Pre-emptive responses to G at SkeptiCLAWyer
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-02-22
There is a great post over at Skepticlawyer ("The Dawkins Delusion – Guest Post by ‘G’" 2009-02-22) which is well worth reading. I’ve already written quite a few posts that could be considered a "pre-emptive response" to G’s article.
The fact that an unbeliever like myself used the epithet "great" for a post from a theist that attacks Dawkins should indicate to ardent atheists that G’s post is thoughtfully written and subtle.
I hope G responds to the more subtle of my earlier posts on the subject from the list below:
- "Dawkins v God (1)" (2005-05-28) discusses how I think Dawkins should have approached the progressive/subtle theists, such as G.
- "Unrecognized Allies" (2007-05-08) includes a discussion inter alia of how atheists should treat progressive theists that recognise that such theists assert (correctly) that their understanding evolves.
- "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
- "Dawkins should promote quackery" (2008-05-12) discusses what I consider another "own-goal" by Dawkins
- "Flawed attacks on Dawkins: Zwartz and all" (2007-07-15)
- "Hier Stehe Ich" (2007-06-16) is my own theological position.
- "Christianity’s core non-sequitur" (2007-02-22) demonstrates the kind of attack on Christianity that is most likely to unsettle Christians because of it’s use of theological arguments.
It’s also worth (and I must expand on this in a future post) reflecting G’s reasonable use of secular logic and semantics, by pulling apart his Xtian scripture, not just the execrable Saul/Paul, but a key gospel, in defence of Western secular thought which has at least as much authority on theological matters as the Pope or any Xtian theologian.
This authority is implicit in John 1:1 which states:
"In the beginning was the Λόγος/Logos, and the Λόγος/Logos was with θεος/God, and the Λόγος/Logos was θεος/God."
or, in the original,
"Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος"
(My rendering follows the standard use of the definite article in the last clause than the rarer translation using an indefinite article.)
Thus John asserts the Christian God is both of the same substance (homoousios/ὁμοούσιος, not merely homoiousios/ὁμοiούσιος, the difference being merely an iota), and identical to the Hellenic concept of Λόγος/Logos (etymology, Wikipedia) which underpins Western philosophical thought, and thus scientific positions (consider: "BioLOGY", "CosmoLOGY", "OntoLOGY", "GeoLOGY", "SocioLOGY", which are merely of similar substance: homoiousios/ὁμοiούσιος).
Indeed, a minority of (secular) translators argue (and I’m unqualified to judge) that John should not start with "In the beginning", but "BY/BEFORE the beginning", which would make God/Λόγος underpin not just this universe, but antedent to the Big Bang and even the multiverse postulated by many cosmologists. This would strengthen the case for secular humanists having precedence over later Christian theologians (including the likes of Augustine the Hippo-crit [¿get the pun?] and the much-underrated Origen).
We can also leverage all the arguments of Taoists (including Confucius) because of the similarity with the Tao.
Too few Western atheists point out that authority granted by a Gospel, and even fewer wield that authority.
- G’s "home" blog ("History and Spirit") has a recent post "A Review of Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion". In it, G makes the comment (which I at least partially agree with as you can see from my "Dawkins v God" posts):
The failure to explore the relationship between philosophy and theism in the book is baffling.
I’ll facetiously point out that while G has category list on that goes:
- Gok Wan
- Gospel of Luke
- Gospel of Mark
- Gospel of Matthew
I’ll retort with
"The failure to have ‘Gospel of John’ as a category when exploring the relationship between philosophy and theism on your blog is baffling"
The only "John" categories are: John Lennon, John McCain, John Milton, John Polkinghorne… but no John the Evangelist! Baffling, indeed! At least G has a category for Origen, showing that G is no theological nincompoop.