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

If you like this kind of thing please take a look at my facebook page at [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjourneyrocks:
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.
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec 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.
Reply
:iconaatheist:
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.
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec 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.
Reply
:iconaatheist:
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.
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec 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. 
Reply
:iconaatheist:
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.
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec 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.
Reply
:iconaatheist:
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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joeisbadass 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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