'THE DAWKINS DELUSION' New book responds to Dawkins 'The God Delusion'

by nicolaou 79 Replies latest social current

  • LittleToe
  • gumb

    Madame Quixote, thank you for your response. My access to the internet is limited, so please excuse the delay in addressing your posts.

    I would like to begin by addressing the first word under consideration:


    : "1 of logic or formal argument. 2 not contravening the laws of thought, correctly reasoned. 3 deducible or defensible on the ground of consistency; reasonably to be believed or done. 4 capable of correct reasoning." (The Oxford English Reference Dictionary).

    My view is that humans are able to determine what is 'reasonable to be believed or done' only on the basis of their own experience. In my experience life begets life, design requires a designer. Logic is based on what we have observed to be the case under testable circumstances. Therefore, the unknown can be tested 'logically' only by observation of the world as we know it now, not millions of years ago. If design by designers is the norm in the testable world, then I fail to see how it is 'not logical' to believe in an ultimate designer (God, or whatever you wish to call him/her/it). In the absence of absolute evidence, one can extrapolate only by experience. Now I am not saying that there is a God, just that I disagree with the blanket term 'not logical' (or 'contravening the laws of thought') to believe in one.

    I look forward to more discussion.

  • gumb

    Madame Quixote,


    : 1. a thing that is known to have occurred, to exist, or to be true. 2 a datum of experience (often foll. by an explanatory clause or phrase: the fact that fire burns; the fact of my having seen them). 3 (usu. in pl.) an item of verified information; a piece of evidence. 4 truth, reality. 5 a thing assumed as the basis for argument or inference. (The Oxford English Reference Dictionary).

    So, a fact is something 'known to have occurred, to exist, or to be true'. Which means it must be testable and capable of being proven. The dictionary extract gives the example of the fact that fire burns. This is immediately testable, much to the dismay of the one being burned! It is what we might call a solid fact. Now there are of course things that have gained the reputation of fact on the basis of overwhelming evidence, which therefore is established as such by being 'assumed as the basis for argument or inference'. As an example, a coroner's verdict that someone was murdered even though there were no witnesses to the 'fact' of the crime. In this case, in line with what I said regarding 'logic', the coroner has to use his experience as a guide to reaching his conclusion.

    As I understand it, evolutionists claim evolution as fact, but explanations of the process of evolution as theory. Now, the problem with this is that biologists use words like 'micro evolution' and 'species', where others would use 'adaptation' and 'variations'. We could argue about what we mean by 'evolution', but for now let us agree that micro evolution or adaptation - minor changes in shape and colour for example, is provable (ie fact), here and now. Of course, we will differ on why it happens or what drives it.

    Macro evolution - huge changes in biological makeup without a guiding hand, is something entirely different, in that it is not (to my knowledge) observable and therefore provable in the world in which we live. This is what most non-biologists would probably, I think, regard as 'evolution', that is the changing from one recognisable 'type' to that of another. This leads us inevitably to the question of evidence, which I will talk about in another post.

    Thanks for all the information posted. Please don't take offense, but I believe that it is the responsibility of those who champion the cause of a particular thing to present their arguments personally. For one thing a huge amount of one's personal time can be wasted wading through other people's articles to find the salient bits amongst things that are often already known. However, I don't object to small quotes on specific points of argument. If one is not able to defend ones belief system personally, then it does beg the question, "Do this person truly know why they believe the way they do?" A question which we all here probably agree is relevant to the majority of JWs.

    I applaud you in the fact (no pun intended) that you left the WTS with the noble reason that you were prepared to think for yourself. This was also the case with me and is a driving force in my deciding what I believe is true. I do not allow peer pressure or what the 'experts' say to determine for me what I should believe, and that is why I was not prepared to 'jump out of the frying pan (WTS) and into the fire (some other belief system)'. Although I have looked into the claims of evolutionists, I can honestly say that the belief in life by chance never appealed to me intellectually.

  • gumb


    On the matter of 'fact' and 'logic', please note my previous postings.

    1. Please elaborate on what you mean by '(a) simple forms of life developing into (b) more complex ones'; examples would be good. Are these evolutionary routes from (a) to (b) actually observable and provable today, or is this an extrapolation?


    2. "Pfff..." - I didn't catch you practising a bit of alchemy did I?! Firstly, why have so many people got it in for tooth fairy? What harm has she ever done anyone? ;) Seriously, your list is quite interesting and I understand its implications. It touches on such diverse themes as myths, conspiracies, history, archaeology, 'religious' belief. But in determining what is 'logical' one must first put aside prejudices, and look at each subject in a detached way based on available evidence, primarily through the mind rather that the emotions. Some people's belief in God (designer(s)) will not be 'logical' because 'logic' (the mind) is not the underlying basis for their belief, but rather emotion is. However, others will see origins of living types through God (designer(s)) is 'logical' to them in the way I have described previously.

    Because of what you included in your list, I would be interested in getting your response to the following questions: (a) "Based upon your experience of seeing buildings demolished in a controlled manner, what would your 'logic' dictate in seeing the twin towers falling in the same manner?" (b) "Based upon testable proof that ignited aviation fuel could never generate enough heat to melt the metal supports of the twin towers, would your 'logic' dictate that they could not have fallen as a result of the ignition of aviation fuel?" (c) "Knowing that the twin towers were constructed in such a way as to safely take the impact of large commercial planes, would your 'logic' dictate that the twin towers could not have fallen as a result of such an impact?" Or in the face of such evidence would you think it 'logical' to go along with the official story. In other words, is what you believe what you honestly believe or is it based on what the majority believe; this is the test of a real seeker of truth - and it requires one to stand alone at times.

    3. I suspect that you are talking about micro evolution which is, to me, merely an adaptation within set limits, leading eventually to a biological dead end (ie sterility). To a origin by design believer this could be illustrated by a computer program incorporating a random number generator and an array of attributes which through the use of internal logic can produce a large quantity of different types based on a prototype.

  • done4good

    On the whole, Dawkins is able is accomplish a fair amount of good in his book. As an earlier poster claimed, (before I got lost in one of the previous super-long posts), he makes people think. Really, it is what they need to do, if they are ever going to break away from a religious mindset.

    Aside from some apparent arrogance, I really only disagreed with Dawkins on one major point in his book. That being, in one of the later chapters, he claims in so many words that the reason for religious fundamentalism is the fact that religons, (even harmless ones), are allowed to exist at all. I liken that to saying the reason we have bank robberies is because we have banks. No, the obvious real reason, is just simply because there are greedy, dishonest people in the world, period. If there weren't any banks, they would steal elsewhere. Same is true here. Fundamentalism, is borne of intolerance. Yes, religions have been a mojor source of intolerance for millenia, but not the only source. If religion went away, intolerant people would find another avenue to dispense their intolerance. Remember Stalin?

    That said, if you can take what some of he says with a few grains of salt, and ignore the overlaying arrogance, I found The God Delusion to be a good, stimulating read.


  • Outaservice

    My opinion is after Dawkins is long gone, God will still be here!


  • gumb

    I think some of the posts here (including my own) have gone off topic. In future, if I post in this thread, I will keep my comments to things relating to the book under discussion. But I have to read "The Dawkin's Delusion" first! I have the book on order and hope to have read it within the next week or two.

  • Terry

    Science is a procedure.

    Religion is following orders by implicitly trusting someone or something.

    Science asks questions.

    Religion purports to answer questions.

    Science seeks to disprove its own conclusions.

    Religion seeks to reinforce its own dogma.

    Science is error-correction toward adjusting for realities as they unfold.

    Religion internalizes against reality by mocking up a substitute.

    Science is the most recent development of the human mind. Technology proves science to be successful in advancing human progress.

    Religion disdains human progress and waits for the end. Religion speaks incantations over real wounds.

    Science gives us medicine, understanding of DNA and the human genome and a view to perfecting the human condition.

    Religion puts down all things human as reprehensible, unworthy and corrupt.

    Science must present a united front by peer review.

    Religion is divided into warring camps within the same religion and denominations unable to agree and unwilling to bend.

    Science gives us hospitals with MRI, X-ray, transplants, chemotherapy, innoculations, nutrition, therapy and a vast array of specilization.

    Religion expects us to die and tells us we deserve it.

    The Dark Ages is the time in which Christianity, Islam and Judaism had an opportunity to demonstrate for all time what the rule of theology would do for (or to) mankind. Witches were burned, scholars were skinned alive, thinkers were tortured, books were banned and empires were toppled over the mere idea of orthodoxy.

    Science is the progeny of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein and other minds who dared to think.

    Religion is the progeny of obsessive-compulsive dictators who stone children to death, dominate women into submission and declare original-thinking to be heresy deserving of death.

    You can argue about God all you want but history has already demonstrated clearly which side brings benefits to mankind and which side keeps humanity chained in darkness.

    The believer is not a voice. The believer is an echo.

    Superstitions have had their day.

  • aniron

    Science has given us Global Warming

    Science has given us a polluted world

    Science has given us the means to destroy ourselves with weapons.

    Science has provided products that we now know will give us cancers.

    Science has given us the means to destroy life on Earth

  • Terry

    Science has given us Global Warming

    Science has given us a polluted world

    Science has given us the means to destroy ourselves with weapons.

    Science has provided products that we now know will give us cancers.

    Science has given us the means to destroy life on Earth

    There have been Ice Ages followed by warming long before mankind and before technology. How do you explain the end of Ice Ages? How do you explain the warming BEFORE technology?

    Pollution is the result of non-scientists; everyday blokes without manners with unthinking attitudes. Look in any dormitory and you'll see the idiots who leave their dirty underwear and a sink full of dishes. These people have always been with us long before science was thought of.

    There was no destruction before science; no weapons? You think a stone axe wasn't technology? Science doesn't bring the desire to kill into the human condition. The dinosaurs had no science and had a fine time killing each other.

    There was no cancer before science? There were no people willing to harm themselves with unthinking acts of self-destruction? Think again.

    Life on Earth is the detritus of the extinction of 99.99% of every species now extinct. Don't kid yourself that existence is the rule and not the exception.

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