Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion challenges theology to take the method and mandate of science seriously (1 Cor ). His argument is based on a naturalistic metaphysic heavily biased against transcendence. Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion challenges theology to take the. be worth asking yourself how this came about. The answer is usually some form of childhood indoctrination. If you are religious. THE GOD DELUSION. 2. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The God Delusion Dawkins, Richard () Go to backmocadiwus.gq _pdf and scroll.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|Genre:||Fiction & Literature|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration needed]|
The god delusion - Richard backmocadiwus.gq - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. The God Delusion is a best-selling book by English biologist Richard Dawkins, .. "Response to Richard Dawkins' comments on my writings in his book The God Delusion" (PDF). Retrieved 10 March ^ McGrath, Alister ( ). A Summary of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (), Bantam Press This short summary has omitted reference to Chapter 3 Arguments for God's.
What is so special about religion that we grant it such uniquely privileged respect? But at the same time they expressed 'respect' and 'sympathy' for the deep 'offence' and 'hurt' that Muslims had 'suffered'. I am not in favour of offending or hurting anyone just for the sake of it. The 'hurt' and 'suffering' consisted. I shall not go out of my way to offend.
All politicians must get used to disrespectful cartoons of their faces. Those of us schooled from infancy in his ways can become desensitized to their horror. Could anything be more mawkishly nauseating than Mrs C. I am not attacking the particular qualities of Yahweh. To be fair. Zeus or Wotan. Creative intelligences. Winston Churchill's son Randolph somehow contrived to remain ignorant of scripture until Evelyn Waugh and a brother officer.
The God Hypothesis should not stand or fall with its most unlovely instantiation. He has never read any of it before and is hideously excited. This book will advocate an alternative view: A naif blessed with the perspective of innocence has a clearer perception. Instead I shall define the God Hypothesis more defensibly: Not surprisingly, since it is founded on local traditions of private revelation rather than evidence, the God Hypothesis comes in many versions.
Historians of religion recognize a progression from primitive tribal animisms, through polytheisms such as those of the Greeks, Romans and Norsemen, to monotheisms such as Judaism and its derivatives, Christianity and Islam.
But it widely is - an assumption that provoked Ibn Warraq author of Why I Am Not a Muslim wittily to conjecture that monotheism is in its turn doomed to subtract one more god and become atheism. The Catholic Encyclopedia dismisses polytheism and atheism in the same insouciant breath: Nor can polytheism, however easily it may take hold of the popular imagination, ever satisfy the mind of a philosopher.
It was my ambition to persuade a member of Britain's respected Hindu community to come forward and bring a civil action to test this snobbish discrimination against polytheism. Far better, of course, would be to abandon the promotion of religion altogether as grounds for charitable status. The benefits of this to society would be great, especially in the United States, where the sums of tax-free money sucked in by churches, and polishing the heels of already well-heeled televangelists, reach levels that could fairly be described as obscene.
Almost unbelievably, it worked. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased. His polytheism isn't really polytheism but monotheism in disguise. There is only one God - Lord Brahma the creator, Lord Vishnu the preserver, Lord Shiva the destroyer, the goddesses Saraswati, Laxmi and Parvati wives of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva , Lord Ganesh the elephant god, and hundreds of others, all are just different manifestations or incarnations of the one God.
Christians should warm to such sophistry. Rivers of medieval ink, not to mention blood, have been squandered over the 'mystery' of the Trinity, and in suppressing deviations such as the Arian heresy. Arius of Alexandria, in the fourth century AD, denied that Jesus was consubstantial i. What on earth could that possibly mean, you are probably asking? What 'substance'? What exactly do you mean by 'essence'? Yet the controversy split Christendom down the middle for a century, and the Emperor Constantine ordered that all copies of Arius's book should be burned.
Splitting Christendom by splitting hairs - such has ever been the way of theology. Do we have one God in three parts, or three Gods in one? The Catholic Encyclopedia clears up the matter for us, in a masterpiece of theological close reasoning: In the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another.
Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: As if that were not clear enough, the Encyclopedia quotes the thirdcentury theologian St Gregory the Miracle Worker: There is therefore nothing created, nothing subject to another in the Trinity: Whatever miracles may have earned St Gregory his nickname, they were not miracles of honest lucidity.
His words convey the characteristically obscurantist flavour of theology, which - unlike science or most other branches of human scholarship - has not moved on in eighteen centuries. Thomas Jefferson, as so often, got it right when he said, 'Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.
Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. Perhaps it is the very fact that there is no evidence to support theological opinions, either way, that fosters the characteristic draconian hostility towards those of slightly different opinion, especially, as it happens, in this very field of Trinitarianism. Jefferson heaped ridicule on the doctrine that, as he put it, 'There are three Gods', in his critique of Calvinism.
But it is especially the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity that pushes its recurrent flirtation with polytheism towards runaway inflation.
The Trinity is are? The pantheon is further swollen by an army of saints, whose intercessory power makes them, if not demigods, well worth approaching on their own specialist subjects. The Catholic Community Forum helpfully lists 5, saints,18 together with their areas of expertise, which include abdominal pains, abuse victims,. And we mustn't forget the four Choirs of Angelic Hosts, arrayed in nine orders: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels heads of all hosts , and just plain old Angels, including our closest friends, the ever-watchful Guardian Angels.
What impresses me about Catholic mythology is partly its tasteless kitsch but mostly the airy nonchalance with which these people make up the details as they go along. It is just shamelessly invented. Pope John Paul II created more saints than all his predecessors of the past several centuries put together, and he had a special affinity with the Virgin Mary. His polytheistic hankerings were dramatically demonstrated in when he suffered an assassination attempt in Rome, and attributed his survival to intervention by Our Lady of Fatima: Others might think the team of surgeons who operated on him for six hours deserved at least a share of the credit; but perhaps their hands, too, were maternally guided.
The relevant point is that it wasn't just Our Lady who, in the Pope's opinion, guided the bullet, but specifically Our Lady of Fatima. How did the Greeks, the Romans and the Vikings cope with such polytheological conundrums?
Was Venus just another name for Aphrodite, or were they two distinct goddesses of love? Was Thor with his hammer a manifestation of Wotan, or a separate god? Who cares? Life is too short to bother with the distinction between one figment of the imagination and many. Having gestured towards polytheism to cover myself against a charge of neglect, I shall say no more about it.
For brevity I shall refer to all deities, whether poly- or monotheistic, as simply 'God'. I am also conscious that the Abrahamic God is to put it mildly aggressively male, and this too I shall accept as a convention in my use of pronouns. More sophisticated theologians proclaim the sexlessness of God, while.
But what, after all, is the difference between a non-existent female and a non-existent male? I suppose that, in the ditzily unreal intersection of theology and feminism, existence might indeed be a less salient attribute than gender. I am aware that critics of religion can be attacked for failing to credit the fertile diversity of traditions and world-views that have been called religious. Read such books and marvel at the richness of human gullibility.
But that is not the way of this book. 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 the 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: I don't believe in an old man in the sky with a long white beard. 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. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal - God is the Omnipotent Father - hence the loathing of women for 2, years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.
The oldest of the three Abrahamic religions, and the clear ancestor of the other two, is Judaism: During the Roman occupation of Palestine, Christianity was founded by Paul of Tarsus as a less ruthlessly monotheistic sect of Judaism and a less exclusive one, which looked outwards from the Jews to the rest of the world.
Several centuries later, Muhammad and his followers reverted to the uncompromising monotheism of the Jewish original, but not its exclusiveness, and founded Islam upon a new holy book, the Koran or Qur'an, adding a powerful ideology of military conquest to spread the faith. Christianity, too, was spread by the sword, wielded first by Roman hands after the Emperor Constantine raised it from eccentric cult to official religion, then by the Crusaders, and later by the conquistadores and other European invaders and colonists, with missionary accompaniment.
For most of my purposes, all three Abrahamic religions can be treated as indistinguishable. Unless otherwise stated, I shall have Christianity mostly in mind, but only because it is the version with which I happen to be most familiar. For my purposes the differences matter less than the similarities. And I shall not be concerned at all with other religions such as Buddhism or Confucianism.
Indeed, there is something to be said for treating these not as. The simple definition of the God Hypothesis with which I began has to be substantially fleshed out if it is to accommodate the Abrahamic God.
He not only created the universe; he is a personal God dwelling within it, or perhaps outside it whatever that might mean , possessing the unpleasantly human qualities to which I have alluded.
Personal qualities, whether pleasant or unpleasant, form no part of the deist god of Voltaire and Thomas Paine. Compared with the Old Testament's psychotic delinquent, the deist God of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment is an altogether grander being: The deist God is a physicist to end all physics, the alpha and omega of mathematicians, the apotheosis of designers; a hyper-engineer who set up the laws and constants of the universe, fine-tuned them with exquisite precision and foreknowledge, detonated what we would now call the hot big bang, retired and was never heard from again.
In times of stronger faith, deists have been reviled as indistinguishable from atheists. Susan Jacoby, in Freethinkers: Paine died in penury, abandoned with the honourable exception of Jefferson by political former friends embarrassed by his anti-Christian views. Nowadays, the ground has shifted so far that deists are more likely to be contrasted with atheists and lumped with theists.
They do, after all, believe in a supreme intelligence who created the universe. No doubt many of them were,. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. I must believe in A. But whatever their individual religious views in their own time. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position percent.
I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person. But like any powerful weapon. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And l a m even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs.
There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue. Certainly their writings on religion in their own time leave me in no doubt that most of them would have been atheists in ours. Yet Ed Buckner has convincingly demonstrated that they caused no dissent at the time.
As the Government of the United States of America is not. Precisely because America is legally secular. There is no doubt that many Americans see their own local church as an important unit of identity. It is an interesting idea. I am continually asked why this is. The paradox has often been noted that the United States. Contrary to their view. U S I O N version of history.
The opening words of this quotation would cause uproar in today's Washington ascendancy. A colleague points out to me that immigrants. I suppose it is possible that England has wearied of religion after an appalling history of interfaith violence. Another suggestion stems from the observation that America is a nation of immigrants.
Yet another hypothesis is that the religiosity of America stems paradoxically from the secularism of its constitution. This tea-drinking. The genie of religious fanaticism is rampant in present-day America.
There was a time when the country vicar was a staple of the English dramatis personae. Rival churches compete for congregations. What works for soap flakes works for God. Whether or not it is right to embrace the paradox and blame the secular constitution that they devised.
He wouldn't break into an existential sweat or press you against a wall to ask if you were saved. Fraser goes on to say that 'the nice country vicar in effect inoculated vast swaths of the English against Christianity'. In England. Fraser's article is subtitled 'The establishment of the Church of England took God out of religion.
This English tradition is nicely expressed by Giles Fraser. He ends his article by lamenting a more recent trend in the Church of England to take religion seriously again.
Author of America. I cannot reason otherwise. I am satisfied. Christopher Hitchens. Peter Carr. As to whether he was an atheist. Fix reason firmly in her seat. Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices. Question with boldness even the existence of a. But as he had written to his nephew. But it is tantalizing to speculate that at least some of the Founders might have gone beyond deism.
Might they have been agnostics or even out-and-out atheists? The following statement of Jefferson is indistinguishable from what we would now call agnosticism: To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul. Remarks of Jefferson's such as 'Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man' are compatible with deism but also with atheism. I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens.
But how has it happened that millions of fables. What has been its fruits? More or less. This is one nation under God. All the Founding Fathers. So is James Madison's robust anticlericalism: That gives the measure of the prejudice and discrimination that American atheists have to endure today. T almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved.
Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! The first police officer to whom he spoke asked. A Christian faith-healer ran a 'Miracle Crusade' which came to Mills's home town once a year. Atheists in America are more numerous than most people realize. Let's start punching our weight. Editor of Free Inquiry. As I said in the Preface.
Mills decided to try his luck with a second police officer. None of them was helpful. He was finally connected to a sergeant who said. Among other things. This one said that if any of the faith-healer's supporters violently confronted Mills. When Mills replied. American atheists far outnumber religious Jews. Free Inquiry Reasonably enough. Mills relates that he spoke to about seven or eight policemen that day. Mills decided to organize a peaceful demonstration to warn people.
Mills went home and tried telephoning the police station. What might American atheists achieve if they organized themselves properly? No policeman wants to protect a goddamned atheist. I hope somebody bloodies you up good.
But he made the mistake of going to the police to tell them of his intention and ask for police protection against possible attacks from supporters of the faith-healer. It is universally accepted that an admission of atheism would be instant political suicide for any presidential candidate. I am a Christian.
Nehru's definition of the secular India of Gandhi's dream would that it had been realized. I am a Jew. These facts about today's political climate in the United States.
There are members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate. Assuming that the majority of these individuals are an educated sample of the population. Adams and all their friends. I am a Buddhist! I am a Moslem. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction. They would have been drawn instead to the secularist founding fathers of postcolonial India. Who can blame them.
The spectacle of what is called religion. They must have lied. Whether they were atheists. What it means is that it is a State which honours all faiths equally and gives them equal opportunities. It is the reasonable position. In the same vein. What this preacher couldn't stand was agnostics: That obviously is not correct.
In any of its forms the God Hypothesis is unnecessary. Unfortunately it is scarcely more likely that he exists. India has a long history of religious tolerance. In a country like India. I had no need of that hypothesis.
Some people think that it means something opposed to religion. He was partly right. We talk about a secular India. Meanwhile I turn to agnosticism. I shall come to that in Chapter 4. He reserved his contempt for the wishy-washy boneless mediocrities who flapped around in the middle. They at least had the courage of their misguided convictions. Are they right?
I'll begin by distinguishing two kinds of agnosticism. Philosophers cite this question as one that can never be answered. How about the question of God? Should we be agnostic about him too? Many have said definitely yes. But there is also a deeply inescapable kind of fence-sitting. Agnosticism about the causes of both these mass extinctions is reasonable. The fact that the acronym spells a word used by that old school preacher is almost accidental. There is a truth out there and one day we hope to know it.
But it could have been any of various other possible causes. An example might be that philosophical chestnut. The question exists on a different plane. It could have been a meteorite strike like the one that. The PAP style of agnosticism is appropriate for questions that can never be answered. Maybe your red is my green.
TAP would be a reasonable stance towards the Permian extinction. Good arguments can be mounted both ways. When he refused to commit himself. In the celebrated French philosopher Auguste Comte wrote. The word infidel. It is a scientific question. And some scientists and other intellectuals are convinced. In the history of ideas. The Principal of King's College. Either he exists or he doesn't.
From this. He may prefer to call himself an agnostic. Now spectroscopists daily confound Comte's agnosticism with their long-distance analyses of the precise chemical composition of even distant stars.
Fraunhofer had begun using his spectroscope to analyse the chemical composition of the sun. It is. Perhaps it is right that it should. The view that I shall defend is very different: Huxley went on to explain that agnostics have no creed. Huxley lightly. I don't think Huxley would. To a scientist these are noble words. That I take to be the agnostic faith. I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion.
The fact that we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of something does. Later in his speech. But Huxley. Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect. And negatively: So I took thought. Huxley returned to the word 'agnostic' and explained how he first came by it.
We have all done this at one time or another. God's existence or non-existence is a scientific fact about the universe. De facto atheist. God himself could clinch the argument. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. I know. Contrary to Huxley. The spectrum is continuous. In the words of C. And even if God's existence is never proved or disproved with certainty one way or the other.
Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. Completely impartial agnostic. Let us. If he existed and chose to reveal it.
Even if hard to test in practice. De facto theist. I shall suggest that the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other. I count myself in category 6. The proposition on offer is too meaningless to be dignified with a probability. The fact that I cannot know whether your red is the same as my green doesn't make the probability 50 per cent.
Another way to express that error is in terms of the burden of proof. The spectrum of probabilities works well for TAP temporary agnosticism in practice. It is in the nature of faith that one is capable. PAP agnostics aver that we cannot say anything. It is superficially tempting to place PAP permanent agnosticism in principle in the middle of the spectrum.
Atheists do not have faith. Hence category 7 is in practice rather emptier than its opposite number. The question. He is an a-theist to exactly the same large extent that he is an a-fairyist. I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. And agnostic about both. A friend. He regards God as no more probable than the tooth fairy. This is. But if I were to go on to say that. We would not waste time saying so because nobody.
Russell's teapot. In practice. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit. The Independent on Sunday of 5 June carried the following item: Yet strictly we should all be teapot agnostics: You can't disprove either hypothesis.
That great American lawyer Clarence Darrow said. Russell's point is that the burden of proof rests with the believers. None of us feels an obligation to disprove any of the millions of far-fetched things that a fertile or facetious imagination might dream up.
Unlike other summer camps that follow a religious or scouting ethos. The fact that orbiting teapots and tooth fairies are undisprovable is not felt. I haven't read it myself. Amon Ra. Other Camp Quests with a similar ethos have now sprung up in Tennessee.
Camp Quest. I have found it an amusing strategy. By the way. Ohio and Canada. I just go one god further. There is no reason to regard God as immune from consideration along the spectrum of probabilities. McGrath says. On page after page as I read McGrath. In the case of the Abrahamic God. I found myself scribbling 'teapot' in the margin. What matters is not whether God is disprovable he isn't but whether his existence is probable.
That is another matter. That you cannot prove God's nonexistence is accepted and trivial. Huxley declared that the God question could not be settled on the basis of the scientific method. Again invoking T. Egypt and the Vikings. Some undisprovable things are sensibly judged far less probable than other undisprovable things.
And there is certainly no reason to suppose that. Memes and the Origin of Life. Russell's teapot demonstrates that the ubiquity of belief in God.
Such questions lie beyond science. The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. Rocks of Ages. Why is that not a scientific matter? Gould carried the art of bending over backwards to positively supine lengths in one of his less admired books.
What breathes life into the equations. Why shouldn't we comment on God. To cite the old cliches. As I shall argue in a moment. We neither affirm nor deny it. What are these ultimate questions in whose presence religion is an honoured guest and science must respectfully slink away? And why isn't Russell's teapot. This sounds terrific. These two magisteria do not overlap. In another book I recounted the words of an Oxford astronomer who. Why not the gardener or the chef? Perhaps there are some genuinely profound and meaningful questions that are forever beyond the reach of science.
I am tempted to go further and wonder in what possible sense theologians can be said to have a province. Why are unicorns hollow? Some questions simply do not deserve an answer. I am still amused when I recall the remark of a former Warden head of my Oxford college.
But if science cannot answer some ultimate question. Maybe quantum theory is already knocking on the door of the unfathomable.
What is the colour of abstraction? What is the smell of hope? The fact that a question can be phrased in a grammatically correct English sentence doesn't make it meaningful. A young theologian had applied for a junior research fellowship. This is where I have to hand over to our good friend the chaplain. What on Earth is a why question? Not every English sentence beginning with the word 'why' is a legitimate question.
I suspect that neither. It is a tedious cliche and. As I say. I shall return to such questions in Chapter 7. If we reject Deuteronomy and Leviticus as all enlightened moderns do. Which religion.
I don't think we should even throw them a sop. How many literalists have read enough of the Bible to know that the death penalty is prescribed for adultery. I have yet to see any good reason to suppose that theology as opposed to biblical history. And if we have independent criteria for choosing among religious moralities. It is conceivable that he really did intend his unequivocally strong statement that science has nothing whatever to say about the question of God's existence: I suspect that both astronomers were.
But does Gould really want to cede to religion the right to tell us what is good and what is bad? The fact that it has nothing else to contribute to human wisdom is no reason to hand religion a free licence to tell us what to do. I simply do not believe that Gould could possibly have meant much of what he wrote in Rocks of Ages. Unlike my astronomer friends. The one in which we happen to have been brought up?
To which chapter. He can make the planets move in the way that Kepler discovered that they move. Just too easy. The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is.
God is not limited by the laws of nature. Richard Swinburne. This remarkably widespread fallacy. It implies that science cannot even make probability judgements on the question. And whatever else they may say. What the theist claims about God is that he does have a power to create.
The difference between the two hypothetical universes could hardly be more fundamental in principle. And it undermines the complacently seductive dictum that science must be completely silent about religion's central existence claim.
On what basis did he make that judgement. The God Hypothesis suggests that the reality we inhabit also contains a supernatural agent who designed the universe and.
Whatever else this is. And he can also make objects move or do anything else. So also is the truth or falsehood of every one of the miracle stories that religions rely upon to impress multitudes of the faithful.
Did Jesus have a human father. Neither DNA nor any other scientific evidence could ever have any bearing on the matter. The late King of the Belgians is a candidate for. Sophisticated theologians aside and even they are happy to tell miracle stories to the unsophisticated in order to swell congregations.
To dramatize the point. The moment there was the smallest suggestion of any evidence in favour of religious belief. Did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? Did he himself come alive again. The methods we should use to settle the matter. There is an answer to every such question. Whether or not there is enough surviving evidence to decide it. Wrong magisterium! We're concerned only with ultimate questions and with moral values.
Can you imagine religious apologists shrugging their shoulders and saying anything remotely like the following? Scientific evidence is completely irrelevant to theological questions. You can bet your boots that the scientific evidence.
I suspect that alleged miracles provide the strongest reason many believers have for their faith. It would. I imagine the whole business is an embarrassment to more sophisticated circles within the Church. But I suggest that even a.
The whole point of NOMA is that it is a two-way bargain. Surely that is an adequate separation? Surely NOMA can survive this more modest and unassuming religion? There are motorists who believe God saves them a parking space.
At most. Earnest investigations are now going on to discover whether any miraculous cures can be attributed to prayers offered up to him since his death. This style of theism is embarrassingly popular. Gould would presumably retort along the following lines. The moment religion steps on science's turf and starts to meddle in the real world with miracles. Why any circles worthy of the name of sophisticated remain within the Church is a mystery at least as deep as those that theologians enjoy.
To adapt Alice's comment on her sister's book before she fell into Wonderland. There are athletes who believe God helps them win. I am not joking. That is the case. When faced with miracle stories. Remember Ambrose Bierce's witty definition of the verb 'to pray': And the conclusion to the argument. Prayers are commonly offered for sick people. NOMA God. At the third of these dinners. They are close to being irreconcilably different. Darwin's cousin Francis Galton was the first to analyse scientifically whether praying for people is efficacious.
His intention may. I return to the point: Shouldn't they. He noted that every Sunday. I accept that it may not be so easy in practice to distinguish one kind of universe from the other. Like nothing else. More recently. As far as I know. But Lord. Valiantly shouldering aside all mockery. Mr Evans in the nextdoor bed. Oh right.
The patients were assigned. Mr Evans received a thousand prayers per day? Bob Newhart didn't do a sketch about it. Oh I see. Mr Evans doesn't know a thousand people. The very idea of doing such experiments is open to a generous measure of ridicule. What was that. Dr Benson was earlier quoted in a Templeton press release as 'believing that evidence for the efficacy of intercessory prayer in medicinal settings is mounting'.
Apparently that would be enough to enable God to pinpoint the right hospital bed. But care was taken to tell them only the first name and initial letter of the surname. You can't cure me because I'm a member of the control group? What's that you say. Those who did the experimental praying had to know the names of the individuals for whom they were praying otherwise. Neither the patients. Group 2 the control group received no prayers and didn't know it.
Was God doing a bit of smiting. Group 1 received prayers and didn't know it. Dr Benson and his team monitored 1. There was a difference between those who knew they had been prayed for and those who did not know one way or the other. The Oxford theologian Richard Swinburne. Group 3 tests for possible psychosomatic effects of knowing that one is being prayed for. It is good experimental practice to standardize as far as possible.
Those who knew they had been the beneficiaries of prayer suffered significantly more complications than those who did not. It seems more probable that those patients who knew they were being prayed for suffered additional stress in consequence: Group 3 received prayers and did know it.
The comparison between Groups 1 and 2 tests for the efficacy of intercessory prayer. There was no difference between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not. The praying individuals. The patients were divided into three groups. It will be no surprise that this study was opposed by theologians. Prayers were delivered by the congregations of three churches.
Dr Charles Bethea. What a surprise. The results. The puncher was visibly shaken and I often wondered how the science teacher squared up to our religious nut headmaster afterwards.
He left within a year. Ignorant people are to be feared and some of them wield immense power far beyond their capacity to reason. Funnily enough, the image that sprang to my mind was the thought of the Saudi Religious Police running around like headless chickens! Keystone Cops, Arabian style! And Baddiel raised funds for the musical through a Kickstarter campaign. Someone with connections deep in the CIA needs to have a chit-chat with them with the goal of cutting a deal with Richard that will lead to the production of mass quantities of The God Delusion on bible thin paper.
Then a strategy of infiltration by stealth would hide the source of the books as you described above. I would like to know more about their motivations, of course. It is even more surprising to me that the title of the book TGD had objections coming from psychiatrists-it seems-, but it is equally surprising to me objections of any kind, even if the objection comes from a dutch prime minister to the Koran or mein kampf, or any other objection- the prohibition of reading Marx has been recently abolished in Turkey too- as though as if readers were children needing protection.
Protection against my own freedom and conscience? No thanks!!!! What a nice article. The story comes out ok for religion in the end. There is a bigger story there. There is no problem with this sort of work in the UK. It is in muslim countries that I have concerns. Surely some Muslim countries could take it. If you had to choose one Muslim country to stage this musical, which would it be?
The problem, as I see it, is the interpretation. It really would have to come from someone who knows the culture well and can interpret it accurately.
You know, there were muslims and Jews at the theatre, as I said, sitting side by side, with certain jokes only clear to one or the other. Not one, that I saw was offended. Ironically, the only people that were, that I noticed, were the two English women behind me. I find so many people miss so much detail, in films also, it baffles me what they find to enjoy as adults. Ban the Koran?
In which of his other books, before or after TGD, was this character trait particularly evident? Who knows, even some of the IS village idiots might begin to cotton on; the language of the book is accessible enough.
Again, hiding and deception will not help the situation. It is harder to deny your own people than to demonise those outside and then ban. It seems there was a comment by Kate Cordeth that has been removed with no message from the moderator.
Just thought it might be interesting. We have not, however, removed your link, though in the form you have posted it above it does not appear to be working. I love the idea that people in Saudi or other theocracies Texas perhaps are coming together, possibly under cover of darkness, to share their beliefs.
This is the internet as it should be. Not idiots sharing pictures of their cats or telling you what they had for dinner, but a system for delivering controversial, even heretical, ideas to otherwise inaccessible locales. Totalitarianism has always feared information-disseminating technology, going back to the invention of the printing press.
Yes it sucks having to genuflect before the hated god of political correctness—my intelligence, education and wisdom should be enough to convince you I am correct; it is for lesser men to take the unimpeachable logic of what I say and apply it in the actual, grubby world—but remember, political correctness is the thing we substitute for actual empathy and cultural understanding, which tend to be in short supply on this planet of nearly eight billion psychotic, opinionated and change-phobic chimps.
Sadly, I think New Atheism may already have burned some strategically important bridges. Must have been the one I replied to below. I think Katy included a link to a download page for TGD — that may be the reason the post has been removed. Katy has re-posted. No, the link was to an article which reported that Richard had responded to people who were unable to view in their location a documentary he made by suggesting they could get it from an illicit source.
He was the one who linked to this source. Would you say that this has no positive effect? Certainly, there are those who read haram ideas and sputter and rail against them, but as we see here, some readers are substantially supported by their access to these ideas on the internet.
I also think there is much value in the reading of our ideas by staunch religionists because although they may hate every idea presented to them, there is the possibility that a small seed of doubt could take hold and at some point, after a period of latency, spring to life.
If you agree that the infidel sponsored internet has had a positive effect, then why not add some ideas on the printed page as well? Is there really so much difference? Books and articles can provide access to those who have no internet access in that part of the world. I understand the resistance factor to any criticism of Islam, especially by the infidels. One need only open the Koran to any page at all in order to become acquainted with the dire warnings to the true believer to be on guard against infidels who intend to destroy their sacred religion.
And I do agree with you that with any progressive reform movement, the bulk of the change must come from within. It has contributed to centuries of successful indoctrination and mind control by religions. If religion was a harmless, silly hobby such as astrology or alchemy, then I could go along with a hands off approach.
Sure, let the astrologers go their merry ways without harrassment from us atheists. But we are not dealing with the happy clappy head in the clouds bunch here. We are dealing with misogynists, homophobes and control freak fascists who have no problem with advancing their own agenda through violent means. It is apparent that they intent to advance this agenda directly into my own backyard!
It is a very easy case to make that if we DO NOT take every action to remedy this situation then we are solidly in the category of ethical violation! Since we have a victim class here that is a huge number of people billions? Surely those of us who have seen what happens to women in that culture and gays and atheists too have a sharp and clear view of their misery. All the more reason to bring this type of project within the skirts of the law. I also see it as a talking shop of its own.
Striving to make it bilateral and operated by Arabs and Turks etc. I think an awful lot of misconceptions would be addressed if the authors on both sides got involved in the exchanges too. I so do not want us all smiling, shoes polished. New Atheism is, prosaically, a social phenomenon not a movement like secularism.
For me it has no bridges to burn. We are a society far more of individuals. If we have some schtick in the promotion of western sensibilities it is this, that we allow personal freedoms to a far greater extent. More offense is given, but less is taken. More diverse and creative thinking is done, and less group thought policing. Vulgar and offensive behaviour is dealt with in a slower but more educative manner. My kids squabbled and I always weighed in to break it up, until someone asked how on earth they were going to learn to live together if I was the one to set the rules all the time?
Hands off worked. Conversation after any unkind behaviour worked. Details please leaving aside Sarah Palin, of course. And whose man and why? Maybe I can explain better if you take a look at this LaurieB. If you are being bombed on all sides and then, no matter how eager or honest you may be, those reonsible for voting in the government that is bombing you is telling you to walk away from your only belief……..
A place on the sofa is worth ten feet in the door. Ah you sort of hint later. But how you get from a bit clutzy on occasions which is what I detect in the tweets to flesh tearing terror seems a bit of a leap.
I like that article you linked to.
It should be put up for discussion and so should the next one that Economist recommended to me for reading about slavery in Islam. That one was even better. Based on my personal observations, BMW is having no problem selling cars in Muslim countries. But seriously, I absolutely get it about the political catastrophe between the West and the Muslim world. Without a heavy handed political solution then our war of ideas will be all for nothing. I favor a multivalent strategy. I too value all strategies but do not value ones that destroy those that are most successful.
You did not say, fully, if you got the fact for the link and the science if selling. If you did then I missed it, sorry.
Are you asking me if I understand the relevance of the article that you linked to? If so then what I think you want me to understand is that even though we would send a message into that part of the world to convey a specific idea, that message could be distorted by cultural context into the very opposite of what we had in mind.
This paragraph is the one I had in mind:. In one context, people may see it as the cornerstone of modern medical progress. In another, it will bring to mind such controversial issues as abortion, genetically modified foodstuffs, and the sinister subject of eugenics. Well, yes and no. The link was to show the science of selling, so before the event rather than after. If it is misunderstood then it is the fault of the seller not the downloader.
If better results are achieved by letting muslims preach to muslims then we should acknowledge that. I think that Dawkins would be quite right to refuse the oily invitation that is contained in this offer, and I hope that he continues to do so. I say this while having actually found his manners to be quite unusually polite and even quiet, especially when one considers the context of this discussion.
When the BMW advertising scheme goes awry resulting in lower sales, I have some difficulty dredging up any feelings of sadness for the company. Are there any real victims in this picture? Sales are one thing and human rights are quite another. A Turk is eating that? My dear Olgun, please get help.
Albatrossing my antagonist with cheap killer canine jibes. Goodness Gracious Me passed me by. I did see a documentary about religion presented by Ann Widdecombe in which she pretended to be offended by a sketch from that show about an Indian family receiving Holy Communion for the first time. The conceit was that these foreigners misunderstood the meaning of the Eucharist to such a degree they tried to improve the experience by sprinkling flavorsome subcontinental spices onto the host cracker to make it taste nicer.
Totes fake. If the dreadful harridan had been raised Catholic it might have been more convincing. The sketch has apparently never been repeated on the BBC.
Mock Them. Ridicule Them. In Public. With Contempt. Come on. I refuse to believe that someone so steeped in the culture of that city could be unfamiliar with this famous Irish pronoun phrase. Close your eyes. Block your ears. Stamp your feet. Rebecca Hamilton: Christian destroys 10 commandments monument, Rebecca Hamilton finds a way to cry persecution.
I thought Patheos was the personal blog of that guy whose articles are sometimes linked to here and whose name escapes me. Note to self: I too love British radio comedy. Eccles and Bluebottle have been wonderful companions. More of Katy would help. The Indian people are much more tolerant of English thugs. The Turks would neither do it or tolerate it, as they showed in the Tottenham riots when they took to the streets to stop the looting.
But there is a more serious concern though, regarding the difficulty of translating a text: It was indeed the claims that were the issue. Not his best construction of the point though and fallen upon gleefully by those seeking a defence and those promoting a good thumping.
Metaphorically stringing something unfortunate around anothers neck that they may not remove. The epithet rottweiler for example. Selling human rights in western law against sharia law, that is the difference, IMHO.
There is a lot to change here and change is frightening to our species. We must employ all sorts of human sciences and just saying there are your human rights, go gettem, is not the scientific way. This is not just a fight against oppressors. It is not that simple. The oppressors are as afraid and the same people. His alleged stridency was discussed at length here a while ago on the thread Richard Dawkins to Speak in Belfast. Again, none of these is automatically a bad thing to have as a character trait.
Shrinking violets do not make headlines or recruit others to the cause of politicized atheism. The title of The God Delusion was deliberately provocative: You have a discipline in which you are very distinguished.
You see your discipline being attacked and defamed and attempts made to drive it out. Stridency is the least you should muster. A lower-in-fat racism substitute also available as a spray, if you like. Hemant Mehta. He posts his stuff on Patheos, which is why I though it was his personal blog. See my response to Marktony for what I think about the Rottweiller and strident epithets.
I imagine that I am so brave for being a reasonably outspoken nonbeliever and yet this pales in comparison. It is also cool that Richard is fine with people downloading a free version of hos book. Are U sure? Maybe the sheik bought the lot for a public bonfire?
Hallelujah indeed. He addresses the choice of title in the preface including:. The first part captures religious faith perfectly. As to whether it is a symptom of a psychiatric disorder, I am inclined to follow Robert M. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.
OK, so his strident uncompromising approach has been a success. But my initial reply was in response to your:.
Here is what he said:. So when I meet somebody who claims to be religious, my first impulse is: Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Ridicule them! In public! Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits. Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt. Your man Sam Harris was more subtle in his mockery of Rabbi Wolpe here.
Should it? It seems pretty obvious really. Islam is not a race, Islam is not a gender. If Richard has had to repeatedly make that point, it is probably because he is repeatedly being accused of racism when he criticises Islam.
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: Since Islamic scripture includes parts of the OT, does that also make him racist against Islam?
People who think they have a personal relationship with the Almighty may indeed be delusional. There are other reasons why someone might make such a claim. Religion can give people a sense of identity within a family group or community at large, a state of affairs which would be jeopardized if everyone were candid about what they actually believe.
Do you think the wheat can be separated from all the poisonous chaff? That is the part I agree with. Richard may be all kinds of clever when it comes to knowing about biology and which way up an elephant is meant to go, but as a recruiting officer his skills leave much to be desired. New Atheism has a sheen of unpleasant superiority about it; the idea that its members should call themselves Brights, which I believe even Christopher Hitchens considered a terrible idea, is one example of this mindset.
Link copied and bookmarked. Thank you. Not this again. This has been argued into the ground. Okay, in a nutshell: Richard says something one can convert in or out of cannot be considered a race, case closed.
In case you were wondering, the other part of the argument concerns Islamic rules about apostasy. How has UCL come to this: The content of their character, and all that. Because Dawkins has gone from criticising the religion itself to criticising Muslims, as a vast bloc. For instance, would Dawkins have tweeted another fact, which is that Trinity also has twice as many Nobel prizes as all black people put together?
Yet he is willing to make the equivalent inference about Muslims, without further evidence. Richard is happy to identify as a cultural Christian. Does this mean a white westerner should not be allowed to express disapproval of acts committed in the name of Islam?
Certainly not, although that is what Dawkins, Harris, Maher etc would have you believe is the liberal position: Nice try, boys, but: All we ask is that you do so in a rational way and without resorting to the kind of reasoning that a tattooed EDL remember them?
Does it really? The Green Party requires no such stipulation on its membership form because xenophobes tend not to gravitate toward it.
I for one do not know who the hell these Muslims think they are. A Jewish neighbor of mine sometimes tosses his garbage in with my carefully sorted recyclables. Who the hell do these Jews think they are? Which is where we came in. Quite the reverse in fact. You can be as snarky as you like about the idiocy of religious beliefs if every member of your intimate circle is as atheist as you. To dismiss the phenomenon of religion and faith as mere hallucinatory or illusionary undercuts something much deeper in the human psyche and universal, if not, evolutionary experience i.
Konrad Lorenz hinted at this in his brilliant observations on human nature.
One can just as easily assign this basic human capacity to religion, ritual, mythology and faith. In essence, and what is almost certainly irrefutable, humans make shit up. And in that marvelous world of the imagination they find inspiration to dance, experience awe, play music, paint on walls and canvasses, build magnificent structures and cathedrals, come together, as well as unleash unspeakable atrocities upon the world.
While the latter behaviors should never be forgotten, diminished or revised, neither should the former. So, where does that leave us? Once we expose the cruelties and excesses of a particular belief system, we are still left with the essential human attribute to imagine, create and manifest those marvelous, terrible, and wondrous things into our beings, families, community and life experience. Why do so many religions have a dress code, tell you how much hair you should grow on your face, dictate the foods you will eats, and build mini fairy tale kingdoms: Psychiatry a mistaken or misleading opinion, idea, belief, etc: Psychiatry psychiatry a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason.
No, it means Judaism is not a race and criticising Judaism is not racism. Just as criticising Israel is not racism. Interestingly but not surprisingly, DNA studies have found a large genetic overlap between Jews and Muslim Palestinians. I think Richard is well aware that there are people who criticise Islam who have ulterior racist, xenophobic motives. Richard Dawkins explains to the reader why he had chosen the title of the book TGD. Now why does name of Galileo spring to mind?
Luckily for us, Galileo had the good sense to recant, and his ideas spread. I am losing count of the number of public apologies Richard, yer man , has made for his various transgressions. My quotes. Fleabytes Report abuse. Tuh, the church and gays, eh. Was Galileo Galilei known for presenting his ideas in a particularly sarcastic way? Cosa sei, un idiota? The greatest advancement of Arabic science not islamic science since … well arabic science started.
Crossword puzzles are boring? We are not approaching final debate night in the Middle East, one last, best approach is not necessary. Muslim, a follower of the religion of Islam. There is no such thing as an atheist Muslim. Your claim seems to imply criticizing Muslims, is racist to Arabs; however there are plenty of non-Arab Muslims. My, admittedly limited, understanding of why Galileo was brought before the Inquisition was partly because of his somewhat disrespectful attitude towards his Holiness and the RCC.
He was a great scientist and he knew that he had made great breakthroughs, but he realised that discretion was the better part of valour. If the idea could be seeded that, as with the other two branches of Abrahamism, cultural Islam was a thing, I really think it might make a difference for the better. Makes you proud.
I know that. There are Ethiopian Jews too. Thanks, that is a long article. I see you got a mention. Religious apologists do seem to believe that proclaiming they used be atheists is a great opener. I am delighted that there is now an Arabic version of this book. I spoke to Prof Dawkins, several years ago, at a book signing for The God Delusion in London, and asked him if he would allow me to translate his book into Arabic.
His reply was — I will not allow you to do that for your own safety. Well done to Bassam Al-Baghdadi for going ahead regardless of the consequences.