Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Delusion I - The Back page blurb
Let's see, "The God Delusion" is to Atheism as _________ is to Christianity? Well, it ain't its' bible! My definition of atheist has always been one who believes that the non-existence of God can be proven. Now, the best way to disprove something is to assume it is true, and then come up with a contradiction through logical mathematical steps. I have read books and articles that go down this line, and although no authoratitive contradiction comes up, many difficulties do. The blurb mentions "the grievous harm it (the belief in God) has inflicted on society". This is actually an assertion that can be scientifically tested. My interpretation of the various evidence in the world is indicating the harm that is attributed to the belief in God is independent of the belief in God: ie. analogous real situations without the belief in God have equal or greater "harm" than than those attributed to religion. The various arguments I have been given to back up his claim play hard and fast with their definitions of "religion" and "harm". I will be keeping a very close eye for definitions of those terms and "God". Having randomly chosen sections in the book I have noted that Dawkins does state unequivocally that the non-existence of God cannot be proven using purely science. Thus, my answer to my question at the start is an evangelical document such as an "Alpha course" supplement. Thus Dawkins is not writing a scientific document here but an "evangelical" one trying to "convert" people to his point of view (Atheism) and threatening that if you don't, you will be party to society's harms. Using science anecdotes to convince is not the same as a scientific demonstration/proof.