What else is happening in the God Virus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
For now, we’re going to move a bit faster through the book. There really isn’t as much to say as most chapters seem to just be echoing later chapters. No. There are no real arguments in the book.
He starts off with talking about how many members of the National Academy of Sciences believe in God. However, Rob Bowman answered this years ago when Victor Stenger brought it up. As he said,
“Assuming that’s true, how does one get into the NAS? Here’s what the National Academy of Sciences website says: “Because membership is achieved by election, there is no membership application process. Although many names are suggested informally, only Academy members may submit formal nominations.” In other words, it’s an exclusive club that decides who may even be considered for membership. According to a 2010 article in Scientific American, about 18,000 American citizens earn PhDs in the sciences or engineering every year. There are only about 2,200 members in the NAS, and no more than 84 new members are inducted each year. Even the geniuses in the NAS can figure out that its membership does not represent an adequately representative sampling of well-trained scientists.“
Much more of what is said is about how Ray thinks the “virus” spreads. This is still more of the same about secret techniques used in evangelism and the like. I personally think atheist evangelists do the same kinds of things. He also has a section on living rationally in a non-rational world. After all, it should be obvious that anyone who is theistic in any sort of way must be irrational. Right?
There is a section on the new atheists where he says that people see Richard Dawkins and others and think they’re angry atheists. Ray says he doesn’t see that at all and thinks it’s just projection and proceeds to tell us that Christians saying that are angry Christians. Does he not even notice that he could be doing what he just said Christians are doing?
Now I personally think that sometimes Dawkins and Hitchens at least can come across as angry. Projection on my part? Doubtful. More of their accusations just usually make me laugh. Still, their emotion makes no difference. What matters is the data, and their data just isn’t there.
Much of what happens after this is simply also personal coping strategies with suffering and death and about how to talk to people who are “infected.” Naturally, there’s nothing in there about “What happens if you meet a theist who knows what they’re talking about?” It’s things like this that will do more damage to the atheistic movement. It’s easier to just psychologize your opponent instead of dealing with his arguments. I find it happens when opponents in a debate tell me I really know XYZ, when I really don’t.
We’ll continue next time.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)