Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Tue May 08 2007 - 13:28:53 EDT

On May 8, 2007, at 10:44 AM, PvM wrote:

> I agree that for that reason the book may be silly but the arguments
> presented by Dawkins are hardly that silly. I am sure that 'we are
> asserting' a lot, but from the perspective of a scientific hypothesis
> of God, this does not seem to do much.
> Perhaps we should come to the conclusion that neither logic nor
> science can do much to support our concept of God and that the
> attempts to infer God's existence through such arguments do a
> disservice to an entity which cannot be captured by such reductionism.
> I would be fine with that but religious people have opened up God to
> scientific inquiry and they cannot just slam shut the door when their
> approach is turned against them.

Ah... now we're getting somewhere. This may be your use of Dawkins'
arguments (and he may be arguing this way in part as well)--i.e. in
arguing against ID. But Dawkin's argument certainly extends beyond
those who have opened up God to their scientific inquiry. For now I
won't delve into the role of "logic" in thinking about God, but I am
inclined to agree with you that our concept of God does not come from
logic (reason) or from science, but rather from revelation and God's
self-disclosure. Of course, we use all human faculties including
reason and perhaps some aspects of science (observation, etc.) to
receive that revelation and self-disclosure.

Will you grant that Dawkins has no sympathy for that view of God
either? I don't have my copy of TGD with me, but my recollection is
that early on Dawkins (not just the ID folks) insisted against the
theologians that the God question should be addressed scientifically
and that it was wrong for believers to remove the question of the
existence of God from the realm of science. Most of our complaints on
this list and in the ASA against Dawkins is on this very point--he is
addressing questions that are outside the bounds of scientific
investigation with the tools of science. He is using science to
answer the question "Does God exist?"

Perhaps we can get you, Pim, to tell us how is it that someone comes
to believe in God? What kinds of "evidence" are persuasive? I'd be
happy to hear of your personal journey, if you want to put it those
terms, but generic would be fine if you don't want to go that route.


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

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Received on Tue May 8 13:48:25 2007

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