Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thoughts on Chapter 1

PREFACE: The post is informal. I will be writing from my notes and questions that popped into my head while reading. If the post seems "broken" at times, I apologize. Any bible scripture that I quote will be from The Message.

I now have an idea of how this book is written and what is to come.  Dawkins is a good writer and the first chapter was a page turner.  The focus for the chapter seems to lay the groundwork for the rest of the book and that Dawkins will be challenging the belief of a personal God.

Dawkins uses a quote at the beginning of this chapter from Carl Sagan's book, Pale Blue Dot:
How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, No! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'..."
I have always been taught that God is grand, that he created a magnificent universe, not that he is a little god.  He created the universe from the unseen: "By faith, we see the world called into existence by God's word, what we see created by what we don't see." (Hebrews 11:3).  And the universe, as big and as grand as it is, cannot contain him: "Why, the cosmos itself isn't large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I've built." (1 Kings 8:27)

Now, as he continues on, he heavily quotes Einstein and I guess defines his (Dawkins) "religion," similar to how Einstein in one of the quotes that Dawkins provides (on pg 36) [If I am wrong about this point, someone correct me].  He also gives the responses from Christians and critiques them.  At one point, he says, "What a devastatingly revealing letter! Every sentence drips with intellectual and moral cowardice."  I asked myself, why? Why does it "drip with intellectual and moral cowardice."?  Im slightly alarmed at the way that Dawkins went about this portion of the chapter because of responses like that.

He continues on into "Underserved Respect" where he mentions that religion holds too much respect in society and highlights some reasons why.  I found myself agreeing with him and his general idea, religion can sometimes receive more respect than anything else, but I did not like how he presented some of it because of his choice of stories.  They were very extreme and they did highlight his point, but he did not seemed at all concerned with the idea that not everyone is like those that he mentioned.

All that being said, even though I had a couple issues with Dawkins in this first chapter, it was still a very good read.  I enjoyed it and thought that it served as a good introduction to the book to see where Dawkins is coming from.  Seeing as this was more of an introduction to the book, the post is lacking in "rebuttals."  I am hoping the second chapter will contain more topics of discussion.

If anyone has any questions please ask!  I will try to answer everything to the best of my ability (I do want to avoid debate, though, simply for the sake of time).  Also, if you think that I am mistaken or made an error in any area of my post, please feel free to point it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment