Max Gerber] I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not. After all, group selection sounds like a reasonable extension of evolutionary theory and a plausible explanation of the social nature of humans. Also, the group selectionists tend to declare victory, and write as if their theory has already superseded a narrow, reductionist dogma that selection acts only at the level of genes. In this essay, I'll explain why I think that this reasonableness is an illusion.
He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either.
Perhaps he is a "theologian". For some years now, Craig has been increasingly importunate in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame me into a debate with him.
I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: I took pleasure in refusing again, which threw him and his followers into a frenzy of blogging, tweeting and YouTubed accusations of cowardice.
In an epitome of bullying presumption, Craig now proposes to place an empty chair on a stage in Oxford next week to symbolise my absence. But what are we to make of this attempt to turn my non-appearance into a self-promotion stunt?
But Craig is not just a figure of fun. He has a dark side, and that is putting it kindly. Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament.
Anyone who criticises the divine bloodlust is loudly accused of unfairly ignoring the historical context, and of naive literalism towards what was never more than metaphor or myth. And verses 16 and 17 are even worse: But thou shalt utterly destroy them" You might say that such a call to genocide could never have come from a good and loving God.
Any decent bishop, priest, vicar or rabbi would agree. But listen to Craig. He begins by arguing that the Canaanites were debauched and sinful and therefore deserved to be slaughtered.
He then notices the plight of the Canaanite children. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives. What context could possibly justify them?
Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli [sic] soldiers themselves.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli [sic] soldiers is disturbing.
A later post by Craig is — if possible — even more shocking. Referring to his earlier article above he says: If the Canaanite tribes, seeing the armies of Israel, had simply chosen to flee, no one would have been killed at all.Reviews, essays, books and the arts: the leading international weekly for literary culture.
Steve Wells said. psybermonkey, thanks for the suggestion.I'm working on it. I hope to have a post with God's killings ranked with a five star scale of nastiness later today.
skanksta, I'd like to make a list of God's animal killings and I may do that timberdesignmag.com it's going to be kind of boring.
But Richard Dawkins has a very poor grasp of the God of the Old or New Testament. And that’s too bad, because I think Richard Dawkins would like the real God as much as the real God likes Richard Dawkins. Clinton Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL (born 26 March ) is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author.
He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public . Jesus always seemed to have an answer for his critics.
Usually, he drew his answers from Scripture. In this case he turned to Hosea 6, where God declares: “I want mercy and not sacrifice.” Jesus used that text against his critics, telling them that he was supposed to minister to sinners and not the righteous.
In the s and 40s, the Nazi regime committed state-sponsored genocide of so-called “inferior races.” Of the approximately nine million Jews who lived in Europe at the beginning of the s, some six million of them were exterminated.