Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Meaning of Life, Part 41

I decry supernaturalism in all its forms, and the most effective way to proceed will be to concentrate on the form most likely to be familiar to my readers--the form that impinges most threateningly on all our societies. Most of my readers will have been reared in one or another of today's three 'great' monotheistic religions (four if you count Mormonism), all of which trace themselves back to the mythological patriarch Abraham, and it will be convenient to keep this family of traditions in mind throughout the rest of this book.

This is as good a moment as any to forestall an inevitable retort to the book, one that would otherwise--as sure as night follows day--turn up in a review: 'The God that Dawkins doesn't believe in is a God that I don't believe in either. I don't believe in an old man in the sky with a long white beard.' That old man is an irrelevant distraction and his beard is as tedious as it is long. Indeed, the distraction is worse than irrelevant. Its very silliness is calculated to distract attention from the fact that what the speaker really believes is not a whole lot less silly. I know you don't believe in an old bearded man sitting on a cloud, so let's not waste any more time on that. I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented. p. 36

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion


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  2. Perhaps if Dawkins can explain where matter comes from, or how the molecule came to be. He might have an argument.

    Not that it even matters. There is no amount of esoterica that can be employed that would distract me from the lessons Jesus taught. Virgin births, cities from the sky, giant fish swallowing people and spitting them out.....
    It's all irrelevant to Christianity. And Dawkins is just one of many who have and will exploit this topic for personal gain.

    A Dawkins decry is not evidence that an extra-bodily spiritual existence is impossible. It's just evidence that he doesn't believe it.

    I guess it comes down to whether or not one believes that our existence, as complex as it is, was some sort of accident that happened in space or not.
    I don't. The earth is a perfect perpetual machine. Like a great big blue Rolex. :P
    As is the universe and for all intents and purposes, every species of being on the planet.

    It's just too easy to explain away life as some sort of accident.

  3. ' I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented '

    Whilst I greatly admire Richard Dawkins as an evolutionary biologist. I still think he has blinkers on with regards to Religion .

    However , here I will restrict myself to a simple example using his statement above . Consider this .

    The Stoics , a type not known for their irreligiousity , were quite content with a purely natural God , indeed a fully materialistic one in fact . It is a case in point that we in the western world , especially Richard Dawkins it seems . are prone to view our religion through a filter of Abrahamic monotheism . We have to take these restrictions off if we want to do full justice to the religious quest of humankind .

    Regards .