Dawkins Meets God

CNN: If there were a God that met you after death, what would you say?

Dawkins: If I met God, in the unlikely event, after I died? The first thing I would say is, well, which one are you? Are you Zeus? Are you Thor? Are you Baal? Are you Mithras? Are you Yahweh? Which God are you, and why did you take such great pains to conceal yourself and to hide away from us?

There are two things we can get from this answer.  First, we can see that sin rules Dawkins.  For when he meets God, Dawkins insists on being the god by sitting in judgment of God.  His reaction is not inward looking and judgment of self; it is pointing his finger at God, demanding that God account for Himself.

I think we can extrapolate beyond these questions, given what Dawkins has said in the past.

Dawkins: Which one are you? Are you Zeus? Are you Thor? Are you Baal? Are you Mithras? Are you Yahweh?

 God:  Yahweh, the one whom you describe as a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.  Do you want to commune with Me through eternity?

Dawkins: Hell, no!

God:  As you wish.

Secondly, God has not gone through any great pains to conceal Himself and to hide away from us.  That’s just Dawkins viewpoint.  After all, many of us don’t agree.  We are quite aware of God’s existence.  True, we might not “detect” God through action potentials generated by photoreceptors in our retina or mechanoreceptors in our inner ear.  Why God’s existence should be necessarily coupled to a stream of action potentials along cranial nerves II or VIII makes no sense.  God can easily bypass the need for photons and sound waves, sensation, and perception and make himself known in the realm of holistic awareness.  That is, after all, what I and millions of others experience.

What “conceals” God is not God; it is sin.  Sin is a powerful blinding mechanism (I could write many essays about this).  If you put yourself on a throne (intellectual, psychological, emotional) and demand that all reality conform to your wants, needs, and expectations, it will blind you to various aspects of reality.

Or look at it this way.  We just saw that Dawkins believes Christians believe as follows: “There is some cosmic design out there, therefore Jesus died for my sins.”  But we Christians know that’s not how Christians think.  So why is Dawkins wrong?  Have we Christians taken such great pains to conceal our thinking and hide it away from Dawkins?  That’s silly.  Dawkins is simply blind to how we think.

If Dawkins cannot “see” how Christians think, given all that has been written and spoken over time, and given all his effort to debunk Christianity, why think he can “see” God?

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18 Responses to Dawkins Meets God

  1. d says:

    More plausibly, I think Dawkin’s is sitting in judgement of other humans. The reply is a not-so-subtle jab at believers.

    I don’t think Dawkin’s is seriously giving us a reply telling us what he would really do in that situation – who can even imagine it? Who can really make any kind of prediction there, even about their own behavior, that’s worth anything?

  2. Crude says:

    More plausibly, I think Dawkin’s is sitting in judgement of other humans. The reply is a not-so-subtle jab at believers.

    “More plausibly”? Really, it’s not as if Dawkins has pulled any punches when it’s come to giving his judgement of God in the past. Why would it differ now? Just because it sounds shallow?

    Who can really make any kind of prediction there, even about their own behavior, that’s worth anything?

    Is this a convoluted way of saying “Dawkins’ answer sucked, but let me offer an excuse for him”?

  3. Alan Fox says:

    God has not gone through any great pains to conceal Himself and to hide away from us. That’s just Dawkins viewpoint.

    Not to play numbers as it would be as anecdotal for me to claim Dawkin’s view is common among atheists (although I bet it is!) as you claiming the converse but I think this is a valid point. Other than what people of various religious persuasions say, write and share amongst each other, there is no evidence for gods, or any way to objectively examine the merits of one version over another. I’d like to see some comparative objective evidence for, well, any religious belief in particular. All I see is cultural bias.

    After all, many of us don’t agree. We are quite aware of God’s existence.

    Well if you are happy in your own skins and don’t want to make rules for others about what they believe or don’t believe, then, fine. Incidentally, I would like to see some safeguards for religious consumers that protect them against false promises. Inflated and misleading advertising claims can be cause for legal action, after all.

  4. Crude says:

    Other than what people of various religious persuasions say, write and share amongst each other, there is no evidence for gods, or any way to objectively examine the merits of one version over another.

    That’s just silly and ignorant. There’s plenty of evidence, and also plenty of ways to objectively examine those merits: you compare the arguments and evidence. The only way you could be thinking otherwise is by being utterly misinformed or purposefully re-rigging words.

    Well if you are happy in your own skins and don’t want to make rules for others about what they believe or don’t believe, then, fine.

    Kindly don’t pass any laws I find morally objectionable and we have a deal!

    Incidentally, I would like to see some safeguards for religious consumers that protect them against false promises.

    Why? Are you trying to get Dawkins thrown in jail?

  5. Gregory says:

    “God can easily bypass the need for photons and sound waves, sensation, and perception and make himself known in the realm of holistic awareness. That is, after all, what I and millions of others experience.” – Michael

    It sounds like you’ve given up on the ‘scientificity’ of Intelligent Design, Michael. Well, I guess you’ve stated for several years that ID is not ‘scientifically’ detectable. I wonder what your views about ID are today – could you link to somewhere you’ve outlined your position recently?

    “All I see is cultural bias.” – A. Fox

    This is only a problem if you subsume religion under the category of ‘culture.’ Some people do this, but in my view religion and culture are best understood as over-lapping realms.

    Does your particular faith suffer no cultural bias, Alan? Please don’t tell me you have no faith because that would be dehumanising. As Beliefnet used to say: “Everybody believes in something.” Beliefnet is non-committal to a particular faith, but can help as a learning resource, which may be right up your alley, Allan.

  6. Alan Fox says:

    Does your particular faith suffer no cultural bias, Alan? Please don’t tell me you have no faith because that would be dehumanising.

    That’s a separate issue from religion and the tendency for belief patterns to follow culture and ethnicity. Faith is not synonymous with religiosity. I don’t have any faith in any of the myriad belief systems and I don’t think one can evaluate them objectively. It’s just a matter of personal choice (or should be).

    Sure I suffer from cultural bias.

  7. Alan Fox says:

    There’s plenty of evidence [of gods], and also plenty of ways to objectively examine those merits: you compare the arguments and evidence.

    Other than what people say? Noting that caveat, what evidence can you show me?

  8. Crude says:

    Other than what people say? Noting that caveat, what evidence can you show me?

    Testimony, one form of evidence. Various philosophical arguments – the five ways, kalam, etc – other evidence. Inferences from empirical facts about nature, yet more evidence.

    There’s a few broad classes that I’m sure you’re familiar with. Here’s your opportunity to say why you don’t feel any of those are evidence, and thus are working with a very idiosyncratic/largely Cult of Gnu specific definition!

  9. Crude says:

    That’s a separate issue from religion and the tendency for belief patterns to follow culture and ethnicity.

    Like how France has a historically heavy national and cultural disdain for Catholicism and religion in general since the Terror, and thus quite a lot of atheists grow up culturally primed for faith in atheistic claims?

  10. Nil says:

    Testimony, one form of evidence. Various philosophical arguments – the five ways, kalam, etc – other evidence. Inferences from empirical facts about nature, yet more evidence.

    There’s a few broad classes that I’m sure you’re familiar with. Here’s your opportunity to say why you don’t feel any of those are evidence, and thus are working with a very idiosyncratic/largely Cult of Gnu specific definition!

    Why no mention of prophecy? Birth of Christ? 70 AD temple destruction? Daniel’s kingdom’s? The most powerful evidence is, for some reason the least used.

  11. Crude says:

    Nil,

    Why no mention of prophecy? Birth of Christ? 70 AD temple destruction? Daniel’s kingdom’s? The most powerful evidence is, for some reason the least used.

    Mentally, I filed prophecy under “testimony”, which is already going to be disputed by Alan since he’ll drop it to ‘stuff people said’.

    Also, Alan was asking for evidence of God, rather than Christianity, which I consider different. Though I know some people argue from Christian miracles to God’s existence.

  12. Alan Fox says:

    Mentally, I filed prophecy under “testimony”, which is already going to be disputed by Alan since he’ll drop it to ‘stuff people said’

    Well, is it not just what has been said?

    … Inferences from empirical facts about nature…

    How does that work?

  13. Nil says:

    Mentally, I filed prophecy under “testimony”, which is already going to be disputed by Alan since he’ll drop it to ‘stuff people said’.

    Also, Alan was asking for evidence of God, rather than Christianity, which I consider different. Though I know some people argue from Christian miracles to God’s existence.

    I understand. I just know that when most people say “God” they aren’t talking about the “Prime mover” or the “First cause”.

  14. Crude says:

    Well, is it not just what has been said?

    Not at all. Do you think when a witness is called to the stand in a case all that’s supplied is “some guy who said something”?

    How does that work?

    Ranging from inferences of miracles to inferences of a mind at work in the fundamentals of nature – physical constants and so on.

    Really, evidence abounds. There are counter-arguments and criticisms, but those almost always exist.

  15. Crude says:

    Nil,

    I understand. I just know that when most people say “God” they aren’t talking about the “Prime mover” or the “First cause”.

    Maybe. Alan, I think, wasn’t. And I really wonder what most people think when they say God – I think people are a bit more complicated. As for me, I nowadays (despite my Catholicism) always associate ‘God’ with God, period, sans revelation. In fact, I think more Christians need to do that.

  16. Crude says:

    I should explain what I mean.

    I differentiate between talking about God and the Christian God in discussion. They’re one and the same to me, but the two concepts require some different argumentation and understanding.

  17. Michael says:

    d: ,More plausibly, I think Dawkin’s is sitting in judgement of other humans. The reply is a not-so-subtle jab at believers.

    There is no evidence to support this claim. But if it was supposed to be a jab, it failed. His error in reasoning was exposed in my blog posting.

  18. Michael says:

    Alan: Incidentally, I would like to see some safeguards for religious consumers that protect them against false promises.

    There is no reason to single religion out. There is no shortage of political organizations and social movements that are loaded with false promises. The Gnu movement itself comes with the false promise that the world would be better without religion.

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