Oct 24, 2006

My God Is Bigger Than That

A long and winding article on why New Atheism, as voiced by Richard Dawkins (mentioned also in this post), is a fundamentalist, and ultimately limiting worldview.

"...the big war is not between evolution and creationism, but between naturalism and supernaturalism. The sensible" -- and here he pauses to indicate that sensible should be in quotes -- "the 'sensible' religious people are really on the side of the fundamentalists, because they believe in supernaturalism. That puts me on the other side."

More: "Highly intelligent people are mostly atheists," he says.

I can't even bother to comment. The article touches on the possibility of religion of reason (been there, done that, French revolution, anyone?), but then cringes in the face of incompatibility of reason and emotions. In the final analysis, it asks 'What is true?'. But then the very concept of truth is an ultimate statement, and in the 21st century we speak of truths and multiple interpretations. Is this enough? Personally, I think that as long as we search for truth, we (consciously or not) search for God.

Two interviews from salon, one with an atheist, another with a Christian.


Elle said...

When we search for truth, we search for God only if we believe in Him/Her. People have different truths: personal growth, wealth, compassion, charity - not necessarily having anything to do with God.

Hazel Baggins said...

@ elle
That's what I'm saying, that we insist on the existence of multiple truths. Although I tend to agree on, erm, the variety of manifestations of the truth, how come we still have the concept of lies?

And ultimately, all good things we crave come from God. If there is such thing as 'ultimately':) And I believe there is.

Maya said...

i'm a bit disappointed from you this time - all that you saw in this 8 page(!) article is that Richard Dawkins is harsh to the Christians along with all believers, for a change? :/

that totally mistreats the great "American Talibans" ending!

something, which combined with the noton there actually ARE people looking forward to a doom's day to call it their "Armageddon", is actually pretty scary sh*t, comming from the top nuclear power of our time!

Hazel Baggins said...

@ ffox
I know, my bad, I meant to summarize the article but too much work. And Mr. Dawkins represents an eicte moment:) And I do like his smile;)

Nuclear power, you say? Now this is biased thinking - it's more dangerous in the hands of Scripture-thumpers, than it is in the hands of our comrades the communists:P

Maya said...

scripture thumpers that view an end of the world as a good thing that is vs. the "Bright Future" building commies?

Of course the faith fanatics are worse than the red ones in this regard. :)

At least the Bright Future is meant to come in this world, not some next :P

Hazel Baggins said...

@ Bright future in this world? Brave New World? Tnx but no tnx.

The world IS going to end:) When each of us dies. Face it:)
Your Personal Armaggedon. Soon.

Konstantin said...

if you do search for truth than faith is irrevelant, because you only believe in things you do NOT know.
@any other
why does everyone consider that there is no difference between a religious man and a fanatic? if we start making this difference we could move on to another fine distinction, the one between the scholar that does not exclude the existence of "God" and the atheistic scholar who excludes everything beyond his own perceptions.
Huxley for president!

frostie said...


Thank you for saying it so nice. I completely fail to understand why christianity is supposed to be - according to some - worst than communism AND aggresive atheism? It is the claim to hold the ultimate truth combimed with the claim over the right either to force it over other people or to adopt a dismissive attitude, being both violations of freedom. This claim, as most do know, is not an exclusive patent of christianity. And violations of freedom are quite more both dangerous and loathing worthy than people's belief that they are not themselves the ultimate authority in the universe.

koroviev said...

I propose we hold a (black) MAS on this :)

Konstantin said...

ur damn right, but i did not quite get whether u are saying that the belief that man is not the ultimate ruler of the universe is a bad thing?
why should we do that when we could flood hazel's discipline?:)
where's begemoth?

Aquarius a.k.a koroviev said...

Behemoth is making final arrangements for the ball :)

Konstantin said...

@Aquarius a.k.a koroviev
who shall we claim a Queen then?
we cannot have a ball without a proper queen:)
suggestions, anyone?

Elle said...

@ konstantin
No one knows (or has a proof) that God exists, whether you are faithful or not. When you're searching for God, you are searching for things you do NOT know either.
@ hazel
Maybe all good things ultimately DID come from a book called the Bible. That doesn't have anything to do with God, though. Unless what you call God is the person/people who wrote that book. There is a starting point but whether that was a human creation or a greater power, we cannot know.

ffox said...

@haz - personal mortality does not justify mass murder, or does it?

striving towards ultimate happiness for all and ever should not be dissmissed for fear that mistakes may be made in the process, or should we just lie down and wait for death?

@frost - christianity is not on trial by itself here, although it has enough tough aligations to answer. but yes, it is to be questioned and examined when it starts to influence nations with such power.
when a man holding a gun is getting crazier by the minute, defending his freedom to shoot at invisible pink unicorns is just plain stupid.

@konstantine - discerning fans from fanatics, huh? "Welcome to my world!" ;) actually atheistic scholars do not klinge to the mere perseptions - mental constructs are essential to reasonable thinking. they only plead not to INVENT answers before even starting solving the problems - lets take the solutions step by step without wishful thinking, if you please!... :)

@koroviev - "black MAS" haha :D I actually remember one MAS meeting that wasn't "black". maybe two, but that's it :) Wlecome to my world to you too! :P

@all - for what we _know_ we're all agnostics - that is we DON'T KNOW :), but of course we all could _have_our_own_view_ of how things will turn out when it is found out in the end.
this right is equal for all.
the views are NOT equal in probability.

the right to have an opinion does not make the opinion true!

Konstantin said...

faith has nothing to do with proofs.
if you think otherwise you risk falling into descartesian dellusions. and this is not simply metaphysical claim. as Goedel did prove, you cannot describe something infinite (like God) by trying to apply to it the human limited perceptions. so, the search for God is not equal to search of proof.

Hazel Baggins said...

@ spammers
Omgwtf folks?

@ elle

No, I pointedly (albeith respectfully) disagree about the good things coming from the Bible. Ok well it is a good book, it is a holy Book, I believe it is the word of God, BUT. God is emphatically, definitely, certainly and undoubtedly BEFORE the Bible. You have lived in USA for much too long:/

That's what infuriates me about American Christianity - not so much their literal intepretation of the Bible, but that they are trying to fit God in the Bible (their interpretatin of it of course), and thus put him in a box. I hate thinking in the box. Sorry:)
Off: there's a King Crimson album called Starless and Bible Black.
Me, I'd rather have the stars.

Konstantin said...

mental constructs are human invention. does anyone really believe that God, if there were such a thing would fit into a human "mental construct"? then again, it is the ultimate obstacle of the western thinking - that by describing the parts of something u will get a clear picture of the whole. might work for digging oil, but that's as far as it goes:)

ffox said...

the concept of "god" _is_ a human mental construct :)

Konstantin said...

nice try:)
leaving sofism aside, we are not discussing the concept of God as such, but God. there is a difference, you know:)

ikew said...

Имаше едни готини експерименти с плъхове (и елени)- какво става, когато държиш заедно много повече животни от един вид, отколкото се случва в природата.
Нервни кризи. Масови измирания. Брутални прецаквания в обмяната на веществата, социалното поведение, дневните режими, абе всичко.
Дори да има предостатъчно храна и вода за всички.

Да, хората щяха да издивеят и без религии, понеже сме 6 милиарда ффс.
Само че без религиите, [b]нямаше да сме толкова.[/b]
За подчинен на здравия разум самоконтрол е нужен атеизъм.
Особено за такъв [i]глобален[/i] самоконтрол.
Понякога трябва да убиеш половината животни, за да не се избият сами. Жертвите са горе-долу еднокаво количество, но в единия случай са умрели относително невинни жертви на обстоятелствата, а животите на куп други са били разрушени.

Човечеството има нужда от дисциплина. И много строги ограничения в някои области.
Уви, това са точно областитие, за които религията не дава и пукант кръст. Тъй като на религията не й трябва светоло бъдеще, дам.

Ако студената война беше била не между капитализма и комунизма, а между християнството и исляма, при същите стартови позици...
Нямаше да е студена.
И сега нямаше да има блогове.