Some good points were made at the end of my last post in this series: Dawkins Part 10: On Evolution and Concluding Thoughts. I offer the following responses:
The evidence… here we are again… always looking for the smoking gun. Well… I’m sorry… I’ve provided some discussion on the historical Jesus. We’ve looked at some primary sources as well. While I cannot with 100% certainty provide proof that God exists or that Jesus walked the earth, I can say that the evidence that I have been presented with is sufficient for me to believe. The rationalist critique of religion has provided a healthy discussion on the subject of God’s existence. I appreciate the tighter discussion of God that has resulted from this more stringent set of rules pertaining to evidence.
Unfortunately, an ironic shift has occurred as a result of this “modern” approach to religion. Nietzsche, one of the stronger and more influential voices in the atheistic discussion of the last couple of hundred years, prophetically spoke in his story, The Parable of the Madman. In this story, the madman runs screaming through the streets looking for God. He rants on and on, telling the gathered crowds that we (the modern scientific man) have killed God. He goes on to say, “Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? [killing God]” And here is the irony… In all of this discussion of God and atheism, we, as learned individuals, have become Gods unto ourselves.
One of the responses to my Part 10 post plays perfectly into this discussion. Urbanshutter argued, “It is man that decides what is write and wrong, in the God force realm there is no such thing because so such need exists.” (the spelling mistakes in the quote are his) This is exactly the kind of thing that Nietzsche was arguing about. In sidelining God, we become Gods unto ourselves.
Urbanshutter, I appreciate your comments. They were full of insight and I in some ways do subscribe to them. I hope you don’t mind that I used your response to help prove my point. It was meant most respectfully.
Ultimately, we must be careful not to make ourselves into God. If we are theists, then we must continue to look to God and not become God ourselves. And for those that are atheists, isn’t it suicidal to kill God, especially if you purport to be God yourself?
My final comment is directed to Dave. And Dave, I really appreciate your comments throughout this series. They’ve kept me on my toes and knowing you’ve been reading has really motivated me to put my all into this series. Now, to respond to your points in Part 10 of my series.
First, you suggest: “If we can’t modermize this portion, why can’t we modernize other portions of the bible like allowing women be priests, or priests to marry, or allowing for gays. This was a new religious theory made by man not god. Science at least allows for itself to be corrected and modernized in a consistent manner, religion does it in ways that suit the institution, not man or God.”
My response: I agree with you on this point. You’re coming at this from a Catholic perspective, with the women priests, priests being married and allowing for gays. Other denominations struggle with these issues as well. I would like to think that I am more progressive than most in the church. For me, the answer to these questions can be found in the heart of Jesus’ message of love and peace. He tells us to love our neighbour as we love ourself. I agree with this and I try to live my life this way. It is unfortunate that “church governance” gets in the way of living out this life of love sometimes.
Next, you ask: “As for comments on Love and Free Will. Once again, why does the fact that science cannot specifically explain these things mean that there must be a god?”
My response: I don’t see this as binary. I was simply pointing out some problems that science fails to address. And, I was showing how religion fills these gaps. I think the two (science and religion) can be helpful to one another. If anything, I think that it is science that is attempting to be binary.
Dave’s final comment: “If you need a God to believe in to be a good person, than so be it. My issue has always been with organized religion. If God/Jesus did exist I genuinely believe he did not wish for the way organized religion has conducted itself over the centuries.”
My response: “If you need a God to believe in to be a good person, than so be it. My issue has always been with organized religion. If God/Jesus did exist I genuinely believe he did not wish for the way organized religion has conducted itself over the centuries.” (Thanks Dave. I couldn’t have said it better myself!)
Thanks to everyone that has made this such an enjoyable series for me. Your comments, questions and critiques have been quite appreciated. I think it is important to question what we believe. For me, this is an important step in my faith journey. It helps me to solidify my beliefs which makes me more certain of my convictions and my sense of self.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1.