Dawkins And The Question Of Geography

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by PeaceLikeaRiver, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Richard Dawkins is quite well-known for his comments about the kind of religion you follow being a matter of the time and place you were born. He says:

    "Why aren’t you a Hindu? Because you happen to have been brought up in in America, not in India. if you had been brought up in India, you’d be a Hindu. If you’d been brought up in Denmark at the time of the vikings, you’d be believing in Wotan and Thor. if you had been brought up in classical Greece you’d be believing in Zeus. if you had been brought up in central Africa, you’d be believing in the great Juju up the mountain."

    I wonder at this quote quite often. Most of us here are Christians, but is there something TO this? What if we HAD been born in Iran instead of the USA, would we be Muslims, and practice our faith with the same zeal?
  2. Most people do follow the belief system that is popular in their area or what their family follows. I also think that most people don't care what belief system they follow. Most "Christians" I know are Christians because their parents are Christians. It isn't a big part of their life. I imagine it's the same in other countries as well.

    I do think that having access to the internet is making this a non issue though. We can look up most religions from our computer and learn all we want about them. Even just twenty years ago you wouldn't have had anywhere near the amount of data we can get in seconds today.
    I think this is helping people break away from the religion that their family practices.
  3. He made a blanketed statement. And besides that, 1) it doesn't offer any proof of anything and 2) one could argue that some only follow a specific faith due to their location of upbringing, but that only speaks for certain people. There are many Muslims in America, but even more interestingly, there are many Christians in Muslim countries--and they're experiencing hell for it.
  4. The bigger question is really, do we choose the CORRECT faith when we learn about it, or do we choose the one we are introduced to by our parents when we are old enough to understand?
  5. It really depends on the individual. People go to different beliefs for many different reasons. Some take it seriously and some really don't. It's just the truth.
  6. But this really is just a case of Dawkins being Dawkins. I really don't mind listening to and reading the perspective of Atheistic voices -- even those who tend to hold an aggressive position against religion--mostly Christianity. However, it's often hard to take Dawkins very seriously. Much of his perspective is due to a mere dislike rather than sincerity.

    Many people crack jokes about Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron as being the buffoon voices of Christianity. I shall bite my tongue on that one. But likewise, if Comfort and Cameron are the buffoons of the Christian voice, then Dawkins is the buffoon of the Atheist voice.

    There are much more interesting Atheist voices, mostly in the early to mid 20th century, like Jean Paul Sarte and Albert Camus who took a much more serious approach to Atheism. They weren't just playing at atheism--the really intended to see to the bottom of it, not to simply toss out attack after attack. Jean Paul Sarte wrote extensively how we have a desire for truth, love, etc. (in other words, a desire for God), but because he came to a conclusion that there is no God, he said "la vie est absurde." (Life is absurde).

    Whenever I hear positions expressed in quoting Dawkins, I often have to shrug and ask why the discussion isn't even serious anymore.

    And then I move on...

    KingJ and Ravindran say Amen and like this.
  7. But I think there's a very real truth that many people, most in fact, "go with the flow" of what they are taught based largely on the culture they are born into.
  8. I'd be willing to bet that's the case for many young people. It's extremely common for Christians anyway to simply go with the motions but have spiritually and intellectually divorced themselves from the faith. But does it remain that way forever? I'd argue no.
  9. Dawkins, though he's on the opposite side we are, does raise a troubling concern though which is that many people in the world are raised by parents with the best intentions but whom are believing in a faith that is in error. Some of us go through the struggle, ask ourselves the difficult questions and come out the other end in a different place, but how many do not?
  10. As Arminians and Reformed persons, each believe they have the answers to the proposed question in the OP. Both think it quite simple!
  11. When this statement was made by Richard Dawkins, it was called by many apologists as committing "genetic fallacy". And I had to look up what genetic fallacy was :) I haven't gone through much about it.. But just saying what the response of some famous apologists was..
  12. Dawkins argues that circumstance of birth dictates your religion. Dawkins in an Atheist because he was raised in essentially an Atheist culture. His pride and arrogance tells him that he's too smart to believe in God, but he's too stupid to accept that his beliefs are as predetermined as anyone else's.

    In a free society, Christianity wins out over all other faiths, including Atheism. So, while it's true that most people are Christian by birth (which I gladly accept), if given complete freedom, regardless of what religion I were raised in, I'd be a Christian, anyway.
    Fadingman and KingJ say Amen and like this.
  13. I really dislike Dawkins. He's probably the most insulting atheist I've seen.
  14. Dawkins has taken to the habit of calling Christians "Science Deniers", which he derived from the term "Holocaust Deniers".
  15. I don't remember where I saw it, there was a discussion between Dawkins and Ben Stein, and Dawkins was speechless for 90 seconds. If you come across it it's worth a view.
  16. I'll have to try to find that.
    TezriLi likes this.
  17. Love Ben Stein. He can be funny and dead serious at the same time. Quite a gift.
    TezriLi likes this.

  18. Here's the video of Dawkins not answering perhaps the most important question for an Evolutionist? In my words, "What's a real example of Evolution?" He looks stumped. The camera stops. When they resume, Dawkins gives an an answer that doesn't fit the question, and basically suggests that the person asking the question is ignorant.
    KingJ likes this.
  19. It is true and extremely obvious. A fact that he conveniently ignores is that every region has a religion....:sleep:.
  20. I don't agree with Dawkins on many things, certainly not the main issue regarding the existence of God. But we must be fair.

    That video is widely debunked by now. You can actually watch no fewer than 3 or 4 videos claiming that Dawkins is rendered speechless and the question is asked by 3 or 4 different voices, one being Ben Stein, one (the real one) being an Australian female, one by another American guy. What had actually happened is that he had realized in that moment that he'd allowed a group of creationists access to his home, people who had misrepresented themselves as to who they were. In his anger he was considering how to proceed, whether to throw them out of his home.

    He talks about it here:

    You can see the different people pretending to be the original ones to ask him the question, including the bad video edits, here:

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