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Are You a Believer? Take The Dawkins Test.

Do you believe in God? Sometimes this question warrants more than just a yes or no answer. To categorize one's own beliefs about the possibility of the existence of a deity, Dawkins proposed a "spectrum of probabilities" in his book The God Delusion. This spectrum consists of two extremes -- strong theist on one end, and strong atheist on the other. There are a number of milestones in between, which are all charted on a 7-point scale (e.g., "weak atheist").

Below are some of history's greatest thinkers on the subject of God, religion and faith. We've scored them on the Dawkins scale for your reference. 

In some cases, it is obviously difficult to pin a complex thinker to a specific score or category. For example, Thomas Jefferson extracted, edited, and rearranged sections of the New Testament for a new version of the "Jefferson Bible." The act of editing the Bible, and the passages he chose to cut, suggests that Jefferson had issues with the Bible, and yet he was no atheist. 

In Pascal's famous wager, Blaise Pascal proposed that betting on the side of God is a safe hedge in the here-and-now. There is nothing to lose by being wrong about God, so play it safe in the event that God is manning the gates of Heaven in the hereafter. Pascal's Wager is a clever device to dispatch the debate about the existence of God, but gives little insight as to whether Pascal actually believes in God's plausibility. 

And then there are those whose criteria for belief is downright hilarious (see Woody Allen's quote below). And people who have no problem with God, they just don't agree with how mankind has chosen to follow Him: "I think everyone should treat one another in a Christian manner. I will not, however, be responsible for the consequences." - George Carlin. 

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TAGGED: RELIGION, RICHARD DAWKINS


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