Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Mon May 07 2007 - 14:26:07 EDT

On May 7, 2007, at 11:12 AM, PvM wrote:

> 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.

Are you suggesting that Dawkins is only discussing a "scientific"
hypothesis of God and other hypotheses are not on the table? This may
be true for you, Pim, but from my reading of Dawkins, I have no
reason to say that it's true for him.

My reaction to this paragraph is similar to my reaction to Dawkins--
this is silly. The question of where does God come from is silly. You
may call it vacuous if you like, but part of being God is not needing
an explanation. There is nothing illogical or unscientific about
ending a chain of causation or being with an uncaused cause or
unmade, eternally existent being. Frankly, to raise such a question
demonstrates such theological naivete that it's hard to take it very
seriously. His whole argument seems to stand or fall on that
question. It's really not unlike Dawkin's own aversion to asking the
question "why is there something and not nothing?" or "why does the
universe have the properties that it has?" My impression is that he
believes these to be meaningless questions.

There is an end to explanatory chain. You either put where Dawkins
puts it or you put it where theists put it, one step back.


Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon May 7 14:26:41 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon May 07 2007 - 14:26:41 EDT