Hello Athiests!

I was interested in knowing how many of you have read the “God Delusion” and whether or not this had an effect on your decision to become an atheist? And can you please give the reasons posited by Dawkins that you agreed with? If you haven’t read Dawkins you’re still very much welcomed to respond and add your two cents (in a respectful manner).

God bless! :wink:

Putting some humor in this thread.

The Dawkin’s Delusion: youtube.com/watch?v=QERyh9YYEis

Ahhh, that was funny, thanks Eucharisted. By the way, that skit was a play on the interview between Ben Stein and Richard Dawkins in the documentary “Expelled”. I especially liked the part when they were describing Dawkins (as he had described God in “The God Delusion”) as intolerant, bombastic . . . etc. Sweet justice.

I have read the God Delusion; I think it’s quite an entertaining book (although the editor could have been a bit more ruthless in parts). But it didn’t tell me anything that I hadn’t already worked out for myself; by the time I read it, I had long since accepted that I had no belief in “God”, a god or gods.

In terms of explaining what most people seem to call the “new athiest” world view to a non-athiest audience, I think Daniel Dennett’s “Breaking the Spell”, and Carl Sagan’s “The Demon Haunted World” are probably better. By far the best articulated reason for not believing is the Sagan’s essay: The Dragon in my Garage:, which also appeared in Demon Haunted World

You can’t use a mythical creature to debunk belief in God. For one thing, religions aren’t mythology. For another thing, there is no evidence for dragons, while there are evidence for God: for example, miracles which have been scientificly tested - such as the Image of Our Lady of Guadelupe.

Of course, atheists don’t accept miracles, and they attempt to use an authority which they don’t have to say “such and such a miracle dosen’t prove God exists” and “it might be evidence of something supernatural, but not evidence of God” because they forget the historical circumstances of said miracles. Many atheists say the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is just an inexplainable event, because they forget about the apparition, Juan Diego, the Bishop he showed the image to, the roses Juan collected, the time and age which the event took place in, etc. Sadly, there’s nothing I can say to show them they are wrong.

Yes, I read it. It was pretty good, but since I’m really bad at biology, there were dull moments. I definitely agree with all those fallacies (i.e. Pascal’s Wager, Beethoven Fallacy, etc.). Of course, there were many things that I had already agreed with.

This being the first Atheist-promoting book I’ve ever read, It was simply the beginning of my transition from Catholic to Agnostic.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

A mythology is just a religion that nobody believes anymore. I can imagine a few religions of this age becoming absolute myths to all when the time is right.

Ironically Yours. :heart:

I read The Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins about eighteen years ago. The God Delusion struck me as a bit shrill when I read it, though surely it is in response to fundamentalist rhetoric in politics over the same time period. The Blind Watchmaker is much more focused on evolution and biology rather than religion.

I don’t remember anything specific about the book that made me doubt, but I do remember praying about it and other questions, and getting no answer.

No, a mythology is not necessarily a religion that nobody believes in anymore, it can be just a collection of stories (a fable or legend) without a religious connotation attached to it.

P.S. Like dragons and fairies and such.

How long did you pray before you gave up?

Perhaps your prayers were answered by being led to these forums for information.

Hey… Thanks for reminding me. I keep meaning to go to the library to pick up this book. I refuse to buy it and add to the sales total.

I find Dawkins nearly insufferable. He’s an example of how atheists should not interact with religious people in debates and commentaries.

Your ever so welcome. :smiley: So did you take a look at that youtube video?

P.S. Did you read my response to you in the other thread? If not, I’ll copy and paste it here. God bless.

I don’t reject God. I reject people’s claim of God. This wording is important. Since the idea of God is imbued with perfection, some religious people try to make atheism’s rejecting God instead of people’s claim of God somewhat akin to rejecting love, world peace, etc. I do not reject God. I reject people’s claim of God.

So what are you looking for? What kind of a God do you think there is or could be? The God I know is love.

Where is your evidence for it being mostly a Protestant phenomenon? Roman Catholics were hunting witches over a century before the Reformation. There were several Papal Bulls ordering witch inquisitions spanning centuries, and other documents from leading clergy warning of the danger posed by witches. There is evidence that the schism of the Reformation sent both sides hunting witches more than anywhere else in the fuzzy boundaries between Catholic and non Catholic lands.

Ok, you weren’t specific in your last post, when one refers to the witch hunts of Europe, we speak of the actual persecution of those thought to be witches (not the same as the inquisitions which focused on heretics), concentrated mainly after the reformation in mostly protestant countries (I am not saying that Catholics didn’t do this just to a lesser degree). However, if you speak of the inquisitions (more specifically the Spanish inquisition), then we are refering to a time period that lasted for more than 350 years, with the death toll somewhere between 3500 to 5000 people. This however, was not an inquistion brought upon by the Church (although the Church at first issued a bull consenting to allow this) but the temperal powers of Spain for the reasons of extracting the enemies of Spain disguised as Christians (Morranos were Jews and Muslims who falsely converted to Christianity to infiltrate the political/governmental hierarchy in Spain).

You have to remember that Spain had just reconquered the Iberian peninsula from the Moors. And although there were other inquisitions like the Roman inquisition, these trials were for the purpose of rooting out heretics (just like the army would root out a treasonous soldier). It isn’t right per se, but it wasn’t as sinister as it was once perceived. There are probably more people who die/d of the death penalty in the U.S. (since its inception) then did from the inquistion.

In other words, there was no requirement for loss of religious belief or moral relativism to lead to such events.

Yes, because the atrocities committed under the banner of religiosity is in direct conflict with Christianity whereas the atrocities committed under Nazism and Communism there is/was no such conflict. These were ideologies that made their own moral code, that tried to create their own godless utopia. They had no higher power in order to set the standard for them, they were the standard, i.e, loss of religious belief and/or moral relativism does lead to such events.

It doesn’t seem like anyone wants the Nazi’s or the Communists on their team. They’re passed around like a hot potato. It’s more subtle than that, but it’s pointless to bicker about whose team they were on. Personally, I just see it as a shift in people’s casus belli. In previous centuries, if you were a power hungry brute, the best way to remain safe while others killed and died for you was to whip up religious xenophobia. Tell them that their enemy was evil in the eyes of God, maybe even throw in a promise of heaven to those who died in combat and you could start one of many crusades.

The Church had a valid reason to start the Crusades (it was only later in the 2nd or 3rd crusade that things got to be more about booty than protecting Christians and/or Christian land) has there was an invasion by the turks in the Holy land. In fact throughout the centuries thereafter Christian Europe was constantly threatened by Muslim hoardes trying to conquer (the battle of Lepanto and other such battles) in the name of “Allah”. What you describe above fits the image of Mohammed and his followers more than it does the CC and Catholics. Do you think if Mohammed’s followers weren’t trying to conquer the whole world we would have even had a crusade? We were not the aggressors in initiating such an event.

When Europeans got smart to that trick and were not so willing to kill or die for it, political ideology took its place. People killed and died in the name of fascism, communism, and democracy. Decades later after some victor’s justice and victor’s history, we’re ready to fight war after war to protect freedom and democracy. Exactly how we protect freedom and democracy with what we’re doing I don’t fathom.

Europeans were killing each other mostly for power. Just take a look at the history of England during the reformation, and tell me whether this had anything to do with religion?

You do not think it correct to fight for freedom in Iraq?

continuation . . . .

Moral relativism allows us to improve morals over time. We humans used to think it was perfectly acceptable to wage a war of conquest. A stronger nation would simply set its sights on a weaker one that was minding its own business. After killing and maiming a few tends of thousands or millions, the stronger nation would control or absorb the smaller nation. It was not that long ago that this conduct was not only considered acceptable, but noble and glorious. Today, no nation on earth would claim they are starting a war to control another nation, much less absorb it into their territory. That’s moral relativism.

No, now we force countries into poverty so we can rise to the heights of capitalism. I wonder how many untold people have died to feed the egos and greed of others. And that my friend is moral relativism (whatever’s good for me). And furthermore, it is the Church throughout time (for the most part for I know it has made mistakes of its own) that has acted as the conscience of the world in order that a standard morality be applied to all aspects of life. Imagine if people actually followed through on their christian faith, what a different world it would be?

Only some decades ago we thought it was a perfectly legitimate conduct of war to terror bomb civilian population centers. We killed innocent women, children, and elderly by the millions. We don’t do this today. Moral relativism. Centuries ago we considered chattel slavery perfectly OK. Now it’s an unpardonable crime. Moral relativism. Not so long ago we considered dueling to the death a reasonable way to settle some disputes. Today, not so much. Moral relativism.

This is hogwash, moral relativism by definition means that there is no set standard for morality (to each their own basically). And as I mentioned before the Church tried to act as the conscience of the world but with loss of power to influence (starting with the reformation) it was ignored. It’s still being ignored, and many people throughout the world are suffering for it. We are immersed in a culture of death. And chattel slavery was never accepted by the Church (not speaking of individuals in the Church but the Church as a whole). The forces of evil and good are always struggling with each other in every age. However, it is the denial of Truth that has led to the constant atrocities and evils we witness in every age. Moral relativism is a denial of the Truth that has caused people to justify their actions no matter how evil they may be.

Oh, they have religious connections alright; we’re just not quite familiar with them (generally speaking) since nobody practices or believes in them anymore. :shrug:

Ironically Yours. :heart:

Whom are you quoting in the posts on the last page, Josie?

The black paragraphs belong to aileron (an atheist poster), and the red ones are my response to him. God bless.

No, they don’t.

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