Author Topic: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)  (Read 11488 times)

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Offline Zookster

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Re: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2008, 03:53:24 AM »
This whole "Is Febo a Christian or not?" thing is officially the the Internet's Lamest Meme.

For Febo to say he is a christian is to rob the sentence 'I am a christian' of any discenible meaning, rendering all further discusiion of religion impossible.
Massey: No, he needs to be left alone.  We can't fix any of this with violence.
Schlock: You're just afraid to use enough of it.
-----------------
Tagon: So what is it, gas?  Ice crystals?
Ennesby:  It's a melange.
Tagon: I didn't ask what colour it was!

Offline Apeiron

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Re: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)
« Reply #76 on: April 30, 2008, 04:19:43 AM »
Neither you, Aperion, nor MisterMarc, nor Richard dawkins, nor the American Heritage Dictionary can accurately define Christianity.  Christianity can only be defined by Christians.  Christians disagree among themselves what the best definition of Christianity is; but that does not mean that you are free to tell all Christians that they have to adhere to the one definition you believe.

Bullshit. If you start living according to the Quran, practice the Five Pillars of Islam, start referring to some divine being as Allah, preach that Muhammad was his prophet, read the Quran daily and go to mosques then you can call yourself a Christian all you want, but you're still a Muslim.

In the same way are you not a Christian if you do not believe in God, and do not believe that Jesus was sent for the salvation of mankind from its inherently sinful nature.

Sure, Christians disagree. Some say that it is your will that leads you to accepting Jesus, others say that God chose you to become a Christian. Some say accepting Jesus' death is the only way to heaven, others say that good deeds will get you there as well. One thing is central to it all: the idea that Jesus was sent by God to redeem us of our sins. If you do not believe that, you are not a Christian even if you want to call yourself one. It would be similar to a vegetarian eating meat, me pointing out he's not a vegetarian, and him telling me that I don't know anything because vegetarians differ and only they can decide.

Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)
« Reply #77 on: April 30, 2008, 06:21:35 AM »
This whole "Is Febo a Christian or not?" thing is officially the the Internet's Lamest Meme.

For Febo to say he is a christian is to rob the sentence 'I am a christian' of any discenible meaning, rendering all further discusiion of religion impossible.

I know many Chrisitians who would agree with you; I know other Christians who would vehemently disagree.

Science provides us with systematic methods for dealing with questions, and while some questions may remain unanswered for  a long period of time, as least we can agree that they are unanswered.

Religion deals with questions that cannot be answered.  Some people think that religion is mean to provide answers to questions, and refuse to accept when science comes up with a better answer; or else they abandon religion altogether.

However, questions that can be addressed by science are no longer religious questions.  That means that Religious questions change over time.  Some call this "god of the gaps" -- which is true if it is claimed that "god" inhabits the gaps... but "god" -- that metaphor which until recently referred to a supernatural being (and now does not mean that to anyone save for fundamentalists and anti-fundamentalist extremists like Dawkins) -- may be the human propensity for exploring questions that are currently well beyond our scientific understanding.

It is possible that some of you reading this will fall back to the old "you're just redefining god" chestnut.  But I'm not making this up, I learned this -- and many other ideas about god that transcend the old "supernatural sky daddy" cliche -- while studying at a mainstream Lutheran Seminary.  So it is not me, but the theological zeitgeist that is "redefining god" (as it has done continually for the past 45,000 years).  The only reason this seems strange to some today is that 120 years ago or so, one group of Christians redefined god in a way they they found appropriate to their situation, starting the "Fundamentalist Movement", and anti-religious zealous have clung to that one insignificant movement within the ever-evolving cluster of traditions and communities that can be called "Christian" and have used it as a cudgel in pseudo-theological warfare.

I guess we all need bogey-men to project our fears and hatred onto.  As I speculated elsewhere, I suspect that I do that with "Libertarians" -- whenever I'm in an argument with a Libertarian, and they say something reasonable, my first instinct is to say "That's not real Libertarianism".  But then, my whole point in arguing economics and politics is that we cannot pick any single philosophy and cling to it through all situations, we have to allow political and economic ideas evolve with the times; which is also how I see religion -- how most mainstream religious people see religion.

I am rambling now, so allow me to end with a Jefferson quote:

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
- Thomas Jefferson

Offline Zookster

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Re: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)
« Reply #78 on: April 30, 2008, 06:29:17 AM »
... but "god" -- that metaphor which until recently referred to a supernatural being (and now does not mean that to anyone save for fundamentalists and anti-fundamentalist extremists like Dawkins) --

Sorry, but I just think you are dead wrong whjen you say that YOUR view of god as a metaphor is the common one.  Show some evidence that 'god as a supernatural being' is a minority view among the professed religious.
Massey: No, he needs to be left alone.  We can't fix any of this with violence.
Schlock: You're just afraid to use enough of it.
-----------------
Tagon: So what is it, gas?  Ice crystals?
Ennesby:  It's a melange.
Tagon: I didn't ask what colour it was!

Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)
« Reply #79 on: April 30, 2008, 07:52:08 AM »
... but "god" -- that metaphor which until recently referred to a supernatural being (and now does not mean that to anyone save for fundamentalists and anti-fundamentalist extremists like Dawkins) --

Sorry, but I just think you are dead wrong whjen you say that YOUR view of god as a metaphor is the common one.  Show some evidence that 'god as a supernatural being' is a minority view among the professed religious.

Go to any academic seminary or school of theology and talk to the faculty; if you suggest that god is a supernatural being they will probably either smile condescendingly or laugh in your face (depending on how big an asshole they are).

Here are theologians who do not present god as a supernatural being, who publish in the popular press: Paul Tillich, John Spong, Edvard Schillebeeckx, Marcus Borg, Chuck Meyer, Paul Rajashekar, and of course -- although he is not technically a theologian -- Joseph Campbell.

I have always acknowledged that my self-appellation "Christian Atheist" is an unusual one, but the idea that "God" is a metaphor that transcends the quaint concept of a supernatural entity is certain not unusual, it is very common among average church going folks even in conservative congregations, and it is far and away the overwhelmingly dominant understanding of "god" among mainstream theologians.

Offline Zookster

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Re: Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2006)
« Reply #80 on: April 30, 2008, 08:04:11 AM »

Go to any academic seminary or school of theology and talk to the faculty; if you suggest that god is a supernatural being they will probably either smile condescendingly or laugh in your face (depending on how big an asshole they are).

snip

I have always acknowledged that my self-appellation "Christian Atheist" is an unusual one, but the idea that "God" is a metaphor that transcends the quaint concept of a supernatural entity is certain not unusual, it is very common among average church going folks even in conservative congregations, and it is far and away the overwhelmingly dominant understanding of "god" among mainstream theologians.

Ok so your 'evidence' is to point out that many theologians agree with you, and then you extrapolate that to the general religious population via yet another plain bald assertion.

Shall we have a poll?  Maybe a religious forum member who is a member of christian forums too could go and gather some data?

Lets ask here, to start:

Any christians reading who agree that god is just a metaphor for something or other and not really a distinct supernatural entity with a son called Jesus?  If yes, raise your hands.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 08:09:28 AM by Zookster »
Massey: No, he needs to be left alone.  We can't fix any of this with violence.
Schlock: You're just afraid to use enough of it.
-----------------
Tagon: So what is it, gas?  Ice crystals?
Ennesby:  It's a melange.
Tagon: I didn't ask what colour it was!

 

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