Lol no, that was in jest. I'm a prick, I can be rude and unapologetic. At the same time, I do not oppose your faith. I simply don't respect it. So no, it's not animosity, otherwise half this forum can join your club.
I liked when Keller commits the fallacy of appealing to populism - "...have written many things that are easy to refute. As a matter of fact, almost none of these atheist books has gotten a favorable review, say in the New Republic, or the London Review of Books, or the New York Review of Books. Most scholars see the weakness of the arguments." Not to mention how he misconstrues their side - "to even be congenial and respectful to a religious believers is bad" - certainly Dawkins treats his debate opponents with respect. Although I've never read any books written by the so called "new atheists", so I can't speak in full, but I don't recall them say anything of the sort. I'm interested to hear more... Especially about all the "scholars" who see the weakness of evolutionary biology, for example.
Can you tell me why "atheistic philosophy" is wrong? Can you tell me what it is? I doubt you have an argument I couldn't poop a refutation to. That's not being antagonistic, that's making me laugh. Just thought I'd clear that up for ya.
Can you elaborate on the vagueness of "post modern idea of plurality of truths"? Sounds interesting and deep, I'd like to learn more. What is post-modern philosophy? How does colonialism tie into this? And Nietzsche? Me feel stoopid.
I don't think religion is for idiots, I think it's a crutch. I've known (and still do!) smart religious people. I've expanded in depth on my stance that faith is the irrational factor in religion, common across all religions. No need to misrepresent me, I'm right here!
Yes, I do want clarification. I've not read 1984, so you'll have to indulge me.
How are you playing to win? You're a representative of a religion, the one true faith, the only way to heaven. Are you not here to be god's
slave servant and increase his flock? From where I sit, you're trying to win by any means possible. Sorry, not familiar with your political views. I'm just familiar with your extensive list of Christian apologists.
The book provoked an immediate response, both positive and negative, and was published with endorsements from scientists, such as Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA James D. Watson, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, as well as popular writers of fiction and the illusionists Penn and Teller. Nevertheless, the book received mixed reviews from critics: Metacritic reported the book had an average score of 59 out of 100, while London Review of Books criticized Richard Dawkins for not doing a proper research into the topic of his work, religion, and setting up a straw man to make his arguments against theism valid. The book was nominated for Best Book at the British Book Awards, where Richard Dawkins was named Author of the Year. The God Delusion provoked responses from both religious and atheist commentators.
Oxford theologian Alister McGrath (author of The Dawkins Delusion? and Dawkins' God) maintains that Dawkins is ignorant of Christian theology, and therefore unable to engage religion and faith intelligently. In reply, Dawkins asks "do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving inleprechauns?", and—in the paperback edition of The God Delusion—he refers to the American biologist PZ Myers, who has satirised this line of argument as "The Courtier's Reply". Dawkins had an extended debate with McGrath at the 2007 Sunday Times Literary Festival.
Christian philosopher Keith Ward, in his 2006 book Is Religion Dangerous?, argues against the view of Dawkins and others that religion is socially dangerous. The ethicist Margaret Somerville, suggested that Dawkins "overstates the case against religion", particularly its role in human conflict. Many of Dawkins' defenders claim that critics generally misunderstand his real point. During a debate on Radio 3 Hong Kong, David Nicholls, writer and president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, reiterated Dawkins' sentiments that religion is an "unnecessary" aspect of global problems.
Dawkins argues that "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other". He disagrees with Stephen Jay Gould's principle of nonoverlapping magisteria (NOMA). In an interview with TIME magazine, Dawkins said:
Astrophysicist Martin Rees has suggested that Dawkins' attack on mainstream religion is unhelpful. Regarding Rees' claim in his book Our Cosmic Habitat that "such questions lie beyond science", Dawkins asks "what expertise can theologians bring to deep cosmological questions that scientists cannot?" Elsewhere, Dawkins has written that "there's all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic, and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority or revelation."
I think that Gould's separate compartments was a purely political ploy to win middle-of-the-road religious people to the science camp. But it's a very empty idea. There are plenty of places where religion does not keep off the scientific turf. Any belief in miracles is flat contradictory not just to the facts of science but to the spirit of science.
Yeah, it seems you are quite happy to bully others into silence or anger with ridicule, contempt, sarcasm etc. But as soon as someone calls you out for your horrendous debating technique it's all just a big joke. Sure, it's easy to be an internet tough guy. But it isn't going to win you many fans from the other side of the debate...I guess as you've stated many times that you are against influencing anyone's opinion this doesn't concern you.
I suggest reading 1984. It's considered by most to be one of the most important fiction books of the 20th century. From the perspective of 1948 It's set in a dystopian future where society is relegated into 3 distinct casts: the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proletariet or "Proles". These three castes have almost zero interaction with each other: the Proles are considered mentally inferior and are left alone to practice their "primitive" traditions. This is the only thing I refer to from the book. Your idea that nobody should influence each other would result in a completely divided society. I don't know how you can think this is a good idea.
I have faith in that I believe in something I can't prove. This doesn't necessarily make my belief irrational. As I've said before, you can't prove a lot of things that are rational to believe.
I mentioned colonialism because it and related ideas like Imperialism are basically the practical side of the polar opposite of pluralism. I'm talking on a societal level in this regard. To simplify in one sentence, Modernism/rationalism sort of peaked in the late 19th century with the Western belief that they were the civilized people and needed to civilize the rest of the planet, to the degree of thinking Western foods, language, clothing, and religion should be implemented in the rest of the world. In Canada for example this kind of thinking resulted in the Catholic native residential schools, where native children were taken away from their parents in an attempt to assimilate them into Canadian culture. The effects of the schools weren't entirely bad, but a lot more harm was done than good.
An overenthusiastic brand of modernism certainly had a lot to do with the mass carnage of the early 20th century. People of all sides enthusiastically marched off to World War I thinking they were fighting for a just cause. Christians and Christian organizations certainly had their part in this stupidity.
This stupidity is basically what the post modernist thinkers were responding to.http://en.wikipedia..../Post_modernismhttp://en.wikipedia....dern_philosophy
Postmodernism describes a range of conceptual frameworks and ideologies that are defined in opposition to those commonly associated with ideologies of modernity and modernist notions of knowledge and science, such as, materialism, realism, positivism, formalism, structuralism, dogmatism and reductionism. Postmodernist approaches are critical of the possibility of objective knowledge of the real world, and consider the ways in which social dynamics such as power and hierarchy affect human conceptualizations of the world to have important effects on the way knowledge is constructed and used. In contrast to the modernist paradigm, postmodernist thought often emphasize idealism, constructivism, relativism, pluralism and scepticism in its approaches to knowledge and understanding.
As I said before: I don't support either philosophy. Christianity as I understand is quite opposed to a belief in superiority or forced conversions; and it is also against the idea that there is not a real truth to be discovered.
This is an article discussing the God Delusion by William Lane Craig:
"What do you think of Richard Dawkins' argument for atheism in The God Delusion?"
Dr. Craig responds:
On pages 157-8 of his book, Dawkins summarizes what he calls "the central argument of my book." It goes as follows:
1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.
2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself.
3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer.
4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection.
5. We don't have an equivalent explanation for physics.
6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.
Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.
This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion that "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" seems to come suddenly out of left field. You don't need to be a philosopher to realize that that conclusion doesn't follow from the six previous statements.
Indeed, if we take these six statements as premises of an argument implying the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist," then the argument is patently invalid. No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises.
A more charitable interpretation would be to take these six statements, not as premises, but as summary statements of six steps in Dawkins' cumulative argument for his conclusion that God does not exist. But even on this charitable construal, the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" does not follow from these six steps, even if we concede that each of them is true and justified.
What does follow from the six steps of Dawkins' argument? At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe. But that conclusion is quite compatible with God's existence and even with our justifiably believing in God's existence. Maybe we should believe in God on the basis of the cosmological argument or the ontological argument or the moral argument. Maybe our belief in God isn't based on arguments at all but is grounded in religious experience or in divine revelation. Maybe God wants us to believe in Him simply by faith. The point is that rejecting design arguments for God's existence does nothing to prove that God does not exist or even that belief in God is unjustified. Indeed, many Christian theologians have rejected arguments for the existence of God without thereby committing themselves to atheism.
So Dawkins' argument for atheism is a failure even if we concede, for the sake of argument, all its steps. But, in fact, several of these steps are plausibly false. Take just step (3), for example. Dawkins' claim here is that one is not justified in inferring design as the best explanation of the complex order of the universe because then a new problem arises: who designed the designer?
This rejoinder is flawed on at least two counts. First, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from. Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there. In order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't be able to explain the explanation. In fact, so requiring would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.
Secondly, Dawkins thinks that in the case of a divine designer of the universe, the designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. But leave those questions aside. Dawkins' fundamental mistake lies in his assumption that a divine designer is an entity comparable in complexity to the universe. As an unembodied mind, God is a remarkably simple entity. As a non-physical entity, a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it. In contrast to the contingent and variegated universe with all its inexplicable quantities and constants, a divine mind is startlingly simple. Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas—it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus—, but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. Dawkins has evidently confused a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the universe most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.
Other steps in Dawkins' argument are also problematic; but I think enough has been said to show that his argument does nothing to undermine a design inference based on the universe's complexity, not to speak of its serving as a justification of atheism.
Edited by Coda, 26 April 2012 - 08:53 PM.