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The God Delusion? Part 1 - Comments

goddogit's Avatar Comment 1 by goddogit

I wondered when D.C. would weigh in, with all the force that a dog peeing against the Empire State building would have. A more useless critic has never been born with greater vanity.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:01:00 UTC | #7870

Jon's Avatar Comment 2 by Jon

Ha! Deepak Chopra... Julia Sweeney said it best here:

His misunderstanding is summed up in the ridiculous straw man he calls "the bedrock of Dawkins' argument, as it is of most skeptics and scientific atheists":

"1. Science is the only valid way to gain knowledge. Nothing about God is needed to explain the world. Eventually science will uncover all mysteries. Those that it can't explain don't exist."

Surely science is the only way to gain RELIABLE knowledge about cosmological and biological processes. The supernatural has proven neither necessary nor useful in scientific explanation. This isn't because supernaturalists have been excluded, it's because they don't have anything to offer.

The third sentence isn't a claim any scientist would make and the fourth one is just a non sequitur.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:03:00 UTC | #7871

CF1's Avatar Comment 3 by CF1

Deepak, you've made some glaringly erroneous claims. RD does not discard beauty, love, music, art etc, he actually says that these are the things that he finds joy in and what make life great. But to make that gigantic leap to say: "There are these things like joy, love, etc etc, therefore, there is a god; oh, and it just happens to be the one I have in my back pocket, ya ya, that's it, the one I was raised with" is that giant, massive leap that thinking people just can't make.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:10:00 UTC | #7873

Halden's Avatar Comment 4 by Halden

He argues that because of a maternal instinct that there is a god? What of the evolutionary causes for such an instinct?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:16:00 UTC | #7875

Stever's Avatar Comment 5 by Stever

"1. Science is the only valid way to gain knowledge. Nothing about God is needed to explain the world. Eventually science will uncover all mysteries. Those that it can't explain don't exist"

The first & second sentences probably does represent what Dawkins and most athiests believe. However, the third and fourth sentences jarringly misrepresent Dawkins. For that reason, most of what follows is spurious and self-serving.

Dawkins "poisonous tone" is nothing of the sort, and even if it were, does NOT weaken (nor strengthen) his argument. Arguments stand or fall based on quality of the supporting evidence, not the TONE in which they are expressed.

"beauty, truth, love, honor, altruism, courage, social relationships, art, and God... all go together as subjective experiences, and it's a straw man to set God up as the delusion".
This is a non-argument; many of these subjective experiences ARE often the result of a delusion (e.g. love, honour, courage, art). What is "truth"? Surely it is something it is something OBJECTIVE - i.e. truth can only be established if compelling evidence is found, not some woolly subjective concept.

This reviewer leads himself up many garden paths with fuzzy logic.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:17:00 UTC | #7876

David's Avatar Comment 6 by David

"Sadly, the media often follow his lead, erasing the truth, which is that many scientists are religious and many of the greatest scientists (including Newton and Einstein) probed deep into the existence of God."

Did he read the book?

"I know that I am conscious and have a self"

I see. A little gnome man who takes your thoughts and relays them to the gnome factory under the ground, where the gnome workers make your thoughts into reality, perhaps?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:21:00 UTC | #7877

JackR's Avatar Comment 7 by JackR

A typically empty-headed "rebuttal" by one of our most infamous peddlers of spiritual snake oil. I won't waste any more time on this than Chopra evidently did actually reading Dawkins.

Science is the only valid way to gain knowledge.

Straw man, Dawkins didn't make this claim.

Nothing about God is needed to explain the world.

Correct, have a cracker. However, the choice of words - "nothing about God" - suggests the existence of god is a given, which has not been established. Shoddy logic.

Eventually science will uncover all mysteries.

Straw man, Dawkins didn't make this claim.

Those that it can't explain don't exist.

Straw man, Dawkins didn't make this claim.

Bring on the next shamelessly distorting religious idiot.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:28:00 UTC | #7879

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 8 by Randy Ping

I wondered when this flim flam artist would weigh in and what argument he would make.
Well, the time is come and I can barely call that an argument. His vague , warm and fuzzy "It's true if it feels good" attitude is EXACTLY what is worst in the superstitionist viewpoint.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 16:15:00 UTC | #7883

Louis Perry's Avatar Comment 9 by Louis Perry

More Deepak Chopra mumbo-jumbo in defense of his earlier mumbo-jumbo.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 17:59:00 UTC | #7888

Louis Perry's Avatar Comment 10 by Louis Perry

Sorry for the second time around...

Deepak Chopra says, "The unfairness of this argument is that it squeezes God into a corner."

WHAT GOD, Dr. Chopra, WHAT GOD are you talking about?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 18:17:00 UTC | #7889

Jared's Avatar Comment 11 by Jared

I really love the whole "point-by-point" thing. Apparently in this case he meant "just that one point." Unless, of course, he plans on writing up one of these each week like David Robertson. Between those two (not to say they are at ALL equal or interested in the same things), we'd have no free time at all on this board!

"They all go together as subjective experiences, and it's a straw man to set God up as the delusion. If he is, then so is truth itself or beauty itself."

Buh...wha??? This is one of the least logical statements I've ever heard in my life. I can't even think of which fallacy it is he's committing...some kind of fallacy of definition, perhaps, or just non-sequitur?

Beauty, truth, love and God are subjective experiences.
If God is a delusion, then all subjective experiences must be delusions.
Therefore, God is not a delusion.

Well, I'm sold. I just don't know WHAT I was thinking. Where can I buy Mr. Chopra's books? I have a raging headache I'd like for him to meditate on and cure for me :-P

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 18:19:00 UTC | #7890

One Eyed Jack's Avatar Comment 12 by One Eyed Jack

I imagine that from DC's point of view, it is truly impossible to argue against God. When you define God as pretty much anything you want to (energy, beauty, art, thought, a good bowel movement) it makes it damned hard to nail anything down.

Personally, I think saw God today, but I can't be certain. He looked a lot like an apple sitting on my kitchen table. So, I'm not entirely sure if I had a religious experience or just an afternoon snack.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 18:49:00 UTC | #7891

Janus's Avatar Comment 13 by Janus

"1. Science is the only valid way to gain knowledge. Nothing about God is needed to explain the world. Eventually science will uncover all mysteries. Those that it can't explain don't exist."

You're off to a pretty bad start when your summary of Dawkins' "bedrock" is a silly strawman.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 19:21:00 UTC | #7894

darryl's Avatar Comment 14 by darryl

DC says: "but that would tell us nothing about why music exists, why it is beautiful, where great symphonies come from, why inspiration uplifts the listener"

There does not need to be something magical or spiritual to explain beauty.

The complexity of our brains gives us a rich consciousness. This enables us to find complex and subtle combinations of sights/sounds/sensations pleasing. Also we learn these appreciations over time. A beautiful sunset moves me much more than it does my young son.

Beauty is in the brain of the beholder.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 20:05:00 UTC | #7896

kcjerith's Avatar Comment 15 by kcjerith

All of Mr. Chopa's arugments are rather weak, and i am not sure he has even bother to read Dawkins book.

1st. "Is science the only route to knowledge? Obviously not. I know that my mother loved me all her life, as I love my own children. I feel genius in great works of art. None of this knowledge is validated by science.

Actually, with the advancements science is making we are gaining a better understanding about the biological basis for are our emtions, but even if we were not making advancements and that we have no idea how emtions, or works of art come about it still does not make god any more likely to exist.

In fact, how does "god" explain any of those things, but what means does god cuase genuis or will? How do we measure, how big is it (bigger or smaller than a breadbox?) science is based on understanding causal relationships. Asserting the word "god" into an argument expalins nothing, and certianly doesn't validate his existance. If it were up to Mr. Chopa we would no longer need to explain the human brain/cognitve workings, why? Because there is no need to, god did it!

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 20:27:00 UTC | #7897

kcjerith's Avatar Comment 16 by kcjerith

on to another arugment,

"I have seen medical cures that science can't explain, some seemingly triggered by faith. The same is true of millions of other people."

Again if Mr. Chopa had actually read Dawkins book he would notice that Dawkins take on this subject. Basically every single study, that wasn't riddled with errors, has shown that prayer has no effect on sickness.

Again, I ask even if Chopa has seen such things how does this prove god did it? No causal relationship can be established, so saying god did something is meaningless.

Of course everyone on here has already made note about what Einstein really believed. But let us assume that Einstein did believe in god, so what? It doesn't make it true. Just because someone believes something, no matter how brillant they are, it does not make it true. What if an idiot believed in god, (oh wait..) doesn't that, by Chopa logic, mean that god doesn't exist. The intelligence of the believer has nothing to do with the truth value of the statment. If something is false it is false, if something is true it is true.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 20:36:00 UTC | #7898

kcjerith's Avatar Comment 17 by kcjerith

Is this really Chopa? I thought he would haave something new to say or add, instead of the same old wishful thinking arugments.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 20:38:00 UTC | #7899

Aussie's Avatar Comment 18 by Aussie

"An example of this came on the visit to Randolph-Macon Women's College. One young woman asked him about anger at being misled by childhood role models. His immediately glazed response seemed to indicate he couldn't understand why a person should feel angry."

I was also surprised at his response to a suggestion that I thought would have been obvious. My conclusion was that he either did not hear the question properly (as he was obviously having considerable difficult hearing and/or understanding the accents of many of the questioners) or he purposely feigned ignorance in order to draw her out to allow her to elaborate and make her point more forcefully. I certainly do not attribute it to any form of stunted personality disorder.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 23:20:00 UTC | #7908

goddogit's Avatar Comment 19 by goddogit

I thought I'd check in on the thread and see what Enlightened Master DC's benighted slaves would say in his defense: 50 comments so far, and 50 people basically telling DC they wanted to wash their hands and gargle after being exposed to his piece.
I bet DC is the sort who, hearing of this, will sock-puppet onto the thread and bore us even sillier. However, he may show up using his own name. If so, expect him to hint in metaphysically obscure ways at exactly how big a wad his nonsense has stuck into his grimy, fishhook-filled pockets.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 00:17:00 UTC | #7909

Madhav's Avatar Comment 20 by Madhav

He obviously has not read any of Dawkins' books.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 02:03:00 UTC | #7910

Derek's Avatar Comment 21 by Derek

Hmm, it doesn't look like he actually read the book. He's arguing against what he thinks Dawkins believes instead of what he actually wrote. Poor showing, even for a crackpot mystic.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 02:43:00 UTC | #7911

Steve's Avatar Comment 22 by Steve

re: Comment #6848

This splendid piece of writing deserves its own thread! Here is a Christian priest who not only disbelieves the existence of God but also of Jesus of Nazareth.

Is atheism futile? Is the existence of God irrelevant to most people? Does the metaphysical truth really matter?

Is it better to ignore people's beliefs and concentrate on their needs?

Many people are simply not interested in the truth and wish to just get on with their lives as best they can.

Working out what the truth takes time, which is a limited commodity ... especially if there is no afterlife.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 04:07:00 UTC | #7914

Shaun's Avatar Comment 23 by Shaun

The first part of the "review" reads as "Mummy Mummy the man said a mean thing"

The second proves he has not read ANY Dawkins books, as Richard constantly investigates and discusses the reasons and effects of all the things Chopra mentions.

Foolish nonsense

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 04:27:00 UTC | #7916

oj's Avatar Comment 24 by oj

John Martin,

Thanks for a very interesting article!

May I ask you what you think about John Shelby Spong and his ideas?

I posted about Spong in the Dawkins Delusion (3rd article, Same Stupid Title) by David Robertson.

I don't think Robertson will answer it.



Thu, 16 Nov 2006 04:35:00 UTC | #7917

JackR's Avatar Comment 25 by JackR

Melisande: what's wrong with calling a fallacy by the correct name? The vast majority of the critics of The God Delusion have scattered so many... uhhh.... hay hombres about it's hard to avoid commenting on the fact.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 06:18:00 UTC | #7920

Tintern's Avatar Comment 26 by Tintern

"I have seen medical cures that science can't explain, some seemingly triggered by faith."
No, you haven't. You've seen people get better. A happy occurence, and a joy to have an opportunity to gain medical knowledge without the sadness of loss. Just be man enough to step aside and let the good doctor find out what happened, so he can make it happen again.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 06:32:00 UTC | #7922

Michael's Avatar Comment 27 by Michael

If Dr. Chopra intends to argue against RD "point by point", then he should be using direct quotes from RD as those points rather than cobbling together "statements" off the top of his head.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 07:59:00 UTC | #7933

Manfred's Avatar Comment 28 by Manfred

What utter rubbish! Either he has not read The God Delusion (like many other reviewers) or he has just not understood Richard Dawkins' arguments. Reminds me of this Bertrand Russell's quote:
"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand."

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 08:03:00 UTC | #7934

Zaphod's Avatar Comment 29 by Zaphod

I read this article until this

"I have seen medical cures that science can't explain, some seemingly triggered by faith."

I had to stop.

Sorry Chopra no evidence.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 08:23:00 UTC | #7939

Zaphod's Avatar Comment 30 by Zaphod

I hate when people try to use things like beauty and emotions to someone prove god exists.

Even if science can't prove something or understand it doesn't mean god did it.

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 08:25:00 UTC | #7940