The God Delusion - Chapter 3

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otseng
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The God Delusion - Chapter 3

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Dawkins presents several arguments used to argue for God's existence:

- The Unmoved Mover
- The Uncaused Cause
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Argument from Degree
- The Argument from Design (Teleological Argument)
- The Ontological Argument
- The Argument from Beauty
- The Argument from Personal Experience
- The Argument from Scripture
- The Argument from Admired Religious Scientists
- Pascal's Wager
- Bayesian Arguments

Does Dawkins adequately refute the arguments for God's existence in this chapter?

I'll also repost McCulloch's questions:
  • Does God provide a natural terminator to the infinite regresses?
  • Is there any validity to Anselm's Ontological Argument?
  • Is the Argument from Beauty valid?
  • Is the Argument from Personal Experience valid? Is it being used or is this Dawkins' strawman?
  • Is the Argument from Scripture valid? Is this another strawman?
  • Does anyone use the Argument from Admired Religious Scientists?
  • Let's not re-do Pascal's Wager
  • Is there any validity to Bayesian Arguments promoted by people such as Stephen Unwin?
  • Did Dawkins leave out or misrepresent any major argument for God's existence?

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Post #2

Post by otseng »

In chapter one, Dawkins states "nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion". But, what we see in this chapter is that he brings out the opponents that haven't seen any action in the ring in this generation or opponents in the strawweight division. By bringing them out, are we then supposed to marvel at his skill in knocking down these strawweights?

He brings up all these arguments (except one) that I have not really seen anyone use nowadays (and at least certainly not on this forum) to argue for God's existence. "The argument from design is the only one still in regular use today" (page 79) If the teleological argument is the only one still in regular use today, then why does he present the others? He defers addressing the design argument until chapter 4. So, we'll have to wait to see how well he does address it.

Also, he had stated in chapter 2 that the God hypothesis is a scientific question. But, interestingly, he doesn't mention any of the scientific arguments for God's existence in this chapter.

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Post #3

Post by Cathar1950 »

otseng wrote:In chapter one, Dawkins states "nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion". But, what we see in this chapter is that he brings out the opponents that haven't seen any action in the ring in this generation or opponents in the strawweight division. By bringing them out, are we then supposed to marvel at his skill in knocking down these strawweights?

He brings up all these arguments (except one) that I have not really seen anyone use nowadays (and at least certainly not on this forum) to argue for God's existence. "The argument from design is the only one still in regular use today" (page 79) If the teleological argument is the only one still in regular use today, then why does he present the others? He defers addressing the design argument until chapter 4. So, we'll have to wait to see how well he does address it.

Also, he had stated in chapter 2 that the God hypothesis is a scientific question. But, interestingly, he doesn't mention any of the scientific arguments for God's existence in this chapter.
It has been a year since I read the book. I had it again a month ago and only skimmed thru it.
I guess it is easy to fight your weakest foe.
But sometimes they need repeating because it is easy for any side to claim victory because we forget about it.

I am not sure what the scientific question is.
I don't think any knowledge should be taboo do to religion. :shock:
I would wonder what it would be like if we decided we were no longer going to depend on science, history, philosophy or any other such nonsense unless it glorifies God. Then we became dependent on revelation alone. :-k .

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Post #4

Post by QED »

otseng wrote:In chapter one, Dawkins states "nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion". But, what we see in this chapter is that he brings out the opponents that haven't seen any action in the ring in this generation or opponents in the strawweight division. By bringing them out, are we then supposed to marvel at his skill in knocking down these strawweights?
I don't think it unreasonable for him to provide a context for the current arguments by going over the old ones like this. For one thing, it provides an insight into the workings of the human mind. Misperception can lead us into false beliefs and I think it's only fair to remind us that "we have some history" in this department.
otseng wrote: Also, he had stated in chapter 2 that the God hypothesis is a scientific question. But, interestingly, he doesn't mention any of the scientific arguments for God's existence in this chapter.
Isn't this a tacit admission that he sees the only valid arguments as being those from apparent design? He then addresses these in chapter 4. I tend to think along the same lines -- the world often has the appearance of being the product of some kind of selection. Natural theology can be thanked for bringing to our attention those examples in nature that would seem to require selection, and a combination of Darwinian and Anthropic selection effects can be proposed to provide it.

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Post #5

Post by McCulloch »

otseng wrote:In chapter one, Dawkins states "nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion". But, what we see in this chapter is that he brings out the opponents that haven't seen any action in the ring in this generation or opponents in the strawweight division. By bringing them out, are we then supposed to marvel at his skill in knocking down these strawweights?
I will agree that many of the ancient and revered alleged arguments for the existence of God are lightweight and, as Dawkins demonstrates, easily refuted. However, I have not noticed any arguments for the existence of God used here that is not essentially a version or combination of versions of these arguments, aside from the argument from design. Perhaps I have not been reading carefully.
otseng wrote:He brings up all these arguments (except one) that I have not really seen anyone use nowadays (and at least certainly not on this forum) to argue for God's existence. "The argument from design is the only one still in regular use today" (page 79) If the teleological argument is the only one still in regular use today, then why does he present the others? He defers addressing the design argument until chapter 4. So, we'll have to wait to see how well he does address it.
Since it is currently the most important argument for the existence of God and the most used by apologists for God, Dawkins wisely decided to give it a more thorough treatment, dedicating a full chapter to it rather than quickly dismissing it like the others. Your criticism seems to be more about his style than his substance.
otseng wrote:Also, he had stated in chapter 2 that the God hypothesis is a scientific question. But, interestingly, he doesn't mention any of the scientific arguments for God's existence in this chapter.
Perhaps any of the scientific arguments for God's existence fall into the category covered in Chapter 4. Admittedly, he could have lengthened the book by trying to define the scientific predictions that should be associated with each of the strawweight arguments and showing that they either do not exist or do not hold, but would that really help anyone?
Dawkins (p84) wrote:[T]he existence of non-existence of God is too big a question to be decided by 'dialectical prestidigitation'.
I think that all of the philosopher's arguments for the existence of God only work to convince those who are already convinced or really wish to be.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 3

Post #6

Post by otseng »

Does God provide a natural terminator to the infinite regresses?
Yes. O:)

But, does Dawkins mention this anywhere?
  • Is there any validity to Anselm's Ontological Argument?
  • Is the Argument from Beauty valid?
  • Is the Argument from Personal Experience valid? Is it being used or is this Dawkins' strawman?
  • Is the Argument from Scripture valid? Is this another strawman?
  • Does anyone use the Argument from Admired Religious Scientists?
  • Let's not re-do Pascal's Wager
  • Is there any validity to Bayesian Arguments promoted by people such as Stephen Unwin?
I haven't seen many professionals use any of these to argue for God's existence.
Did Dawkins leave out or misrepresent any major argument for God's existence?
Anthropic Principle, Intelligent Design, Astrobiology, and Fine-tuning are the major scientific arguments for a God used currently.

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Post #7

Post by otseng »

McCulloch wrote:
Dawkins (p84) wrote:[T]he existence of non-existence of God is too big a question to be decided by 'dialectical prestidigitation'.
I think that all of the philosopher's arguments for the existence of God only work to convince those who are already convinced or really wish to be.
As well as the reverse. All the philosophers' arguments for the non-existence of God only work to convince those who are already convinced of its non-existence or really wish they do not exist.

And I would also agree with Dawkins. It is too big a question to be decided by "dialectical prestidigitation".

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Post #8

Post by jjg »

Dawkins deludes himself that he pushed over the arguments like they're strawmen.

The truth is he is not even on the same page when he tries to argue against metapysics with physics.

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Post #9

Post by QED »

jjg wrote:Dawkins deludes himself that he pushed over the arguments like they're strawmen.
This is not very informative. otseng itemised the arguments -- perhaps you could point out which one(s) you feel have not been demolished.
jjg wrote: The truth is he is not even on the same page when he tries to argue against metapysics with physics.
Is your point that God, by definition the creator of physics, is free to be and do anything?

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Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 3

Post #10

Post by Cogitoergosum »

otseng wrote:
Does God provide a natural terminator to the infinite regresses?
Yes. O:)
No a pink unicron is. My pink unicorn has always existed and does not need a designer and he created everything, and naturally he ends an infinite regress.
Please...
But, does Dawkins mention this anywhere?
That's an argument easily destroyed as it is a SPECIAL PLEADING. I'm surprised osteng that you ascribe to this line of thinking.
  • Is there any validity to Anselm's Ontological Argument?
  • Is the Argument from Beauty valid?
  • Is the Argument from Personal Experience valid? Is it being used or is this Dawkins' strawman?
  • Is the Argument from Scripture valid? Is this another strawman?
  • Does anyone use the Argument from Admired Religious Scientists?
  • Let's not re-do Pascal's Wager
  • Is there any validity to Bayesian Arguments promoted by people such as Stephen Unwin?
I haven't seen many professionals use any of these to argue for God's existence.
Lots of people on this site do. So i'm sure these arguments convinces quite a few people who do not think about it in a critical way.
Did Dawkins leave out or misrepresent any major argument for God's existence?
Anthropic Principle, Intelligent Design, Astrobiology, and Fine-tuning are the major scientific arguments for a God used currently.
He will get to these later, i suggest you read the Blind watchmaker and see why ID does not hold.
Beati paupere spiritu

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