Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: <>
Date: Mon May 07 2007 - 12:55:09 EDT

But Dawkins does not just leave it at God is improbable.
  Dawkins is also convinced that religion is a dangerous
and destructive.

He is wrong when he rails against us "labeling" our
children as Christians, when he knows nothing about
baptism, and covenant children.

He is wrong when he equates parents raising children to
believe their own particular religion as abusive.

You are wrong when you claim that Dawkins only interest is
arguing against ID. He is clearly about more than that.
It is perfectly fair for Plantiga, or anyone else, to
consider Dawkins' public comments, and other writings, and
not just what he says in The God Delusion.

7 May 2007 10:12:45 -0700
  PvM <> wrote:
> Remember also the part that Jack quoted
> <quote>"...suppose we concede, at least for purposes of
>argument, that
> God is complex. ..why does Dawkins think it follows that
>God would be
> improbable? Given materialism and the idea that the
>ultimate objects
> in our universe are the elementary particles of physics,
>perhaps a
> being that knew a great deal would be improbable... Of
>course we
> aren't given materialism. Dawkins is arguing that theism
> improbable; it would be dialectically deficient in
>excelsis to argue
> this by appealing to materialism as a premise. Of course
>it is
> unlikely that there is such a person as God if
>materialism is true; in
> fact materialism logically entails that there is no such
>person as
> God; but it would be obviously question-begging to argue
>that theism
> is improbable because materialism is true."</quote>
> As I have shown however, Dawkins argument is not
>presuming that
> materialism is true, on the contrary. Plantinga is
>arguing a clever
> strawman of his own creation here. Having read Dawkins,
>I do have to
> admit that I may have some advantage here.
> Plantinga mostly dances around the topic, jumps from God
>Delusion to
> Watchmaker to make a somewhat incoherent argument
>against his own
> strawmen. It would have been so much better if he could
>have addressed
> the argument proposed by Dawkins in a more
>straightforward manner.
> There are two possibilities, either God is complex or
>God is simple.
> If God is complex then using a complex entity to explain
> begs the question 'what or who created God'. If God were
>simple, then
> it begs the question of reductionism. If complexity can
>indeed be
> reduced to simplicity then it seems that there exists a
> argument in favor of reductionism and God becomes the
>'origin' of
> reductionism, a sort of alpha point, as opposed to the
>omega point
> proposed by some theologians
> <quote>Omega point is a term invented by French Jesuit
>Pierre Teilhard
> de Chardin to describe the ultimate maximum level of
> complexity-consciousness, considered by him the aim
>towards which
> consciousness evolves. Rather than divinity being found
>"in the
> heavens" he held that evolution was a process converging
>toward a
> "final unity", identical with the Eschaton and with God.
> Weird though that this theologian considers the maximum
>level of
> complexity-consciousness to be a description of 'God'.
>>From a faith based perspective "great Christian
>>philosophers" may want
> to define God to be simple or complex, but a definition
>needs to be
> also coherent and consistent. Furthermore, calling God
>an eternal
> being, is an easy way to not have to explain its
>existence but that
> makes it scientifically speaking, and remember that we
>are talking
> about a scientific hypothesis of God, quite vacuous.
> I believe that Dawkins unique contribution here is that
>either one
> argues that ID is wrong, which is fine with Dawkins, or
>that ID is
> right but that raises significant questions about the
>complexity and
> origin of God. However, this is a can of worms mostly
>opened by ID.
> Where did Dawkins get it wrong? An improbable system
>need to be
> implausible. If God were too probable we would see quite
>a few more
> Gods. But the probability, improbability does not follow
>from science
> but rather from our faith. Is Dawkins wrong though or is
>he cleverly
> taking the claims about God being a valid scientific
>hypothesis to
> their logical conclusion?
> Rather than demonize Dawkins, we may want to identify
>where he went
> wrong, even if this requires us dropping the ID
>hypothesis. We can
> leverage his claims that religious belief and morality
>etc have
> evolved, to show how this may be reconciled with God's
>written word.
> Refusing to discuss Dawkins just because the arguments
>appear to be
> anti-Christian or uncomfortable is another approach but
>personally I
> believe that working through Dawkins arguments in a
>meaningful manner
> can be far more effective.
> On 5/7/07, Jack <> wrote:
>> I am not going to discuss Plantiga here anymore, his
>>argument stands on its
>> own.
>> You even provided the link Pim, whoever is interested
>>can read the article
>> and come to their own conclusions about its merits, and
>>about your
>> interpretation of it.
>> I am going to make this simple. I am finished with this
>>discussion with you
>> Pim, until you tell us where you think that Dawkins gets
>>it wrong. You
>> claim to be a Christian, and if you are Dawkins must get
>>it wrong somewhere.
>> Otherwise it seems we have no common ground to continue.

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Received on Mon May 7 13:56:46 2007

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