If it is a question of who did what, then bobafett1972
has already provided
a succinct and credible answer. However, what bobafett1972 has addressed, and what everyone seems to have addressed, is not the question. It is not
In order to solve a crime a detective doesn't need to know what has been done or what did it. The detective knows what the crime is and that a human
did it. The remaining questions are "Who?" and "Why?". The detective may find out the answer to "Who?" before he finds out the answer to
"Why?", and that is preferable because if a suspect is apprehended the detective only has to ask the suspect to provide the answer to "Why?" If
the suspect remains at large the detective then has to provide an answer to "Why?" on her or his own. Depending on the nature and circumstances of
the crime the answer to "Why?" may be easy or difficult to answer. However, answering "Why?" in the absence of a suspect can significantly narrow
the list of possible suspects. Usually.
I use this example of a detective solving a crime because it serves as a good analogy to what should be going on in this thread, but which is not. So
far, there are five pages of folks taking sides. A blame game is what this thread amounts to. A detective does not go around blaming everybody on
the block for a crime, which is what is happening in this thread. A detective seeks only the suspect or suspects who may be responsible. And if a
detective is seeking a suspect or suspects, a detective will need to establish motive
in order to reasonably manage solving a criminal case.
Originally posted by Bigwhammy
Richard Dawkins claims his inspiration for the book The God Delusion was the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He claims it is faith, blind faith as
he calls it that leads to terrorism.
The second sentence in that quote is where the heart of the argument lies. The question that Dawkins attempts to answer, that everyone in this thread
(with the possible exception of bobafett1972) has attempted to answer is the following:
Is religious faith and/or the teaching of blind faith the ultimate reason for past and present human atrocities in the civilized and uncivilized
That is the question that everyone concerned with this argument should be trying to answer. It is not about blaming. We know who are responsible for
the known detesable acts that have been committed. What we do not seem to know is why those acts were committed.
As far as I can tell, all wars are fought over the claiming of useful space. For example, Iraq qualifies as useful space because of its deep, rich,
and plentiful oil fields. Acquiring useful space amounts to money and power. Not ideology, useful space provides the primary motive to all wars that
are and have been fought.
The human component in war is also valuable, of course, but only up until to the point that it is useful in the acquisition of useful space and the
management of acquired useful space. Acquired useful space should produce money and power. Wars are never fought over the acquisition of more
humans. Humans that are acquired along with conquered territory are assessed for value. Namely values that would support the conquering regime's
mission. Intellectual and physical value are the two dominant traits of humans that are considered. Some common questions that are asked are
Are they reasonably smart?
Are they healthy and strong?
Can they learn new and different things that we teach them?
What is important to consider is the hierarchical systems that make war possible.
How and why are policies accepted and passed?
Why would masses of humans agree or deny the dictates and policies of the few and powerful humans who govern and are in control?
Religious faith or political faith both make the claim and promise of delivering "Truth, Justice, and Salvation for all." Why do masses of humans
choose to give up the major responsibilities for managing their lives to fewer and comparatively more powerful humans? This is where Dawkins's
question takes us.
Religion and politics as compared to science is what provides us the foundation for this argument. Religion and politics require faith. Politics
requires a bit more evidence than Religion does, but religion and politics hardly rise to the standard of science. Science promises neither Truth,
Justice, nor Salvation. It only endeavors to provide increased knowledge and understanding of the natural universe that humans inhabit. Science
requires that humans take full responsibility for their lives and their future. Religion and politics each require that humans give up a great
measure of their responsibility and control. Religion does make the promise of delivering knowledge, but it does not provide knowledge that can be
verified outside of faith. Science does provide knowledge that can be verified outside of faith.
This is what I think that Dawkins is aiming at. That humanity taking full responsibility for itself would be better off than it does giving up that
responsibility to religious figures and political figures. I also think that Dawkins has made a great error for indicting all of the world's
religious faiths and pitting them against atheists. He has made a huge misstep, in my opinion. His effort to deny, discredit, and destroy religious
faith basically makes it appear that atheism and science are faiths that are alternative to religious and political faiths. Obviously Dawkins's
effort was misguided.
Are people who are taught to believe in things which cannot be proven more susceptible to policies and dictates that do not work in their favor?
Are those people more susceptible to believing lies? Policies, dictates, and lies which may fatally work against them.
That is something else that Dawkins questions. His argument implies that if humanity took responsibility for itself, it would be less likely to work
against itself. Of course, this requires faith, but it only requires that humanity believe in itself.
The idea of a Messiah lies at the heart of this. A savior. The Savior. Humanity might would be more responsible for itself if it believed in a
disinterested God. Knowing that nothing will save you might be the best thing for your survival and chance of salvation. Waiting for something to
save you that you don't know for a fact exits or that you believe to exist for which there is no proof could prove to be debilitating to one's sense
of responsibility. However, this is not the same thing as saying that atheists are more responsible than those who are religious.
This is where we get into a philosophical quandary. The supposedly omniscient and unlimited God through the eyes of men versus the limited
perspective and capability of Man.
Frankly, I think it's foolish for any person to attempt to answer these questions for all other persons. Again, Dawkins has made an egregious error
in judgment. Others in this thread have made the same mistake, though I mean no disrespect. It is clear that these questions cannot be answered,
and, in my view, I don't think they are questions that science can answer or should be trying to answer. Religious institutions are guilty of doing
I believe in God. It is impossible for one to question God, so I don't. I believe in Man and science but not without question. I believe that
humanity is on its own. I believe that people should question what men have written and put forth as representing Truth or a final Truth. Any
document claiming to hold the answer for all humans should be subject to the most rigorous scrutiny. What is the compelling reason that Man should
relinquish responsibility to what men have written? Dawkins and his books qualify under this as well as other religious persons and documents.