photo & text by nacrowe
years ago when i was working abroad and my family was living in PITTSBURGH of all places, members of my family went to a speech by OXFORD UNIVERSITY EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY professor RICHARD DAWKINS. i believe it was at CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY or the CARNEGIE LIBRARY, but again, i wasnt there. it was interesting for them because during the post-speech Q&A, several young people would stand up and say where they were from and the room would chuckle. apparently they were from rural backwater towns in central PENNSYLVANIA or OHIO and everyone knew what was coming. they talked about how their families/parents/neighbors were all creationists and JESUS freaks who didn't believe in CLIMATE CHANGE or basic SCIENCE. how should they talk to them?
DAWKINS wrote THE GOD DELUSION (HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT, 2006) as a means of dismantling the very idea of supernatural creator being and how to go about engaging in said arguments with sound, factual, logic and SCIENCE-based arguments. just as importantly he outlines the oppositions arguments, which are largely if not wholly founded in establishing perceived, so-called shortcomings of the SCIENTIFIC METHOD. essentially anything science can't prove, god can.
how convenient, right?
the counterargument is such a con and obviously intellectual insufficient and downright counterproductive. but i get it, because it seems CHRISTIANITY and western thought is about progress when it comes to material comforts and economic efficiency, yet rigid and conservative when it comes to the complexity of human relationships and behavior. on both accounts if you don't play ball you are deemed an outsider, a loser.
noted GERMAN philosopher FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE famously stated that "God is dead" but what he was essentially stating was that the idea of creator being was an invention made by mankind and essentially all human creations are fallible in nature. Thus the idea of God by definition is a term that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
now i read THE GOD DELUSION years ago, but its core arguments against the idea of GOD have never left me, in fact they've only grown in relevancy since the BUSH administration with the rise of the TEA PARTY and TRUMPISM. now we face an existential threat with the COVID-19 pandemic and people are still throwing around the idea of GOD's WILL as an excuse for their horrendous decision-making.
and i don't see anything changing. these people don't read. they don't think. they don't question. only believe in this gold calf of a president (don't think they'd get that reference either, not like they actually read the bible). ugh.
great book. well worth the time and effort. immediately rewarding in providing proper context to analyze these sorry lunatics.