Tuesday, January 02, 2007

YEAR 8

It doesn't matter how much of an atheist one is, we still count years like believers. 2007 years since what? Year zero? A mythical non-event?

Some creationist random has just written The Dawkins Delusion - in truth, this riposte to The God Delusion was inevitable, and you have to admit the title alone is deserving of its publication.

Once-biologist Richard Dawkins, now enjoying his new career as self-proclaimed high priest of rationalism, would indubitably make a great dinner party guest: he is witty, charming and erudite - yet I can't help thinking even he gives his targets way too much coy respect. Instead of these pointless philosophical thrusts about 'god' and 'intelligent design' and 'evolution' - just hit them where it hurts. Jesus. That's what really has rattling potential and to put the sham under an ugly scrutiny, but disappointingly, Dawkins ducks the issue and seems scared to apply a knock-out because, like so many before him, there's still fear of causing offence.

Likewise in Sam Harris' End Of Faith, much of the thrust of his argument is pointless in the sense that it is founded upon false, or at least highly questionable, historical premises about events such as 9/11. And in their discourse, both Harris and Dawkins bandy about essentially religious notions of 'evil' and 'morality' that - with great incongruence - they carelessly allow to be intertwined with their own scientific jargon.

Let's talk persuasion. This is all about belief systems, not empirical evidence. Say you don't believe in God and believers will just smugly smile back at you, condescendingly, safe in their precious faith. Go and learn The God Delusion by rote and it still won't break through. Why? Because its historical presuppositions are false and, anyway, how can you prove that what can't be seen doesn't exist? Neither of these books have the potential to change minds, only to create further resistance thereby reinforcing beliefs of the already converted.

It's so much simpler. Have you ever seen a Jehovah's Witness banging on your door trying to get out of your house?! Next time they come round, smile serenely, welcome them in, ignore all the red herring God bullshit, go for the jugular and have some fun - let's have a conversation, when did you first start thinking that Jesus Christ was a historical figure?

3 comments:

Kristian said...

William,

I am half way through Dawkins God Delusion.............its quite an entertaining read.

On the subject of Jehovah Witness visits..............

I always invite the bastards in.

Hanging in my hallway is an oil painting of Stalin I found in a flea Market in Bulgaria ten years ago...........now we all know what Joe did to the JW's!!!!!!

Lets say they soon leave

John said...

"So, what are your views on cunnilingus?"

Works a treat, especially when asked to the younger, more 'innocent' JW's.

Luke McElroy said...

I have read The End of Faith, and the arguments in that book haven't worked on Christians I know. The comparisons between Jesus and Horus from religioustolerance.org seem to create some kind of impression (usually just anger). But funnily enough, biggest impression I made on someone was when (despite their protests for me to "stop it") I persuaded them to believe their recently-deceased, beloved dog wasn't going to heaven.