A reply to Richard Dawkin’s ‘make sense’ tweets

Dear Professor Dawkins,

Today you tweeted a lot and also retweeted a lot. Below are my responses to most of those anti-religious tweets.

“God couldn’t think of a better way to forgive the sin of Adam (who never existed) than to have his son (aka himself) executed. Makes sense.”

Science doesn’t deny that we originated from an “Adam”, whatever the Adam was. But, yes, I agree, the sacrifice of Jesus doesn’t really make sense.

@RichardDawkins all evil in the world is because of a talking snake. Makes sense.

This only exists in one religious tradition.

@RichardDawkins god doesn’t speak to educated, rational thinking individuals… Makes sense.

Oh, He does. He just also talks to uneducated, simple people too. You probably haven’t read the parts which appeal to the intellectual. Remember: God’s words have several layers of meaning. There are many intellectuals who see the profundity in religion. If you don’t study religion in depth, don’t expect to find profundity.

@RichardDawkins God reveals himself numerous times to bronze-aged desert people but not since the invention of the video camera. Makes Sense.

Well, religion had to get going, didn’t it? If there weren’t miracles at the beginning, hardly anybody would have believed in it. Now that it has got the following, spectacular miracles aren’t as necessary.

@RichardDawkins A woman must marry her rapist, or be killed. Makes sense.

Which religion says this? Christianity? No. Islam? No. This may be practised in some cultures like Afghanistan. But don’t conflate culture with religion.

@RichardDawkins “Every other religion in the world is wrong, they clearly made stuff up from thin air.” Makes sense.

Religious texts don’t say that. But some religious adherents claim other religions are false, mainly because of the individual’s sanctimony. Christianity is inextricably linked with Judaism – Jesus was a Jew. Islam also believes in the Christian and Jewish dispensations, it doesn’t say they are wrong, the belief is that the Quran is a clarification and confirmation of all previous divine books. Also, the mystics/perennialists/esoterists who follow religious traditions largely believe in the validity of all world religions.

Creator of the Universe went to great trouble to create the foreskin. Then insisted that you cut it off. Makes sense.

Good one. But until recently, scientists thought that the appendix was pretty much useless until we discovered that it’s very useful to the bacteria that helps your digestive system function. So how do we know that the foreskin doesn’t play an important part in early development?

@RichardDawkins Of the 3,000+ deities that are known, I pick this one. There’s no way I’m wrong, because the bible says so. Makes sense.

Throughout history, human beings have found something to worship, whether it is something celestial, nature, an idol made of stone, or God. Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind says that children have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being. In the Islamic tradition, it’s called the fitrah, the innate disposition to believe in God. That’s why people have always believed in something. The purpose of God’s revelations whether it is the Hindu scriptures, the Judeo-Christian scriptures or the Islamic ones, is to guide people into the direction of monotheism and not the worship of other things.

“I love you, but I’ll happily burn you eternally in fire and brimstone”. Makes sense.

I was once listening to a talk by a pious man who said that hell is not eternal. A woman replied: “If I’m going to heaven in the end, what’s to stop me being a bad person”? This is the problem, people are stupid. So God has to make hyperbolic statements so that people remain in line. How hell is interpreted has to be left to the metaphysicians, and many Islamic metaphysicians who were also great scholars, say hell is not eternal. The prophetic intercession, which the Islamic tradition talks about, ensures that all people will leave hell. The punishments of hell are also symbolic, as anything metaphysical can’t be accurately described in human language. Hell is a place of divine alienation where the soul is purified before it can go Home and be a delight to the other blessed spirits.

@RichardDawkins I don’t know how the universe came about. Therefore an invisible, anthropomorphic supernatural entity made it. Makes sense.

You’ve got the sentence muddled. It should read: An invisible, anthropomorphic supernatural entity made the universe. Therefore I know how it came about. [By the way, many religious people don’t believe God to be an anthropomorphised entity but interpret anthropomorphic verses metaphorically.]

@RichardDawkins Sure, you may be a person that is a paragon of humanity, but since you don’t believe in God, hell for you. Makes sense.

God won’t put anyone in hell unless he/she deserves it. The belief is that God is Just. The Arabic word for disbeliever, kafir, actually means someone who conceals the truth, it also means somebody who is an ingrate. So hell is for ungrateful, closed-minded, truth concealers. And the final judgements lies with God.

@RichardDawkins Out of all the human qualities, ‘belief’ is the most important. Makes sense

Not true. Belief and action are both paramount. Whenever the Quran uses the word belief, it also uses the word action.

@RichardDawkins “I designed a universe of a billion, billion galaxies, but I’m bothered who you sleep with.” Makes sense.

God is both utterly transcendent but also intimately close within the cosmos. He therefore wants what is best for us and who and what you sleep with is important. You can catch all sorts of icky stuff and you can also hurt people’s feelings.

@RichardDawkins “I need a holy book to know not to kill anyone”. Makes sense.

Unfortunately, some people do.

God tested Abraham by ordering him to kill his own child, just to see if Abe would truly obey any/all orders. Makes sense.

Actually a great lesson that life is a transient sojourn and that, while we are here, we should be prepared to give up everything. Only through slaughtering our desire for this world, which is finite and consists of temporary pleasures, can we really form a connection with the divine and attain spiritual happiness. And the story ends with him not sacrificing his son.

@RichardDawkins God could cure that sick baby but won’t unless people ask Him nicely and tell Him how wonderful He is. Makes sense.

God is not in need of us, we are in need of Him, He wants us to humble ourselves and get rid of our ego.

God loves everyone…except gays, women, atheists and anyone who doesn’t believe in the resurrection of Christ. Makes sense.

Not true. God loves everyone, as Hecreated us out of a divine act of love. He doesn’t, however, love everything that we do, as it often distances ourselves from Him. He wants us to draw close to Him.

@RichardDawkins The big bang is a lie, because everything that exists has a cause. Except god. Makes sense.

Religion doesn’t deny the big bang. The Quran actually talks about it in 21:30. And, yes, God doesn’t have a cause because he is not contingent and He is the one who manifested everything into creation.

@RichardDawkins God gave us incredible brains, thirst for knowledge, free will. If we use them to question Him, we burn in hell. Makes sense.

Not true. God wants us to question things. The Quran encourages humans to ponder, intellect, ruminate and ratiocinate.

@RichardDawkins I ignore 95% of the Bible but you’re an amoral monster for ignoring all of it. Makes sense.

Human beings are strange creatures, we have big egos.

With best wishes,

Omar Shahid

@omar_shahid

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32 thoughts on “A reply to Richard Dawkin’s ‘make sense’ tweets

  1. You should try a thing called fact checking. I’m not going to go through all your responses after you claim that no religion insists on marrying the rapist. The Old Testament of Christianity (which makes up part of Jewish scriptures) insists on it.

  2. i was just browsing along and come upon your site. just simply wantd to say great web-site and this publish really allowed me to

  3. “I’m sorry but from what I know about biology a single human ancestor doesn’t make any sense. I’d recommend you actually take the time to read & absorb that ‘patchy article’. It does explain the why ‘mitochondrial eve’ DOESN’T imply a single ancestor even if at first glance it appears that way &

    hang on – you did a quick Google and came up with an article! Sorry old old chap – I have actually studied biology. . .

    “I’m sorry but from what I know about biology a single human ancestor doesn’t make any sense”

    Do you know how illogical this sounds . . . what you know of? Really? Yet, you are unable to explain why – even in simple terms.

    – – –

    I think you simply wanted to get the upper-hand as it were. Hence, why you have simply ignored a lot of what I’ve said.

    – – –

    “its what you want to believe. I’m sorry this doesn’t bolster your world view (unfortunately thats life sometimes).””

    This is just lame. I have explained EXACTLY why . . . and rather than countering what I’ve said – you let yourself down by empty rhetoric.

    • OK, sorry I didn’t address your points before, I knew you were wrong but didn’t know how to explain why succinctly. I have been busy & working a lot, I’ve now taken the time try to explain my point of view properly. I have not studies biology & am nothing more than a well informed lay man. I don’t know much about human origins specifically but know enough about evolution in general to know that the idea that humanity evolved from one ‘human’ is farcical.

      So in relation to the statement I was critiquing:

      “Science doesn’t deny that we originated from an “Adam”, whatever the Adam was…”

      I’m right, the science doesn’t support the idea that we evolved from ‘Adam’, or ‘Eve’ for that matter, its not possible for the human race to have evolved from a single human, that’s just a non-sense thing to suggest. There is no such thing as ‘the first human’, such a distinction is meaningless, (I’d have thought that if you’ve studied biology you’d understand that) ‘Eve’ couldn’t have been the single original ‘human’ that ridiculous. She wouldn’t have been alone, she’d have been part of a larger ‘human’ population, they would have been just like her, they would have been the same ‘species’.

      Having studied biology you should understand the concept of species is really just meaningless categorization, useful no doubt but as you will know species are in constant flux. The dividing line between one species transitioning into another is arbitrary. Species evolve incrementally & are constantly & gradually changing all the time as the world around them changes. (environment, sources of food, predators, competing animals of the same or different species, changes in what features/behaviour mates consider ‘sexy’, diseases, viruses etc, etc, etc)

      The population she lived in, the ‘humans’ that gave birth to her, the males she bred with, the children she had etc. would have been just as ‘human’ as she was. She would have had to breed with other individuals most likely part of same population of ‘humans’ as her. They would have to be closely enough related that they could breed but not so closely related that genetic defects would accumulate. ‘Eve’ had to have been part of a larger group.

      I assume you must know all this stuff? You say you studied biology & you write quite lucidly, I imagine your pretty smart so I find it perplexing that you can know all this and at the same time hold that the biblical version of events isn’t contradicted by it?!

      Another thing (& this relates to the article I linked to) Mitochondrial Eve isn’t the common ancestor of all humans that ever lived, she is just the most recent common ancestor of humans alive today. When she was alive she wouldn’t have been the Mitochondrial Eve, that title would have belonged to an ancestor far back in her lineage. A human maybe? I don’t know but certainly a hominid of some description.

      I hope this clears things up? ;-)

  4. None of these answers by Omar make any sense…honestly…he does not seem to be educated in science at all…

    • I agree its mostly complete non-sense & I hate to defend him but what science were you talking about? The only ‘scientific’ statement I noticed was:

      “Science doesn’t deny that we originated from an “Adam”, whatever the Adam was…”

      Obviously this is wrong & shows a fundamental miss understanding of how Evolution by Natural Selection works (unless ‘Adam’ is ment to be an allegory for an extremely distant non human ancestor). We cannot have descended from a single human ancestor but from a group of human like ancestors. Aside from that I didn’t see any science in there?

      • Mr_Integrity – you appear to be punching above your weight.

        You state:

        “Obviously this is wrong & shows a fundamental miss understanding of how Evolution by Natural Selection works”

        Why so obviously?

        As far as I know monogenesis is the prevalent theory. And it was the Homo sapiens that left Africa to evolve into modern Humans – and replaced any competing subspecies of Homo genus.

      • I don’t see how “…We cannot have descended from a single human ancestor but from a group of human like ancestors.” as I put it in anyway disagrees with what you have just written saying. Do you think we all descended from a single human being? If you do then I’m sorry but maybe its you who is punching above your weight.

      • We maybe we have our wires crossed! I see in your comment below that you were answering Serendipity’s comment originally, not mine. So sorry for the miss understanding I thought you were picking an argument with me.

      • @Mr_Integrity

        ” Do you think we all descended from a single human being?”

        Well yes . . . give it a think. Logically – our ancestry can be reduced to single humans of the same sub-species. For example – you can fix on a single man to be father of the Caucasian race.

        How in normal English language we say – “single origin of human species” is open to many interpretations. Mitochondrial Eve – for example – if you took it far back – she would be the woman from whom humans have descended.

        I know there are exceptive theories – however – there is support for the view that origin of humanity is of mitochondrial DNA.

        – –

        You’re simply trying to hard to disagree.

      • Phew, you had me going for a while there. I was starting to think I’d got it wrong and a single human ancestor wouldn’t have made any sense at all! Luckily* I’m not! I found this very interesting article which should account for the confusion:

        http://io9.com/5878996/how-mitochondrial-eve-connected-all-humanity-and-rewrote-human-evolution

        Mitochondrial eve does not imply a single human ancestor, at first it appears that way, but there were other humans at the time of ‘Eve’. As the articles says its a “quirk of statistics”. I hope this clears things up?

        Thank you for the exchange, I definitely learned something from it that article was a great find!

        *On a personal note I’m all up for being wrong, to have a fundamental belief proved wrong is huge & valuable lesson in life. You got me questioning myself there for sure!

        Regards Mr Integrity :-)

      • Like I said – you are simply trying too hard. Quick Googling and finding “patchy” articles is not the way forward.

        – – –

        ” I hope this clears things up?”

        It doesn’t. Of what I understand of the biblical version of events – Eve the mother of humanity – is NOT discounted by the article. My previous comments have alluded to this. . . if you scale back humanity – you would end up getting to a single being.

        The article:

        ” It’s a question of basic mathematics — there simply aren’t enough ancestors to go around. ”

        “If you take this back just 1,000 years, simple math demands that you have well over 500 billion ancestors in a single generation. Considering there’s fewer than seven billion people on this planet – and even that is far, far more than any other point in human history – there’s something seriously wrong here. The solution, of course, is that you don’t have 500 billion distinct ancestors, but rather a much, much smaller number of ancestors reappear over and over and over again in your family tree.”

        In other words you would get to “single” individual. Eventually you have to.

        That is why I said – you can pin point to one man – and call him the origin of the “white race” – however he wasn’t the exclusive white man around. To get to this “one white man” – obviously there was decades of transition and other “non-white” races around.

        – – –

        Like I said – the words “single-origin” is open to several interpretations. The thing with “religious history” is . . .

        1. It is probably our oldest written [or otherwise] set of working theories [non-scientific usage of the word] about our origin and purpose.

        2. Vague and in general terms only.

        3. The purpose of religious doctrine actually isn’t scientific knowledge – but moral code and answering the purpose of life.

        – – –

        Finally to say – “single origin” of humanity is not incorrect. And in reality – it makes sense and is easier to work with. However – its detailed & scientific explanations are far more complex and that is to be expected.

      • I’m sorry but from what I know about biology a single human ancestor doesn’t make any sense. I’d recommend you actually take the time to read & absorb that ‘patchy article’. It does explain the why ‘mitochondrial eve’ DOESN’T imply a single ancestor even if at first glance it appears that way & its what you want to believe. I’m sorry this doesn’t bolster your world view (unfortunately thats life sometimes).

        We’re probably not going to agree. I wish you know ill will but I’ll be stepping out here. I’m not interested in discussing anymore.

        Regards

    • It appears you do are not educated in science either. Rather than making such statement – it would’ve been better to explain what mistakes he made. From what you’ve said – one cannot really elicit anything of much value.

      • “It appears you do are not educated in science either.”
        Really, would you care to to clarify why I’m not “educated in science”? I’ve just said we cannot have evolved from a single human ancestor, do you think we did? Populations change gradually over time, we didn’t all descend from a single mutated human like ancestor, we descended from a group of ‘human like’ ancestors.

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  7. FYI
    “@RichardDawkins A woman must marry her rapist, or be killed. Makes sense.

    Which religion says this? Christianity? No. Islam? No. This may be practised in some cultures like Afghanistan. But don’t conflate culture with religion.”

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT
    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

    Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB
    If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

    • Don’t know much about Isalm so I asked an ex-muslim friend about rape in Isalm. He tells me the prophet allowed his men to rape unmarried slave girls & captives wives of infidels (so long as they weren’t pregnant of course!). Verse 4:24 apparently.

      So a lot like the biblical rules of punder! & people look to these books for guidance on morality. Amazing isn’t it!!

      • My friend, it’s best if you look things up for yourself rather than rely on what people tell you.

        4: 24: And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

      • No problem. The other comment was pretty much heresay anyway so, like a I said I’m no expert. The bible however if FULL of nasty stuff like that. The thing is Christians don’t read it, they just listen to the ‘nice’ verses cherry picked by there pastors. I’ve heard it said that the best way to become an ex-christian is to actually read the bible!

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