16 August 2008

Dawkins Dreaming

The next arguments that Dawkins refutes are that God must exist because he created Beethoven (pp. 86-87) and Mozart and that God must exit because one has a personal experience with the divine (pp. 87-92). The former argument is one that seems to be out of place. Why should one argue that God exists because He created historical figures? Why shouldn’t they say that God exists because I am standing here (or writing here) because God made me in some sort of fashion (natural selection is only an intermediary explanation as will be argued later) rather than not at all? Nevertheless, why not thank God that He created Shakespeare and Haydn?

Furthermore, it is notable that we should time-remotely thank the historical figures that had the initiative to become such figures. These famous people came on the scene because they had the free will to take their opportunities or to perhaps leave them to someone else in another place and time.

According to Dawkins, “personal ‘experience’” of the divine must be delusional. However, what is his basis for judgment? Perhaps Dawkins is delusional in that he either does not have personal experiences with the divine or that he does not recognize the divine he encounters? Even if no one has encounters with the divine, how can we encounter each other if something did not create matter from nothing?

On pages 91-92, he sites the apparition at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to 70,000 pilgrims in which it is reported that they saw the “sun ‘tear itself from the heavens and come crashing down upon the multitude’.” He says that this couldn’t have happened because there was no physical destruction of anything, including the Earth at Fatima.

He sites David Hume as saying, “’No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.’” Doesn’t Dawkins understand that this miracle is not about the physical regeneration of a removed lung, or the changing of the Eucharistic host into physical flesh? It’s a vision that tens of thousands of people witnessed at the same time. One cannot logically refute a vision with an intact planet.

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