Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss
Since 2006 Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss have jointly participated in various public presentations of their
shared viewpoints that hold that it would be better if Religion was no longer of relevance as a political or a social force and
that Science can provide fully legitimate explanations of The Existence of the Universe and of Mankind here on Earth.
'The Unbelievers' documentary film
A filmmaker named Gus Holwerda has been involved in a project that has chronicled the shared involvement of Richard Dawkins
and Lawrence Krauss over several years in their efforts to promote acceptance of Science, and Scientifically
accepted truths in preference to Religion, and what are asserted as Religious Truths.
The project has culminated in the preparation for public release of a feature film length documentary presentation, entitled ~
Title screen of The Unbelievers film featuring the views of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss
A promotional trailer to this film was launched in February, 2013 and became widely available on the web.
The Black Chalk Films sponsored YouTube site for the film's trailer,
(available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxDLkoK8vQQ).
A screencapture from this trailer:-
The commentary gave 'The Unbelievers' this outline description :-
The Unbelievers follows renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss across the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason
in the modern world - encouraging others to cast off antiquated religious and politically motivated approaches toward important current issues.
The film includes interviews with celebrities and other influential people who support the work of these controversial speakers.
The question was posed:-
"Which is more important - to explain science or to destroy religion"?
The trailer moves on before Dawkins answer can be heard.
Screenshot of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss gleaned from 'The Unbelievers' promotional trailer:-
Screenshot of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss gleaned from 'The Unbelievers' promotional trailer:-
Just prior to the world premiere of ~ The Unbelievers ~ held in Toronto, Canada, on Monday, April 29, 2013, Richard Dawkins, now an Emeritus Professor having retired from his
former post at Oxford University, and Lawrence Krauss, currently director of the Origins Institute at Arizona State
University, were jointly interviewed by the influential, Toronto-based, Globe and Mail newspaper.
See more detail at:-
In response to the question:-
Is there a risk that by challenging religion head-on you galvanize your opposition?
Lawrence Krauss replied:-
"At some level that may be true, but what it does do is point out a key fact: that religion shouldn't have a free ride. Somehow people get the sense that religion is sacred - if you'll forgive the pun - and nothing should be sacred. Everything is subject to discussion and that's what makes life worthwhile."
And in response to the question:-
Aren't there important things that we can all draw from religion, like a sense of community or consolation in difficult times?
Richard Dawkins replied:-
"We can find fellowship and community in other settings, of course. I think it's an odd thing to encourage people to get consolation from something for which there's no evidence. Science, of course, provides it's own consolation - the consolation of knowing what it's all about. This is something uplifting."
On the morning of Monday, April 29, 2013 Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss appeared on the Canadian based
Global News channel's The Morning Show to talk about The Unbelievers.
Screencapture of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss from this ~ 'The Unbelievers' ~ interview
According to an article available at:-
The documentary follows evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss as they travel the
world promoting the importance of science and reason in the modern world.
The interview with Global News featured such significant dialogue as this :-
"If something is comforting, that's great, but it doesn't make it true," says Dawkins, arguably the world's most famous atheist. "There are people who sincerely seem to think that because something is consoling or comforting that therefore it's got to be true. That just isn't logical."
The pair specifically targets religion and faith.
Krauss, who was raised in Toronto, said the goal is not to make people feel bad about believing in God.
"We recognize that all of us need comfort in different ways," he explains. "What we're just trying to encourage people to do is get comfort from the real world."
and somewhat later:-
"We're not trying to take something away. We're trying to add the wonder of reality, the poetry of the real universe,
and say 'you can get solace and wonder from the real world.' It's true, you can get comfort from religion but that doesnt say
you have to have religion to get comfort."
Dawkins hopes The Unbelievers will spark more debate and, perhaps, open a few minds.
"Science is wonderful, truth is wonderful, reality is wonderful," he says. "People need to appreciate reality and not hide behind the smokescreen of superstition."
Krauss says there's hope, noting interest in religion is on the decline.
"More and more people are coming to realize that they can think for themselves," says Krauss. "It's amazing to discover that
you're wrong. In fact, it's liberating. It's not a threat. It opens your mind."
Some Human Mysteries
"You will hear things like, "Science doesn't know everything." Well, of course science doesn't know everything. But,
because science doesn't know everything, it doesn't mean that science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to
be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary
miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards
understanding it. And as Wittgenstein quite rightly said, 'When we understand every single secret of the universe,
there will still be left the eternal mystery of the human heart.'"
Stephen Fry quoting Wittgenstein during a Room 101 TV program
Human Being seems
to be rather "Tripartite"
Key insights, from such formidably authoritative "Traditional" sources as the Great Faiths, Plato, Socrates,
Pythagoras, and Shakespeare, supportive of such a "Tripartite" view of Human Nature are available here at Age-of-the-Sage.
Believe it, or believe it not, Modern Psychological Science also gives some support to such a "Tripartite" view of Human Nature!!!
In Philosophy "Metaphysics" is the branch of Philosophy dealing with "being": how things exist, what things really are, what
essence is, what it is 'to be' something, etc.
The word comes from a "book" of some thirteen treatises written by Aristotle which were traditionally arranged, by scholars
who lived in the centuries after Aristotle's life-time in the fourth century B.C., after those of his "books" which considered physics and natural science.
The principal subject of Aristotle's thirteen treatises is "being qua being", or being understood as being.
At the heart of the book lie three questions:-
What is existence, and what sorts of things exist in the world?
How can things continue to exist, and yet undergo the change we see about us in the natural world?
And how can this world be understood?
It may be that for want of other terminology directly suited to reference such elusive subject matter the term MetaPhysica,
(in Greek it means "after physics" or "beyond physics"), was adopted in relation to Aristotle's "book" of "metaphysical" treatises.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that:-
"...man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
whose flower and fruitage is the world..."
Human Nature may well continuously underpin, and enduring tend to formatively determine, the operation of many, non-doctrinaire, Human Societies!!!
"Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant
and universal principles of human nature."
"Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances,
which are human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history,
which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will
in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual
may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment."
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View
What is the business of history? What is the
stuff of which it is made? Who is the personage
of history? Man : evidently man and human
nature. There are many different elements in history. What are they?
Evidently again, the elements of human nature. History is therefore the
development of humanity, and of humanity only;
for nothing else but humanity developes itself, for
nothing else than humanity is free. ...
... Moreover, when we have all the elements, I mean
all the essential elements, their mutual relations
do, as it were, discover themselves. We draw from
the nature of these different elements, if not all
their possible relations, at least their general and
Introduction to the History of Philosophy (1832)
Or to quote Emerson, from his famous Essay ~ History
"In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum
proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every
province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain,
and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of
the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every
object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man
is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and
fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him,
and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish
foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg
presuppose air. He cannot live without a world."
"There is one mind common to all individual men....
....Of the works of this mind history is the record. Man is explicable by nothing
less than all his history. All the facts of history pre-exist as laws. Each
law in turn is made by circumstances predominant. The creation of
a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain,
America, lie folded already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom,
empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of this manifold spirit
to the manifold world."
From Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essay ~ History
We have prepared some fairly detailed, but hopefully entertaining, pages about several most informative
episodes in European History in the spirit of attempting to learn worthwhile lessons of history about ~ The Human Condition!!!
Popular European History pages on this site