A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Richard Dawkins and the God Delusion: Bullet Points #1 (Introduction)

I begin a bullet-pointed series on Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion:
  • Dawkins is often referred to as part of the movement called "the new atheism." In actuality, there is nothing new about it. Dawkins, as well as Hitchens and Harris, are simply recycling the same tired old arguments in favor of atheism, which have long before been responded to.

  • Dawkin's account of religion is a caricature. His target is almost exclusively fundamentalist Christianity; and even in reference to fundamentalism, he fails to take into account the diverse nature, even of fundamentalism.

  • Dawkin's critique of religion is anything but respectful. He is insulting and treats all persons of faith as either stupid or believing because they have no choice. This is hardly the way to further discussion between people who disagree.

  • Dawkins tries to make the case that the natural sciences, including evolutionary theory, rule out the existence of God. But, Stephen Jay Gould, the great paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, and religious skeptic, stated clearly that evolutionary theory is not inconsistent with either atheism or religious convictions. Dawkins, astonishingly embraces the former, but not the latter.

  • Dawkins thinks that religious belief is childish, but he fails to explain the countless mature intellectuals (including scientists) who are Christians.

I will offer more specific critique in future posts.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you doing this. I'm looking forward to the whole series.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Allan. I've not read Dawkins, but he is peddled about, and is influential, it seems. Look forward to reading more posts from you on his writings.