Richard Dawkins has put together an interesting package. His book, The God Delusion, has inspired a great deal of discussion and controversy. After reading the book, I find myself disappointed. I was expecting so much more. For such a great deal of noise, I expected some solid, faith-shattering arguments. Instead, I felt that Dawkins’ arguments were weak, lacking in solid logic and poorly assembled.
Why then am I going to spend time and effort refuting a book that I found to be so negative? Well… the popularity of the book requires some strong refutations in order to set the record straight. That’s my main purpose in posting this set of responses. Additionally, I can’t stand to see these guys (Dawkins, Sam Harris and the rest of their “crew”) thinking that they’ve got the upper hand. I have a keen interest in apologetics, so refuting this type of writing is a great passion for me. Note, apologetics doesn’t mean apologizing for my faith, but rather defending it on intellectual grounds.
Before I get started on my critique, a couple of first thoughts. There are a couple of things that Dawkins does quite badly throughout this book. They are:
- Lack of respect – Dawkins takes on a very confrontational tone in his writing. His arrogant and offensive tone is off-putting and it distracts from his writing. While he is entitled to his opinion, his negative attitudes towards religious belief can at times be seen as an emotional response rather than a rational one. Thus, his lack of respect towards those of alternate worldviews takes away from some of his arguments.
- Stereotyping – Dawkins groups all religious believers into one big pot, confusing the beliefs of many different faiths into his own, convenient negative hodge-podge. Rather than develop a clear and concise definition of his fundamentalist religious targets, he bunches all religious believers together. His glossing over of religious belief leaves the reader wondering if he has a clear understanding of the religious claims of each reader.
So without further ado, over the next few days, I’ll be tackling the following subjects, one by one:
- Straw Men – Dawkins weak proofs of God
- The Ultimate 747 – Is that the best he’s got?
- Problems with Organized Religion and Sociological Explanations for Religion
- The objective roots of morality
- The Historical Jesus
- The problem with fundamentalism
- The slippery slope of abortion
- Why not rid ourselves of religion, politics and economics all at the same time?
- Childhood abuse and brainwashing
- On Evolution and concluding thoughts
Be sure to check back daily. My goal is to post a new section each day, but this will ultimately depend on how much time I can devote to my posts each day. Please do forgive me if I can’t keep up to the daily writing requirements to get these finished on time.
Ultimately, I think the answer becomes one of cohabitation. I feel the presence of God in my life every day. And, I appreciate God’s presence, just as I appreciate the scientific progress in understanding the world that God has provided for us. I am thankful for the scientific research that allows us to lead fuller, richer lives. But I am conscious of the limitations that surround practical scientific research. While science provides us with tools for survival, science lacks the moral compass required to be wise with it. for that, I look to God.