Recently I have been researching evolution, and consequently, Biblical Creation. Whilst reading Genesis 1 and 2 alongside a healthy dose of skepticism (reading the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible alongside it — this also gives me a taste of the King James version), I noticed and misalignment before Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.
Whilst reading ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ by Friedrich Nietzsche, I noticed the strange disconnect between Nietzsche's opinion of Christians:
In the famous debate ‘Bill Nye vs Ken Ham’, there was a noticeable flaw — or not so much flaw as missed opportunity — to expose Ken Ham for his argument from ignorance.
Note: This is a reupload of my essay and critique of ‘The God Delusion’, from my website, Wopism. You can download it for free here! For the 2nd Edition I’ve reorganized the references to add to the conciseness, and cleared up some grammar errors. I’ve also elaborated on some points and tried to make some of my phrasing more clear.
The Aesthetics of Atheism
In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins mentions the aesthetic qualities of evolution*, and also of other religions. Whilst this often strengthens his arguments, they sometimes give bias to his views, and these biases often have interesting parallels to religion. Here are a series of essays looking at the advantages and disadvantages of this view, all based of quotes from his book. Since these often come attached with intentions not clear in the writing, maybe I was not critiquing what he intended, but this is my subjective interpretation. Firstly I have attached an essay which was also included in ‘Short Essays, Short Dialogues’**.
Being fairly new to atheism myself, I only recently read 'The God Delusion', and, on asking people's thoughts on it, they often said he was disrespectful. Dawkins covered this in the Preface for the Paperback Edition, but I doubt many people read it.
I understand that in debates, sometimes they - 'they' referring to the 'Four Horsemen - can come across as arrogant (a moment that strikes me as particularly memorable was when, in a debate with Stephen Fry [on his side] based on the proposition that the church is a force for good, Hitchens said to the other said 'you owe me an apology', which was a bit low: in my opinion he should of simply made the point and moved on).
In 'God Delusion', however, I agree with Dawkins that he was just being blunt and honest. Yes, perhaps he was a bit ignorant of the good religion can do, but that was a factual claim that can be debunked - he wasn't using any particularly offensive language. Religion shouldn't be given anymore respect than any other ideology.
Regarding the 'faitheists' point of view that he isn't open-minded enough, I would have to agree. He should have at least acknowledged that religion does good, or argued why the bad outweighs the good. I don't completely agree with them though, and here I quote Cosmic Skeptic from his post '10 Timeless Hitchens Quotes':
'7) Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.
The (in)famous challenge. “You can’t do it!” Hitchens would say, before turning the dare on its head and asking, “Who now can name me an evil statement made or an evil action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer?” And you’ve already thought of one.'
Maybe religion has done more good then bad; maybe it hasn't. I'm vouching for good - but that's not because of religion, as someone who takes the Bible literally would be, *ahem*, not the nicest person in the world. Its because of people: people are generally nice; people are generally religious, and so religion apparently causes more good. Don't confuse corelation with causation, however, as religion doesn't cause people to be good. And even if it did, how so? By convincing them of an eternal reward? That's not very selfless - right things for the wrong reasons. You don't operate by eternal reward? Then why need God?
Welcome to the Tea-Drinking Atheist, my blog where I talk about all things atheism and philosophy! I try to make my posts short enough to read whilst draining a nice cuppa!
See my more academic writing on my website, Wopism; follow me on Twitter @KilledByAGhost and on Instagram at 'hegelz'.
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