RE: [asa] Re: (Santa?) [christians_in_science] Brilliant article by Dawkins

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Wed Aug 26 2009 - 11:38:43 EDT

Ted said:
"God and Santa Claus are not close equivalents. Period."

I think you are missing the point. Obviously you believe in God, so for you, they are totally different. But IF you were convinced like Dawkins that God is non-existent, then God is on the same exact level as the Easter Bunny (I didn't say Santa because before someone said they believed in a Santa, St. Nick- so I had to go more extreme with the E.B.).

So Ted and others- if a prominent scientist, who was outstanding in his field, and also believed in the Easter Bunny and had a website promoting this belief in the E.B., would you object to his NIH appointment? It is a great question.

1. On one hand, who cares if the person believes in the E.B. because he is an outstanding scientist. (Pastor Murray wrote along these lines.)

2. On the other hand, is this person nuts or what???

Where the analogy breaks down is that many people really do believe in God. But no adult really believes in the E.B. If instead of E.B. I said Zeus, that's not as controversial, as it is just another religion (and our society is traditionally very tolerant of other religious viewpoints). The E.B. stands for pure fantasy/myth, as Dawkins is convinced that Yahweh is pure fantasy/myth.

So- in the case of Dawkins, I think Dawkins should be more understanding since Christianity is believed by so many. But if the NIH appointee did really believe/promote the Easter Bunny, then I think we all would/should oppose him, regardless of his awesome scientific beliefs, because he is looney.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Ted Davis
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:26 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Re: (Santa?) [christians_in_science] Brilliant article by Dawkins

This garbage about an approximate equivalence between believing in God and believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny is hardly original to Dawkins -- who, apart from his idea of religion being a "meme" that we "catch" like a virus, hasn't had an original thought about religion in his life.

I could show examples of this from early in the 20th century, though I'd have to dig through a bunch of notes to find them and I won't bother. Around 1998, I had an exchange with Phil Johnson about methodological naturalism, in which he also implicitly equated my belief in God with belief in Santa Claus, since I wasn't persuaded by his assault on naturalism.

God and Santa Claus are not close equivalents. Period. That's what I said to Johnson, and what I'd tell Dawkins -- as if he would be listening.

On the other hand, I think we can be confident that God is left-handed (the fact that I am also is, I assure you, independent of this conclusion) and is almost certainly a fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. (That's one reason why the Cubs didn't get to the World Series in one of the recent years when the Saux did -- God wouldn't have known what to do. Thus, in one memorable instance, God intervened through the glove of a fan near the foul line in Wrigley Field. This relates to theodicy as well, but I'll leave that out for now.)


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Received on Wed Aug 26 11:39:35 2009

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