I am now reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins”. Dawkins is a proud atheist and this book is aimed at proselytizing religious people away from their faith in a god to a faith that there is no God. The first chapter takes care of laying some ground work. He begins by making the case, using Albert Einstein, that there are many well know and respected scientist who, when quoted out of context, can sound as if they themselves believe in a god. He points out that this "god" is not a supernatural god. He finds this confusing, and so do I, and I agree with him that these scientist shouldn't do this. He also says that “it is possible that religious readers will be offended by what [he has] to say, and will find in these pages insufficient respect for their own particular beliefs…[and] It would be a shame if such offence prevented them from reading on...[also there is] A widespread assumption…that religious faith is especially vulnerable to offence and should be protected by an abnormally thick wall of respect…”(pg23) I scratched my head initially on this one. Then I thought of the respect that one religion is given and I found myself agreeing with him on this as well. He went on to make this same case himself using the recent events in Denmark. The last sentence of the first chapter disclaims “I shall not go out of my way to offend, nor shall I use kid gloves…”. The first sentence of the second chapter he calls the “God of the Old Testament…jealous…petty, unjust, unforgiving, control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticide, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”. For someone to hate the God in which I have faith doesn’t offend me; my goodness how would I make it through the day? But for the people he is presumable trying to enlighten, I wonder why he thinks they will continue to read after a diatribe like that?
Incidentally, I found myself as a Christian agreeing with him more than I ever thought I could. This is so because his arguments are, by his own admission, against religion. This makes sense because as an atheist that’s all that remains. I am not an atheist and I don’t have respect for religion, so I’m sure as an atheist he has even less.
I've only read two chapters but there’s nothing surprising so far. All such books, as far as I can discern, are about the same thing: power. The main thrust is that religious people should not vote because they are deluded. I think it was Voltaire who said “if there is no God, all things are permissible”. If there is no objective basis for morality, then the only question that remains is'n't what is right and wrong, but rather who gets to decide? The secularist then finds democracy problematic because of what he sees as the deluded ignorant superstitious religious voter imposing his beliefs of right and wrong onto society. In the end it all comes down to amassing raw power. While reading this book I put letters in the margins to aid in later research; P for power, R for religion, and E for evolution. The P’s already outnumber all the other letters put together, and I suspect this trend will continue because P is all that’s really left if there is no God.
Right vs Real - A longtime friend of mine has always drawn a distinction between "right" and "real". Ask a Christian a plainly-known question like "Are we saved by faith o...