Alrighty… today’s post will be a response to a few comments I received in my series on Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”.
A couple of comments were left on the post Dawkins Part 4: The Objective Roots of Morality. I offer the following responses:
To Dave: Dawkins’ argument in support of morality is troublesome to me. Dawkins supports a scientific worldview that provides no moral guidance whatsoever. This is problematic as it provides no grounding for moral good and bad. Thus, how are we to decipher the right and wrong way of doing things. This is evident when we look at utilitarianism as a decision making tool. Utilitarianism, remember, suggests that the decision that provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people is considered the best decision. Some would argue that the Nazi final solution was using this decision making model. It ultimately disregards the rights of the individual in favour of the collective whole of society. Pretty dangerous stuff, as morality will shift as social needs shift. This does not suggest a good moral compass to me. I speak more about the problems of morality and science in week 10: “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.”
As for evidence… what evidence does science have that it has determined the final explanation for where we came from, how we are to live and what we are to believe? I’d love to know how the scientific worldview can be so certain that it has a monopoly on the “evidence” or lack thereof. While spiritual belief and experience is not as repeatable and measurable as scientific research requires for “proof”, this does not mean that it does not matter or that it should be so easily excused.
To Ed: You pointed to some great questions that Dawkins’ brought up in this section of his book. These questions are ultimately questions of theology, dogma and church polity. I purposely skipped these questions for a couple of reasons. First, I feel that I am not sufficiently equipped to answer these questions. He asked some questions about church doctrine and the questions assume a lot. Not all denominations believe the same interpretations that Dawkins assumed. And, I don’t have the skills to adequately untangle his cross-denominational assumptions, nor do I have the theological expertise to answer them once I get them untangled. I don’t think it was fair of Dawkins to compress these questions into the short section that he did, as I think he gave them short thrift without doing sufficient research to understand what he was explaining and how best to approach the subject. So… I will respectfully defer any answers to these questions to another forum as I don’t feel that I could do them justice. And, I don’t feel that this response should in any way weaken my arguments against Dawkins’ book.
I’m going to skip over Part 5 (The Historical Jesus) for a bit. Don’t worry, we’ll come back to this. In fact, it’ll make a great segue into my next series. So hold your thoughts for a bit… I’m going to address some of the other feedback I received first.