Ignorant

Richard Dawkins, world famous atheist and evolution devotee, showing that he simply doesn’t know what he is talking about:

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

 

Emphasis supplied.

One does not need to be religious at all to know that there is a very simple answer to that question.  One need only be reasonably educated and familiar with the ideas of Parmenides and Plato, and the history of western thought generally.

God, according to this tradition, doesn’t take great pains to conceal himself.  He is “concealed” because the perfect cannot have contact with the imperfect.  This is the central empirical problem that almost every religion addresses in one way or another.  It is impossible to understand any religion at all, and especially Christianity, without appreciating this problem.  Beyond that, it is a problem so well known and recognized that ignorance of it from a “scholar” who purports to be an intellectual antagonist of religion is quite staggering.

Dawkins’ intelligence, if any, would have the depth of a soap dish.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Ignorant

  1. nonviolentconflict

    What an awful refutation. First of all, to cite Plato as evidence to your argument is comical and ultimately irrelevant. It seems you misunderstand his legitimate question, which is actually not his and has been asked by other scholars prior to Plato. Your simple answer is ” He is “concealed” because the perfect cannot have contact with the imperfect….It is impossible to understand any religion at all, and especially Christianity, without appreciating this problem” That’s your simple answer? Appreciate this glaring contradiction? You still don’t answer why “he” is concealed. Also want to add you are calling “god” by the pronoun “He” which obviously denotes a human (probably imperfect too) being. Your simple answer to this seems to have more contractions then answers. Considering christianity, “he” reveals himself in almost every book in the bible (old and new testament). So either he reveals himself or he doesn’t. If he does conceal himself to all humans then the bible is lying, if he doesn’t conceal where is he or she?

    • The point is that it is not the slightest bit mysterious why God is regarded as hidden and unknowable in the tradition of western thought, whether one accepts that tradition or not. It’s like asking water why it’s so wet. Just a stupid question.

      On the other hand, if it’s a sincere question Dawkins is appallingly ignorant. Then again, if it’s insincere he’s simply being polemical and not honest.

      You can take your pick, but there are no good ones for Dawkins’ case. If you want to mount a defense for something, I’d choose something a little more defensible.

  2. nonviolentconflict

    The quote you are calling stupid is preceded by his answer to this question: It just ends?
    Answer: “Of course it just ends. What else could it do? My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to rot. So no, there’s no question about that.”
    Its not mysterious, its not concealed, its not hidden. It just doesn’t exist. So Dawkins’ question ‘which god are you’ is appropriate and a very sincere one. Its not until after dying, that he has any evidence and adding your point he cannot have any evidence until death. So what other question would he ask this omniscient/omnipresent deity? Dawkins’ is saying there is as much evidence for zeus as there is for thor as there is for baal as there is for the christian (patriarchal) god…zero.

    “The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.” — Delos B. McKown

    • You’re jumping to a different question. I’m not quarreling with Dawkins’ atheism. He can be as much of an atheist as he likes. I’m saying that the answer he gave to the question I quoted indicates an impoverished understanding of western thought that is appalling for anyone regarded as a scholar.

      It’s sort of a non-debatable point, although I suppose it could be he’s just being reflexively polemical and argumentative. But then that’s revealing, too. Methinks he does protest too much.

      The question he was asked is actually quite a good one. Should be thought provoking, just as a question to a believer that is predicated upon his beliefs being false should prompt more thought and less heat from him or her.

      The answer Dawkins gave, then, not only revealed a paucity of understanding about western thought; it also showed that he’s not even willing to entertain the idea that he might be wrong. What a bizarre attitude from an aficionado of “science”, which requires open-mindedness, at least to that extent.

      Dawkins is just the mirror image of a bible thumping religious zealot, every bit as devoted to dogma and impervious to evidence.

  3. Daniel

    Sorry, but you are wrong on this one. You are using classic circular reasoning. Just because the Bible says something doesn’t mean it is true. God is “concealed” becausue the “perfect can’t have contact with the imperfect.” Why is god “concealed?” God is concealed because the Bible says the “perfect can’t have contact with the perfect.” (Joseph Smith supposedly had personal contact with the “perfect” Jesus.)

    If I were to find out there really is a god and before he sends me to Hell for not believing in him or believing in the wrong god (for example, the Mormon god instead of the alleged Christian god), I would plead “unfairness” just as Dawkins does.

    I often agree with you, so this is nothing personal, but you are way off on this one.

    • I never even referenced the Bible. The Bible, so far as I know (and I am not and do not claim to be a Bible scholar), more assumes an understanding of God’s hiddenness rather than explaining it. It’s as if the idea is more basic than any other doctrine or dogma gleaned from the Bible or elsewhere.

      Indeed, my very point was that you do not need to be a believer or know very much about the Bible or Christianity to understand that God is not even claimed to be perceived empirically, at least not in the ordinary course. So Dawkins’ question indicates that he is bereft of any comprehension of Christianity at all: the complaint that God is hidden in that context is completely inapposite.

  4. Jim Jones

    So, this ‘god’ is perfect but everything she/he/it creates is imperfect?

    And it is concealed but a bunch of extremely ignorant (even for their own time) sheepherders managed to guess correctly that it existed AND its nature?

    And despite its ‘perfection’ it espoused to these same sheepherders a ‘morality’ which is vile (and worse than that of the Taliban in our time)?

    I’m seeing a hell of a lot of problems here with your argument, not Dawkins’.

    • Bear in mind that I am not expecting you to agree with what follows, I am simply asking you to understand what is being alleged.

      In response to your first paragraph: God is perfect and made a perfect creation, but man was given free will and had the potential to bring imperfection to God’s creation, which is what he is alleged to have done. The creation you perceive is this “fallen” creation, not the one God intended. It is not an imperfection of God’s to have granted man free will; it is an imperfection of man that he used his free will destructively.

      In response to your second paragraph: no doubt some ignorant sheepherders have held Christian beliefs. But Augustine was no intellectual slouch. Nor was St. Jerome. Nor Anselm. Nor Thomas Aquinas. Nor Thomas More. In addition, these all drew from pre-Christian philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, and much of what these pagan philosophers said was found consonant with the Christian faith. Christianity is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but if you require intellectual justification there’s a lot to be had. Little of it is beyond debate and you might not find it terribly persuasive, but it’s a substantial distortion to characterize Christianity as having no formidable intellectual support.

      In response to your third: I agree that Christianity has not always adhered to a perfect morality, whatever that might be. I’m not sure comparisons to the Taliban are especially fair, though they retain polemical value. It might be worth noting that the “cardinal virtues” (justice, temperance, prudence, courage), for example, were not a Christian invention but a pre-Christian Greek one which Christians retained, only later adding faith, hope and charity to make the cardinal virtues number seven – a favorite Christian numerological expression.

      There’s a lot of ignorance and many false ideas about Christianity. Anti-Christian advocates are frequently battling straw men.

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