A (non) Challenge to Richard Dawkins

BethG
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A (non) Challenge to Richard Dawkins

I propose we school Pastor Hellmann on atheism, evolution and every other point he has completely failed on. (I tried googling him and could not find an e-mail address. I did find the church info: 310 Buffalo Ave. S, Montrose, PO Box 306, Montrose, MN 55363, (763) 675-3201, To join or for more information: Call (763) 675-3201)

Quote:
Pastor challenges Dawkins' atheism arguments
Counterpoint: Pastor challenges Dawkins' atheism arguments
Robert Hellmann

Richard Dawkins, author of the book "The God Delusion," intends that religious readers of his book will be atheists when they finish it. Let's put some of the statements he made in his Nov. 4 Star Tribune interview to the test.

Dawkins claims that evolutionary science "offers a brilliant and beautiful explanation of origins and existence." But evolutionists assert that this universe and everything in it has come about by chance. There is no plan, no divine planner/creator -- just random combinations of atoms. What's brilliant about a random, unplanned process?

Can such a random process actually work? Sir Fred Hoyle, noted English astronomer, studied the problem and concluded this: The probability of one cell coming into being by chance was the same as the probability that a tornado striking a junkyard would produce a fully functioning 747 jet airplane. In other words, the chance of it happening is virtually zero.

What is beautiful about evolution? It requires a struggle in which the fit survive and the weak are trampled in the dust. Progress is made by almost endless generations of creatures living, struggling and dying. Where is there beauty in an every-organism-for-itself struggle? Even though the fit may survive a little longer, they are trapped in an existence without purpose or meaning. Such a dreary and hopeless spectacle can only be described as ugly.

A world without religion

Dawkins asks us to imagine what a world without religion would look like. We don't have to imagine it. We have seen it and the results were horrific.

Communism, based on atheism and evolution, was tried in the Soviet Union. Stalin, the Communist dictator, ordered the murders of about 30 million of his citizens during his ruthless rule. Those who escaped liquidation lived in a "workers' paradise" of poverty and oppression.

About 100 years ago, evolution spawned two abhorrent social movements. Social Darwinism was used by some titans of industry to justify their predatory, ruthless business practices. Eugenics was a racist movement that some used to try to keep people they considered undesirable (the infirm, disabled, racial minorities) from reproducing. Hitler, an atheist and evolutionist, used that idea to justify purging his favored Aryan race of the disabled or weak, as well as killing millions of Jews and others he deemed undesirable.

Atheism and evolution are based on the philosophy (religion) of materialism. Materialism asserts that matter is all that exists and that there is no God. Since materialists begin by denying the existence of God, it's no surprise that they don't find God revealed anywhere.

I challenge Richard Dawkins to study the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the book of Acts. Jesus invites all to come out of the hopelessness of the religion of atheism and live in his light and the salvation that he offers to all.

Robert Hellmann is pastor at St. Paul's and Trinity Lutheran Churches in Montrose, MN.

http://www.startribune.com/614/story/818445.html


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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Quote:Dawkins asks us to

Quote:
Dawkins asks us to imagine what a world without religion would look like. We don't have to imagine it. We have seen it and the results were horrific.

When did this ever take place?

This article equates communism and mass genocide with atheism/evolution. I'm still learning how to apply the terms but isn't this some kind of logical fallacy?


darth_josh
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LMAO. Obviously, the good

LMAO.
Obviously, the good pastor hasn't read any of the books that he's arguing against.

I see that kind of stuff as pure bullshit. It's another way for them to evangelize by name-dropping to get people to look at them.

The movie 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' with Kirsten Dunst and Denise Richards referred to Montrose, MN.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

"I ain't gonna be in any pageant. Look what happened to that dork-ass farmgirl"
is one of my favorite parts of the movie.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


Razorcade
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Pastor Hellmann on atheism

Man, these people just piss me off!!!

Quote:
Dawkins claims that evolutionary science "offers a brilliant and beautiful explanation of origins and existence." But evolutionists assert that this universe and everything in it has come about by chance. There is no plan, no divine planner/creator -- just random combinations of atoms. What's brilliant about a random, unplanned process?

I don't think that Darwin had asserted any points in his thesis on evolution that had anything to do with the origins of the universe. Furthermore, any scientist who tries to use this thesis for a cosmological argument, I believe, is cutting his own throat.

Quote:
Can such a random process actually work? Sir Fred Hoyle, noted English astronomer, studied the problem and concluded this: The probability of one cell coming into being by chance was the same as the probability that a tornado striking a junkyard would produce a fully functioning 747 jet airplane. In other words, the chance of it happening is virtually zero.

Can such a random process work? Hmmm, lets think for a minute, ......It did, and it does, so the probability is 100%, at least in this case.

Quote:
What is beautiful about evolution? It requires a struggle in which the fit survive and the weak are trampled in the dust. Progress is made by almost endless generations of creatures living, struggling and dying. Where is there beauty in an every-organism-for-itself struggle? Even though the fit may survive a little longer, they are trapped in an existence without purpose or meaning. Such a dreary and hopeless spectacle can only be described as ugly.

I think the beauty of evolution is its struggle for something better, or more efficient. Don't misunderstand, not a conscious effort, but a weeding out process, that says, 'hey, you don't work, see ya' later'.

Quote:
Without purpose or meaning

Well, I'm assuming that the author is talking about sentient beings, so, with that in mind, I would say that that subject is up to the individual. If you want to make your existence ugly, go right ahead, but don't assume it for the rest of us.

Quote:
A world without religion

Dawkins asks us to imagine what a world without religion would look like. We don't have to imagine it. We have seen it and the results were horrific.

What planet is this guy living on? Where has he seen a world without religion? Last I checked, the overwhelming majority of this planet is religious.

Quote:
Communism, based on atheism and evolution, was tried in the Soviet Union.

Communism, is in no way based on atheism or evolution.
This pastor hasn't the foggiest idea what either of these terms mean.

Quote:
Stalin, the Communist dictator, ordered the murders of about 30 million of his citizens during his ruthless rule. Those who escaped liquidation lived in a "workers' paradise" of poverty and oppression.

Really hate this argument. Can we shut this down once and for all? Stalin, killed many people, BUT NOT IN THE NAME OF RELIGION. Nuff said.

Quote:
Hitler, an atheist and evolutionist, used that idea to justify purging his favored Aryan race of the disabled or weak, as well as killing millions of Jews and others he deemed undesirable.

Again, another dictator this guy misrepresents. Hitler, was and died a 'christian'. Whether he practiced it, or not, I don't know, but it is just another attempt for these cheeseheads, to connect atheism/evolution, with outright genocide. Please give me a break.

Quote:
Atheism and evolution are based on the philosophy (religion) of materialism.

Anyone find anything wrong with this statement? What is this guy playing connect the dots?

Quote:
Materialism asserts that matter is all that exists and that there is no God. Since materialists begin by denying the existence of God, it's no surprise that they don't find God revealed anywhere.

Rocks, air, trees, what more do you want. Except for the occasional beer and a really good fuck. Explain how a god could help me is this department aside from a neverending cooler, and a larger penis.
And, if this god wanted to reveal himself, don't ya think he might have coded himself into our DNA? Huge oversight on his part, especially for a supposed omniscient being. As Carlin would say, if this was his job, he'd be out on his 'all-powerful' ass a long time ago.

Quote:
I challenge Richard Dawkins to study the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the book of Acts.

I mean, come on, do you really think this guy hasn't cracked open the 'Babble' at least once.

Quote:
Jesus invites all to come out of the hopelessness of the religion of atheism and live in his light and the salvation that he offers to all.

Sorry, but I respectfully decline this invitation.

Oh, and can someone please put up a billboard to tell these people that
ATHEISM IS NOT A RELIGION.

Sorry for the rant, but, I'm just a tad upset.


Randalllord
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Quote:Dawkins claims that

Quote:
Dawkins claims that evolutionary science "offers a brilliant and beautiful explanation of origins and existence." But evolutionists assert that this universe and everything in it has come about by chance. There is no plan, no divine planner/creator -- just random combinations of atoms. What's brilliant about a random, unplanned process?

This is a common strawman fallacy that fundies offer. He says that evolution believe that development/progress is a result of chance (somethimes they say accident). Another preacher did the same thing, this time it was said to Dawkins face and was caught on camera. Lets see what Dawkins response was to this fallicy:

Notice the irony in Haggart calling Dawkins "arrogrant".

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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He obviously didn't read the

He obviously didn't read the book, because all he said was addressed in it.


hypnotic666 (not verified)
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first of all i would like to

first of all i would like to state that communism and atheism are 2 totally different things

Throughout its history, Russias people have always had strong mystical inclinations. Their mystical traditions extend far back in history, to the time of the first Slav settlements over a thousand years ago. In the year 988, due to the conversion of Vladimir 1, Russia became officially Christian. The Russian people lived and breathed religion, and it played a central role in their lives until the time of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Stalin (1879-1953) was the product of a seminary, and learned its lessons of manipulation and mind control well. He knew that the best way to stifle dissent and to break the will of the people was to deprive them of that which they value the most. Religion, being so important to the lives of the Russian people, was the perfect target. By depriving the people of the crutch of religion, he knew he could crush their spirit.

There are no elements of freethought (the foundation of atheism) in Soviet philosophy. Stalin most certainly was unfamiliar with the humanistic underpinnings of atheism; his goal was to create a totalitarian state in which he became the new god, whose dictates were not to be questioned. Individual rights, so central to freethought, were unknown in Soviet Russia.

The massacres of Stalins reign were committed in the name of statism, not atheism, and statism is a by-product of the fundamentalist religious mindset.

Every religion since time immemorial has recognized the role religion plays in stifling dissent and keeping people quiet and submissive. Charles I of England, for example, once said "religion is the only firm foundation of power."

Stalin did not want to share that power with anyone. Recognizing the church as the only significan't rival to his supremacy, he attacked it. His attacks had nothing to do with ideological differences; it was a simple question of his stamping out a perceived threat.
Final proof that Stalin was not acting on atheistic principles could be seen during the opening salvos of the Barbarossa campaign during World War II. Things were not going well for the Russian armies at that point and Stalin, facing a possible revolution on the home front was searching for ways to amass a broad base of support for the war effort. To achieve this, he reinstated the Orthodox Church hierarchy to serve Mother Russia. This shows that Stalin was by no means averse to promoting religion if it suited his purposes to do so.

Clearly, Stalins tyranny was based on the totalitarian premises that he learned from religion: Unquestioning obedience, reverence for a deity-figure (in human form) as well as a pie-in-the-sky utopian vision. His government never tolerated freedom of thought. Stalins policies were the antithesis of atheist philosophy.

In fact, one can make a much more convincing historical case for equating Christianity with fascism than atheism with communism. Christianity has shown its totalitarian colors on countless occasions throughout history. Every time a country has based its government on fundamentalist Christian principles, that country has been a dictatorship. Such governments have never tolerated dissent or opposing viewpoints and have never hesitated to use violence to enforce their wills. This attitude can be traced back to the earliest history of the church and to the Bible itself. Biblical doctrines that despots have found to be invaluable include obedience to authority, the undermining of human reason, the view of humanity as being inherently evil, and the view that this life is of secondary importance to an imaginary next life. Doctrines such as this tend to weaken resistance and to render people more susceptible to political influence. This should be kept in mind when listening to the views of todays religious and political leaders. To be sure, they often speak of morality, love and compassion, but the fact remains that Christian love has historically always been a conditional love, applicable only toward fellow Christians; the unconverted were subjected to Crusades, Inquisitions, burnings, torture and death. In more enlightened times, thanks to the influence of humanistic principles from the Enlightenment, these have largely been eliminated, but social ostracism remains a powerful weapon against dissent.

as far as proving God exists,that lies upon the one making the claim of his supposed existence.


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The Reverend Pastor Bastard

I find it ironic that this "man of God" tells Richard Dawkins to read the gospels to learn how to come out of the hopeless "religion" of atheism. Firstly, I don't remember reading anything about atheism in any of the gospels (so perhaps this bastard would benefit from taking his own advice). Secondly, if this asshole actually read the gospels, there is more hopelessness peppered throughout them, than atheism could ever dream up. In atheism, the worst that happens to an individual is they cease to consciously exist after they die. Compared to the "hopeful" gospel claims of a tortured, suffering afterlife of damnation, atheism is a step up. And it isn't just a few who will be damned, but ANYONE who doesn't believe in the ridiculous fictional story of the gospels and even if they do believe it, the sadistic savior clearly says most of them won't be "saved" either in Matthew 7:21-23. In other words, the gospels are probably the most hopeless set of ideas in all the world.

So, once again, we have a jerkoff pretending to be an authority on religion and science, when in reality he is neither, since he has himself not studied them much. How the hell did this Pastor Bastard get to write in a newspaper as a legitimate article?

Of course, while people like this do frustrate me, it is the dark before the dawn. It seems to be really bad now, but this is a good sign ultimately I think. If people like this guy are the future of christianity, then it might not last much longer. Who knows however.