Outgrowing Dawkins

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Dawkins has a new book,Outgrowing God. One can read the first chapter on Amazon.[1] The only argument he actually makes would say  "people stopped believing in their gods so you can stop believing in yours." Anything more elaborate is implied or read in. His fans talk about it as though there's a lot more. On Rauser's blog a "David" get's it wrong and Dawkins fan corrects him;

 Not sure why logically speaking he would think the existence of multiple views in itself proves anything
Angry_Grasshopper He doesn't think that; it's a strawman of his actual point. Chapter 1 is available  at amazon. It takes about 5 minutes to read. I'd love for you to read it and maybe peek at at least the title of Chapter 2 and then come back and tell us if you think Dawkins is claiming that multiple views of god in and of itself proves God (YHWH) doesn't exist.[2]
He is not saying that, quite true,what he is saying is not much better. Another poster adds his interpretation:

AdamHazzard: Reading the chapter excerpted on Amazon, I came away with the impression that Dawkins had two fairly obvious points to make: 1) that Christianity and the Abrahamic religions are part of a vastly larger continuum of highly specified beliefs about divine beings and “supernatural” realms; and 2) we ought to consider whether our reasons for rejecting the majority of such beliefs might also apply to the ones we’re familiar with.That’s not an argument for atheism, but it’s a reasonable preamble to one—which I suppose is why it’s the first chapter of the book.[3]
What that poster says elevates Dawkins actual  argument to an intellectual level Dawkins himself does not achieve. What really comes across is a guilt by association kind of idea. These other beliefs are taken as wrong,  they were religions, Christianity is also a religion, therefore, we can assume Christianity is also wrong. Dawkins essentially says this: "And if all the others are wrong what makes you think your holy book isn't wrong too? Many of you reading this may have been brought up on one particular holy book, the Bible of the Christians." [4]

 "The Bible of the Christians." Sounds like some ancient cult no one has ever heard of. This is what bothers  me about Dawkins most of what he does is theatrics. I dare him to say  "The Bible of the Jews." In his native UK I guess a lot of young people are saying "why should we accept it as an established source of authority?" But we do. It is it;'s the bed rock of the culture. We have heard of it.

Rauser has two observations that bear observing: 

I’ll make just two responses to this insufferably inane line of reasoning. First, if this historical pluralism undermines the basis for anyone to hold beliefs about particular divine beings, that undermines the skeptical atheist as surely as the Christian. After all, affirming a state of affairs in which no divine being exists is as much a belief in need of justification against a historic plurality of opinion as any other. 
Second, this historical plurality is not limited to beliefs about divine beings. It also applies to beliefs about ethics and human nature, politics and aesthetics, and of course, science and nature. In short, if a historic plurality of opinion undermines one’s present justification for holding a belief, and historic plurality of opinion is ubiquitous, as it surely is, then we have a recipe for radical skepticism. Needless to say, that skepticism would, in turn, undermine the very basis for confidence in the argument itself given the historic plurality of epistemological opinion.[5]

Dawkins really seems to be saying it's the rejection of multiple views that proves something.  He is really playing on the idea of out growing something. Human civilization out grew myth he takes this to mean the next step is to outgrow religion. That's because he only sees religion in terms of the personality of a God figure. That is the only form of religion he  ever deals with is belief in a personal identity such as "Jesus," "Buddha," or even "Mohamed." He never seems to think of God in abstract terms. It is as though he's obsessed with battling the father  figure. I wonder if he could conceive of an idea like God is being itself. He never deals with such ideas.

Such ideas as being itself and process theology are really the hall mark of theological progress, They denote humanity's ability to keep up with it own advancement in theological terms.  Obviously this idea has never crossed Dakwin's mind because he never deals with such things. I doubt that he knows about them.

For those who don't know do not think of Tillich (d1965) as a fundamentalist preacher man,He was the epitome of modern European  liberal theology. He was German, a socialist who fled Germany to avoid Hitler in the 30s. He taught at the major liberal stronghold, Union Theological seminary in New York. He studied with Heidegger and with Sartre. He was the major force behind existentialism in theology.


[1]Richard Dawkins, Outgrowing God, New York: Random House, 2019 book add on Amazon 

[2] Angry Grasshopper quoted in Randal Rauser,  "On Richard Dawkins And His Many God's." The Tentative Apologist  Blog, (Sept. 29,2019) https://randalrauser.com/2019/09/on-richard-dawkins-and-his-many-gods/#disqus_thread  (accessed, 10/8/19)

[3]AdamHazzard,  Ibid

[4] Dawkins, op cit

[5] Randal Rauser., op cit


Anonymous said…
that is unimportant, I doubt them for the most part too, that doesn't mean the Gospels are not inspired.
Anonymous said…
I didn't see the part where Dawkins calls Tillich "a fundamentalist preacher man", but I have heard him say that his arguments are geared toward common Christian beliefs. I would venture to say that the vast majority of Christians have never heard of Tillich.
Anonymous said…
I didn't see the part where Dawkins calls Tillich "a fundamentalist preacher man", but I have heard him say that his arguments are geared toward common Christian beliefs. I would venture to say that the vast majority of Christians have never heard of Tillich.

Truth of God does not change according to public opinion, it doesn't matter what the comon man thinks.
Anonymous said…

Most of those are pretty brainless. The one where he says Jesus was possessed to be sinless yet bible says all men sin;the first example is from Old testament, pretty stupid. Jesus had not been born yet, at that point there was no sinless man,

Ok I'll take this as a request and do the next one on Monday on bible contradictions and how to answer them.
that is so nostalgic it takes me back to the good old days on CAR<. Answering bible contradictions with a group we called ourselves "the anti- troll patrol." That was the forerunner of the Chaitin and Cadre, it; really the origin of this group. A guy named John who first called himself Enoch and then a gay named "Mad."

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