Dawkins and the Innocence of Childhood

Tweety Dawk has more to say:

Don’t worry about the evidence, Richard. That’s easily covered.

But when it comes to respecting the innocence of childhood, yes Richard, you need to do that. Look at it this way. When an old, perverted school teacher puts his hand down the shorts of a young student, is that respecting the innocence of childhood? Of course not. I’m sure you would agree. But when another old man, named Richard Dawkins, downplays the behavior of the teacher as harmless and mild, is that respecting the innocence of childhood?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Richard Dawkins and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Dawkins and the Innocence of Childhood

  1. TFBW says:

    Does Dawkins teach his child the evidence for his beliefs? We have a published example of a letter that he wrote to his daughter when she was ten, teaching her about good and bad reasons for believing. In it, he perniciously attacks the innocence of childhood by attempting to instil a mindset of scientism at a young age. For example, he describes scientists as, “specialists in discovering what is true about the world and the universe.” This is the scientific rationalist equivalent of a Christian parent raising a child to think of the Bible as “God’s Word” — it establishes authority.

    Given that the letter is primarily about the “bad” reasons for believing — namely “tradition”, “authority”, and “revelation” — you might think that making an authority of scientists is something of an inconsistency, but this is exactly what he does. He explicitly gives scientific authority a free pass, saying, “it is much better than authority, because the people who wrote the books have seen the evidence and anyone is free to look carefully at the evidence whenever they want.” So, “authority bad,” unless it’s scientific authority, in which case it’s not really authority — it’s science — and “science good.” Got that, kids?

    The letter is a maelstrom of self-contradiction — e.g. telling your daughter that beliefs handed down from one generation to the next (“tradition”) are untrustworthy is verging on the liar paradox — but the incoherence is overshadowed by the hypocrisy. Dawkins rails against those who go filling the heads of the young with nonsense (oblivious to the nonsense he’s spouting at his own daughter), and sneeringly concedes that only teaching the evidence for one’s beliefs is acceptable. But where’s the evidence in this letter? It’s completely absent.

    It’s epistemically unsound to say that X is a reliable way of knowing things, and then use X to demonstrate that fact, but it’s the least one can do under the circumstances. Dawkins fails to get even this far. The major beliefs promoted in the letter are that “evidence” is a good reason to believe something, and that “tradition”, “authority”, and “revelation” are bad reasons, but he presents no evidence whatsoever in support of any of these claims. Rather, he presupposes them to be true, and finds things (or makes things up) that illustrate those points. In some cases he relies upon prejudice to provide the force of his illustration — picking on Catholic doctrines for a Protestant audience. It’s pure propaganda.

    Dawkins’ little tweet about the harm of fairy tales caused much reaction in the press, most of it calling him out for being daft, but somehow there’s still a perception that, “the sharpening of critical thinking … is Dawkins’s Holy Grail.” How ill-acquainted with actual critical thinking must people be that Dawkins’ pontificating buffoonery passes for promotion of it? He combines lopsided hostile scepticism of all matters religious (and theistic in particular) with fawning deference to all things scientific (and Darwinian in particular), and people see it as critical thinking?

    We have an education problem, alright, but it’s not what Dawkins thinks it is.

  2. Ilíon says:

    The word ‘innocence’ is just another way to say ‘ignorance’.

    What he’s HOW DARE YOU-ing about is parents having the audacity to educate their children about things of which he wishes them to remain perpetually ignorant.

  3. Dhay says:

    …when another old man, named Richard Dawkins, downplays the behavior of the teacher as harmless and mild…

    Ordinary moderate religious people — and even the likes of the professed non-believer, philosopher Elliott Sober, who acknowledges that unguided evolution and guided evolution cannot be distinguished using present knowledge — are denounced as “accommodationists” by Jerry Coyne and Sam Harris; that is, denounced as people whose views enable the excesses of fundamentalist extremists. To be consistent, Coyne and Harris should denounce Dawkins as an “accommodationist” who enables the excesses of paedophiles.

  4. The Deuce says:

    I think from now on, we should refer to him as Richard “Mild Child Molestation” Dawkins, especially when he runs his mouth off about upbringing like this.

  5. Luis says:

    The main evidence for Christianity is the bible which is believed to be the word of god. If the bible is shown to be unreliable then you have very little to no evidence for god outside of it. It would certainly be foolish to teach children the existence of this god based on something that can’t be trusted written in an age where superstition was prevelant. Science on the other hand can be tested, experimented on and verified in present times so that anyone can see the evidence for a claim. How can you do that with the fables in the bible?

    Creation account is wrong
    No historical adam & eve
    No evidence for the exodus
    Jesus existence is spotty at best
    unreliable evidence for miracles
    no global flood
    bible has contradictions, errors, omissions and insertions
    multiple disagreements on various issues among christians

    Please tell me how any of this is more reliable than science. Why should anyone tell their children that any of this is real? Should I tell my child that a snake really spoke but that man evolving from a common ancestor is false?

    Whay can’t you guys see the lunacy behind this religion? I used to be like you but I grew up and educated myself out of the fairytales of my childhood. I’m glad that my children won’t have to go through the same crisis of faith that I did.

  6. Michael says:

    Luis,

    I wasn’t given a religious upbringing. I did indeed become a Christian because of the evidence. Prior to becoming a Christian, I realized, based on the evidence around me, that the human condition was corrupt. Thoroughly and deeply corrupt. When I finally began to read the Bible in college, I was struck at how accurate it was when describing and dealing with the human condition. The biblical description matched the evidence perfectly.

    So you think humans are capable of saving themselves? Or is it that they do not need to be saved?

  7. Kevin says:

    Well, at least “Christianity” was capitalized. That’s 33% better grammar than what I’m used to from atheists. God and Bible still need to be, though.

    While it is true that the particulars of Christianity are primarily found in the Bible, all one needs to believe in a deity is logic. The findings of science increasingly cement my conviction that a creator deity is necessary. So we are largely in agreement on your descriptions of science, considering that said science strengthens my position, and does absolutely nothing to support Dawkins and his ideological atheism. Try comparing science to philosophical naturalism, and see which is testable, open to experimentation, and verifiable. (Hint: It isn’t naturalism.)

    Speaking of ideological atheism, it is no more appropriate for Dawkins to push his views than anyone else. Less so, since he is an anti-religious bigot who preaches hatred for those who DARE to disagree with him. The only thing that makes him even remotely noteworthy is the fact that he has like-minded bigots supporting him, and if their numbers increase to a significant size, then their hatred and bigotry would be turned on religious people. You know, those of us who DARE to teach our children that Richard Dawkins is a complete idiot and atheism is illogical nonsense.

    Also, skepticism is not a virtue, particularly for children who are too ignorant to have any life experience to draw upon in order to weigh the rules of their parents and who are not exactly the most proficient at gathering and weighing evidence. For Dawkins, a man not exactly known for reason and beliefs based on evidence, to declare otherwise, is pretty pathetic.

    My children are going to be raised as Christians, which makes life better for me and them, in every conceivable fashion. Unless, of course, the anti-religious bigots come into power.

  8. Luis says:

    Michael

    Since there was no adam & eve, there can be no sin. The “fallen” nature of man is neither good nor bad. It’s just nature. The strong survive over the weak. Evolution shows that we are just animals and we have animalistic natures due our genes inherited from them. Would I like being killed or raped? Of course not! No animal does as it threatens their survival but it’s not sin, just nature.

  9. Luis says:

    Kevin

    The logic in the bible is flawed and science has refuted the creation account in everyway as I mentioned in this blog before. So science doesn’t add to faith but takes away from it, especially evolution.

    There is no need for a creator when the laws of nature can do the job fine and they most likely are “eternal”. Now that we have evidence for a multiverse, the laws that were present there likely created our universe. If you believe in an eternal god, why not an eternal multiverse since matter can’t be created or destroyed?

  10. Michael says:

    Luis,

    Since there was no adam & eve, there can be no sin.

    Greed, envy, lust, selfishness, pride, etc. – they all exist regardless of the historicity of Adam and Eve.

    The “fallen” nature of man is neither good nor bad. It’s just nature.

    Hmmm. Before I became a Christian, I came to the conclusion this “fallen” nature was/is bad. After all, it is the primary source of evil in the world. Perhaps this explains why I left atheism, as we can see that you, the atheist, do not think such sin is bad. It just is.

    Yet I think a defense mechanism is at work here. If you acknowledge such sins are bad, you will eventually have to incorporate that truth into any introspection. You will have to acknowledge that, like the rest of us, you are bad. I was able to make take that step.

    The strong survive over the weak. Evolution shows that we are just animals and we have animalistic natures due our genes inherited from them.

    Indeed. But this is hardly relevant.

    Would I like being killed or raped? Of course not! No animal does as it threatens their survival but it’s not sin, just nature.

    You are missing the point. So let me simply restate it since it remains untouched: Prior to becoming a Christian, I realized, based on the evidence around me, that the human condition was corrupt. Thoroughly and deeply corrupt. When I finally began to read the Bible in college, I was struck at how accurate it was when describing and dealing with the human condition. The biblical description matched the evidence perfectly.

    BTW, why do you rail against religious parents giving their children religious instructions when it’s “just nature?”

  11. Luis says:

    “Greed, envy, lust, selfishness, pride, etc. – they all exist regardless of the historicity of Adam and Eve.”

    Animals do these things all the time too. Would you consider them evil to do so? Of course not! Then why think that it’s evil when the human animal does it? The historicity of Adam & Eve absolutely is relevant. It’s the whole basis of the christian doctrine. Without them, sin never entered the world and there is no need for a saviour. Christianity falls apart which is why so many evangelicals are scrambling to come up with a solution to this in the face of modern science. The doctrine has taken a mortal blow. This is why I don;t think evil exists.

    “Hmmm. Before I became a Christian, I came to the conclusion this “fallen” nature was/is bad. After all, it is the primary source of evil in the world. Perhaps this explains why I left atheism, as we can see that you, the atheist, do not think such sin is bad. It just is.”

    That’s right. No sin or evil. Just predator and prey, life and death, balance and imbalance in whatever form that looks like.

    “Yet I think a defense mechanism is at work here. If you acknowledge such sins are bad, you will eventually have to incorporate that truth into any introspection. You will have to acknowledge that, like the rest of us, you are bad. I was able to make take that step.”

    What defense mechanism? I’m not saying this because I want to justify my “sin”. I do what I need to in order to survive. It’s not my fault that others like you can’t accept it.

    “Indeed. But this is hardly relevant.”

    Again, yes it is. This best explains our behaviour. It’s all about fighting, fleeing, feeding, foraging and fornicating. All things that animals do. We just created the illusion of evil to describe our behaviour through the english language but it doesn’t actually exist.

    “You are missing the point. So let me simply restate it since it remains untouched: Prior to becoming a Christian, I realized, based on the evidence around me, that the human condition was corrupt. Thoroughly and deeply corrupt. When I finally began to read the Bible in college, I was struck at how accurate it was when describing and dealing with the human condition. The biblical description matched the evidence perfectly.”

    Sorry, Michael. It’s you that misses the point. The evidence around you wasn’t real. The human condition isn’t anymore corrupt than that of a lion. The bible fooled you into thinking that this “fall of man” occurred sometime in the past and we need god to save us. Evolution got us to where we are at. Perhaps we may evolve in a different direction, perhaps not. You are seeing things that aren’t there, just faces in the clouds.

    No Adam
    No fall
    No sin
    No saviour
    No god

    That’s the point. Science has proved it.

    “BTW, why do you rail against religious parents giving their children religious instructions when it’s “just nature?”

    Can’t help it. It’s just my nature. My brain dictates what i do do through cause/effect processes in my neurons.

  12. Crude says:

    There is no need for a creator when the laws of nature can do the job fine and they most likely are “eternal”.

    Most likely, as in, ‘Gosh, I really, really hope and wish that’s true, because I have a flawed understanding of what that would mean!’ Even eternal laws would need an explanation – unless you want to argue that the laws exist necessarily, or (as preferred by most modern atheist) just by magic.

    Now that we have evidence for a multiverse, the laws that were present there likely created our universe.

    But the laws are eternal, how in the world could they have been created? 😉 And you need to put “evidence” in quotes there.

    Science on the other hand can be tested, experimented on and verified in present times so that anyone can see the evidence for a claim.

    Oh really? What claims of science have you tested, experimented on and verified?

    Really, Luis, I appreciate – I really do appreciate – that you apparently were brought up in some kind of YEC household, got really shaken up when you concluded it wasn’t true, and now are on some kind of mission against religion. But the fact is that the existence of sin, not to mention God, are entirely compatible with evolutionary theory and science generally.

    On the flipside, your views about God – His nonexistence, His inaction, etc – are entirely non-scientific. That doesn’t mean wrong, it simply means science has shockingly little to directly do with it.

    Here’s a terrifying thought for you to entertain, Luis: your view is not obviously correct. Indeed, it’s not particularly well supported. Reasonable people can come to a conclusion other than the one you currently are at. And, by the by? If you raise your children to believe with certainty that there is no God, there’s a good chance that one day they’re going to have an atheistic crisis of faith as well. Do you wish that upon them too?

  13. Luis says:

    “Most likely, as in, ‘Gosh, I really, really hope and wish that’s true, because I have a flawed understanding of what that would mean!’ Even eternal laws would need an explanation – unless you want to argue that the laws exist necessarily, or (as preferred by most modern atheist) just by magic.”

    Why would the eternal laws need an explanation? They are laws that are eternal. Isn’t that self explanatory? If they need to be explaned then so does an eternal god. The difference between the laws existing necessarily and god existing necessarily is the we can varify the laws of nature. Not so much for god.

    “But the laws are eternal, how in the world could they have been created? 😉 And you need to put “evidence” in quotes there.”

    You misunderstood. I didn’t say that the laws for this universe were created. I meant that the laws existed prior to our universe in the form of the muliverse and through those laws our universe was birthed carrying over the same laws. The recent gravitational waves lends support to inflation and the muliverse models.

    “Oh really? What claims of science have you tested, experimented on and verified?”

    I haven’t but hundreds of others have. Would like to dispute all their findings? You can. That’s the point of science.

    “But the fact is that the existence of sin, not to mention God, are entirely compatible with evolutionary theory and science generally.”

    It absolutely is not. The creation account is very clear. God created us special. We did not evolve from the lower animals. How hard would it have been to reveal this to the author of genesis? The greeks had a similar idea around that time or shortly after anyway.

    If you claim that the account is metaphorical then we can apply that to any account as I have mentioned before. I believe that odin created the world like the norse account states and science can’t disprove it becuse it was metaphorical. Now what you need to do, which I know you won’t based on your past comments, is to show me why I should prefer your account over that one. Theistic evolution is fool’s errand. I tried to reconcile it and you can’t unless you give up on either the science or the theology.

    “On the flipside, your views about God – His nonexistence, His inaction, etc – are entirely non-scientific. That doesn’t mean wrong, it simply means science has shockingly little to directly do with it.”

    Sorry, after centuries of trying to find evidence for him, we have come up short. Don’t you think that if we had varifiable, objective evidence for god, there would be no atheists?

    “And, by the by? If you raise your children to believe with certainty that there is no God, there’s a good chance that one day they’re going to have an atheistic crisis of faith as well. Do you wish that upon them too?”

    That will never happen. Trends in the western world show that christianity is dying. I wouldn’t be surprised if in 100 years it won’t even be the dominant religion anymore. You are backing a dying horse.

  14. Michael says:

    Animals do these things all the time too. Would you consider them evil to do so? Of course not!

    According to the atheist’s argument from evil, animals preying on each other is evil.

    Then why think that it’s evil when the human animal does it?

    When the human animal does this, the human animal needlessly nurtures and spreads suffering and misery. So let me get this straight – you, speaking as an atheist, do not think human trafficking (for example) is evil, right?

    The historicity of Adam & Eve absolutely is relevant. It’s the whole basis of the christian doctrine. Without them, sin never entered the world and there is no need for a saviour.

    I’ve already informed you – sin exists. And all the evidence indicates we do indeed need a savior. If there is no savior, we will eventually destroy ourselves – it’s just a matter of time.

    That’s right. No sin or evil. Just predator and prey, life and death, balance and imbalance in whatever form that looks like.

    Yep, that’s atheism for ya. If there is no God, there is nothing wrong or evil about pedophilia. Perhaps that is why Dawkins is trying to incrementally defend it. Sorry Luis, but I perceive evil to exist (long before becoming a Christian) and find plenty of evidence for it to this day. Since evil exists, yet should not exist if atheism is true, it’s one reason for thinking atheism is false.

    What defense mechanism? I’m not saying this because I want to justify my “sin”. I do what I need to in order to survive. It’s not my fault that others like you can’t accept it.

    There’s that corrupt human nature the Bible so accurately portrays – the atheist accepts no responsibility for his corrupt behavior. The universe revolves around him and his needs.

    Again, yes it is. This best explains our behaviour. It’s all about fighting, fleeing, feeding, foraging and fornicating. All things that animals do. We just created the illusion of evil to describe our behaviour through the english language but it doesn’t actually exist.

    I see. A man kidnaps a child, rapes the child, tortures the child, and then murders the child. From the atheist perspective, there is no evil here. It’s just something some human animals do.

    Sorry, Michael. It’s you that misses the point.
    So you think.

    The evidence around you wasn’t real.

    Says who? You? You are entitled to your opinion, but that’s all it is.

    The human condition isn’t anymore corrupt than that of a lion. The bible fooled you into thinking that this “fall of man” occurred sometime in the past and we need god to save us.

    Pay attention – I reached that conclusion long before ever reading any Bible.

    Can’t help it. It’s just my nature. My brain dictates what i do do through cause/effect processes in my neurons.

    Again validating the Biblical understanding of human nature – you once again shirk responsibility for your actions.

    Yes, it is in your nature to lash out against Christianity and God, even if you have to abandon the principles of your atheism. You will look for any rationalization to justify this hypocrisy – an odd behavior that makes sense if Christianity was true.

    Luis, you don’t seem to get it – you are evidence for the truth of Christianity.

  15. Crude says:

    Luis,

    Why would the eternal laws need an explanation? They are laws that are eternal. Isn’t that self explanatory? If they need to be explaned then so does an eternal god. The difference between the laws existing necessarily and god existing necessarily is the we can varify the laws of nature.

    Maybe they both need to be explained. But the difference is that theologians argue that God exists necessarily – do you argue that the laws exist necessarily? If so, where’s the argument? Hell, the Five Ways from Aquinas are predicated on a universe assumed for the sake of argument to exist eternally!

    And what you need to verify is the eternality and necessity of those laws – or you can just say ‘they have no explanation’ or ‘it’s magic’, which is the usual route.

    You misunderstood. I didn’t say that the laws for this universe were created. I meant that the laws existed prior to our universe in the form of the muliverse and through those laws our universe was birthed carrying over the same laws. The recent gravitational waves lends support to inflation and the muliverse models.

    Oh, would that mean that this would be evidence against the multiverse? And also, you realize that even if inflation was supported, it would in no way get you to the sort of multiverse you’re talking about, an eternal universe, or a situation that did not itself require an explanation?

    I haven’t but hundreds of others have. Would like to dispute all their findings? You can. That’s the point of science.

    No, that’s not the point of science. And so all you’re citing here is a personal faith that other people are reporting accurately when it comes to experiments. So much for your depending on science – what you depend on is word of mouth.

    It absolutely is not. The creation account is very clear. God created us special. We did not evolve from the lower animals.

    Really? Where in the Bible does it say ‘we did not evolve from the lower animals’? Last I checked, Genesis simply said that God created us, period. There’s pretty much zero detail there that describes the ‘how’. God also created everything else ‘special’ insofar as He created the stars, animals, etc, and said it was good.

    If you claim that the account is metaphorical then we can apply that to any account as I have mentioned before.

    And you got shot down when you attempted to do that. Likewise, it’s not being claimed by me that the account is metaphorical – it’s being claimed that there was an Adam, there was an Eve, and this is quite compatible with evolution. Just as a fall is, just as sin is.

    Oh, before you answer… you do realize that your replies to me so far have been anything but scientific on this question? All you have are assertions. Are you open to the possibility that you are, in fact, wrong about this?

    Sorry, after centuries of trying to find evidence for him, we have come up short. Don’t you think that if we had varifiable, objective evidence for god, there would be no atheists?

    Don’t you think that if we had verifiable, objective evidence for evolution, there would be no Young Earth Creationists? Answer my question and you answer yours.

    Also, what would ‘objective, verifiable evidence for God’ look like to you – considering that multiple atheists deny the very possibility of that, and others disagree about what would count as evidence?

    That will never happen. Trends in the western world show that christianity is dying.

    I didn’t say they’d become Christians. I said they’d have an atheistic crisis of faith – and suddenly realize that, after all, the certainty you’re attempting to impart to them was wrong after all. So why would you want to impose that on them? Clearly you should raise your children to be open-minded and realize that God may well exist – or not – and they’ll have to decide for themselves. In fact, it sounds like you should have a similar attitude.

    Especially since, statistically speaking, children raised in irreligious households are very likely to convert to a religious belief in their adulthood. Remember when Russia was the model atheist country? How’s that turning out nowadays?

  16. Luis says:

    If god used evolution to create life on earth and we get out animalistic behaviour because of the lower animals through evolution then god is responsible for our “sinful” behaviour. Do you think god then gave us the capacity to reject the very method he used to ceate us becasuse it’s sinful? Then why did he call it very good? If god exists and he used evolution to create us then you are the evidence that he is cruel and responsible for evil. If he doesn’t exist and we are here because of evolution then our behaviour isn’t evil at all. It’s normal animalistic behaviour that ensured and continues to ensure our survival. As a theistic evolutionist, I think you’re in a bit of a pickle with this. Evolution and christianity can’t be reconciled. I tried.

    Darwin knew this. It’s why his faith faltered. It’s why everyone’s faith falters when they find the evidence for evolution.

  17. Kevin says:

    Every single theistic evolutionist would disagree with your last statement. And many of them know more about evolution and Christianity than you or I.

    There are no telling how many articles on the relationship (possible) between evolution and Christianity at biologos.org. While it may have been a deal-breaker for you and others, it is by no means a guaranteed cause for doubt. It certainly didn’t have a negative effect on my faith.

  18. Luis says:

    “Every single theistic evolutionist would disagree with your last statement. And many of them know more about evolution and Christianity than you or I.”

    Sorry, I should have said anyone with intellectual integrity. Their faith will falter.

    “There are no telling how many articles on the relationship (possible) between evolution and Christianity at biologos.org.”

    Biologos spouts off some of the stupidest theology around. Many christians are opposed to their line of thinking and for good reason. They more or less seek to rewrite the bible to fit their views with the science and it comes off as very convoluted. The are very good at mental gymastics.

    “It certainly didn’t have a negative effect on my faith.”

    This proves my point about lacking intellectual intergrity.

  19. Nolan says:

    “Darwin knew this. It’s why his faith faltered. It’s why everyone’s faith falters when they find the evidence for evolution.”

    Then you know little of final causality. This ‘directedness’ of nature in the form of evolution doesn’t undercut the merits of final causation… it emboldens it.
    Given materialism alone there is no reason at all to assume nature to be able to produce/spawn forth living organisms.

    Hume wanted to do away with final causation for a reason…. because the lack of it supported his atheistic philosophical leanings.

    Only a very confused materialist/atheist would make the conclusion that the fact of evolution does anything at all to hurt the idea of a real God.

  20. Nolan says:

    “If god used evolution to create life on earth and we get out animalistic behaviour because of the lower animals through evolution then god is responsible for our “sinful” behaviour.”

    How do you figure this?

    If God uses evolution to create life then somehow an irreducible soul is not responsible for its action?

    If you waive off the ability to be responsible for sins as the mere outworkings of evolution, why don’t you put your own perceived rational thoughts under the same level of scrutiny?
    You trust that your beliefs and thoughts have real content. That you’re a conscious agent who, based off the content of those thoughts and beliefs, makes decisions and conclusions accordingly.

    Oh but not so according to your view. You are making an unwarranted jump of certainty when in actuality your thoughts and beliefs, on your view, are completely incapable of informing you in the way that you belief them to do so. You have no reason to trust your conclusions. As much as the sinful or virtuous behavior of a given person is not actually the result of that person’s intention (remember Dawkins frowning upon the beating of Basil’s car?)…. so the same for what you experience as true thoughts and true beliefs.

    I read your posts and they’re almost laughable in the level of certainty you have with the corresponding poor/flimsy explication you give for that certainty.

    Like the typical fundie atheist you’re well out of your depths when trying to mount an cogent attack on theism.

  21. Nolan says:

    “Can’t help it. It’s just my nature. My brain dictates what i do do through cause/effect processes in my neurons.”

    Luis, forgive me for saying this…. but you’re plainly stupid if you don’t see what you just did.
    You just, as I stated above, provided all of the reason in the world why you have no grounds for accepting any insight you think you have.

    You lack the mental flexibility to see that you were going to paint yourself into a corner with that comment. You have come to no conclusions that have lead to your perception of atheism. Just a random, meaningless firing of neurons.

    I have to admit, it’s funny watching you talk away as you slowly saw off the tree limb that you’re sitting on. Intense confidence of “oh, I know what I’m doing” as you work your own way to falling squarely on your face. Bravo, you have fallen squarely on your face.

  22. Crude says:

    Luis,

    If god used evolution to create life on earth and we get out animalistic behaviour because of the lower animals through evolution then god is responsible for our “sinful” behaviour.

    As opposed to, if God created us directly, God is off the hook? The problem you are bringing up has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. Treat evolution as entirely false and the problem apparently exists – and the same ways to resolve the problem (Free will, etc) apply equally to both cases.

    Evolution and christianity can’t be reconciled. I tried.

    Have you considered the possibility that you made a mistake on this front?

    Darwin knew this. It’s why his faith faltered. It’s why everyone’s faith falters when they find the evidence for evolution.

    I grew up in a household where YEC or OEC was never taught – evolution was assumed to be true, and taught as much at the school I attended. This issue has never caused my faith to falter.

    Once again – have you considered the possibility that you made a mistake here?

  23. Kevin says:

    Crude,

    In a slight sense, I can understand Luis’ POV. While I was taught neither YEC nor OEC, when I began getting into the discussion at around 20 years old or so I became a YEC. I knew all the arguments from Answers in Genesis, ICR, and others. I completely dismissed evolution and Big Bang theory. Then I actually separated evolution and cosmology from atheism – I learned very early on that Dawkins, Harris, Coyne, etc weren’t exactly paragons of reason – and looked into their scientific merit, and found that it was pretty unassailable, and questions that I emailed to ICR (couldn’t figure out how to email AiG at the time) were answered in a wholly unsatisfactory way.

    I experienced a crisis of faith, because I had never heard of OEC and theistic evolution. I thought you had to be either a YEC or you couldn’t be a Christian. (Even then, I found atheism wholly illogical and would have become a deist or non-specified theist.) Once I stumbled onto and began studying the writings of theistic evolutionists, everything clicked back into place to an even more satisfying and confident degree. My faith has never been stronger, and it has never been easier to dismiss atheism as a logical idea.

    But had I taken a different path, I could see where I might have abandoned Christianity. I can’t see ever becoming an atheist, but I still understand the damage that can be done by evolutionary science when one is a YEC.

  24. Crude says:

    Keith,

    I actually can appreciate that to a degree. But that’s why I’m asking Luis questions here – I am not just tearing into him and dismissing him. That said, I don’t think evolutionary theory is unassailable, but that’s because I don’t most science is unassailable, especially when you get to what amounts to historical sciences.

    But I still think Luis’ criticisms here just don’t work. In fact, I think a lot of what’s going on here cashes out as, ‘If evolution is true God doesn’t exist! Why? Because… Well everyone says that basically. I assume there’s a very good reason for that.’ But there’s not.

  25. Michael says:

    Luis: If god used evolution to create life on earth and we get out animalistic behaviour because of the lower animals through evolution then god is responsible for our “sinful” behaviour.

    This is not necessarily true. Look at it this way – we both agree that we exist as a consequence of evolution. And what this means is that our evolutionary history is a necessary aspect of our existence. From there, and for starters, you should consider what I have written before:

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/michael-ruse-almost-gets-it/
    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/because-of-us/

    In fact, I’ll repost the last link, since it is over 5 years old.

    Do you think god then gave us the capacity to reject the very method he used to ceate us becasuse it’s sinful?

    Sure – it’s part of our ability to transcend and grow. Just remember that the “very method he used to create us” was the only method possible. Any other method would not have created us.

    Then why did he call it very good?

    There are many possible ways to interpret that.

    If god exists and he used evolution to create us then you are the evidence that he is cruel and responsible for evil.

    Actually, it’s evidence He is merciful, patient, and long-suffering.

    But I can’t help but notice how once again, you are validating the Christian perspective – notice how your arguments seem to ultimately converge on the same thing – a way to lash out at God.

    If he doesn’t exist and we are here because of evolution then our behaviour isn’t evil at all. It’s normal animalistic behaviour that ensured and continues to ensure our survival.

    Yes, I think Ted Bundy used this atheistic logic to rationalize his evil behavior. But it has nothing to do with evolution. It’s about atheism. If there is no God, then pedophilia, rape, murder, etc. are not evil. I noticed you did not disagree with this.

    As a theistic evolutionist, I think you’re in a bit of a pickle with this. Evolution and christianity can’t be reconciled. I tried.

    They cannot be reconciled from your perspective. But the world does not revolve around you.

    Darwin knew this. It’s why his faith faltered. It’s why everyone’s faith falters when they find the evidence for evolution.

    This is a false talking point – my faith did not and does not falter.

  26. Billy Squibs says:

    Reading the comments of Luis I’m struck by how he seems completely oblivious to the fact that all he has done is jump trains while still remaining on the same fundamentalist track – albeit he’s now heading in the opposite direction.

    Stephen Bedard recounts how he went from Christian to atheist and back again in this post – http://1peter315.wordpress.com/page/4/. One quote in particular struck me as relevant to this com box discussion.

    I began to see my church experience simply as family tradition and having very little to do with what I really believed. I originally intended to respond with a comprehensive study of world religions to see if I could discover any real spiritual truth. I ended up taking what I saw as the easier route and that was giving up on all religion and becoming an atheist. There was something freeing the first time I told my mother that I was not going to attend church. I could sleep in, hang out, do whatever I wanted.

    I’ve seen this attitude before and I can never understand it. Luis has offered us an example of someone who clearly is not interested in the discussion and has showed little understanding of his opponent’s opinions. Instead, what he offers us is lame “sloganeering” about how anyone with intellectual integrity will just so happen to agree with him and a dogged insistence that his interpretation of Genesis – the same as when he was a Christian – is the only valid interpretation.

    The other stuff about Jesus’s existence, the unreliability of miracles (read Miracles by Keener), biblical omissions etc. (read Can we still trust the Bible? by Blomberg) and disagreements amongst Christians (like atheists don’t ever disagree – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/06/atheist-church-split_n_4550456.html or http://www.strangenotions.com/do-religiously-knowledgeable-atheists-believe-in-god/) are just tedious red herrings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s