Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The God Delusion - Part 2

Having less than 2 weeks to read a 400 page library book is a pain, even more so when it is this book. I can recall in year 11 or 12 of high school going to a production of the play Medea by Euripides. The actor playing Medea screeched for the entire time, a finger nail on blackboard voice. This is Richard Dawkins. Time doesn't permit a full analysis, just a pick and choose. One might criticise a critique as being selective, but of course Richard does that - for space, because it is easy, and because if you a priori assume that theology is a subject about nothing, detail doesn't matter.

I look forward to Richard being dead - not for divine justice reasons, or reasons of hate (I pity him in a way, admire him in another), but that so others can say "he didn't really mean this", or rebuke his ideas as he does to Stephen Gould.

Richard wants to have it both ways at times. He debunks the idea that the fact that there have been Christian scientists (and famous ones) throughout history, that this somehow recommends Christian belief. Why? Because it was the cultural expectation to believe in God, poor sods! Ok then, religious violence! You can't readily separate religion and culture, so you can't simply say religion is bad because it provokes violence - naive.

He is too quick to dismiss ideas (proofs) based on infinite regress. Who created God, yes good question. Where does the multiverse come from? Why this multiverse? He stops with biology, perhaps highlighting his own point that there are more believing physicists than biologists - a matter of a broader perspective.

Problems in the NT "Christmas" accounts. Yes, there are problems, but the bible has been vindicated before. There is also the implicit use of the same slippery slope fallacy used by 6 day creationists about Christians and evolution (or rabid evangelicals with women's ordination and ordaining practicing homosexuals).

His rehash of the rotating holo face mask argument from Unweaving the Rainbow proves nothing. Humans create patterns out of nothing - it is a useful evolutionary skill for identifying faces, prey, etc. Shouldn't we be able to recognise the divine in nature if it really does exist? But hang on, a priori it doesn't, therefore ....

1 comment:

Matt Stone said...

Yes, his shrill denouncements don't come across as exactly...er...logical do they.