Richard Dawkins: The GOD Delusion

This is the first book I finished in the year of 2008.

Actually I don’t need to read this book, as long as I am not deluded by the GOD delusion. I sometimes come to the Bible study and even the church, and when others thank God for bringing them bread, I accompany with a thankful "Amen!", but these activities are either following their customs, or as one pastime. I don’t believe in any kind of god, monotheisic or polytheisic. I say, ever since I got to know the word, that I am an "atheist".

I may be wrong. This might be the first grain I gleaned from reading this best-seller book. Maybe it’s better to ascribe me to the group of "Agnostic". Agnostics are people that admit the nature or the existence of God is unknown and probably impossible to know, while atheist claims that their is no God, or any similar supernatural existence. By the strictest standards, Richard Dawkins said, in a Likert 7-point scale where 1 stands for utmost theisic, and 7 for utmost atheistic, he will choose 6. The reason is that, how can you prove that God does not exist? Let’s turn to Bertrand Russull’s analogy of the celestial teapot in the universe. Can any one against the hypothesis literally search every inch of the universe to collect the solid evidence? What we can say, literally, is just the chance to have a celestial teapot in the universe is really small, so small that we feel safe to conclude that it does not exist. The God does not exist, Richard Dawkins said, by the same reasoning. However, Dawkins distinguished 2 types of agnosticism. TAP, or temporary agnosticism in practice, and PAP, or permanent agnosticism in principle, and he concludes that the existence of God does not belongs to the PAP category, which by definition is forever inaccessible, as suggested by some theologians have claimed, but TAP, which might be unanswable before, now, and in the foreseeable future, but not forever. And, of course, Dawkins has already seen the answer to this TAP question, that the God does not exist.

I agree with Dawkins that a God, or any other God or Gods, as described in Bible, Kuran, or any other holly writings, does not exist. I have some reservation about the existence of supernatural or superhuman, which actually is included in Dawkins’ God hypothesis. I think Dawkins may have overshot his attack. What he attached in the book is, nothing more than those religions on the earth, especially the three Abraham religions: Jewism, Christianity, and Muslim. I agree that these analysis seems applicable to every religion on the earth, but, there is a gap between the religion God and the superhuman or supernatural existence. I am not talking about the extraterrestrial existence. Even if they have much higher civilization and spread theirs to our planet and have been regarded as God ever since, this concept falls into Dawkins’ classification of TAP, and there will be an sound explanation based on science.

However, the amazing thing of science is, there is forever questions to answer, and we never know what is the truth. Every truth that we believe is truth in restricted contexts, and there are things we may never know or able to do, such as, what was the universe like before the Big Bang? How to travel in the cosmos at the speed of light? That is why as scientists, humbleness is necessary, and probability is the language to use instead of declamations. Although the chance for God to exist is so close to zero, and the chance to have a supernatural existence or superhuman, though much higher, is still negligible, it is safer not to make any conclusion.

That is why I think I am an agnostic more than an atheist. As once I talked with some colleague, I feel safe to have something in my world that is not filled, not answered, and not black or white.

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