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Honda Prius

I ran across a video by darkmatter2525 again, and this time neither God nor this little angel whose name I forgot have an appearance. But just look yourself.

So shortly said, the video is about a woman who wants to buy a car. But the seller never shows her the car. All he does is present „evidence“ in the form of manual and other paper work, and the fact that he the seller himself is in the office although he lives 7 miles away. He claims he could not be present if he hadn’t come there by this car.

He also claims to have a personal relationship to the car, as do his collegues, but they cannot agree on the type and colour of the car. The woman who liked to buy the car then also finds out that the manual seems to be put together by excerpts of manuals of different cars.

Nonetheless, the seller demands $15,000 from the woman to sell her the car, without showing it to her. He speaks of a chance that the car might reveal itself to her.

In the end of the video, darkmatter put the folowing lines:

Theists:if you can understand why I wouldn’t buy a car from these people, you can also understand why I won’t buy God from you.

Well, I am a theist and I understand very well. In fact, I wouldn’t buy God from these people either. While I understand all the points he is trying to make with this video, he’s getting close to fighting strawmen. I say „close to“, because there are indeed Christians who would behave just like the car sellers there. (If you, dear reader, are one of those Christians: Please, stop doing it.) But it is naive to think and misleading to claim that all Christians were like this.

My first point against the whole plot of the story is: You can’t sell God. God is not a thing you posess in any way or can sell to other people at certain prices. He’s not  thing at all. This is a really hard nut or us to crack, because for us humans, most if not everything around us can or will be seen and treated as things that can be controlled. Sadly we tend to think so even of fellow humans.

While we can treat humans that way – we can make them slaves and use them, if we have the means (i.e. power) to do so, this doesn’t work with God. He won’t follow any of our attempts to control Him – ever! So we won’t sell Him. Sometimes people „sell“ certain moral codes or codes of behaving or whatever you will call it, and connect the whole thing to God. This is a whole different thing (and would also need some further discussion, because there’s enough to critisise there, but this is not the issue we deal with here).

My second point would be very close to the first point: You cannot use God. Ever! He is not a tool (so why buy Him in the first place?). The analogy with the car just doesn’t work. Because a car is a thing we can own and which we can use. It’s the whole purpose of a car to be used, if it was useless, there wouldn’t be any cars. Try to say the same about people, and you might understand the problem here: You cannot (or rather should not) speak thus abut people. People are not to be classified by their possible uses, this would be inhumane (and I think atheists would agree on that). The same applies to God. He is not our slave, is no tool is not just a thing.

So if you tried to sell me a tool that was useless or even nonexistant, I wouldnt buy it. And rightly so. Keep your invisible cars to yourself, whatever the colour.

But, as said, with God it is a whole different thing. He is not a thing, He is a counterpart. I don’t try to sell Him anyone. But I do tell people about my relationship to Him, because yes, as He is a counterpart as any human, I can also have a relationship with Him as with any human. The relationship part appears in that video, too, and just appears to be ridiculous. How can you have a relationship to a thing such as a car? (and how would a thing such as a car reveal itself, anyway?)

Relationships make only sense if we speak of counterparts. There is no way I can prove God to any of you. And this is not my job to do so. It is also not my job to tell you you’d go to hel if you did not believe in God. How can you believe in someone you don’t believe in? So yes, I have my fair share of critizism for those fellow Christians who do so (or try to). Don’t get me wrong here, I will still tell of the joy I have from my faith, but it’s not my job to make you have this faith too. It’s God’s job to reveal Himself to you.

While I critisise Christians for trying to sell God, I also critisise people who misrepresent Christianity or even theism as a whole, by claiming that we’d all be like one certin group. We are not, and if you are really open to reason and scientific thinking, you already know that.

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Vergeßt den Skandal um den Kindesmißbrauch…

… katholische Erziehung ist viel schlimmer. So meint jedenfalls Vorzeigeatheist Richard Dawkins. Auf diese Formel verkürzt wurde ein Al Jazeera Interview mit Dawkins, etwa bei der Daily Mail (via). Ich habe das 47 Minuten-Video bei Al Jazeera gefunden und angesehen und ich finde, es ist durchaus wert, angesehen zu werden.

Der Vergleich von Kindesmißbrauch und katholischer Eriehung kommt etwa ab Minute 20, nimmt recht wenig Zeit ein, und Dawkins offenbart dabei ein recht unwissenschaftliches Vorgehen: Er bezieht sich auf einen Brief, den er von einer Amerikanerin erhalten habe. Dafür, daß er sonst so auf evidence pocht recht dünn.

Überhaupt macht er eine sehr schlechte Figur: Religion ist böse, weil sie der Grund für viele böse Dinge ist. Religiöse Individuen wie etwa Martin Luther King Jr. können allerdings auch Gutes tun. Interessant: Das eine sind Individuen, das andere ist die Religion an sich. Wobei er auch zugibt, daß Religion durchaus Gutes motivieren kann.

Irgendwie kommt er mir bei dem Hin und Her vor wie ein Fundamentalist im analogen Fall. Da sind die „bösen“ Anhänger dessen Religion (Selbstmordattentäter, katholische Erzieher…) auch immer nur Individuen, während die Religion an sich gut ist. Dawkins würde wahrscheinlich nicht zögern, dem Fundi genau dies vorzuwerfen…

Das schlimme an Religion ist übrigens der Glaube, weil der dazu führt, ganz böse Dinge zu tun und für Argumente verschlossen zu sein. Wobei er auch hier später zurückrudert und sagt, es gäbe zwar Argumente (bzw Streit, cf. engl „argument“), aber eben keine richtigen.

Ich habe den Eindruck gewonnen, daß Dawkins vor allem ein Problem mit dem Fundamentalismus hat. Würde er das so formulieren hätte ich damit kein Problem. Fundamentalismus mag ich auch nicht. Was Dawkins jedoch macht, auch wenn r immer wieder zurückrudert und nochmal in die gleiche Richtung startet, ist, daß er seine Vorstellung von Fundamentalismus auf alle Rleigion überträgt und selbst aber für Gegenargumente taub bleibt. So nimmt er natürlich wahr, daß seine Frau ihn liebt, das ist dann evidence, aber das gleiche Gefühl bezüglich eines Gegenübers zählt nicht, wenn es sich um Gott handelt, weil dieser Gott angeblich nur im Inneren existiere. Das Gefühl geliebt zu werden anscheinend nicht…

Ein letzter Punkt, der mich irritiert, war sein ständiges Reden von truth. Ich dachte bisher, Wahrheit gäbe es nur im Glauben, während die Wissenschaft mit Wahrscheinlichkeiten arbeite, doch Dawkins ist wohl der Meinung, daß er in der Lage wäre, mittels Wissenschaft tatsächlich zur Wahrheit zu kommen, was immer diese Wahrheit sein sollte.

Alles in allem sagt er recht wenig, außer daß er alle Religion für fundamentalistisch hält, daß er selbst durchaus fundamentalistische Ansätze hat (oder was soll die Rede von truth?) und die Welt ein besserer Ort wäre, wenn die Religion morgen verschwände, obwohl dann die Shoa bliebe, während viele Hilfsoranisationen weg wären…

Aber seht es Euch selbst an, es ist durchaus kurzweilig:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/general/2012/12/2012121791038231381.html