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Richard Dawkins. by AAtheist Richard Dawkins. by AAtheist
It amazes me how many Christians dismiss the Old Testament.

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:iconalexgameanimeex35:
alexgameanimeex35 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
He isn't at all better in The New Testament to begin with. And who says Old Testament isn't valid ? I mean, in The New Testament it never says that stuff from the old one isn't true and shouldn't be followed. Not to mention, there are only few minor differences between each other.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Edited Jun 2, 2015  Student General Artist
To :icontasorius2:,

If you still think EvilBible.com still did not get refuted, let me give you something that would debunk not just Evilbible.com, but Skeptic's Anointed Bible as well, which was also founded in that site, but it still refutes everything what SAB argues. www.berenddeboer.net/sab/index… I hope this would help you understand better.
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Edited Apr 21, 2015  Student Writer
To :icontasorius2: who decided to block me as opposed to providing an actual rebuttal to my argument...

"You said it yourself: "God ordered the execution of women and men who slept around because fornication/adultery is a grievous violation of divine law."
That alone makes your god evil. The fact that you agree with executing "adulterers" makes you equally bad.

The fact that you failed to address what Christ said on the Sermon on the Mount is rather telling.  Apparently Christs ministry doesn't count because it contradicts your false idea of the biblical God, eh?

Not to mention this statement is monumentally presumptuous.  I never said I supported the killing of anyone, I simply stated the reasoning behind the executions.

Again, those sins held rather dire ramifications for those ancient cultures.  You can't turn a blind eye to that fact and brush off the decision to deal with those ramifications as "God being evil."  God had very good reasons for enacting the policies that He did.  The fact I have to explain this is both sad and frustrating.

But hey--I get it.  You don't want to believe that, so you chalk it up to God being evil.  Why?  I cannot guess.  Probably a personal, petty vendetta against deity and those who worship said deity.

"And a whole country cannot be "wicked" and "barbaric". There are always innocent people in a country.
Your god ordered them to kill everyone because of the actions of some of them.

No.  According to the scriptures, the few innocent people that did exist in Midian were rescued and taken in to Israel.  It says it right there in the text. 

Furthermore, the implication that you know better then the people that made an account of the battle (let alone God) about the state of the nation of Midian represents monumental arrogance on your part.  If you don't want to believe the Bible was a historical account of the children of Israel, then that is your prerogative.  Don't push that prerogative on me and attempt to shove your shitty, fundamentalist word-vomit down my throat.

"So the government was corrupt and stupid and their only way to deal with problems was to kill everyone.
And they justified it by saying that your god ordered them to do it.
It is clear that they were only using "God". No one ever spoke to them, or if someone did, they were not a benevolent god.

Again, I refuted that statement.  If that's what you want to believe without giving a proper refutation, then that is your prerogative.  If you want to believe that God is an evil schizoid, then there is not a convincing argument that I can give to convince you otherwise.

"So the conclusion is that whether that quote was real or not, is completely irrelevant.
The thing you linked me to said the same thing in another way. It makes no difference.

Translation:  "I don't like your rebuttal, so I'm going to try to reduce your response's relevance by saying it's irrelevent."

I wasn't addressing the reality of the quote, moron.  I answered your concern directly:  My rebuttal makes a strong case against God being evil.  You didn't really address the rebuttal, you're just re-stating that God is evil without addressing the very clear issues that God was dealing with when the Israelites went to war against Midian.

The god in the bible is evil. If you want to believe in a benevolent god, then accept that the bible is written by humans and not even inspired by a higher power.
Using redundancy in an argument without addressing your opponents rebuttal doesn't make you any more right.  It just makes you seem asinine and childish.

If the god you believe in is real you are disrespecting him more than those who do not share their faith.
Right.  So you're the only one who is allowed to believe because only you and those toxic mongoloids like you are the sole purveyors of truth regarding the intention of deity or doctrinal standards?

You must be a special kind of insane or stupid.

Take your arrogant, retarded, self-reighteous, fundamentalist/denialist sentiment about deity or theistic doctrine and shove it where the sun don't shine, skippy.

"Lying to yourself the way you do is more of a sin than the innocent things you consider to be sins."
That's rich coming from an edgy fundamentalist who can't even properly refute an argument and needs to do-so by using passive-aggressive, self-reighteous garbage like this:  "It is the most disrespectful you can be towards your god."

You wouldn't know respect toward a deity if it came up and bit you in the dick.  Here you are, spouting off "God is evil" like it's fucking gospel.  Furthermore, you can't even come up with a rebuttal to someone who has an opposite view of yours so you resort to passive-aggressive self-righteousness to try to make it seem like you're the illuminated one in the conversation here.

End yourself.

"If you don't seek help, you will eventually hurt someone."
If I physically break a fundamentalist like you, I'll be doing the world a favor.  It's people like you who make up the crowds that support fundamentalist factions of religious belief (or non-belief) like the W.B.C., fundamentalist Islam, and rabid anti-theism.  You are a walking tumor upon the face of mankind.  And I wish to GOD I had the power to simultaneously wipe out fundies like you from the face of the Earth.

"All that anger is not good for you and others."
Whatever you say, throw-pillow.

"Seek help as soon as possible and don't let your delusions destroy you completely."
lol  Regurgitating Dawkins is the hip thing to do nowadays, huh?  It's people like you that make me despise my generation.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Student General Artist
He also blocked me after I blocked him after giving him these  creation.com/evil-bible-fallac… www.tektonics.org/lp/packham02… debunkedevil.blogspot.com/ atheismexposed.tripod.com/evil… www.gotquestions.org/is-God-ev… www.therefinersfire.org/evil_b… . And he still thinks EvilBible.com is the truth and he claims that none of these refute everything what EB says. It's either that he's a troll, a stubborn person, or just stupidly ignorant.
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Student Writer
He's a rather typical fundamentalist.  And the scary part is, fundamentalists are not trolls, but they honestly believe their regurgitated bullshit.  Even in the face of sound arguments/evidence.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Student General Artist
That is just sad, stupid and pathetic...
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Student Writer
Welcome to the world of a fundamentalist:  Where they believe their values are right above all others, and their paradigm of reality is the way all people should view reality.  "To Hell with logical arguments!  Your anger, tears, etc. feeds us proves us right!"
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Student General Artist
Let's not forget that we were already living in the place called "Living Hell".
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Edited Oct 13, 2014  Student General Artist
Sorry, I shouldn't to over react and say some things about his thoughts on God like this. He is intelligent, but I respectfully disagreed his point of view about this.
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Abort it and try again!", Richard Dawkins on the subject of unborn babies with Downs Syndrome.
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:iconskillington:
skillington Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
and? He could be a child raping genocidal maniac and all the points he raises in this picture would still be true.
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:iconcolinbenson:
ColinBenson Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014
I couldn't have said it better myself, RD.
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:iconpeteseeger:
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Student Writer
It amazes me how many atheists dismiss the incredible lack of research Dawkins did before writing his books. 
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014
And it always amazes me how many religious people have this completely false belief.
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:iconpeteseeger:
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Student Writer
That doesn't deny what I said of Dawkins.
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
And you didn't substantiate it in the first place. I really can't be bothered getting into a debate with someone so obviously biased as yourself. You can believe as you wish. I, however, do not agree.
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:iconpeteseeger:
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Student Writer
He emphasizes all the bad things about religion and the few monsters within it's ranks and ignores the many great things they've done.
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
First of all that has absolutely nothing to do with your first comment, where you accused him of having no basis for saying the things that he does. Second he emphasizes the terrible things about religion, because it is often ignored by everybody else. He would happily acknowledge the good things, if they were not so incredibly outweighed by the bad things as to become mostly insignificant.
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:iconpeteseeger:
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Student Writer
The man actually said "do you have to read up on leprechaunology before disbelieving in leprechauns?"

There is no argument you can make about the bad things done by religion that I can't counter.
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014
So what you are saying is that you do not need to bother reading what I am going to write, your mind is already made up and what I say can make no difference? Well I certainly didn't see that coming from a religious person.
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(2 Replies)
:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Student General Artist
I am sick and tired of getting other beliefs (including mine) getting criticized, bashed, and persecuted by all antitheists. All the things what Dawkins has said about religion and deities makes him ignorant, a hypocritical bully and not a true genius. We believers and even non-believers are equal in many ways.
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:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015
he is completely right in this quote though.
Anyone having read any part of the old testament would know that.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  Student General Artist
For some people.
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:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015
How about some quotes...+ www.evilbible.com/
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  Student General Artist
Uh, you should know that Evilbible.com is misleading website for people and has been refuted.
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:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015
Those quotes are real, and there is no denying that.

And the god in the old testament is evil and/or completely out of his mind.
You are just ignoring that and acting as if it never happened.

There are two options if you are not completely brainwashed.
You can either say that the Bible is false and your god is good, or you can say that the Bible is true and your god is not worth worshiping.
Anything else is you lying to yourself.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Edited Apr 16, 2015  Student General Artist
Don't be a stupid idiot. I'm telling you that these so-called evil acts by Gos has been refuted and explained why he has to do it, and it's not even a bad way. You ARE the one who is being misguided. So stop being so ignorant.
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:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015
Telling some bandits to rape and kill women.
How do you explain that...?

I am neither stupid nor ignorant. I just have morals, as opposed to brainwashed people like you.
It's hypocritical to call me a hypocrite when your religion is two sided and false.
Decide on one side or admit that half of it is false. You can't have both.
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(2 Replies)
:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
I agree with your final statement.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks. Sorry that I have to kinda/sorta insulted one of your favorite person, I just don't like how very biased, and nit picking he is being about God, and other deities.
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
I have no problem with that, personally I agree with much of what he say's but that doesn't mean everyone has too.
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:iconthedreamvista:
TheDreamVista Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks, and I see.
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:iconjourneyrocks:
JourneyRocks Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
If you think the statement is ignorant or he is, read the evidence right in the Old Testament and tell me how "god" is so loving.
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Student Writer
Believing Dawkin's is some sort of expert on the old testament is like believing that a plumber should be some sort of consultant in philosophy.

For all of Dawkin's bluster, he is unwilling to debate with accredited philosophers/theologians all while being a fundamentalist himself.

How ironic.
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:icondaniel-gleebits:
Daniel-Gleebits Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
If you're talking about Ray Comfort, Ken Ham, and William Lane Craig, the reason is because these people are morons.
He isn't a theologian, he's an evolutionary biologist, and talks about that subject.

The reason he can say this statement, and be right, is because all you have to do is read two chapters into the bible and you realise he actually is right. The christian god is a monster.

:flaguk::salute:
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Student Writer
The people that you mentioned are not the only theologians though.  There are hundreds of others.  He can really take his pick on who he wants to debate and who he doesn't; some are more competent then others.

But you can't define something like God with a malefic opinion (and decision) to revile religion (especially the Christian religion) with every turn.  That doesn't make him right.  Further more, he ISN'T right.

As the saying goes, a righteous judges will always seem unfair in the eyes of the convict.

Proverbs 14:12
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Psalm 52:3
"Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah."

No body has the authority (or the right) to criticize a being that has devoted His entire existence to our salvation, growth, and eternal joy.  Least of all Dawkins whom presupposes he and those like him who spew similar contentious, hate-filled, vitriolic bile are better then, not only God, but others who, like me, offer a chance to convert to something that will heal their souls and body, and will offer them eternal happiness.  At the very least, if they don't want to convert, I can offer them information on, not just my faith, but on a perspective that is not bound to that which is simply observable.

That's said, you're precisely correct.  He is an evolutionary biologist.  But, until he can even consider a prerogative outside of his hate-filled one, he shouldn't be considered a credible opinion on the subject of Christendom--or even philosophy or religion for that matter.
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:icondaniel-gleebits:
Daniel-Gleebits Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
If a person does good things all of their life, and then goes and blows up an orphanage, what are they remembered for after they die?

:flaguk::salute:
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Student Writer
What a man is remembered for by his fellow man is irrelevant.  What matters is his works, faith, and repentance for when he meets Christ up on the judgement seat.  For that man will have a perfect knowledge of all his sins that he has not repented for, but will have exaltation and everlasting life if he repents.

Ezekiel 18:21 - "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die."  ("Die" in this context, meaning death of the soul).
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:icondaniel-gleebits:
Daniel-Gleebits Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
So, we should think of god for the good things he does, rather than the abysmally horrible, genocidal, infanticidal, hypocritical, blame-shifting, and frankly insane nonsense he never ceases committing throughout the entirety of the bible?

If this is so, perhaps you could tell me of some good your god has done?

Or you could perhaps demonstrate that he exists at all. That would be very useful, and perhaps the more pertinent.

:flaguk::salute:
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Student Writer
"So, we should think of god for the good things he does, rather than the abysmally horrible, genocidal, infanticidal, hypocritical, blame-shifting, and frankly insane nonsense he never ceases committing throughout the entirety of the bible?"
What you are attempting is an obtuse comparison.  God gave us the power to make our own decisions.  Within this power is the potential to do good things as well as evil.  I don't know what bible or holy text you are reading that states God is an "abysmally horrible, genocidal, infanticidal, hypocritical, and blame-shifting" being, but to blame him for perfectly justifiable behavior after mortal men have committed atrocities that fall well within your accusations is absolutely absurd.

"If this is so, perhaps you could tell me of some good your god has done?"
This should be an obvious question.  And it is actually quite surreal to see someone actually have the gall to ask this.  What has he done?  Hmmm...well let's see apart from the thousands of miracles and good works that have been done with his power, blessing, and guidance, let's start with the big things, shall we?

- Gave us the opportunity to live a mortal life and experience the joys (as well as pains) it has to offer.  We have the ability to live an existence of freedom with our decisions only being bound by consequence as opposed to being FORCED to make decisions like Satan wanted.

- Gave us the Priesthood authority that has allowed men to perform works of healing, repentance, and other ordinances that constitute THOUSANDS of miracles in His name.  To name all of these miracles and good works would take up thousands of pages worth of posting space.

- Gave his only begotten son so that we might be able to repent for our sins and live with Him again.

- Gave us Priesthood ordinances that allow us to perform baptism by immersion, laying on of hands, and many other ordinances that also constitute miracles if it is His will.

I've heard a lot of people say God is responsible for a lot of bad things, but for someone to say he hasn't done ONE good thing?  Wow... that is a first.  I don't know who or what hurt you that led you to believe that, but you have my honest condolences.

"Or you could perhaps demonstrate that he exists at all. That would be very useful, and perhaps the more pertinent."
Let's not make obtuse requests in addition to making obtuse comparisons... I can't demonstrate the truth of God or His work through words alone; I can only offer experiences in my life, which are, quite frankly, miracles.  Experiences that fall well outside of any scientific explanation.  Experiences that are so precise and so personal in their nature, that it would cause me to commit grievous sin were I ever to deny that they were miracles done by the hand of the Lord.

I don't expect you to believe me--quite frankly, I don't blame you.  To convey experience through words is only so effective.  It is something you have to have an open mind to experience.  Which means, if you have a specific prerogative not to believe in God, then you won't believe it.  Even if miracles were to fall in your lap.
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(1 Reply)
:icondaniel-gleebits:
Daniel-Gleebits Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
If I believed your experiences just based on you telling me them, I'd be making an irrational decision. You could tell me "I saw the universe spawn from the spout of the Almighty Teapot. I don't expect you to believe me, and you have me condolences for when you're tossed screaming into the cold coffee rinds with the Old Bag, but I sympathise that you don't believe me," and hold as much validation as what you just said.
Miracles cannot be evidence of god's existence, since neither you nor I can ascertain from their mere occurrence what the source of them was. For all we know, it could have been Zeus, Allah, aliens, faeries, or humans from the future fucking with us. You have to demonstrate your god. If you can't do this, I have no reason to believe in his existence. You don't think other people have told me about how god helped them find their car keys, or how Jesus told them how to find their way out of an office complex, or how the holy spirit led them to find the last christmas toy on the shelf?

As to your god being responsible for many bad things, within the scope of your mythology, he is responsible for every single bad thing, because he is responsible for every single thing that happens. Observe:

- God creates the universe.
- God creates beings in that universe from dirt and a broken rib, and gives them free will (which doesn't exist by the way).
- God then gives them an arbitrary rule (a rule that makes no sense whatsoever), a rule that he already knew that they would break, and already knew the consequences would be unleashed.
- God had the power, being omnipotent, to change said outcome. But he didn't.
- God engages in blame-shifting, blaming his creations for his own actions.
- The entire human race suffers forever for the crime of being born.


Sure, this means that every single good thing that ever happens is also his fault, but when I said that he never does anything good, I was speaking from the standpoint of listing his actions in the bible. At no point in the bible does god do anything that doesn't have some HORRIBLE, or irrationally nonsensical outcome.

The bronze age shepherds who wrote the bible didn't have much to go on when they were inventing their deities, except lots of violence and a big desert. It's really no wonder their god is such a bloodthirsty monster.

:flaguk::salute:
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(1 Reply)
:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
How ironic, you make a comment saying that he doesn't know what he's talking about, and in doing so show that you do not know what you are talking about.
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Student Writer
Dawkins is actively proud of his ignorance of theology and the doctrine thereof.  To quote his response of "Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawkins%…

"Yes, I have, of course, met this point before. It sounds superficially fair. But it presupposes that there is something in Christian theology to be ignorant about. The entire thrust of my position is that Christian theology is a non-subject. It is empty. Vacuous. Devoid of coherence or content. I imagine that McGrath would join me in expressing disbelief in fairies, astrology and Thor's hammer. How would he respond if a fairyologist, astrologer or Viking accused him of ignorance of their respective subjects?"

Dawkins' is completely oblivious to the fact that what makes someone an ideological fanatic is not simply based on the content or the doctrine of the ideology, but whether the person takes on the rigid, unbending mentality of a fundamentalist.  What is worse is the fact that he makes an assumption (which he assumes is fact, by the way) that Christian theology is a "non-subject" and is "without coherence or content."  To assume that any religion which can act as a coherent guide to one's life and takes on an organized view of the world and history not only makes his asinine statement an absurdity, but makes his whole mentality on what he calls "the God theory" tantamount to stupidity.

Dawkins is an ideological fundamentalist who is unwilling to change his personal beliefs based on new evidence.  Who will accuse theologians of being the same, when, in fact, it is an educated theologian's academic duty to acquire knowledge in the specific field of religion--no matter how much they may agree or disagree with the faith they are researching.  To make yet another asinine statement such as, "I imagine that McGrath would join me in expressing disbelief in fairies, astrology and Thor's hammer" is a non-sequitr and indirect ad hominem.  What McGrath would personally agree or disagree with is irrelevant.  The question that would be relevant, however, is whether McGrath had knowledge of those specific faiths, which, Dawkins clearly does not, which detracts from his credibility in his criticisms of religion or any subject relating to faith, for that matter.

So no... I stand by my original statement.  Whether you think I do or do not know what I'm talking matters little.  Especially when you make that claim with no evidence.
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
I don't blame him for not wishing to debate with theologians, many of them only see things through the lens of their own faith, often distorting their arguments past a point where debating with them is intelligible let alone worth the credibility he would be giving their claims simply by treating them as if they are worth debating about.

As for Dawkins knowledge of the OT you have quoted him on a subject that is similar but fundamentally different to the original position. You gave a quote on his thoughts on Christian theology, much of which is definitely based on the OT, but is not defined AS the OT. In doing so I would point out that you have committed the straw man fallacy, you have changed the nature of his statement and made it easier to use in attacking his position.

I can assure you as someone who has personally spent much time reading the OT myself that there are many things he knows about the literary content of it that he could not know without having read it himself, his knowledge of it is simply to encompassing on all points raised for this not to be the case. He has in fact often stated that he often reads the Bible in full simply for the literary pleasure of it. 

"You can't appreciate English literature unless you are steeped to some extent in the King James Bible", he replied, "people don't know that proverbial phrases which make echoes in their minds come from this Bible. We are a Christian culture, we come from a Christian culture and not to know the King James Bible, is to be in some small way, barbarian".

He LIKES the KJV of the Bible, he thinks that it should be in every English school and every English classroom.

I would also like to point out that I agree with him, it should certainly be studied and in full, by anyone who has any appreciation for literature of any kind, it is undoubtedly one of the most influential works in history, no matter whether you believe its content as divinely inspired or not.

You can accuse him of being an ideological fundamentalist if you wish, he has received such accusations before and has his own answers to the claim which can be found fairly easily. I personally have no comment on the subject other than to say that I do not believe you are correct, but it is certainly true he can be ideological in how he reacts to certain arguments. I will also say that this can often be a reaction to getting the same arguments constantly from many different sources, you simply cannot argue the same debate over and over again without becoming ideological in your responses. I will even admit that I do so myself, but I will also say that I always give a NEW argument the thought it deserves.
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Student Writer
"I don't blame him for not wishing to debate with theologians, many of them only see things through the lens of their own faith, often distorting their arguments past a point where debating with them is intelligible let alone worth the credibility he would be giving their claims simply by treating them as if they are worth debating about."
This is a generalization run under the assumption that virtually every person who exercises some sort of faith is the W.B.C. on a debating level.  Not all religious people are rigid, unilateral, fundamentalists like Dawkins believes.  I'm making the point, in fact, that he is the very monster that he is trying to deconstruct and attack.

"As for Dawkins knowledge of the OT you have quoted him on a subject that is similar but fundamentally different to the original position. You gave a quote on his thoughts on Christian theology, much of which is definitely based on the OT, but is not defined AS the OT.  In doing so I would point out that you have committed the straw man fallacy, you have changed the nature of his statement and made it easier to use in attacking his position."
And you have committed a "special pleading" fallacy by turning what he said specifically about Christian theology into an argument of semantics, and claimed that by identifying the fallacious nature of his argument, I've made it "easier" to attack his position.  That isn't how this works, skippy.  If he is going to make a sweeping generalization about an all-encompassing concept such as faith, then it is up to him to pony-up a non-fallacious argument.  If he is attacking only certain aspects of Christian theology, then he should be quick in identifying that said aspect (or aspects) of Christian theology rather then making a sweeping generalization by calling Christianity a "non-subject."  That is simply a false statement to say Christian theology "is a non-subject," is "vacuous," or "empty."  This isn't a strawman.  If this was a strawman, I would be misrepresenting his position, which, in both cases, I have not.  In addition, it is for the sake of intellectual honesty that I identify the fallacies in his arguments, not any trite feelings of hatred or dislike.

"I can assure you as someone who has personally spent much time reading the OT myself that there are many things he knows about the literary content of it that he could not know without having read it himself, his knowledge of it is simply to encompassing on all points raised for this not to be the case. He has in fact often stated that he often reads the Bible in full simply for the literary pleasure of it. 

"You can't appreciate English literature unless you are steeped to some extent in the King James Bible", he replied, "people don't know that proverbial phrases which make echoes in their minds come from this Bible. We are a Christian culture, we come from a Christian culture and not to know the King James Bible, is to be in some small way, barbarian".

He LIKES the KJV of the Bible, he thinks that it should be in every English school and every English classroom."
Then he is an agent of hypocrisy, in that case, because these quotes and his implied true stance on Christian theology contradicts every vitriolic, anti-theistic statement he has ever made about religion (if your quotes are to be believed).

"
I would also like to point out that I agree with him, it should certainly be studied and in full, by anyone who has any appreciation for literature of any kind, it is undoubtedly one of the most influential works in history, no matter whether you believe its content as divinely inspired or not."
Again, if Dawkins is actually encouraging the full study and understanding of Christian theology (including the OT) then I agree with him.  However, surely you can understand my suspicion of this supposed recommendation when Dawkins has done nothing but demonized religion (or at the very least the concept of deity) as a whole.

"
You can accuse him of being an ideological fundamentalist if you wish, he has received such accusations before and has his own answers to the claim which can be found fairly easily. I personally have no comment on the subject other than to say that I do not believe you are correct, but it is certainly true he can be ideological in how he reacts to certain arguments."
In the end what he says, you say, or what I say he is is irrelevant.  If his actions indicate he is a slavering, atheistic fundamentalist, then he is.  If his actions indicate he is an atheist who is willing to question the existence of God rather then simply write His existence off entirely, then he is.  From current literature (such as "The God Delusion"), however, I think it is safe to assume that he is a fundy atheist and probably wouldn't change his mind about God if he was slapped in the face by Jesus himself (this is called a "conclusive scenario," by the way.  Which means, I'm drawing a conclusion based on current evidence.  As harsh as it may sound, I'm not personally attacking Dawkins and I recognize that there is a chance there might be evidence I have not covered).

"
I will also say that this can often be a reaction to getting the same arguments constantly from many different sources, you simply cannot argue the same debate over and over again without becoming ideological in your responses. I will even admit that I do so myself, but I will also say that I always give a NEW argument the thought it deserves."
Empathy to the other party's circumstance in choice is necessary for any effective debate.  I don't know what Dawkins personal situation is, and I don't know why he chose not to believe in God.  All I know is that, in the process, he also chose to inject vitriol and fundamentalism into the argument, which does no one on any side of this fence any good.  Maybe if I were more familiar with his personal situation, I would be more understanding of his position, but, until then I can only draw so many conclusions about what is going on in his head until a reliable source informs me of that information.

Is Dawkins more tolerant of Christianity then I believe?  Sure.  I can believe that.  Is he more knowledgeable of Christian theology then his critics give him credit for?  Fine, I'll believe that when I get credible evidence, but the fact remains that he is vehemently anti-theistic, and (as I've said before) will most likely not change his stance even if proof of the existence of God were to drop right in his lap. 
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014
Tell me, what would you consider proof of god to be?

I agree not all religious people are rigid in their beliefs, unfortunately the ones who are not so rigid do not get enough recognition to get into a position where they would be a viable person to debate with on any kind of coverage. This is because they simply do not agree with much of what the leaders of their religion say. They do not get the backing necessary to get to a point where they can say something new. Indeed if they DO manage to get to a position where they can debate with the likes of Richard Dawkins, then they are invariably attacked more vehemently by religious people than by atheists, because religious people disagree with what they are saying and do not wish to be associated with someone of that position.

As such, there are extremely few people that can both debate honestly with an atheist on large scale coverage, and also get the backing of religious groups to stand behind what they say. In all honesty, who would you suggest?

"And you have committed a "special pleading" fallacy by turning what he said specifically about Christian theology into an argument of semantics, and claimed that by identifying the fallacious nature of his argument, I've made it "easier" to attack his position.  That isn't how this works, skippy."

I often wonder why people think that semantics are unimportant, they are in fact exceptionally important. Unless you are very careful in how you phrase your arguments you can end up arguing a completely different position to the one that you hold, take another look at the quote. We are not talking about theology in general, we are talking, very specifically, about the actions asserted to be taken by God in the OT. And in the actions he takes, he shows to have pretty much all the traits that Richard Dawkins stated in this quote.

You have committed the straw man fallacy, not because what you say about his comments on theology is necessarily incorrect (Although I certainly think that Christian theology has so many holes it could certainly be considered incoherent), but because this quote is not about Christian theology in general, it is about the actions taken by God in the OT , and yet you are attempting to make it more directly about the entirety of Christian Theology. You are expanding the parameters of his point, past his original position, you are changing his argument so that it more suits your position to attack it, you are creating a position that this quote was not written to hold.

I am also sorry that you appear to be completely mistaking the reason for why he wishes the KJV to be studied. He is not endorsing the religion, he is not saying that the things it says are to be taken as fact, he is instead saying that it can, and should, be taken as a literary work of art in it's own right, regardless of your stance on what it expounds.

As for whether he will actually entertain the existence of God, I honestly think he has a position very similar to my own. He has spoken to many people who claim that there is evidence of God's existence, and yet he has always seen flaws in their reasoning, has always found holes in their evidence, and upon examining the world around him he has come to believe that there is simply no evidence suggesting that the god many people believe in exists, further in a case like this he also believes that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. In other words he has often said, and I agree, that if the God of peoples faith existed, then we would not be living in the world as it exists now. He does not, and to my knowledge has never said, that God cannot exist, he says instead that the specific version of god being debated at that point in time cannot exist, and yes these are mere semantics, but the difference in position is crucial and considerable.

How exactly would proof of God drop into someone's lap? If someone turned to me and said "I was just sitting there when the insurmountable proof of god dropped into my lap" then I would personally be incredibly sceptical to the point of wondering if they had taken drugs prior to their experience.
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:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Student Writer
"Tell me, what would you consider proof of god to be?"
There are many aspects to this question in itself, so I'll identify a few proofs as best I can.

A proof could be things or events of a miraculous nature; further proven by having this said object or event tailored specifically to the intent or inquiries of the person who is seeking the answer or proof.  On a personal level, this makes the proof individually subjective, but the nature of the miracle itself is what makes it objective--at least, on a mass scale.  An example of a miracle that may act as evidence for the existence of a higher power (drawing an example from the Bible) is the conception of Christ in Mary.  The fact that she was a virgin and conceived falls well outside of any explainable, scientific phenomenon.

That said, let's address another issue with your statement (since you are apparently a child of semantics).  To say there is "proof" of anything (in any matter--whether it be legal, religious, etc.) is a fallacy.  As the question relies on the most accurate interpretation of a human experience, and the evidence given by that experience.  That said, the question is not as simple as a mathematics equation, any miraculous event, no matter how convincing, baffling, or resonating it may be, is not a proof of God's existence, but simply acts as evidence for His existence.  In the end, the decision of whether someone is going to believe in God or any sort of faith relies on their choice.

There is an exception to this, however, and may act as an definite proof (on an individual or mass scale):  If God himself came before the person.  However, the difference is also the scaling of the event.  If God were to appear before a single person, the event would probably call into question the sanity of that person and this is understandable, as skepticism does hold it's place in any case of proving an event or axiom, but there is a difference between reasonable skepticism and outright denial.  That is my point.  To say someone is a "fundamentalist" is simply an educated way of calling someone a zealot or denialist.   Dawkins is, by all accounts (including his own) a denialist.  He will deny the existence of God or the truth of a faith (especially the Christian faith) from here until the end of time.  Even if God were to appear in front of him.

"I agree not all religious people are rigid in their beliefs, unfortunately the ones who are not so rigid do not get enough recognition to get into a position where they would be a viable person to debate with on any kind of coverage. This is because they simply do not agree with much of what the leaders of their religion say. They do not get the backing necessary to get to a point where they can say something new."  I'm Mormon and I can confidently say that I agree with my leaders with every aspect of my Church's doctrine.  To say that positions such as mine are not common or "are not covered" is simply false... that said, you may want to research the works of prominent apologists and Professors such as Zacharias, Hart, McGrath, or (in my specific case) the works of the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research.  These are all well-publicized and reasonable apologists and people with whom Dawkins refuses to debate with.

"Indeed if they DO manage to get to a position where they can debate with the likes of Richard Dawkins--" I stopped reading that paragraph about there.
1.  Dawkins REFUSES to debate with prominent or reasonable theologians.  In this case, he is referring to theologians who wish to debate with him on the topic of creationism vs. evolution:  "what they seek is the oxygen of respectability", and doing so would "give them this oxygen by the mere act of engaging with them at all". He suggests that creationists "don't mind being beaten in an argument. What matters is that we give them recognition by bothering to argue with them in public." 

2.  What you are implying is that Dawkins has been the "extending hand" here, which (as the overwhelming evidence of his behavior CLEARLY suggests) is not the case.  If anything, he has propagated his asinine, denialist behavior.

"I often wonder why people think that semantics are unimportant, they are in fact exceptionally important..."
There is a definite importance to formal, lexical, and conceptual semantics, but what you are referring to is the importance for a party to shift their semantics in a formal argument so that their position is caught in a more favorable light.  This isn't a behavior that should be encouraged.  It is asinine, and makes debating with the opposing party nearly impossible.  I've already stated that isn't the way this is gonna go down, cupcake.  If you try to shift Dawkins actual position, I will call you out on it.

"Unless you are very careful in how you phrase your arguments you can end up arguing a completely different position to the one that you hold, take another look at the quote. We are not talking about theology in general, we are talking, very specifically, about the actions asserted to be taken by God in the OT. And in the actions he takes, he shows to have pretty much all the traits that Richard Dawkins stated in this quote."
Semantics only gets complicated when you are trying to shift your party's actual position.  He said "Christian theology" which means ALL aspects of the Christian faith.  If he said, "God and the Old Testament are a non-subject, vacuous, etc." then your argument would hold water, but he didn't say that.  He was making a gross generalization and outright false statements.  But for the sake of an honest debate, I'll humor you.  Let's break down Dawkins' gaffe, shall we?

"Yes, I have, of course, met this point before..."  Surprise, surprise... he has been called out on his ignorance of Christian theology before.  This is pretty straight forward.

"It sounds superficially fair. But it presupposes that there is something in Christian theology to be ignorant about."  Translation:  "This sounds fair on the surface, but the accusation is made under the assumption that there is anything about Christian Theology to be ignorant about."  One can only draw two conclusions from this:  Either Dawkins is an expert on the subject of Christian theology, or he is implying that Christian theology is so shallow and empty that there is nothing to be ignorant about.  Both are granduerous implications that demand equally granduerous evidence for his claim.  So what does he say next?

"The entire thrust of my position is that Christian theology is a non-subject. It is empty. Vacuous. Devoid of coherence or content..." O...kay...?  Yes, we know you have a disdain for faith--Christianity specifically.  Now, what is your proof of this outrageous claim?

"...I imagine that McGrath would join me in expressing disbelief in fairies, astrology and Thor's hammer. How would he respond if a fairyologist, astrologer or Viking accused him of ignorance of their respective subjects?"  Wait... so... your "proof" of Christian theology being a "non-subject" is an non-conclusive assumption of what McGrath would do in regards to knowledge of other faiths?  First off, McGrath is a College theologian--a professor in the field of religion.  Which means, his job is to collect information about other faiths and their perception of all things material and non-material.  Second, how can what McGrath would personally agree or disagree with with in regards to "fairies, astrology, and Thor's hammer" be considered an academic proof to his claim of knowing for a FACT that Christian theology (meaning every. single. aspect. of the Christian faith) has no substance or no "coherence?"  The short answer is HE CAN'T!  Dawkins argument makes no fucking sense.

Now, if Dawkins were to say, "Well, McGrath doesn't know anything about genes, memes, evolution, etc." THEN his argument, MIGHT hold water on the condition that he can provide concrete evidence of McGrath's ignorance, but no... he didn't do that.  He made an appeal to consequence, an appeal to emotion, and ad hominem all at once by basically saying, "McGrath is a doo-doo head because he disagrees with fairies, astrology, and Thor's hammer."  That is a strawman:  He is misrepresenting McGrath in an attempt to discredit the simple point that Dawkins does not know what the fuck he is talking about in regards to Christian theology.

"I am also sorry that you appear to be completely mistaking the reason for why he wishes the KJV to be studied. He is not endorsing the religion, he is not saying that the things it says are to be taken as fact, he is instead saying that it can, and should, be taken as a literary work of art in it's own right, regardless of your stance on what it expounds."
Ya know, for supposedly understanding the ins-and-outs of semantics, you sure can't read well.  I never said he was endorsing religion.  I simply said that if he was encouraging the KJV of the bible to be read and understood, I agree with him.  I never said anything about endorsing or encouraging faith (even though those are my overall goals).  I do recognize that if a person is not interested in acquiring faith, or believing in God, that reading the KJV can be informative in regards to theology and English literature.

"As for whether he will actually entertain the existence of God, I honestly think he has a position very similar to my own. He has spoken to many people who claim that there is evidence of God's existence, and yet he has always seen flaws in their reasoning, has always found holes in their evidence, and upon examining the world around him he has come to believe that there is simply no evidence suggesting that the god many people believe in exists, further in a case like this he also believes that absence of evidence is evidence of absence."
Human experience is not as simple as a mathematic equation.  If a person develops an axiom, has faith that axiom is true, and then has that axiom proven or disproven by way of progressive evidence, then you can have people led to a different conclusion.  But again, what is getting mired in Dawkins' head is the difference between proofs and evidence.  To search for God by means outlined by rigid scientific method is possible, but incomplete because it only covers that which is observable.  And to say the human experience is only limited to that which is observable is not only fallacious, but shallow.

"In other words he has often said, and I agree, that if the God of peoples faith existed, then we would not be living in the world as it exists now..."  Correction:  The world would not exists how he perceives it.  

"He does not, and to my knowledge has never said, that God cannot exist,"  Have you read "The God Delusion?" 

"He says instead that the specific version of god being debated at that point in time cannot exist,"  This is an axiom that he assumes to be true.

"..and yes these are mere semantics, but the difference in position is crucial and considerable."  Every argument has a measure of semantics.  However, I do appreciate that you have not expressed a shift in semantics.
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:iconaatheist:
AAtheist Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
You have a well defined view of what a "proof" of God would be, unfortunately there are no examples of your idea of proof that stand up to scientific study. There are certainly things that we do not understand, but these do not necessarily constitute evidence of God. God has certainly never appeared before a large enough multitude of people to be regarded as evidence.

Zacharius waffles. He talks endlessly in circles until you forget the question he was asked, or apparently he does, and he answers a question he was never asked. He further uses many ad hominem attacks on atheists, saying they are immoral and/or have no purpose in life. He is eloquent and well spoken, but his arguments rarely have any interesting content. You yourself are certainly a much better debater than he will ever be.

Who exactly do you mean by Hart?

Richard Dawkins HAS debated McGraff and the debates are incredibly easy to find.

Fairmormon, is unfortunately, incredibly biased. I have read things written by them before and they simply cannot look at things in an impartial manner. 

You stopped reading a paragraph after I said "Indeed if they DO manage to get to a position where they can debate with the likes of Richard Dawkins--" and then went on to complain that Richard Dawkins refuses to debate with people.
1. He certainly does now, but this has not always been the case, again there are only so many times you can hear the same argument and not get ideological about the response. 
2. I said, and I quote, "the likes of". This implies that I am not talking solely about Richard Dawkins, there are many other people that they can attempt to debate including Laurence Krauss, until a few years ago Christopher Hitchens, and most recently Bill Nye. Making an entirely separate point about the fact that Richard Dawkins refuses to debate people is pointless. I know this, that is why I used the phraseology I did. The point has been raised separately in your answers before and I have answered that point, I have not refuted it and I agree that he does so, it is irrelevant to the point being made at hand and simply clouds the issue. It is something that you appear to do a lot, it is irritating and does not in any way help to change people minds about their position. It simply makes them stop paying attention.

"Cupcake"

Continue to be condescending and I will simply ignore you.

You unfortunately seem to have made a similar mistake to Zacharius. You have forgotten the original question. After I said that we are discussing Richard Dawkins comments specifically on the actions of the God of the Old Testament you said  you would break down his gaff, and then started with 
"Yes, I have, of course, met this point before..."

You appear to have forgotten that this is not the point we are debating. We are in fact talking about Richard Dawkins comments about the actions taken by God in the Old Testament, and the attributes the actions bestow upon him. Here is the quote again in full.

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

This entire debate was spawned by your comment.

"Believing Dawkin's is some sort of expert on the old testament is like believing that a plumber should be some sort of consultant in philosophy.
For all of Dawkin's bluster, he is unwilling to debate with accredited philosophers/theologians all while being a fundamentalist himself.
How ironic."

And I have been attempting to explain to you that the original quote from Richard Dawkins is in fact not about Theology, although it certainly has many implications for it, but about the literary attributes of God in the Old Testament. He is not saying that the God that Christians believe in is actually everything said in the quote above, and the God that Christians believe in certainly is not, however just because they believe in a loving God does not mean that is how he is depicted in the literature of the Old Testament. I would like to draw your attention to the very first line in the original quote from Dawkins. "
The God of the Old Testament".

I would not try to claim that Dawkins is an expert on Christian Theology, although despite his quote that you seem to be so fond of he certainly knows more about it than the average person. When you have a habit of debating people like cardinal George Pell it is simply impossible to not learn something about it.

Also your own ad homenim attacks on Richard Dawkins are getting worse. For example saying that he was trying to call McGraff a "doodoo head" because he said that in all likely hood McGraff does not believe in fairies, is frankly ridiculous. He was simply saying that he personally believes Christian Theology has as much logical content as Fairielogy does. Whether he is correct or not is a separate matter, and I do think he was oversimplifying Christian theology beyond having a valid point. However he is not in any way attempting to attack McGraff with this point and is not saying that McGraff is in any way worthy of denigrating because he does not believe in Thor's hammer.

Also, "Dawkins does not know what the fuck he is talking about in regards to Christian theology."

You do not appear to be taking this in a non biased way at all, in fact it appears that your opinion of Richard Dawkins is colouring your responses rather badly.

"Ya know, for supposedly understanding the ins-and-outs of semantics, you sure can't read well.  I never said he was endorsing religion.  I simply said that if he was encouraging the KJV of the bible to be read and understood, I agree with him...I do recognize that if a person is not interested in acquiring faith, or believing in God, that reading the KJV can be informative in regards to theology and English literature."

Really? So why would endorsing reading the full KJV involve the full study and understanding of Christian theology? Indeed what exactly has it got to do with Dawkins stance on religion or the concept of a deity?

"...if Dawkins is actually encouraging the full study and understanding of Christian theology (including the OT) then I agree with him.  However, surely you can understand my suspicion of this supposed recommendation when Dawkins has done nothing but demonized religion (or at the very least the concept of deity) as a whole."

Also, again, continue to be this condescending and I will ignore you.

You say that human experience is not limited to what is observable, depending on your definition of observable, I do not believe this is the case. Everything we know exists is observable in some manner, even if it is by the indirect effects it has rather than observing whatever it is itself. We cannot observe gravity directly, but I would be very surprised if you do not agree that it exists, this is because we can observe its effects, despite never being able to actually see it. If you disagree, please give me an example of something that you believe exists, but is not in some manner observable.

'"In other words he has often said, and I agree, that if the God of peoples faith existed, then we would not be living in the world as it exists now..."  Correction:  The world would not exists how he perceives it.' Again this is a pointless comment. You are arguing about personal perception, which is an un-winnable argument in any direction.

Yes, I certainly have read the God Delusion. He very specifically says that there is no possible way to say that a deity of some description cannot exist. In fact he addressed this very accusation in his debate against the Archbishop of Canterbury www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfk7tW…

And no, I do not believe that it is simply an axiom that cannot be true. Every persons belief in God gives that God certain characteristics. if those characteristics do not match the universe that we are in then that god cannot exist. Not every bodies version of god can be disproved, but I believe, and he believes, that the probability of any god existing is so close to nil that we can consider it to not exist until we find compelling evidence that it does in fact exist, he has obviously never found any compelling evidence and I certainly have not.
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:iconjoeisbadass:
joeisbadass Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
"It amazes me how many Christians dismiss the Old Testament." Should it really be that surprising, after all Christianity was founded on the New Testament?
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