No not really. The gentleman has two decades on me so he has a clear first claim to our mutual opinions. It is however a bit eerie. I just finished reading the God Delusion and from chapter one on, my most common response was "I've been saying that for years." Not so much in the area of science, Professor Dawkins clearly has the advantage on me there and I found his thoughts very enlightening. In the philosophical realm however it was like reading something I had written. The idea of Christianity as immoral even down to the scripture I use to support that premise. The reasoning behind why naturalism is a moral system are also very similar to mine. The ideas about comparative religion, also familiar. The list goes on.
This of course makes sense, I didn't form my ideas in a vacuum. I was reading Carl Sagan from a very young age, I have read the work of many prominent atheistic thinkers. So I am sure has Mr. Dawkins. In fact we share a mutual admiration for Douglas Adams, who I rank along with George Carlin as being one of the two greatest wits in history.
One area I do disagree with Richard Dawkins on is the origin of religion. Professor Dawkins believes it is a misplaced survival instinct. He speculates that making quick casual connections is necessary for survival, because reasoning out a dangerous situation logically is not quick enough to deal with, say a tiger attack. I agree that this is the instinct that religion relies on, I just doubt it is the source of religion. I doubt that humanity is the creator of religion at all. In an earlier post I make the argument that religion is a vestigial practice from our pre-human ancestor. I believe that like Mr. Dawkins said the ability to make casual connections evolved first because it is key to survival. I believe our pre-human ancestor had not yet developed the ability to make causal connections at all. They simply went by how things appeared to be and learned by trial and error only. To them religion wasn't a misplaced instinct it was the only instinct they had. Our primitive human ancestors who had developed logical reasoning also retained the survival based casual reasoning. They continued with the religious thinking that was passed down to them but have been continually replacing it with logical explanations whenever possible. In the last few thousand years logic has begun to first alter and then replace religion. In the last few hundred years logical thought has eliminated any relevance that religion may have. Now religion is just a vestigial practice that survives through tradition and indoctrination without fulfilling any useful function.
Of course Dr. Dawkins is the biologist so you may wish to defer to his opinion on the matter, but I am quite happy with mine.
I would like to close with giving "The God Delusion" every endorsement. It is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. I would say go read it but I was probably the last atheist on earth who hadn't so that is probably pointless.
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