Important Notice: WonderCafe has Closed

The United Church has sadly come to the decision that WonderCafe needed to close and all new discussion ended June 2014. Read More...



InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

image

Finally, the God Relusion review

Oh boy. Have I been writing this for a long time. I have taken notes and at first wanted it to be like a travelogue of the book, trying to give a brief overview of what the book is talking aboot,...Oh boy. Have I been writing this for a long time. I have taken notes and at first wanted it to be like a travelogue of the book, trying to give a brief overview of what the book is talking aboot, glossing over each major point.

Then I was having trouble with the 'hook'. Which narrative framework would I use?

I thought aboot my schpiel on belief systems. On how we are all story machines.

I'd get started. And it never quite jelled.

So, I think I'll try to stick with 'keep it simple, stupid'.

Fundamentally, I think what Dawkins is pointing out with his book "The God Relusion" is that, whatever the supernatural believers believe in, it is them and them alone that are moral creatures who do good acts. That whatever the holy books say, the holy books are books and have no especial power over their adherents, neither does the God. In that the moral acts come from the people, that everything they do is their interpretation.

He also makes a notion that when someone believes in something that cannot be proven or disproven and there comes the time when, as a result of that belief, they are in a bad situation, it becomes very difficult if not well nigh impossible to extricate themselves from that.

I also note that Dawkins is very specific in his book that when he means religion he means belief in a supernatural God.

And that is it. The man has developed a doppleganger as a lot of famous people do that is not the man himself. I've read him defend and admire religion and religious organizations and people. He has a quick wit and, like everyone else, has a Belief System. His seems to be Logical Positivism, but I also see him, like Carl Sagan, willing to be wrong.

I have heard people go on aboot some variation of 'Oh, he thinks that if religion were to go away, then all human violence would go away' and here I think what he is trying to say is that the by definition the instances of violence would be lessened, because that cause of violence would no longer be so strong or there at all.

If people were able to think their way through their belief, were able to take responsibility for their beliefs, instead of automatically foisting it off on some outside source, which I have indicated in some of my previous posts isn't copacetic with "reality", then these specific instances of violence would be lessened or gone.

The belief in God can still be there. But something more robust, more...liberating will be in its place. Like some Christianity I have seen. Like I suspect (anecdotal, don't quote me on this) most of the world's religions already are. We are co-divine, we are co-creators, we exist in a relationship with everything else, everything is interdependent. Life doesn't happen to us it happens *with* us and what we may think of as the unchangeable reality ('we are destroying the environment', 'our skies are polluted', 'everything we do is tainted') are just B.S. that can change by trying on different B.S. and action.

Hmm, I think I may have rambled again. Oh, well. At least I finally got the darn thing out :3

Peace be with you and yours,
Inannawhimsey

ps I know I said earlier I'd talk more aboot the PAP stuff, but for the life of me I can't think how to include it here. If you want to understand, just read the book and try to read it with an open mind first, and then after, you can start reading it for different reasons.

pps so the other bits in the book, like him disproving the existence of God and showing the horrors in the Bible, is to show that it is your interpretation that makes you who you are, your responsibility.

ppps I think that is one way to take the Myth of the Fall: that we are no longer perfect, but we now have the advantage of being able to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.

pppps I'm finished now. I think :3

Share this

Comments

Panentheism's picture

Panentheism

image

A very generous read of the book God delusion - yes it is the supernatural god he rejects but his point on virus and religion suggests to me that he really wants religion to die because it is bad for humans.

Yes he is a logical positivists and the grandfather of it all - anthony flew and has rejected his atheism - interesting eh.

Yes there is much we can learn from the book but in the end I found it to a light weight work. A classic example of scientism. EO Wilson does a better job... but all these authors work out of projectionist view and do not deal with the objective reality of religion and begin the question there -c.f. Discovering God by Rodney Stark.

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

image

Well, I try to be positive ;3

I try to remember that Dawkins' book is not only him, but his editor(s) as well. And the weakness' I see in the book is his glossing over of the theological because it doesn't fit into his paradigm, which must be flexible enough to include such a immaterial thing as memes ;3

The only way to truly know what Dawkins is wanting to do would be to ask him, I guess. That is why, whenever I read him using the term 'religion', I reminded myself of his specific use of the term, and that being spread like a virus. To suppose otherwise would be intimation on my part. Though it would be interesting to hear himself answer your question :3 Maybe you should write him?

I think there have been more 'important works' done out there on the religious issue. Like _Back to Methusalah_ by G B Shaw. _The Varieities of Religious Experience_ by W J. Voltaire's whole life. A lot of Colin Wilson's books.

Dr. Jack Sarfatti is having a grand time trying to find God using physics and math, and I will applaud him if he finds God :3

Deepak Chopra is doing a fine job, and having a fun time as well.

I love reading aboot stuff like this: http://www.edge.org/discourse/moral_religion.html#haidt

And this: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/heisenberg07/heisenberg07_index.html which enhances my intimation that everything has already been discovered and every generation discovers things anew, "rebrands" the knowledge.

I love discussions like this:

See video

between Rabbi Wolpe and Sam Harris on religion.

I love how someone like Erwin Schrodinger can think through how a mechanistic theory of how everything works can still result in such wonnerful things as there being only one mind in Universe.

franota's picture

franota

image

I listened to Sam Harris on the radio in the car one day. Much of what he said made sense, and I was agreeing.....until.....he started qualifying how "Christians" think, and using examples of an outmoded, conservative evangelical church. There was no recognition of a progressive church, or of changes in theology. His version of Christian theology was 50 or more years old. I kept saying 'Don't lump us all together!' But of course, in order to support his particular opinions, he has to do that. Too bad.

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

image

franota wrote:

I listened to Sam Harris on the radio in the car one day. Much of what he said made sense, and I was agreeing.....until.....he started qualifying how "Christians" think, and using examples of an outmoded, conservative evangelical church. There was no recognition of a progressive church, or of changes in theology. His version of Christian theology was 50 or more years old. I kept saying 'Don't lump us all together!' But of course, in order to support his particular opinions, he has to do that. Too bad.

 

Heya franota, what a life you must have...having a 'Celebrity' in your car ;3

 

A personal Belief System that I like using (as a lens) is taking a look at a group of Christians in the US as 'American Fundamentalist Protestantism' (AFP), which grew out of the Puritan Christian movement, a movement that was too conservative even for Europe (which is mind-blowing to me--and I have a certain fondness for the Dutch, anyway...) They've created Biblical Literalism and that B.S. is so powerful that it has spread from there, influencing people's sense of history to think that 'hey, it has always been this way'.

 

And it is the loudest that usually gets all the press :3 Which is unfortunate, as, I think, some-but-not-all people's views of "Christianity" comes from AFP. When, truly, as I've been finding out...every Christian or whatever -ian is different...even if they say they worship the same G_d...

 

Variety is the spice of life I always say.