Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Dawkins v God (2)

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-05-30


Continuing on Dawkins v God (1)…

As Dawkins main objection to religion is most exhibited by the fundamentalist regressives, why did he attack with such simplistic arguments, rather than get out the intellectual knuckledusters so they knew they’d come out second best?  As it was, they walked away unscathed in their own minds.

How could he have done this in his television series?  By confronting them with their hypocrisy as outlined below.

(Note that he would be unable to use this attack with religious progressives, nor those who, like the Amish, shun modern technologies.)

Do you, or like believers in your family and congregations, use the products of the scientific process, including cars, televisions, mobile phones, computers, modern medicines or diagnostic equipment?

For those who answered yes (and computers in bible-teaching schools were a giveaway), then it is easy to ask the following:

As the discovery of oil for your car depends on the theory that the earth is millions, not thousands of years old, as the electronic gadgets would not work without application of the scientific method, as modern medicine relies on the scientific method to develop cures and assess the safety of drugs, you obviously accept that this approach is successful and trustworthy.

It seems you accept the power of the scientific approach merely when convenient and to your immediate advantage.

Can you explain your selective approach, or at least admit the inconsistency?

Or, is the explanatory and predictive power of evolving science merely the Devil trying to trick us into unbelief?  If so, then the Devil is responsible for most of the world we see about us, including it’s beauty, so your Devil is the main creator, not your God.

Usually, the regressives fall back to their holy books having taking precedence, for example, their Bible is absolutely true, and science is only correct insofar as it agrees with scripture.  This opens up the attack about which version of the Bible is true, calling into question fundamentalist extrapolations from nuances in one particular edition.

Are all translations of your Bible, from the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin originals, into every language from Afrikaans to Zulu, equally true?  Are all the translations even into English equally the word of God?  How do you choose which translator was most divinely inspired, which the most skilled?

Who is more likely to be divinely inspired and which open to error, a single man, acting effectively as a prophet, or a committee?  Given that Wycliffe’s translation, at first rejected, then mostly incorporated in the King James version, the most venerated of the English language Bibles by the Christian fundamentalists, do you know which parts were Wycliffe’s and which parts written by the committee of King James?

Most likely, this would deeply disturb Dawkins’ interlocutors, raising doubts within them.  Their only defence would necessarily rely on the very dialectic and application of evidence and logic they had summarily dismissed.

This approach would have been useful for the inquisition of other religious regressives subsequently met by viewers of Dawkins’ show, exposing them to the questions that might shake their certainty.

Dawkins’ efforts would have given greater returns if he had presented such lines of questions, and challenging the Christian fundamentalists (who would not have watched his program anyway) by his viewers as his proxies.

Another wasted set of opportunities for a better world!

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4 Responses to “Dawkins v God (2)”

  1. Dave Bath said

    This comment on Pell and Stem-Cell research puts a question from this post quite starkly.

    And on precedence of bible versus science, try God said pi=3: Stand by your beliefs, dammit! at Gospel of Reason.  I’d add – make “biblicycles” with wheels that obey the biblical ratio of circumference:diameter at 3:1. (And the US fundamentalists are almost mad enough buy them too).

  2. […] v God 1" 2007-05-28) while not going in for the kill with the Right-Wing Fundies (see my "Dawkins v God 2" […]

  3. […] "Dawkins v God 2" (2007-05-30) criticises Dawkins for not going at the hypocrisy of the Christian nutters rather than the simple idiocy of their views.  The hypocrisy of our state in the way it indulgences Christian nutters amazes me. […]

  4. […] "Dawkins v God (2)" (2007-05-30) discusses what I considered Dawkins flawed attacks on the fundies which should have highlighted their hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance […]

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