The God Delusion - Chapter 5

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otseng
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The God Delusion - Chapter 5

Post #1

Post by otseng »

According to Dawkins, how did religion arise?

McCulloch's question:
Is religion as an accidental by-product – a misfiring of something useful?

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Post #51

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:Perhaps, but the real point about children is that they are doomed to be the perpetrators of religion the first time a parent drags them to "religious" training.

I wish it was so easy. But just because a parent brings a child once into a church doesn't mean they are trapped in forever.
Ban all religious training for people under a specified age and see what results.

Well, I'm one case where I had no religious training before I was 19. So, based on my case, perhaps it might be a good thing to discourage all religious indoctrination before college age. :-k
But the issue is how does it become "once infected"?

We just dealt with that - training inexperienced children in religious dogma.

I believe "once infected" means how did the first person get infected, not all subsequent people. The first person by definition did not have someone else to train him.
Sorry? Richard's arguements about "no evidence of the supernatural is very weak"??

What would you consider to be his strongest argument?

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Post #52

Post by bunyip »

> "I wish it was so easy. But just because a parent brings a child once into a church doesn't mean they are trapped in forever."

Great! Let's contact Pew and get them to run a survey of how many children have broken their early bonds to religious training compared to those still committed. Ought to be interesting set of numbers.
Ban all religious training for people under a specified age and see what results.

Well, I'm one case where I had no religious training before I was 19. So, based on my case, perhaps it might be a good thing to discourage all religious indoctrination before college age. :-k

You ain't kiddin' ! Like you, i had no religious training before my late teens. Then i discovered it was a great way to pick up girls. Especially simple-minded ones who asked no questions.

I gave up churches as carnal hunting grounds when a lovely young woman said to me, in all seriousness, "I've learned all I want to learn. I don't want to learn any more." At the age of nineteen, no less!

> "I believe "once infected" means how did the first person get infected, not all subsequent people. The first person by definition did not have someone else to train him."

Quite likely. But once one person who'd had the sort of visions TLE generates passed on a description of what was "seen", the process was under way.

> "What would you consider to be his [Richard's] strongest argument?"

That there isn't a shred of evidence for the supernatural. Once that is understood, all else follows.

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Post #53

Post by Cathar1950 »

For some learning all they need at 19 might be fine.
I rememer theis book that went something like, I learned all I needed to know when I was 5 or kintergarden. We have those too.
There are cultures where the children don't learn much from the parents, it is the job of the mother's brother who is the head of the family.
It doesn't matter as children are going to learn from the adults and cultures.

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Post #54

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:
otseng wrote:What would you consider to be his strongest argument?
That there isn't a shred of evidence for the supernatural. Once that is understood, all else follows.
I don't recall Dawkins ever saying this in the book. Where does he state this?

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Post #55

Post by bunyip »

> "I don't recall Dawkins ever saying this in the book. Where does he state this?"

Although the book is permeated with this position, you might start with TGD's Chapter 4. The Leonard Susskind citation on p. 118 is typical.

The "god of the gaps" issue is symbolic. Although Richard's presentation is biological, the concept that a deity explains what we don't know is applying the supernatural to explain what we're presently ignorant of. No explanation of those "gaps" ever revealed the application of supernatural forces. Why, then, should we grant such forces credence in any circumstances?

Finally, the citation of the blogger article on p 134 and the six points concluding the chapter show there's no room for the supernatural in the cosmos or life from the evidence we have.

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Post #56

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:Although the book is permeated with this position, you might start with TGD's Chapter 4. The Leonard Susskind citation on p. 118 is typical.
Is this the quote you are referring to?

"I'm not an historian but I'll venture an opinion: Modern cosmology really began with Darwin and Wallace. Unlike anyone before them, they provided explanations of our existence that completely rejected supernatural agents... Darwin and Wallace set a standard not only for the life sciences but for cosmology as well."

This doesn't state that "there isn't a shred of evidence for the supernatural". At most, what it says is that the supernatural would not be a necessary explanation for life. And as I've stated before, there are Christians who subscribe to Darwin and yet also believe in a God.

(I'll also add that I think modern cosmology began with Copernicus, not Darwin.)
Finally, the citation of the blogger article on p 134 and the six points concluding the chapter show there's no room for the supernatural in the cosmos or life from the evidence we have.
It says:

"Why is God considered an explanation for anything? It's not - it's a failure to explain, a shrug of the shoulders, an 'I dunno' dressed up in spirituality and ritual..."

Again, at most what this would say is that the supernatural would have no explanatory power for anything. It does not state "there is no shred of evidence".

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Post #57

Post by bunyip »

> "Is this the quote you are referring to?"

Among others throughout the book, yes.

> "(I'll also add that I think modern cosmology began with Copernicus, not Darwin.)"

That's understandable, since that's the theme we're suffused with throughout our education. Actually, all Copernicus did was to displace the centre of the universe from the Earth to the Sun.

The real foundation of "modern" cosmology came with idea of change over time, which is the Darwin-Wallace contribution for life's processes. Translated into cosmology "evolution" led to the ideas of stellar and galactic life. A star could be "born", "live", and "die" due to natural causes.

Identification of how these processes work is based on accumulated evidence, not divine revelation. No evidence of supernatural forces in life or cosmology has appeared to substantiate their existence.

"No shred of evidence" is my summation of Richard's stance. Those who claim they're "Christians" - who require application of supernatural forces somewhere - and "accept" both real cosmology and the process of natural selection are simply plugging in the supernatural. It's rather a square peg in a round hole. And for which there isn't a "shred of evidence".

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Post #58

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:The real foundation of "modern" cosmology came with idea of change over time, which is the Darwin-Wallace contribution for life's processes.
Darwin-Wallace presented biological evolution. I do not believe they ever mentioned about cosmology. If they did mention cosmology, someone will need to provide a reference of it for me.
Translated into cosmology "evolution" led to the ideas of stellar and galactic life. A star could be "born", "live", and "die" due to natural causes.
A star however cannot have "descent with modification". This is the crux of evolution, not "born, live and die".
No evidence of supernatural forces in life or cosmology has appeared to substantiate their existence.

I'd disagree that there are no evidence. We have had a book debate on Nature's Destiny showing evidence of a creator. So, as for the assertion that there is "not one shred of evidence", it would be a false assertion.
"No shred of evidence" is my summation of Richard's stance.
It can be your summation. But I have yet to see a statement from Dawkins that says this.

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Post #59

Post by QED »

otseng wrote:I'd disagree that there are no evidence. We have had a book debate on Nature's Destiny showing evidence of a creator. So, as for the assertion that there is "not one shred of evidence", it would be a false assertion.
In that debate I went to some lengths to point out that that evidence could equally be indicative that our universe is but one of many. This prompted me to start the topic Our Universe: one of many or specially designed? which supplies good reasons for rejecting the difficult notion of a creator in favour for a much wider selection space that permits the emergence of apparently finely-tuned universes such as our own.

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Post #60

Post by otseng »

QED wrote:
otseng wrote:I'd disagree that there are no evidence. We have had a book debate on Nature's Destiny showing evidence of a creator. So, as for the assertion that there is "not one shred of evidence", it would be a false assertion.
In that debate I went to some lengths to point out that that evidence could equally be indicative that our universe is but one of many. This prompted me to start the topic Our Universe: one of many or specially designed? which supplies good reasons for rejecting the difficult notion of a creator in favour for a much wider selection space that permits the emergence of apparently finely-tuned universes such as our own.
Yes, we had a lengthy discussion about it and I'd rather not repeat it again here.

But, let me say this, if "that evidence could equally be indicative that our universe is but one of many", then it would mean it can serve as valid evidence of a creator.

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