Monday, May 14, 2007

"The God Delusion" and "Can Man Live Without God?"
A good friend whom I rarely see eye to eye with is a confirmed atheist. We've spent many an hour debating whether or not there is a God, more specifically, is the God of the Bible real. It is folly to think that either of us would budge from our positions but our debates have been some of the most mind expanding exercises I've ever experienced. As part of my self assigned "homework" I've read a couple of Richard Dawkin's works: The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion, the topic of today's post.

First of all, let me praise Mr. Dawkins, and Lalla Ward for a captivating reading of his work. They make a good oratory team, very pleasant listening. I was hoping for a bit more "meat" to chew on in God Delusion but to me, Richard simply sets up straw men then slays them magnificently. Like a skilled surgeon, he seeks out the most tumorous examples of mankind's failures in the name of religion then portrays them as the evil perpetrated by faith in God. I share his disgust for religion as we know it, having been corrupted by corrupt men, but that comparrison is just as useless as blaming a firearm for murdering someone. But from a more positive perspective, Christians, especially church leaders and clergy, should read TGD, not so much for what it reveals about atheism but for what it reveals about how religion is perceived by non-believers. It is to our shame that we have lost the message of The Cross in the cacophony of religious infighting and corruption.

A reasonable counterbalance to TGD is Ravi Zacharias' Can Man Live Without God?, a collection of speeches given by Mr. Zacharias. Ravi sets up his own straw men for battle and does an eloquent job of doing so. Of course, he's coming from the perspective of one who believes in an almighty Creator so he manages to raise questions that Mr. Dawkins didn't seem to think of. Where Dawkins attempts to appeal to logic, Ravi focuses more on the philosophical aspects of the state of mankind. My personal, and totally biased opinion, is that Zacharias gets a head start in the debate simply because he addresses the heart of man, rather than the mere mind of man.

To those who are convinced in their positions, whether it be for or against God, neither of these orators will sway you from your stance. To the very small segment of society which truly doesn't know and truly wants to know the answers, I recommend that you take a dose of each author. As one example in Zarcharias' work states: One perspective searches, and can't find proof of God while another can't find a place where God is not.

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