a number of Americans did; it doesn't imply that those Americans who volunteered to fight were not American. I could have written, "there is neither a Ruler of the universe, nor any animistic 'Spirit of the Universe,' which has the goal of making good triumph over evil," and that might have been a bit more precise, but I thought that was implicit.
 
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Furion

Active member
I would like to hear from the atheists on this forum...

Do you agree with this quote from Richard Dawkins?

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."

What a goofy statement.

The man thinks he could actually "expect" specific properties of the universe, and then he boldly confirms his expectations!

I see the fabulously pitiful equivocation has risen, no evil or good, but we think there is!
 

Gus Bovona

Active member
I am not trying to be argumentative but you have contradicted yourself without knowing it. You distinguish between the universe and us to assert the universe has no ability to distinguish good from evil but then say we have the ability to distinguish between good and evil. I would ask you, Are we something other than the universe? I don't think you were intending to imply that we are disconnected from the universe which produced us.
"Distinguish good from evil" should not be taken to necessarily mean that good and evil exist apart from humans. So, the universe has some small (!) part of it - us - that is capable of labelling some things as good (meaning preferable in a particular sense) and labeling some thing as bad (meaning not preferable in a particular sense). We don't have to reify good and evil in that case.
 
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