Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Criticizing Dorkins

In part a protest against the implied basis of the book dorkins has written, I am refusing to read it (1). I do not believe this disqualifies me from criticising it, as long as I stick to criticising the basis of the book, and use whatever quotes from the book I get from reliable sources. Now, it is a Provable Fact that the existence of God cannot be proven, nor disproven. As a corollary to this fact, talk of the improbability, or probability of the existence of God is completely meaningless. Therefore, any author who goes to any length to convince someone otherwise is either delusional (2) or a fraud. From this, I can speculate that since he tries to convince the would be reader anyway, that a lot of his "logic" and "reasoning" is not watertight. I would recommend a would be critic to start as given that God doesn't exist, and that therefore those that believe in God are in fact delusional. His assertion that "religion is bad" and that "the mistaken belief in God is the root of the badness of religion" appears to be a theme he talks about, but never gives tight definitions and solid reasoning to back it up. If "bad" and "good" are pretty well taken care of by our moral sense, these are extremely arbitrary assertions.

(1) I might read parts of the book down the track, who knows?

(2) This is not really the "stick him in the mental asylum" delusional, but a common, fairly harmless delusion with anyone with a non-self-consistent World view.

4 comments:

Dr. Clam said...

I think you are being a bit too hard on the Prof. He never claims to offer a 'proof' of the non-existence of God, and while I don't think it is possible to make any meaningful discussion of probabilities of the existence of God (as defined by me), I think it might be possible for the existence God (as defined by Dawkins); that is, a supernatural entity who is directly and solely responsible for the speciation of living things. Even if we can't say this is 'improbable', we can say that if it were true it would make our universe a pointless and stupid joke.
There are a lot of things out there that can't be proven, yet make a great deal of difference to how people behave and how society ought to be organised. If you hold one opinion rather than another that can't be proven and you know it is really important that other people should have that opinion too, you don't have to be fraudulent or delusional to use rational-sounding arguments, (and sarcasm) to try to sway people to the correct view.

Dr. Clam said...

That said, read JBS Haldane instead of Dawkins. He is much more scientific in his arguments.

Marco said...

I think he crosses the line when he tars all God-fearing people with the same brush as he uses for his actual valid points. By my standards he's either too delusional or too fraudulent for my liking. That would apply to many scientists, I am sure.

Marco said...

Those scientists who claim that global warming is natural and is caused by the sun, for instance. I believe they are fraudulent and, even though they are trying to convince the public not to concern themselves or be alarmed by Global warming - Something that I agree with, the wrongness of the means outweighs the rightness of the ends. Equally, I think that the world will be a better place with religions that don't contradict basic historical sciences. The claim that science proves religion is pointless is an out and out lie.