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Friday, October 27, 2006

There is no God and Richard Dawkins is his prophet

In which the author of the Summa Atheologica is caught with his trousers down. A snippet from a debate on Irish radio:-

Dawkins: [...] I do not believe we are controlled wholly by our genes. Let me go back to the really important thing that Mr. Quinn says.

Quinn: How are we independent of our genes by your reckoning? What allows us to be independent of our genes? Where is this coming from?

Dawkins: Environment, for a start.

Quinn: But hang on, but that is also a product of, if you like, matter, OK?

Dawkins: Yes, but it's not genes.

Quinn: OK, what part of us allows us to have free will?

Dawkins: Free will is a very difficult philosophical question, and it is not one that has anything to do with religion, contrary to what Mr. Quinn says.

Quinn: It has an awful lot to do with religion, because if there is no God, there is no free will, because we are completely phenomena.

Dawkins: Who says there is no free will if there is no God? That is a ridiculous thing to say.

Quinn: William Provine for one, whom you quote in your book. I have a quote here from him. Other scientists as well believe the same thing, that everything that goes on in our heads is a product of genes, entity, environment and chemical reactions, that there is no room for free will.

And Richard, if you haven't got to grips with that, you seriously need to, because many of your colleagues have, and they deny outright the existence of free will, and they are hardened materialists like yourself.

Tubridy: OK, Richard Dawkins, your rebuke to that note if you wish.

Dawkins: I am not interested in free will.

(read the whole thing here and here - via)

So much for Dawkins denouncing religion as the root of all moral evil (God as “misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”). As it turns out, it doesn't bother him that morality may be just as illusory as he says God is. Which of course it would be if we had no free will. To quote Bertie Wooster, one looks askance at this kind of in-and-out running. At least, one does if one believes one can meaningfully talk about virtues and that consistency is one of them.

One of Frau Grumpy's favourite theology professors simply says that atheists are lazy and stupid. Now there's a debate I'd pay good money to listen in on...

4 comments:

WMDee said...

Dear Sir,

The following issue can destroy ISLAM or ISRAEL, study it thoroughly to see if there is any truth to it.

READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE AS IT HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE WAR AGAINST TERROR/ISLAM and the claim of Israel that god gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The COVENANT with Abraham and his DESCENDANTS is central to JUDAISM/CHRISTIANITY/ISLAM.

Please note this is not a competition between faiths but an attempt to decipher fact from fiction.

GENESIS 16:16
And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish’mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish’mael to Abram.
GENESIS 21:5
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael names for Isaac!!

BY DOING SOME KINDERGARTEN ARITHMATIC USING ARABIC NUMBERS (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
NOT ROMAN NUMERALS (I, II, III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X) NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 years old – 86 years old = 14 ADD 3 YEARS FOR ISSAC’S WEANING

THAT WOULD MAKE ISHMAEL 17 YEARS OLD IN GENESIS 21:14-21
BUT IT IS A DESCRIPTION OF AN INFANT.

Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic viewpoint is null and void. Why is there no verbal communications between mother and (17 YEAR OLD) child?

GENESIS: 21:14 - 21
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the (17 YEAR OLD) child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the (17 YEAR OLD) child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the (17 YEAR OLD) child.” And as she sat over against him, the (17 YEAR OLD) child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the (17 YEAR OLD) lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the (17 YEAR OLD) lad where he is. Arise, lift up the (17 YEAR OLD) lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the (17 YEAR OLD) lad a drink. And God was with the (17 YEAR OLD) lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.


The age of Ishmael at this stage is crucial to the Abrahamic faiths. If he is 17 or less than the Islamic point of view about the Abrahamic covenant is correct. This has devastating theological consequences of unimaginable proportions.

This makes the conflict between Ishmael and Isaac and there descendants a work of fiction. I would strongly suggest it is clear cut case of racial discrimination and nothing to do with god almighty. The scribes have deliberately tried to make Isaac the only son and legitimate heir to the throne of Abraham??

Please can you rationally explain this anomaly?

I have asked many persons including my nephews and nieces - unbiased minds with no religious backgrounds but with reasonable command of the English language about this passage and they all agree that the child in the passage is an infant.
AS THE DESCRIPTION OF ISHMAEL IN GENESIS 21:14-21 IS THAT OF AN INFANT IT CAN BE ASSUMED SOMEONE HAS MOVED THIS PASSAGE FROM AN EARLIER PART OF SCRIPTURE!!! AND HAVE GOT THERE KNICKERS IN A TWIST.

For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites:

http://www.islamicity.com/Mosque/Muhammad_Bible.HTM
(MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE)
http://bible.islamicweb.com/
http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696
(ISRAELI HOLOCAUST AND WAR CRIMES)
http://ifamericansknew.com/
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/default.htm
(BIBLE, QURAN and SCIENCE)
http://www.harunyahya.com/
http://www.barnabas.net/
http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac.htm
http://www.islamicity.com/
http://www.islamonline.net/english/index.shtml
http://www.islamalways.com/

HOLY QURAN CHAPTER 37 verses 101 - 122

101. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him "O Abraham!

105. "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

106. For this was obviously a trial-

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of our believing Servants.

112. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

113. We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

114. Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,

115. And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

116. And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);

117. And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;

118. And We guided them to the Straight Way.

119. And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

120. "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"

121. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

122. For they were two of our believing Servants.

ISHMAEL IS THE FIRST BORN AND GOOD NEWS OF ISSAC DOES NOT APPEAR UNTIL AFTER THE SACRIFICE?????

Therefore the claim that god gave the land to Israel is destroyed without the need of any WMD’s.

Anonymous said...

Keep your shirt on, Mr. Grumpy. Richard Dawkins has become an atheist fundamentalist of late (is that an "atheisist"?) but that doesn't make him fundamentally wrong about this. I'm an atheist too (though a much nicer one) and I don't have too much trouble with the idea of free will.

To believe that the universe we live in runs on entity, environment and chemical reactions is not the same as saying it is mechanistic. Consider chaos theory which (as I understand it) shows that in complex, non-linear systems like you, me and the world, even the minutest variations in starting conditions are likely to have a major impact on outcomes. Add to that the now-orthodox idea of quantum uncertainty, which (as I understand it) means that even in principle you can't nail down those starting conditions exactly, and you have a recipe for a world so unpredictable that there can be at least a perfect illusion of free will: You and I may start from exactly the same premise and respond completely differently to it; I may start from the same premise at two separate instants and react differently each time.

You may think that I'm fudging, passing off an explanation that's not really free will at all. In that case, explain to me again how theology persuades itself that free will coexists with divine omniscience.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - anonymous (this time) was me: Paul Malin

Mr Grumpy said...

wmdee, I'm not sure I quite see the connection to my post, but thanks all the same.

Paul, don't worry, I know lots of nice atheists.

'You and I may start from exactly the same premise and respond completely differently to it; I may start from the same premise at two separate instants and react differently each time.'

I can go along with that, but I'd suggest the challenge to you is to explain why the difference has any more significance than if we'd each flipped a coin. In what sense can it ever be the difference between doing the 'right' thing and doing the 'wrong' thing?

Free will v. divine omniscience? Sorry, not even my vast intellect can sort that one out for you. I ultimately fall back on saying that since I'm not God I don't expect to be able to understand the ways of God. Two points that I find relevant:

1. If God is omnipotent he cannot be compelled to produce predictable robots. It must be possible for him to create beings with free will.

2. Since I don't believe that God exists within time, the picture of him sitting up in the clouds waiting for things to happen that he already knows all about is a false one. But I really don't know quite where that leads us - certainly way beyond our powers of conceptualization.