Originally Posted by warbeak2099
I see nothing about Dawkins' arguments as strawmanning. He simply presents the counter argument in a demeaning light instead of being objective about it. He has a lot of good points about what's wrong with religion, he's just very condescending about the way he delivers them.
first of all, to repsond to everyone, yes I meant to say he doesn't accurately or objectively present the opposing opinion. I realized when I was thinking of what Is aid later when Iw as away from my computer and was like "oooo, woopsy". It was one of those things where it sounds right in your head when you read it, even if the words aren't there correctly.
He definitely has a lot of good points about what is wrong with religion, I have never said that. However, his arguments about God are based on two things:
1) he doesn't believe God can possibly exist, so his portrayal of any argument for the existence of God is both comical and absurdist. He never just presents the argument and attacks its basis, instead he presents the argument and attacks what HE thinks is the basis, which is always faulty logic because to him there is no good logic for the agrument.
2) He believes there is such thing as metaphysical necessity. He believes you need "a good reason to believe in God". The problem is, we rarely have "good reasons" to believe in this or that metaphysical principle. I haven't been rigorous enough in my current investigation into that statement to say for sure that we *never* have any "real reason"(or what Dawkins would consider a good enough reason) to believe in any metaphysical principle at all, but everything I've read so far seems to be pointing in that direction. He is simply arguing against the effects of believing in God(and rightly so, belief in a diety has often caused great harm to the world) not against the actual existence of God.
not to mention, he doesn't take on a single intelligent or modern argument in his book or during his "debate circuit". He picks easy targets, and while they definitely do respresent the majority of theists(unfortunately), I have yet to see him debate someone who doesn't use a classical argument for God's existence.
However, one thing I do remember is his interview with Ben Stein in "Expelled". I hated that movie and didn't even think the interview proved anything, but in it, Dawkin's said that "yes, it's possible that aliens came down and essentially played the role of God, but those aliens must have been creatures that were created through evolution."
he basically said "there is no God, but its possible there are aliens who are God."
The only reason for Dawkins importance or relevance is that a bunch of morons think there's anything to refute. He believes evolution alone explains everything. He may even be right about that. But that really has absolutely nothing to do with God, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, anything. It doesn't change a damn thing.
Ironically, in this situation I am most reminded of what Derr said that si quoted in Crede's sig:
Whether or not you believe the universe is here for a reason is patently irrelevant to whether or not the universe cares.
Whether or not you believe in god is patently irrelevant to whether or not he exists. The only difference between what is and what isn't, is exactly that. This world is logically consistent with or without God, including at least the Biblical God, and possibly the god of other religions, and definitely a universalist "creator force" God. There are logically consistent arguments to be made for the existence of God. They may or may not be compelling, but that depends on your worldview. beyond logical consistency, we have no objective basis for accepting or rejecting most any solely metaphysical proposition.
To calrify, I'm not talking about things like "does anything exist or is it all in our minds", because there are "tests" we can conduct which can show that, while the appearance of the outside world may be different to each of us, something is definitely there. actually, let's not even talk about this.
essentially, dawkins is ducking. I'm far from the most brilliant person in the world, but based on his books and debates/interviews/speaking that he's done, I am fairly confident that while I could never get him to agree I might be right because he's a douchebag, I could certainly convince the viewing public that both sides have good arguments and its up to them to decide for themselves.