Counterpoints: The God Delusion Preface
Here we are. Ryan has summarized the project pretty well, so I’ll send you there to see his post first (if you’re returning, or started there, read on).I’ll follow his lead in just a moment to give you a little background into me and my perspective, but I do have some comments about Dawkins’ preface to the God Delusion.
Judging from the preface, much of his argument centers around the premise that Christians believe what they do because they were inculcated as children, and that teaching is so ingrained that they refuse to see the “truth” of his arguments: The story of his wife and her school (“I didn’t know I could.”), his comments about there being “no such thing as a Muslim child,” only the “child of Muslim parents,” and statement that “dyed-in-the-wool faith-heads are immune to argument, their resistance built up over years of childhood indoctrination.”
Unfortunately, none of this applies to me. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. My parents weren’t hostile toward religion, but they made no attempt to live any kind of Christian life or teach me to do the same. I was still in high school when I started going to church, in fact, this is where my story crosses Ryan’s. At the same time in life when he realized that “God lost [him]”, He found me.
Dawkins may feel that 16 is still a child, and indoctrination is happening, but I would disagree. At this point that’s about all that can be said about it.
I came to Christ in the summer after my sophomore year of high school, only to find that many of the students there were Christian in name only. They threw up the facade of being faithful, but when they left the church meeting there was no distinction between them and the rest of our community. After peeking ahead at chapter one, this will be a major point of contention for me…but you’ll have to wait until Sunday.
I went to a Christian college and studied Bible, and had a particular interest in church history and Greek. I wanted to know who, what, where, when, why, and how. The thing that frustrated me most about some of my fellow students was that so many of them accepted what they were taught uncritically. And many of those doing the teaching were just fine with that. There was no attempt to investigate the claims of our denomination against others, Christianity against the world religions, or theism against atheism. It was the perfect bubble world that Ryan describes. But instead of racial homogeny, it was religious.
Though it’s taken me a while to become comfortable with it, I’ve enjoyed investigating other claims (Christian, non-Christian, and athiest) and seeing if any of them hold water. Few do. I’ve chosen the most logical and reasonable position I can, based on all of the evidence and argument I’ve seen; that and once you’ve experienced God you really can’t ignore it. This is an exercise in continuing that process. I hope you’ll return on Sunday to see where this discussion heads.