PDF | Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion challenges theology to take the method and mandate of science seriously (1 Cor ). His argument is based on. PDF | On Dec 1, , Renato Zamora Flores and others published The God New York, Richard Dawkins – evolutionary biologist, 65 years, professor of. Richard Dawkins Chapter 3 on 'Arguments for God's Existence' – the arguments turn . The Penguin English Dictionary defines a delusion as 'a false belief.
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The God Delusion is a best-selling book by English biologist Richard Dawkins, .. "The Dawkins Confusion – Naturalism ad absurdum" (PDF). Retrieved 5. Also by Richard Dawkins. The Selfish Gene. The Extended Phenotype. The Blind Watchmaker. River Out of Eden. Climbing Mount Improbable. The god delusion - Richard cehalfperbfamsce.gq - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online.
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,. Certainly their writings on religion in their own time leave me in no doubt that most of them would have been atheists in ours.
I must believe in A. But like any powerful weapon. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue. 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 whatever their individual religious views in their own time.
There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. 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. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.
There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ. 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. Another suggestion stems from the observation that America is a nation of immigrants. The paradox has often been noted that the United States. The opening words of this quotation would cause uproar in today's Washington ascendancy.
Yet Ed Buckner has convincingly demonstrated that they caused no dissent at the time. There is no doubt that many Americans see their own local church as an important unit of identity.
It is an interesting idea. Yet another hypothesis is that the religiosity of America stems paradoxically from the secularism of its constitution. As the Government of the United States of America is not. Contrary to their view. Precisely because America is legally secular. I am continually asked why this is.
U S I O N version of history. I suppose it is possible that England has wearied of religion after an appalling history of interfaith violence. A colleague points out to me that immigrants. What works for soap flakes works for God. This tea-drinking. He wouldn't break into an existential sweat or press you against a wall to ask if you were saved.
Whether or not it is right to embrace the paradox and blame the secular constitution that they devised. Fraser goes on to say that 'the nice country vicar in effect inoculated vast swaths of the English against Christianity'. He ends his article by lamenting a more recent trend in the Church of England to take religion seriously again.
In England. Fraser's article is subtitled 'The establishment of the Church of England took God out of religion. There was a time when the country vicar was a staple of the English dramatis personae.
This English tradition is nicely expressed by Giles Fraser. The genie of religious fanaticism is rampant in present-day America. Rival churches compete for congregations. Question with boldness even the existence of a. I am satisfied. To say that the human soul. Peter Carr. I cannot reason otherwise. 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.
As to whether he was an atheist. Christopher Hitchens. Author of America. Fix reason firmly in her seat. 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.. Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices. This is one nation under God.
Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens. But how has it happened that millions of fables. All the Founding Fathers.
What has been its fruits? More or less. 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. That gives the measure of the prejudice and discrimination that American atheists have to endure today. So is James Madison's robust anticlericalism: 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.
The first police officer to whom he spoke asked. This one said that if any of the faith-healer's supporters violently confronted Mills. He was finally connected to a sergeant who said. Mills decided to try his luck with a second police officer. Mills relates that he spoke to about seven or eight policemen that day.
As I said in the Preface. American atheists far outnumber religious Jews. Reasonably enough. Mills decided to organize a peaceful demonstration to warn people. Mills went home and tried telephoning the police station. None of them was helpful.
Among other things. I hope somebody bloodies you up good. What might American atheists achieve if they organized themselves properly? A Christian faith-healer ran a 'Miracle Crusade' which came to Mills's home town once a year. When Mills replied.
Free Inquiry Let's start punching our weight. No policeman wants to protect a goddamned atheist. Editor of Free Inquiry. Atheists in America are more numerous than most people realize.
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. I am a Buddhist! It is universally accepted that an admission of atheism would be instant political suicide for any presidential candidate. Whether they were atheists. They would have been drawn instead to the secularist founding fathers of postcolonial India.
There are members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction. They must have lied. These facts about today's political climate in the United States. I am a Christian.
Who can blame them. I am a Jew.
The spectacle of what is called religion. Assuming that the majority of these individuals are an educated sample of the population. I am a Moslem. Adams and all their friends. Nehru's definition of the secular India of Gandhi's dream would that it had been realized. It is the reasonable position. Meanwhile I turn to agnosticism. He reserved his contempt for the wishy-washy boneless mediocrities who flapped around in the middle. What it means is that it is a State which honours all faiths equally and gives them equal opportunities.
They at least had the courage of their misguided convictions. Unfortunately it is scarcely more likely that he exists. I had no need of that hypothesis. Some people think that it means something opposed to religion. In the same vein. In any of its forms the God Hypothesis is unnecessary. In a country like India.
India has a long history of religious tolerance. That obviously is not correct. We talk about a secular India. He was partly right. What this preacher couldn't stand was agnostics: I shall come to that in Chapter 4.
TAP would be a reasonable stance towards the Permian extinction. The question exists on a different plane. How about the question of God? Should we be agnostic about him too? Many have said definitely yes. Maybe your red is my green. It could have been a meteorite strike like the one that.
There is a truth out there and one day we hope to know it. But there is also a deeply inescapable kind of fence-sitting. The PAP style of agnosticism is appropriate for questions that can never be answered. The fact that the acronym spells a word used by that old school preacher is almost accidental. But it could have been any of various other possible causes.
Good arguments can be mounted both ways. An example might be that philosophical chestnut. When he refused to commit himself. Agnosticism about the causes of both these mass extinctions is reasonable. Are they right? I'll begin by distinguishing two kinds of agnosticism.
Philosophers cite this question as one that can never be answered. The view that I shall defend is very different: The word infidel. And some scientists and other intellectuals are convinced. He may prefer to call himself an agnostic. The Principal of King's College. Now spectroscopists daily confound Comte's agnosticism with their long-distance analyses of the precise chemical composition of even distant stars. Either he exists or he doesn't.
Fraunhofer had begun using his spectroscope to analyse the chemical composition of the sun. In the celebrated French philosopher Auguste Comte wrote.
Perhaps it is right that it should. It is. It is a scientific question. In the history of ideas. The fact that we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of something does. Huxley lightly. I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion.
And negatively: In matters of the intellect. Positively the principle may be expressed: Huxley returned to the word 'agnostic' and explained how he first came by it. That I take to be the agnostic faith. Later in his speech. I don't think Huxley would. So I took thought. To a scientist these are noble words. Huxley went on to explain that agnostics have no creed. But Huxley. We have all done this at one time or another.
If he existed and chose to reveal it. De facto atheist. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. De facto theist. Completely impartial agnostic. Even if hard to test in practice.
In the words of C. God's existence or non-existence is a scientific fact about the universe. God himself could clinch the argument. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. The spectrum is continuous. And even if God's existence is never proved or disproved with certainty one way or the other. Contrary to Huxley. I shall suggest that the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other. Let us. Hence category 7 is in practice rather emptier than its opposite number.
The fact that I cannot know whether your red is the same as my green doesn't make the probability 50 per cent. PAP agnostics aver that we cannot say anything. I count myself in category 6. The spectrum of probabilities works well for TAP temporary agnosticism in practice. The proposition on offer is too meaningless to be dignified with a probability.
Atheists do not have faith. Another way to express that error is in terms of the burden of proof. It is in the nature of faith that one is capable. The question. It is superficially tempting to place PAP permanent agnosticism in principle in the middle of the spectrum.
Russell's teapot. Yet strictly we should all be teapot agnostics: We would not waste time saying so because nobody. That great American lawyer Clarence Darrow said. He regards God as no more probable than the tooth fairy. In practice. A friend. You can't disprove either hypothesis. The Independent on Sunday of 5 June carried the following item: I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.
He is an a-theist to exactly the same large extent that he is an a-fairyist. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit. But if I were to go on to say that. This is. And agnostic about both. Ohio and Canada. Other Camp Quests with a similar ethos have now sprung up in Tennessee. 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.
Camp Quest. By the way. I haven't read it myself. The fact that orbiting teapots and tooth fairies are undisprovable is not felt. I just go one god further. Unlike other summer camps that follow a religious or scouting ethos.
Amon Ra. I have found it an amusing strategy.
Russell's point is that the burden of proof rests with the believers. Again invoking T. In the case of the Abrahamic God. Huxley declared that the God question could not be settled on the basis of the scientific method. What matters is not whether God is disprovable he isn't but whether his existence is probable.
I found myself scribbling 'teapot' in the margin. That you cannot prove God's nonexistence is accepted and trivial. On page after page as I read McGrath. Egypt and the Vikings. And there is certainly no reason to suppose that. There is no reason to regard God as immune from consideration along the spectrum of probabilities.
Some undisprovable things are sensibly judged far less probable than other undisprovable things. Memes and the Origin of Life. That is another matter. McGrath says. Russell's teapot demonstrates that the ubiquity of belief in God. Rocks of Ages. To cite the old cliches. Such questions lie beyond science. This sounds terrific. These two magisteria do not overlap. Why shouldn't we comment on God. 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.
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? What breathes life into the equations. As I shall argue in a moment. And why isn't Russell's teapot. The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. But if science cannot answer some ultimate question.
I suspect that neither. In another book I recounted the words of an Oxford astronomer who. I am tempted to go further and wonder in what possible sense theologians can be said to have a province. Why not the gardener or the chef? A young theologian had applied for a junior research fellowship. I am still amused when I recall the remark of a former Warden head of my Oxford college.
It is a tedious cliche and. Perhaps there are some genuinely profound and meaningful questions that are forever beyond the reach of science. 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. Why are unicorns hollow? Some questions simply do not deserve an answer. 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. Maybe quantum theory is already knocking on the door of the unfathomable. I have yet to see any good reason to suppose that theology as opposed to biblical history. 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.
As I say. I don't think we should even throw them a sop. If we reject Deuteronomy and Leviticus as all enlightened moderns do. 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. The one in which we happen to have been brought up? To which chapter. Which religion. I simply do not believe that Gould could possibly have meant much of what he wrote in Rocks of Ages. I shall return to such questions in Chapter 7. And if we have independent criteria for choosing among religious moralities.
How many literalists have read enough of the Bible to know that the death penalty is prescribed for adultery. Unlike my astronomer friends. The difference between the two hypothetical universes could hardly be more fundamental in principle. And he can also make objects move or do anything else. On what basis did he make that judgement. What the theist claims about God is that he does have a power to create. God is not limited by the laws of nature. This remarkably widespread fallacy.
He can make the planets move in the way that Kepler discovered that they move. Richard Swinburne. The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is.
And whatever else they may say. The God Hypothesis suggests that the reality we inhabit also contains a supernatural agent who designed the universe and. Whatever else this is. It implies that science cannot even make probability judgements on the question. Just too easy. And it undermines the complacently seductive dictum that science must be completely silent about religion's central existence claim.
Wrong magisterium! We're concerned only with ultimate questions and with moral values. The moment there was the smallest suggestion of any evidence in favour of religious belief.
So also is the truth or falsehood of every one of the miracle stories that religions rely upon to impress multitudes of the faithful. Can you imagine religious apologists shrugging their shoulders and saying anything remotely like the following? Scientific evidence is completely irrelevant to theological questions.
To dramatize the point. There is an answer to every such question. Sophisticated theologians aside and even they are happy to tell miracle stories to the unsophisticated in order to swell congregations.
Neither DNA nor any other scientific evidence could ever have any bearing on the matter. Did Jesus have a human father. Whether or not there is enough surviving evidence to decide it.
You can bet your boots that the scientific evidence. I suspect that alleged miracles provide the strongest reason many believers have for their faith. Did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? Did he himself come alive again. The late King of the Belgians is a candidate for. The methods we should use to settle the matter. But I suggest that even a. I imagine the whole business is an embarrassment to more sophisticated circles within the Church.
The whole point of NOMA is that it is a two-way bargain. The moment religion steps on science's turf and starts to meddle in the real world with miracles. It would. This style of theism is embarrassingly popular.
There are motorists who believe God saves them a parking space. At most. Gould would presumably retort along the following lines. Surely that is an adequate separation? Surely NOMA can survive this more modest and unassuming religion?
I am not joking. That is the case. Remember Ambrose Bierce's witty definition of the verb 'to pray': To adapt Alice's comment on her sister's book before she fell into Wonderland.
There are athletes who believe God helps them win. 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. Earnest investigations are now going on to discover whether any miraculous cures can be attributed to prayers offered up to him since his death. When faced with miracle stories.
More recently. Shouldn't they. I return to the point: I accept that it may not be so easy in practice to distinguish one kind of universe from the other. And the conclusion to the argument. Like nothing else. Prayers are commonly offered for sick people. They are close to being irreconcilably different.
He noted that every Sunday. Darwin's cousin Francis Galton was the first to analyse scientifically whether praying for people is efficacious. NOMA God. At the third of these dinners. His intention may. But Lord. Valiantly shouldering aside all mockery. As far as I know. What's that you say. Bob Newhart didn't do a sketch about it. Mr Evans received a thousand prayers per day?
The very idea of doing such experiments is open to a generous measure of ridicule. But care was taken to tell them only the first name and initial letter of the surname. What was that. Neither the patients. Those who did the experimental praying had to know the names of the individuals for whom they were praying otherwise. Oh I see. Oh right. 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'.
Mr Evans in the nextdoor bed. The patients were assigned. Apparently that would be enough to enable God to pinpoint the right hospital bed.
Mr Evans doesn't know a thousand people. You can't cure me because I'm a member of the control group? Group 2 the control group received no prayers and didn't know it. The praying individuals. The comparison between Groups 1 and 2 tests for the efficacy of intercessory prayer.
It will be no surprise that this study was opposed by theologians. Prayers were delivered by the congregations of three churches. 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. It is good experimental practice to standardize as far as possible.
There was a difference between those who knew they had been prayed for and those who did not know one way or the other. Dr Benson and his team monitored 1. Dr Charles Bethea. There was no difference between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not. The Oxford theologian Richard Swinburne. Those who knew they had been the beneficiaries of prayer suffered significantly more complications than those who did not.
Group 3 tests for possible psychosomatic effects of knowing that one is being prayed for. Group 1 received prayers and didn't know it. Was God doing a bit of smiting. The patients were divided into three groups. The results. What a surprise. This grotesque piece of reasoning. And it provides society with the opportunity to choose whether or not to invest a lot of money in trying to find a cure for this or that particular kind of suffering. Although a good God regrets our suffering.
Then there would have been less opportunity for courage and sympathy. Peter Atkins splendidly growled. Only in that way can some people be encouraged to make serious choices about the sort of person they are to be.
Swinburne at one point attempted to justify the Holocaust on the grounds that it gave the Jews a wonderful opportunity to be courageous and noble. It provides you with the opportunity to show sympathy and to help alleviate my suffering. God would see through it. That Swinburne's remark is typical of his theology is indicated by his rather similar comment about Hiroshima in The Existence of God My suffering provides me with the opportunity to show courage and patience.
But in other parts of his paper Swinburne himself is beyond satire. Some people badly need to be ill for their own sake. For other people. Not for the first time. But as the Templeton Foundation correctly recognized when it financed the study. During her husband's dying days.
The Reverend Raymond J. A double-blind experiment can be done and was done.
The Reverend Lawrence's piece is chiefly memorable for the following revelation: Needless to say. Of course not. It could have yielded a positive result. And if it had. If God existed and wanted to convince us of it. Perhaps you don't want a theologian. But then Swinburne lets fall his gem: He rightly suggests that if God wanted to demonstrate his own existence he would find better ways to do it than slightly biasing the recovery statistics of experimental versus control groups of heart patients.
Richard Swinburne is the recently retired holder of one of Britain's most prestigious professorships of theology. Maybe not. Too much evidence might not be good for us. Lawrence was granted a generous tranche of op-ed space in the New York Times to explain why responsible religious leaders 'will breathe a sigh of relief that no evidence could be found of intercessory prayer having any effect. Swinburne wasn't the only theologian to disown the study after it had failed.
If it's a theologian you want. Read it again. Scientists could be forgiven for feeling threatened. Evolution vs. One of NCSE's main political objectives is to court and mobilize 'sensible' religious opinion: It is to this mainstream of clergy. And one way to do this is to bend over backwards in their direction by espousing.
Bob Barth. In response to such threats. In parts of the United States. It's not just about evolution versus creationism. I can see the superficial appeal of Ruse's comparison with the fight against Hitler: To scientists like Dawkins and Wilson [E. Creationism is just a symptom of what they see as the greater enemy: But in fighting Hitler they realized that they had to work with the Soviet Union.
Another prominent luminary of what we might call the Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists is the philosopher Michael Ruse. He claims to be an atheist. Science is but one form of rationalism. Evolutionists of all kinds must likewise work together to fight creationism. From a purely tactical viewpoint. Richard Dawkins's response was simply that the pope was a hypocrite.
Atheists spend more time running down sympathetic Christians than they do countering creationists. Ruse has been an effective fighter against creationism. Too often evolutionists spend time insulting would-be allies. While religion can exist without creationism. Like me. This is especially true of secular evolutionists. Far from respecting the separateness of science's turf. I would have lost the jury. It is an effective tactic because juries selected at random are likely to include individuals brought up to believe that atheists are demons incarnate.
Lawyers for creationists. March Madeleine Bunting and Michael Ruse. When Brer Rabbit gets caught by the fox. And they fight dirty. Any creationist lawyer who got me on the stand could instantly win over the jury simply by asking me: Brer Fox. I find it amusing that two Brits. By contrast. But the hypothesis is no longer frivolous. There is no need to pursue the matter for the moment.
I return to agnosticism and the possibility of chipping away at our ignorance and measurably reducing our uncertainty about the existence or non-existence of God.
They may sincerely believe in NOMA. Bunting and Ruse fall for it! We can have an interesting argument based on incomplete evidence. Once again we cannot disprove it. We'd be outraged if. You also ought to soft-pedal physiology. We don't immediately scent extreme improbability. NOMA-style appeasement will surface again in a later chapter. When so many terms that are either completely or almost completely unknown are multiplied up.
It states that to estimate the number of independently evolved civilizations in the universe you must multiply seven terms together. At that time. I praised Carl Sagan for disavowing gut feelings about alien life.
Some of the terms in the Drake Equation are already less unknown than when he first wrote it down in But today's estimates of the ubiquity of solar systems are no. Hubble and others that there should be nothing particularly unusual about the place where we happen to live. This might start from nothing more than a listing of our points of ignorance. The seven include the number of stars. The very fact of our existence could retrospectively determine that we live in an extremely unmediocre place.
Our best estimate of the number of orbiting systems in the universe was based on theoretical models. But one can and Sagan did make a sober assessment of what we would need to know in order to estimate the probability.
But we can appreciate the case for spending money on SETI. This permits a significant.
We must still be agnostic about life on other worlds. Science can chip away at agnosticism. Gould and many others. So far.
We have at least quantitatively improved our estimate of one previously shrouded term of the Drake Equation. Dawkins clearly defines the differ- ences among theists, deists, pantheists and atheists. A theist believes in an invisible, sentient, intelligent, God-parent who not only created the universe, but oversees and influences the fates of his creatures.
He answers prayers, performs miracles, knows who has been bad or good and forgives or punishes accordingly. A deist believes in an intelligent God who created the universe, but who does not answer prayers or intervene in human affairs in any way, shape or form. Einstein was a pantheist. Atheists accept the uncertainty of life and the finality of death, and avoid using the term, God, entirely.
These definitions should provide clarity for those searching for answers to what it means to be a theist or an atheist. In the middle chapters, Dawkins vents his frustration with the masses who still believe in a supernatural God-parent. For example, the masses rarely see the big picture and they rarely set the rules.
Their world is often one of fear and uncertainty. To them, a God-parent offers the allusion of certainty. Do good deeds now. Give money now. Suffer now. To the suffering masses, a belief in a heavenly home would be irresistible when compared to a toxic reality. In the final chapters, Dawkins asks the question: Do we need God to be good?
His question is the Holy Grail of theoretical evolution and one that I have attempted to address myself. Here is what I have found. Human behavior is a duality of competi- tion and compassion Cassill