Why God Cannot Exist is Explored by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion

David Baltimore in American Scientist praises The God Delusion, an anti-religious book by Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. In his review, Baltimore notes that “Dawkins doesn’t ever come to terms with the large number of scientists who are comfortable believing both [in] evolution … and that there is a God.” He then goes on to suggest that Dawkins’s “core reason for writing his manuscript was to change the status of atheists in America to one of tolerance if not ultimate acceptance.”

It appears that Dawkins has written this manuscript as an attempt provide fodder for both the secular and scientific worlds as they take on those religious sects that want to rule the masses through the political arena. He believes this is necessary in order to reduce the political turmoil caused by religion, which does little other than make it harder for world communities to live together peaceably. However, I have a hard time subscribing to Dawkins philosophy that belief in a supernatural creator is nothing short of delusional, which he defines as a persistent false belief in the existence of God despite strong contradictory evidence. While I tend to believe that God is from an advanced planet somewhere outside of our universe, I cannot buy into evolution nor fathom how man could exist unless we were brought here by a higher power.

To prove his points Dawkins, in The God Delusion, incorporates four “consciousness-raising” messages, the first of which states that Atheists can be happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled. Secondly, that natural selection and similar scientific theories are superior to the theory of intelligent design. Thirdly, that children should not be labeled by their parents’ religion and lastly, that Atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind. What is amazing, however, to this reviewer, is that Dawkins displays a religious enthusiasm for science which he explains away as “Einsteinian religion”, referring to Einstein’s use of the word “God” as a metaphor for nature or the mysteries of the universe. Apparently Einstein’s “God” is ok since it is not focused on a supernatural creator who man worships. Thus showing no respect for conventional religion Dawkins continues his rant by concluding that religion is given a privileged and undeserved immunity against criticism incorporating a quote by Douglas Adams to illustrate his point. The quote states that “Religion … has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever.” What Adams intends this to mean is, “Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about”.Dawkins then precedes to list a number of examples of religion being given privileged status, such as the ease of gaining conscientious objector status; the use of euphemisms for religious conflicts; various exemptions from the law; and the Muhammad cartoons controversy. 

By chapter 2 Dawkins attacks God directly when he describes “Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, as arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction which basically came down to His being a malevolent bully.”He continues by suggesting that the existence of God is merely a hypothesis like any other, one that should be treated with as much skepticism as evolution or any other proposed hypothesis.  

Then in chapter 3 Dawkins turns his attention to the five proofs of Thomas Aquinas the main philosophy behind our believing in the existence of God.  Dawkins argues throughout this chapter that the first three of Aquinas’s proofs are based on infinite regresses and states, “it is by no means clear that God provides a natural terminator to the regresses”. He then suggests that Aquinas’s fourth way, the Argument from Degree, is “fatuous” by way of an overload objection of the “pre-eminently peerless stinker”. However, he reserves the fifth proof, the Argument from Design, for later discussion in the next chapter on evolution, which he considers its ultimate refutation. However, Dawkins isn’t content to stop there but takes on as many of the arguments as he can in his short manifesto to explain why there almost certainly is no God.

By chapter 4 he is ready to tackle evolution by natural selection and to demonstrate that the argument of Intelligent Design is wrong. He contends that a hypothetical cosmic designer would require an even greater explanation than the phenomena of natural selection. He uses an argument from improbability, to suggest that “God almost certainly does not exist”: stating, “However statistically improbable the entity you seek to explain by invoking a designer, the designer himself has got to be at least as improbable. God is the Ultimate Boeing 747.” The “Boeing 747” reference alludes to a statement made by Fred Hoyle: the “probability of life originating on earth is no greater than the chance that a hurricane sweeping through a scrap-yard would have the luck to assemble a Boeing 747”.  

In chapter 5, Dawkins explains that the roots of religion were an accidental by-product of human’s susceptibility to religious memes and was therefore able to spread like a “mind virus” across societies. This leads into chapter 6 where Dawkins addresses the subject of morality, maintaining that our morality has a Darwinian explanation: “altruistic genes that have been selected through the process of our evolution.” Chapter 7 continues the morality theme insisting that moral Zeitgeist continue to evolve in society, often in opposition to the warped and brutal influence of religious morality.  

Towards the end of the book, Dawkins states that his hostility toward religion comes from religion’s efforts to subvert science, its ability to foster fanaticism, encourage bigotry and influence society in other negative ways. He supports his message by providing examples of cases where people have been accused of blasphemy only to find themselves sentenced to death and how people in the name of religion have picketed at the funerals of gays or gay sympathizers. Dawkins further shows how the Bible was manipulated by southern preachers to condone slavery and how during the Crusades, anyone who refused to convert to Christianity were murdered.  

Dawkins even manages to draw a parallel between childhood, abuse and religious training of children by equating religious indoctrination of children by parents to a form of mental abuse. If Dawkins had his way people would cringe whenever a young child was taught about God rather being allowed to develop their own independent views on the cosmos and humanity’s place within it. Finally, his argument suggests that the world would be a better place if everyone maintained an atheistic viewpoint so that no one had to struggle with religion’s unsatisfying “answers” to life’s mysteries. 

Overall, Dawkins may be right in his assertion that religions themselves are potentially dangerous, and that religious zealotry is neither necessary nor sufficient for suicide bombers. However, his fervor is no less dangerous and his thesis shows a superficial knowledge of the Bible and an intolerance towards theists that is no less dangerous. The physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, suggests that an unrelenting attack upon people’s beliefs might be less productive than “positively demonstrating how the wonders of nature can suggest a world without God that is nevertheless both complete and wonderful.” As far as religious training of children being child abuse I can definitely see instances where that was the case but for most rational human beings God is relayed to children as a benevolent persona that is non threatening, by loving parents, and can in no way be viewed as detrimental to a child’s mental health.

[tags]God, delusion, The God Delusion, book, non fiction, Richard Dawkins, Oxford University, book review, child abuse, Intelligent Design, Creator, Yahweh, religion, suicide bombers, atheism, atheist, scientific, [/tags]

The Bible Supports the Idea of Extraterrestrial Beings

Probably the best ancient example of standard alien abduction is the story of “Jacob’s ladder” found in Genesis 28 which reads:

“And he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said…. thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep… And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place!”

Given this text, and remembering Jacob’s frame of reference, try to put aside, for a second everything you have learned since you were knee high, and consider logically how similar modern day abductees’ claims are to what Jacob is reported to have experienced.

Remember too that intense fear and genetic manipulation are the two most commonly cited aspects of extraterrestrial encounters by modern day UFO abductees claiming to have experienced anomalous pregnancies that suddenly end mid-term with no miscarriage. Among these supposed abductees are several young adolescent girls who gynecologists confirmed pregnant while maintaining finding of physical evidence of their virginity. Then realize that for one’s “seed” to spread around the world it must first be removed from the testes or ovary and the only way a virgin woman can get pregnant and bear a child is through artificial insemination.

If one raises this question regarding the Holy Child, fundamentalist will scream heresy but other than Jesus, one must note that other civilizations also believed in messiahs. For example, the Aztecs believed in a messiah, Quetzalcoatl, who derived his lighter skin tone and heavier facial hair from godly genes and according to their beliefs was created to improve their civilization. Quetzalcoatl was then followed by Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, whom the Aztecs mistakenly believed fulfilled the prophecy of the demigod’s second coming. Another example is found in the copious writings of the Egyptians who hailed their own messiah, Imhotep, who they claimed built the first pyramid and taught them advanced sciences, only to ascend to the heavens one day leaving behind tremendous legends and an improved society. However, the belief in messiahs did not stop there as still others claimed their own variety of demigod, like the Mesopotamians, Gilgamesh and the Maya’s Kukulkan; and the list goes on.

Messiah literally means “godly king” which fits our belief in Jesus Christ who the Hebrew people expected to be a being who would combine the necessary human traits of King David with the desirable superhuman traits of Yahweh. Given that assumption then Jesus was aSon of God, as well as, a son of mansimply because he was half alien and half human! We find evidence for this idea in Luke 1:26-32,34-35,38 which reads:

“… the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee… And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying…. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God.” She is thus visited by a superhuman being who tells her she is somehow special or chosen, and she is afraid. The story goes on to reveal the visitation’s remarkable purpose. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing that I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

Meanwhile, a UFO had already heralded the forthcoming birth of Jesus to King Herod’s astrologers, in the well-known story of the “Star of David.” Contrary to the traditional interpretation, however, the Bible makes it clear that this object was not really a star at all.

This strangely moving “star” which leads the astrologers directly to the place of Jesus’ birth is described in the apocryphal book of Protevangelion, chapter 15 which reads:

“They answered him (Herod) we saw an extraordinary large star shining among the stars of heaven, and so out-shined all the other stars, as that they became not visible… So the wise men went forth, and behold, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over the cave where the young child was with Mary his mother.”

Incredibly, another incident in Matthew 17 describes yet again an excellent array of UFO-related phenomena when Jesus met his disciples up on a mountain and Jesus revealed himself to them as the glorious figure of a godly superhuman.

“And He, Jesus, was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light….” Then a strange object appears in the sky, provoking intense fear in the onlookers. “… behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud…. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.”

This is picked up again in Luke 9 which reads, “… they feared as they entered into the cloud.” Did more happen to them during this time we will never know since it was never recorded on paper.

Additionally, one must consider the ridiculous stereotypes attributed to angels that show them as winged cherubs strumming harps instead of as the powerful beings set forth in the Bible and other ancient text. In reality, the Bible repeatedly shows angels provoking fear in those who see them, which shows that not all extraterrestrial encounters are necessarily pleasant and that some must carry out certain disturbing tasks making it feasible that one of those tasks involves what we explain as alien abduction.

It is safe to assume that the many people who contributed to the Western Bible just wrote down what they thought and experienced – and this includes a tremendous amount of material which can be considered representative of the UFO phenomenon throughout history. The crucial fact remains that superhuman extraterrestrials have seemingly been with us since the dawn of Man.

In The Omega Project by prominent psychologist and paranormal researcher Kenneth Ring, a professional survey is presented which found that 85 percent of all UFO abductees report an increase in their concern for the welfare of our world, with 60 percent saying it has strongly increased. The same survey also shows that 71 percent of abductees believe humanity is on the verge of a new age. Compare these findings with those in Revelations that occurred almost two thousand years ago when an angel took John on a dramatic journey above the earth during which he was told of a climactic future period and a utopian world thereafter. Perhaps the dramatic increase in observed extraterrestrial activity during the past few decades is largely because human civilization is undergoing dramatic changes including encounters by devout Christians such as Mennonite, Lynn Miller, who is discussed in the book, Secret Life, by ufologist David M. Jacobs in which she remembers having “flown with the angels” at age 12. Miller came down with diphtheria when six years old, and since the family did not believe in modern medicine they prayed to God for a miracle and sure enough, that very night what she describes as angels visited her and the very next day she was totally cured.

Stories like these show convincingly that religion and ufology are inseparably tied together and that no matter what we choose to call them, superhuman beings are here and have always been watching over us.

As in my last article regarding extraterrestrial beings, I am sure many people will erupt in anger at my argument that the Bible supports the theory of super humans and extraterrestrial encounters in biblical times. For that, I apologize but I believe that the evidence remains available for all to see if they are willing to look at it objectively.

[tags]God, demigods, Jesus, Bible, Extraterrestrial beings, angels, UFOs, Virgin Birth, Omega Project, Messiah, Yahweh, Scriptures, Apocrypha, Jacob’s ladder[/tags]