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Duking it out over The God Delusion - Comments

sgturner59's Avatar Comment 1 by sgturner59

This is good to see and I look forward to Eric MacDonald's future posts on the criticisms of Dawkins' The God Delusion.

Fri, 20 May 2011 14:36:33 UTC | #628805

Anvil's Avatar Comment 2 by Anvil

I was thinking of reading it again - but backwards.

Apparently you can hear the voice of the devil if you read it backwards.

Anvil.

ps: the comments below the piece are worth a read, too.

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:39:07 UTC | #628844

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 3 by Ignorant Amos

Try the audio book for that......ya get two for the price of one....Lalla and Richard a diabolical double act.

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:50:16 UTC | #628847

Stefan Udrea's Avatar Comment 4 by Stefan Udrea

The religious people don't realize just how pointless it is to criticize "The God Delusion".Dawkins didn't write anything extraordinary in that book.Nothing that has never been written before;noting, though, the part about the memes, which may have been a surprise to many .The big merit of the book is that it made atheists ( can we write Atheists, if we write Christians and Muslims with upper case" ? ) proud of ourselves and ready to fill the internet with atheist blogs, atheist cartoons, atheist videos and atheist facebook campaigns.No amount of religious criticism of "The God Delusion" will be able to make this wave fade.

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:51:06 UTC | #628848

Anvil's Avatar Comment 5 by Anvil

...and a third devil by combing the dust-cover or jewel-case one hundred times whilst looking in a mirror!

Anvil.

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:53:00 UTC | #628850

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 6 by Ignorant Amos

.......am fecked Anvil, I've a download on my Laptop and ipod....that's a whole Hell of a lot of voices in my head....am doomed I tell ya, DOOMED!

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:59:40 UTC | #628854

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 7 by Steve Zara

A wonderful post by Eric MacDonald but I think we can take the arguments of Plantinga et al further and see how they fall apart utterly.

God is supposedly required because the universe is said to resemble a found watch, a watch that surely makes the existence of a watchmaker necessary.

But, that doesn't help if what we are trying to explain is complexity, because watchmakers are an awful lot more complex than the watches they make. They have to be, because the watchmaker supplies the complexity of the watch.

Now, some theologians insist that this problem of complexity doesn't apply to God because complexity is only relevant to material objects. That isn't true, as complexity applies to information, not just substance. However, if we concede that point then theologians have a problem, because a simple God can't supply complexity to the universe, as a watchmaker does to a watch. The defence against this problem is to invoke supernaturalism. God doesn't follow the laws of Nature. But now theology has removed the argument for involving God. If the laws of Nature don't apply to the supply of complexity to the universe, then the argument for needing a God to supply the complexity disappears. In fact, if the laws of Nature don't apply, then there is no basis for knowing what if anything supplies the complexity supposedly needed.

What theology has done quite successfully is to saw off the branch on which it is sitting, by insisting first that a cosmic watchmaker is needed and then not only does God not have the attributes of a watchmaker but setting up a position in which the need for the watchmaker can no longer be a premise of any argument.

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:20:25 UTC | #628864

Anvil's Avatar Comment 8 by Anvil

Not expecting to be Raptured then, Amos?

I cautiously hedged my bets by filling a charity bag on Tuesday with old clothes for Christian Aid Week.

Can't wait to be beamed up tomorrow. I've got a day-bag packed, and a flask of warm milk, as I don't know how long the Rapturing process takes? Some say it's instant, but what if it just looks like that to those, like yourself, that have been Left Behind?

Anyway, erring on the side of caution I've packed my copy of The God Delusion and I've subscribed to Erics blog - I'm not too sure if it'll work on a 3Gs, but I'll check on iTunes and see if there's an App'

What's the betting on it being called a rApp'tureApp! Shit, I think I might have thought of that a bit too late? Could have made a killing, there?

rApp'tureApp - Damn! Isn't that always the way - Doh!

Anvil.

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:25:06 UTC | #628869

Anvil's Avatar Comment 9 by Anvil

Comment 7 by Steve Zara

A wonderful post by Eric MacDonald but I think we can take the arguments of Plantinga et al further and see how they fall apart utterly.

Still struggling with "Sophisticated Theology", I see, eh, Steve?

Anvil.

[Slightly edited by Moderator - please don't refer to other users by their surname only!]

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:28:44 UTC | #628871

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 10 by SaganTheCat

I have another problem with the watch

you find a rock and are happy to accept it might always have been there, you find a watch and assume a watchmaker exists

well evolution has put an end to that particular argument but people still think it's ok to use it as an argument to explain the whole univers

first up, ID in any form is rediculous. even if we accept that god made everything and the proof is that it's far too complex to happen by nature than what goes on in every seed, egg and womb? is there a little god with tiny tool kit putting the bits together? most people assume without getting too theological that no matter how amazing and hard to fathom as it is, bature is making it happen. no aspect of nature is put on hold to allow for super-complex unnatural creaton to happen.

if you want to push the watchmaker back to a universal creator then the comparrison between a rock and a watch is meaningless, they are both complex beyond understanding.

complexity is a comparative term and all too often very subjective. I'd argue that the atoms that make me up right now, while being formed in a very complex pattern, will make up a far more complex system after i'm dead.

comparing one thing as "too complex" means there's something else that isn't. what is it? what is not too complex to be designed by god and if the answer is nothing then there is absolutely no meaning in the argument from complexity.

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:34:21 UTC | #628872

Anvil's Avatar Comment 11 by Anvil

Comment 9 by Anvil

Comment 7 by Steve Zara

A wonderful post by Eric MacDonald but I think we can take the arguments of Plantinga et al further and see how they fall apart utterly.

Still struggling with "Sophisticated Theology", I see, eh, Steve?

Anvil.

[Slightly edited by Moderator - please don't refer to other users by their surname only!]

Dear Moderator,

Had I actually considered myself a 'Sophisticated Theologian' then referring to Steve by his surname would indeed have been rude. A slight, even. As it is I generally agree with Steve's posts on most things, and specifically with his post above.

The line was a humorous nudge to the theological get-out clause as mentioned by Jerry Coyne on another (current and associated) thread.

The use of Steve's surname adds weight to said humour.

However, in future I will attempt to follow said humorous perceived slight with the words: 'Nudge Nudge Wink Wink' in parentheses, or at least a smiley-face or the increasingly common: /JOKE

May I add that if Steve has been upset or offended by my post then I can only offer my unbridled apology - I am red with shame.

Anvil.

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:55:56 UTC | #628879

Moderator's Avatar Comment 12 by Moderator

Anvil, we have no reason to think Steve was the slightest bit upset, and there's no need for extended explanations or apologies. We're not suggesting for a moment that you meant him any slight by it. But as a general principle, we'd like users to avoid referring to other users by their surname only, unless the user him/herself sometimes does so. It's just friendlier and more courteous, and more in keeping with the spirit we like to see on the site.

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:02:08 UTC | #628881

Sample's Avatar Comment 13 by Sample

[Slightly edited by Moderator - please don't refer to other users by their surname only!]

I was unaware (not in TOU) that using surnames only was a faux pas here. I apologize to anyone I may have offended, that would not have been my intent. Thanks for the clarification.

Mike

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:17:47 UTC | #628888

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 14 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 8 by Anvil

Not expecting to be Raptured then, Amos?

No I'm not....and stop with the Amos already.....it's Ignorant to my friends.

I cautiously hedged my bets by filling a charity bag on Tuesday with old clothes for Christian Aid Week.

I've just be to the Off Licence for four bottles of vino, I'll be well raptured before the Rapture and i also put the 2p change into the Wings Appeal box on the counter....was thinking of the irony. We non believers are also charatible.

Can't wait to be beamed up tomorrow. I've got a day-bag packed, and a flask of warm milk, as I don't know how long the Rapturing process takes? Some say it's instant, but what if it just looks like that to those, like yourself, that have been Left Behind?

Well it's not like it's happened before, how does anybody know how long it will take.

Anyway, erring on the side of caution I've packed my copy of The God Delusion and I've subscribed to Erics blog - I'm not too sure if it'll work on a 3Gs, but I'll check on iTunes and see if there's an App'

You know how to make things difficult for yerself don't ya?

What's the betting on it being called a rApp'tureApp! Shit, I think I might have thought of that a bit too late? Could have made a killing, there?

Too late....there are loads of Rapture App's....here's just one

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:23:31 UTC | #628891

Anvil's Avatar Comment 15 by Anvil

Dear Moderator,

Ah, yes, the extended apology (Nudge Nudge Wink Wink, ;) /JOKE).

But, as a general principle, I agree.

Thank you for the note.

Anyway, back on topic...

A few comments down (after the original blog) is a wonderful confession regarding a first reading of The God Delusion by a parent who, after dropping his teenage son off at Sunday Service, secretly reads TGD whilst waiting in his car - priceless!

Anvil.

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:25:36 UTC | #628894

Anvil's Avatar Comment 16 by Anvil

Comment 14 by Ignorant

Comment 8 by Anvil

Too late....there are loads of Rapture App's....here's just one

Now I know how Darwin felt upon opening the letter from Wallace!

Anvil.

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:31:26 UTC | #628897

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 17 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 7 by Steve Zara

God is supposedly required because the universe is said to resemble a found watch, a watch that surely makes the existence of a watchmaker necessary.

Considering how much the religious favour the watchmaker analogy for design in nature, shouldn't it be god's in the plural. How many watches are made by a single watchmaker....raw materials to finished working watch? They can't have it both ways.

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:34:20 UTC | #628900

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 18 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 13 by Sample

[Slightly edited by Moderator - please don't refer to other users by their surname only!]

I was unaware (not in TOU) that using surnames only was a faux pas here. I apologize to anyone I may have offended, that would not have been my intent. Thanks for the clarification.

I'm sure just about everybody has been guilty at some point, including what must be the cardinal sin in referring to our benefactor by his surname along with those other esteemed riders of gnu atheism.

Note to self...must try harder.

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:41:46 UTC | #628904

Corylus's Avatar Comment 19 by Corylus

I’ve been reading reviews of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion over the last few days. There are a surprising number of them.

Remember to come up for air every now and again, Eric. I read several of the books length responses and ended up with a special type of fatigue (a combination of boredom, irritation and depression).

-=-=-=--=

Moderator: Surname only unfriendly? I have known many close friends who use nothing but. Discretion not rigid sticking to rules on here please. If someone is being gratuitously unpleasant there will doubtless be other statements to pick up on.

Fri, 20 May 2011 19:12:41 UTC | #628931

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 20 by Mr DArcy

So Plantinga is apparently the best apologist that Christianity can offer? Holy Joe and Rowan Upstream Williams and their Heavenly Blues Band can't cut the mustard no more? Well those who thought Wild Billy Craig could play a riff or two don't know their first causes from their ontological backsides! I hear the Lennox Boy is bringing out a new album called The Grapes of McWrath with that great hit Ally in Chains included.

Don't these dudes know that to do the blues ya gotta have soul?

Fri, 20 May 2011 19:33:43 UTC | #628939

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 21 by Peter Grant

This will be interesting, there should be some response to all the fleas. Think I''l read TGD again as well, or perhaps listen to it this time.

Regarding the design question, if I was walking on the beach and I found a watch buried in the sand I admit I would assume there was a watch maker, somewhere. If I found an entire universe buried in the sand I would assume I was tripping.

My first name sounds a bit too Christian, so I actually prefer it if my friends call me Grant. Peter sounds kinda strange to me now. Guess it's a bit like calling House, Gregory.

Amos, should I call you Ignorant now? :P

Fri, 20 May 2011 19:50:35 UTC | #628948

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 22 by Stafford Gordon

S/He/It; good, very good!

Further posts from me as well, but right now; "I've got to have my supper".

Fri, 20 May 2011 20:44:50 UTC | #628965

Anvil's Avatar Comment 23 by Anvil

Comment 21 by Peter Grant

This will be interesting, there should be some response to all the fleas. Think I''l read TGD again as well, or perhaps listen to it this time.

Regarding the design question, if I was walking on the beach and I found a watch buried in the sand I admit I would assume there was a watch maker, somewhere (...)

...and presumably an owner. So I suppose, Grant, the real question would be 'Would you hand it in?'

Anvil,

Fri, 20 May 2011 20:53:02 UTC | #628968

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 24 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 12 by Moderator

So "Moderator" is your given name?

Fri, 20 May 2011 21:05:15 UTC | #628974

Moderator's Avatar Comment 25 by Moderator

There have been enough comments on the issue of how we address people on the site now. You may or may not agree with our request, but we are abiding by it and are asking you to do the same. Please do not derail this thread. Further comments on the name issue will be removed.

Thank you.

The Moderators.

Fri, 20 May 2011 21:09:57 UTC | #628975

ConnedCatholic's Avatar Comment 26 by ConnedCatholic

Hilarious. Is all that I can say about the above few posts.

But seriously I have read TGD at least 4 times since 2007 and find it just as enthralling each time. Something about this book makes it very re-readable.

Fri, 20 May 2011 21:30:10 UTC | #628987

robaylesbury's Avatar Comment 27 by robaylesbury

I confess to reading the God Delusion whilst doing car park duty at my Church during the final days of my delusion.

Sat, 21 May 2011 09:03:17 UTC | #629114

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 28 by Richard Dawkins

The second instalment of (former Reverend) Eric MacDonald's replies to reviews of The God Delusion is now posted. and comments are invited.

Richard

Sat, 21 May 2011 09:42:32 UTC | #629129

locutus7's Avatar Comment 29 by locutus7

To me, the watchmaker argument fails because of contrast. You recognize the watch as designed because you see it against a background of of natural (undesigned) things such as sand, grass, etc.

If everything were designed, you could not pick out one object as being designed. We see the watch as designed BECAUSE everything else around it is undesigned.

Sat, 21 May 2011 13:55:10 UTC | #629169

educationsaves's Avatar Comment 30 by educationsaves

Here is an interesting video on the watchmaker straw-man. This gentleman looked at the smashed watch in a drawer self assembling itself, so he wrote a computer simulation to see what would happen. Bad news for ID watch it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcAq9bmCeR0

Sun, 22 May 2011 14:37:38 UTC | #629511