Yikes! At first this seems to be an impressive blow to believers. But I'm taking a look at each short clip and so far none of this stuff is of concern. It seems most of this footage is at least 10 years old or so. That explains why none of these fine gentlemen have touched on Lincoln Cannon's New God Argument, or Christian Transhumanism. Here is the news on the religious front; Given the recent shift towards digital physics and technoprogressive transhumanism, it is perfectly reasonable now to assume that Life just keeps on evolving, gaining more understanding and developing greater creative powers. Life on earth or somewhere in this vast universe develops into The Supreme State of Being (a universal with all the aspects we attribute to God). Here is a brief on the new God argument; if we will not go extinct before becoming “posthumans,” then given assumptions about contemporary science and technological trends, it is actually logical that posthumans already exist, are more benevolent than we are, and created us.
Sound bites can be misleading. I have seen the full interview of Frank Wilczek. In the first interview; Frank eventually says " Is there a God? Not yet"... he believes life eventually evolves into God. And, that our concept of God has evolved past ancient conceptions... Which is a good thing.
To VS Ramachandran a neuroscientist who believes it's all in our heads; There IS an external reality, and we are modeling it internally better and better every day.
To Bruce C. Murray; It seems he is cut off before he is allowed to continue his thought that we Grow the concept of God. I ask when do we cease to have ultimate ideals?
Sir Raymond Firth; Sees religion as a product of humanity, and it is left at that. I say; we are so beat down to believe there is no such thing as progress, that it is hard for us to conceive that we might move forward along the lines of understanding and creative power, consciously evolving.. and with that so will our concept of "God". Some day in the future we will look at our powers of love, forgiveness, intellect, and creativity and say;" I am the God that was conceived in the 21st century", just as we are the Gods of war, fire, air, and cosmos, as conceived by the ancients.
To Alva Noe and Alan Dundes; In those sound bites they are just railing against outmoded concepts of God, and with one comment they throw out the diamonds with the sand. To all this I say; Get over it take what you can from those who have gone before and build on it. Subtly, that IS what we are doing socially. The ancient texts chronicle our growth in understanding they contain essential grains of truth. Don't throw out the diamonds with the sand.
To Massimo Pigliucci on wondering what spiritual faith is; Here is a coherent summary of spiritual faith; In human context Spirit is what powers action (inspiration). For 85% of humanity God is a pro-life ideal. Taken in total this ideal ultimately converges on a supreme state of being within the set of all things living. As a source of inspiration we hope, pray, and develop a strong belief and faith in a positive outcome for life.. which is God. Holy Spirit is the mutual love along this line of development (love the efforts of those who have gone before and forgive their ignorance, and love the possibilities of our future) . Divinity is an extension along this path.
To Bede Rundle on a God powerless to change things; Wrong. It seems to me that God loves things just the way they are...wouldn't change it for the world. The divine has a power of persuasion rather than coercion.
To Sir Richard Friend who scoffs at supernatural causes; Aurthur C. Clarke would say; "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Science and the supernatural are resolved every day we make a technological advance.
To George Lakoff who questions the existence of the soul; Wrong. The soul (I Am) is your world line in space-time. Given the scientifically established concept of block time, that world line stands forever in timeless eternity.
To Sir John Sulston ; No, atheism does not make coherent sense because it leaves out the possibility of a supreme state of being for life (taking all of the attributes we assign to God) . Like postmodernism nothing really changes in life, no progress. Nihilism is the outcome of atheism certainly not coherence. And his argument of religious disagreement holds no water. Ultimately there is agreement. Aldous Huxley's anthology of the great religions shows that there is a convergence of ideas in the Divine Ground of Being.
To Mr. Shelly Kagan; Moral truth is truth weather we come up with it or we ascribe it to God. It seems he has he not been exposed to the concepts of information and entropy as they apply to life processes. We exhaust entropy so as to maintain order upon ourselves. According to many physicists (like Murry Gell-Mann for one); We are information gathering and utilizing systems. From our self identity to DNA and further down to our subatomic structure; we are information. In order to maintain coherence we exhaust chaos and disorder. The moral code sets a value on this "complex code of information" upon which we and our society are made. A sin can be seen as an act against this (think of burning down every library and destroying every digital trace of the material, or killing all the aborigines and erasing all traces of their culture). Laws of morality are our vehicle for growth and may even be the means for which the universe is sustained. John Wheeler describes the universe as a self-excited circuit. He uses an illustration in which one side of an uppercase U, standing for Universe, is endowed with a large and rather intelligent-looking eye intently regarding the other side, which it acquires through observation as sensory information. The eye stands for the sensory or cognitive aspect of reality, perhaps even a human spectator within the universe, while the eye’s perceptual target represents the informational aspect of reality. By virtue of these complementary aspects, it seems that the universe can in some sense, but not necessarily that of common usage, be described as “conscious” and “introspective” even “infocognitive”. From this perspective immoral acts are noise in the signal that is minimized as much a possible.
Roy J. Glauber; There is not enough context to tell what he trying to say. Seems to be against intelligent design. If so, you can always counter with the well constructed Simulation Argument; At least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. Given the recent shift towards digital physics and technoprogressive transhumanism, it seems perfectly reasonable now that Life just keeps on evolving. Optimistically life somewhere in this vast universe develops into the supreme state of being (a universal with all the aspects we attribute to God).
Lewis Wolpert ; is not against religion. He says it helps a great deal. He is against hurtful fundamentalism as am I. I believe atheism is the most fundamental of all belief systems and is hurtful. It risks draining mankind's essential source of inspiration.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong; Sees a logical fallacy with an omnipotent God unable to act in the world; God is within us all. Perfection is grown within a universe and provides an experience of growth, beauty and accomplishment. Otherwise, there is no reason to be. It seems to me that God loves things just the way they are...wouldn't change it for the world.
Richard Dawkins; In this short clip he wants us to think that scientists could not honestly believe in God. This is the easiest one! Actually agnosticism is the most intellectually honest stance to take. it is wrong to claim something as truth if you cannot prove it by providing evidence that logically justifies it. While an atheist does not believe in God, an agnostic believes that it is not possible to prove or disprove the existence of God. Atheism is the most fundamental of all religions and they have put themselves in an immovable position; There is absolutely no way, now how, God.
I am going to compose a response to the rest of these clips as my time permits. I realize that given the narrow scope of their comments in these clips, it is almost unfair to pick them apart in this way.