Q#1. Everything I have gathered about Richard Dawkins suggests that his main argument against religion is a lack of evidence. Richard argues that a Christians belief in God’s creation of the universe comes with no evidence, but as (CMF, 1996) points out, God’s creation of the universe wouldn’t necessarily leave evidence of him just as an engine wouldn’t necessarily have the creator’s signature anywhere on it. I believe that having faith in God is the main way we commit to him. If there were evidence everywhere, no faith would be needed. Dawkins also refers to God as a Santa Claus in the sky” (Giannetti, 2017). This argument is from Dawkins’s lack of understanding of the bible and the messages and lessons that Jesus has taught us.
I believe that the very argument of the non-existence of God comes from someone who craves a debate or an argument about something that a collective group of people believe in. Why else would there be a need to argue the non-existence of god? The goal of a Christian is to follow in Jesus’s footsteps and attempt to live as he did. For example, Jesus never lied and always cared for others. These are just a few values that Jesus had that Christians make it a point to include in their day to day lives. If we take these two values and combine them with the many other values that Jesus held, it is obvious that these values, when held commonly by a large amount of people, would lead to a better world.
Jason Giannetti. (2017). Critique of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Medium.com. https://medium.com/@dailyflashpan/critique-of-richard-dawkins-the-god-delusion-af3ee027727b
Nucleus. (1996). A Critique of Richard Dawsons’ Views on Religion. CMF.org.uk. https://www.cmf.org.uk/resources/publications/content/?context=article&i
Q#2. On the psychological condition of mankind, I suppose Dr. Sigmund Freud had relevant theories. Yet, on religion, I believe he was not sound nor objective. Based on a review of his writings, I found Dr. Sigmund Freud criticized religion as a proverbial crutch. In addition to this perspective, he viewed it as a foundationally false belief system. Moreover, he believed religious practices where synonymous with obsessive compulsive neurotic behaviors.
In his book titled the Future of an Illusion, Dr. Freud stated religious beliefs are fantasies (Freud & Strachey, 1961). He further communicates that educated people do not need the restraints imposed by religious rules. He also states religious rules are only appropriate for the uneducated masses. In response to this notion, I find Dr. Freud is somewhat unrealistic. His declaration that educated persons will conduct themselves morally without religion is not logical. I make this finding based on case after case of individuals violating secular laws which have religious origins. For example, many highly educated persons have committed murder (Johnson & Stevens, 2002). The prohibition against homicidal behavior is found in the teachings of all three of the top world religions: Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism (Shamow, 2017).
Furthermore, Freud evaluates religion in his book Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices. In this text he states the condition of neurosis and religion are two parts of a whole. Specifically, he defined it as universal obsessional neurosis (Freud, 1959). Simply stated, he drew an unwavering analogy between the neurotic condition of obsessive-compulsive behavior and regular religious practices. I see this as a biased and unsophisticated coupling of behaviors. Conditions such as obsessive-compulsive behavior involve unreasonable and destructive repetitive behaviors which feed a need for peace of mind (Abramowitz & Reuman, 2020). Whereas religious practices can be healthy and therapeutic in producing positive outcomes in the lives of its participants (Freire et al., 2019).
With the topic of religion, I do see a necessity to define and objectively criticize it. The term itself can be defined as realigning oneself with God, the creator, or a divine force of nature (Smith, 2019). There are arguably many positive outcomes of religion. For example, many if not most of the hospitals in the United States were founded by religious institutions. In contrast, to be fair and objective, it can be argued that many of the wars and conflicts in the world are based on religion. Consequently, I consider a criticism and examination of religion is a worthy and necessary exercise.
Abramowitz, J. S., & Reuman, L. (2020). Obsessive compulsive disorder. Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, 3304-3306.
Freire, J., Moleiro, C., Rosmarin, D. H., & Freire, M. (2019). A call for collaboration: Perception of religious and spiritual leaders on mental health (A Portuguese sample). Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 21(1), 55-75.
Freud, S. (1959). Obsessive actions and religious practices. In the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IX (1906-1908): Jensen’s ‘Gradiva’and Other Works (pp. 115-128).
Freud, S., & Strachey, J. (1961). The future of an illusion. New York: Norton.
Johnson, L. T., & Stevens, P. E. (2002). A critical analysis of homicidal violence. Journal of Nursing Education, 41(8), 372-375.
Shamow, A. (2017). Homicide and the World Religions.
Smith, C. (2019). Religion: What it is, how it works, and why it matters. Princeton University Press.